Gregory-Lincoln Middle school has been an average school in an average Houston neighborhood for years. Just the other day the school was thrust into internet infamy thanks to an incredibly questionable decor choice. Inspirational quotes are pretty standard fare in schools, Gregory-Lincoln Middle opted for a quote that only inspired anger.
"The more you act like a lady, the more he'll act like a gentleman."
The quote, left without attribution, was plastered up on an industrial-beige wall in big black block letters. In context, the quote is allegedly a part of a longer speech about how mutual respect is necessary. Local news outlets claim the quote was originally stated by Sydney Biddle Barrows. Barrows (a.k.a. Sheila Devlin a.k.a. "The Mayflower Madam") was––wait for it––a BROTHEL OWNER. Why did anyone think something a brothel owner said was appropriate for a school that teaches pre-K - 8th grade?
It didn't take long for the quote to get noticed and blasted on Twitter.
This is the wall at Gregory-Lincoln Middle School in Houston ISD. It's perpetuating horrible gender stereotypes, s… https://t.co/Hr6sYq34jh— lbeckman (@lbeckman) 1534532094.0
Once it was up, it made immediate waves. The district got wind of the school's "inspirational" choice and decided to remove it. School officials released a statement saying the quote doesn't reflect the school's values, though they didn't mean for it to come across the way it did. A teacher, who asked to remain anonymous, told KHOU11 what she took from the quote:
"To me it meant that girls need to take responsibility, not only for their own actions, but for whatever the boys do to us, as well. I just didn't feel like that was an image of the equality and self-determination that, we as a district or myself as a mother, want to portray."
Twitter was pretty "uninspired" as well.
@lbeckman @shannonrwatts "So remember girls, if he's treating you horribly then you had it coming. Now enjoy class!… https://t.co/3x3U0axS1O— Lady Valkyrie, Fandom Cassandra. (@Lady Valkyrie, Fandom Cassandra.) 1534537868.0
@lbeckman @shannonrwatts I’m really glad I’m not the only one who saw this today and took a picture.— Sean Fox (@Sean Fox) 1534543114.0
@lbeckman @shannonrwatts Here. Fixed it for you. https://t.co/QvACYGoGrv— lil’tweeter (@lil’tweeter) 1534541323.0
@FabrizioGowdy @miriamalrahil @lbeckman @shannonrwatts Then why doesnt it say "The more you act like gentleman, the… https://t.co/Cql6Ge8GMr— Kari Bower (@Kari Bower) 1534645467.0
@lbeckman @shannonrwatts https://t.co/cFviJ9I84M— ThisIsGuano (@ThisIsGuano) 1534537607.0
@lbeckman @shannonrwatts The quote is from Sydney Biddle Barrows, a woman who ran an escort agency in NYC. She pled… https://t.co/Jaxs4thpfW— yt (@yt) 1534625761.0
Under so much pressure and attention, the school removed the quote rather quickly.