Harriet: Public School Girl

Ja’mie: Private School Girl is my Wednesday night cocktail of odious prejudice I feed off as the ‘povo’ public school girl. And you know what? I secretly love it.

Comedian Chris Lilley’s show, Ja’mie: Private School Girl is rich in stereotypes and bias.

Ja’mie is built upon the worst characteristics of teenage girls: lack of perspective, selfishness, narrow mindedness, and drama queendom. But what Lilley has emphasized is that’s she’s a private school girl. That makes her different to the majority, and very different to me.

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Behind the ‘quiche’ facade of hilarity that define teenage girls, Lilley presents a dire picture of education, highlighting the very real differences between private and public school education.

The problem with the show is that it reinforces the differences between public and private education. And there should be none. None at all. I fundamentally don’t agree or understand private education. The concept of enumerating a basic fundamental human right is wrong. While Lilley’s new comedy is hilarious (trust me, it is), it intensifies the divide between the two spheres.

I shouldn’t have to explain to my private school friend the pain of carrying around all six textbooks around on my back all day. Nor should I have to correct her when she expresses jealousy regarding my outdoor swimming pool, which is in fact the public town pool.

What is this? Mere innocent snobbery. How can I not feel hardly-done by when I hear these comments? And how can a private school girl not look down on me, express pity and assume my education is worth less? And she’s right. My education was worth less.IMG_0001

I wasn’t granted ski trips, an Olympic aquatic centre, a textbook each, enough sports equipment for each child, or even enough seats for each classroom. But has that left me hardly done by? I think not.

My education taught me about the need for sharing; sharing textbooks, sharing notes, sharing books, and sharing car rides (because no, we didn’t all have cars).

This has been the greatest lesson of all. And you know what? It didn’t cost me a cent.

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One thought

  1. Summed up nicely! I will remember those last few thoughts when the private vs public debate comes up in conversation at uni, which is every week now that prac is just around the corner. Thanks for the ammunition 😉

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