Friday, September 28, 2012

War On Pint-Size Women

The existence of gender inequality dawned on me early. In elementary school one drizzly day, I experienced my first "Hey wait a minute!" moment. Someone made the decision that the boys could go out to recess, but the girls had to stay inside. WTF? We stood at the windows watching the boys run around, having a great old time. I could not figure out the logic in this decision. It did not endear the boys to us when they came back from recess damp and stinkier than usual. I was incensed, and never forgot my first brush with injustice. One day a few years later, we had a substitute teacher. Miss Murphy was an elderly spinster who was probably deputized as she walked out of daily Mass. She was at least a thousand years old and probably not a qualified teacher. But hey, it was only for a day. How much damage could she do? Too bad that day was Friday, my favorite school day due to the fact that we got art class. I had to wait all week for my beloved class, which came in the last hour of the school day. I survived history, math, and all the other boring stuff just to get to Friday afternoon. And there stood Miss Murphy, with her crooked index finger, trying to figure out how to teach. For art class, she had the girls draw a vase of flowers and the boys had to draw a kid named Donald throwing a football. I was shocked and appalled. This rocked my world. Not that I wanted to draw Donald and his damn football, but the sexist nature of the assignment outraged me. There was no arguing with Miss Murphy who ruled with an iron fist. I drew the stupid vase of flowers, but didn't like it. Knowing how fate works, we probably got screwed out of time with our Weekly Reader too (another Friday afternoon perk). I hope for her sake, Miss Murphy eventually went to Girly Heaven - A place with lots of flowers, cups of tea, no smelly boys, and of course straight index fingers.

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