An inspiring reddit post:
The Younger Generation is waking up.
For context, I am a female high school student in Massachusetts.
Today in my Biology class, the teacher looks up from his computer screen and asks us all, “Are there any young ladies in the room, raise your hands.”
So, all of the girls (and a couple guys that were trying to be funny) raise their hands.
“1, 2, … alright, looks like there are 13 girls in the room. Next week, some women from MIT are coming to the school to talk to y’all about engineering. Is anyone interested?”
My hand instantly shot up. (I fucking love engineering). Then I kind of blurted out, “Wait, just girls? Why can’t guys go?”
“Uh… I don’t really know. I didn’t organize this, MIT did. Don’t shoot the messenger, <name>.” Looking around, I guess he was upset that I was the only one with my hand up, so he threw in “you get to miss class.” At that point pretty much every girl’s hand went up. “Alright, 13 people!”
Then a boy (who I know for a fact is a huge engineering geek) got all upset and asked the teacher why he wasn’t counted, even though his hand was up.
“This is just for girls.”
“But how’s that fair?! I care way more about this stuff than most of them! Oh, uh, no offense guys.”
“I did not organize this, people. I’m just reading from an email.”
At that point I asked, to noone in particular, if this sort of thing was even legal. It’s a public school, our parents’ tax dollars should be expected to go toward everyone equally. To my surprise, a bunch of people agreed with me.
A couple boys started complaining that they didn’t want to do extra work while we listened to a fun lecture, so the teacher promised them that they could get to watch cartoons and have a free period.
Then a girl yelled out that it wasn’t fair that only the guys got to watch cartoons. “Nobody is forcing you to go see the MIT women talk.” “Oh, yeah. Forgot.”
The teacher went back to his computer, and normal chitchat ensued. But a bunch of us started talking about how unfair it was that only the girls got to go. The boy glared at me and said, “then why are you going?”. “Cause I love this stuff.” “Sexist.” We got into an argument, about half the class, over whether or not we were sexists by going to the lecture. I think the general consensus was that we were sexists in the same way that black people who get special college grants aimed toward black people are racist, and left it at that.
At lunch, the principal was standing in the cafeteria for some reason. (Usually it’s just the vice principals or guidance counselors.) I asked her why she was only letting the engineers from MI talk to girls.
“I didn’t decide that it was only for girls. They’re allowed to do it because that’s what their grant was for.” (I don’t know what that means, by the way.)
“Doesn’t this violate Title IX?”
“That only applies to sports.” A couple kids at my table started objecting, saying that Title IX doesn’t only apply to sports. Then some of the upperclassmen a few tables over heard and yelled out that it “wasn’t cool” that girls got to “skip class” while they had to do work.
She said there were too many men in engineering.
“No there ain’t! If you treat all the sexes equally, eventually that’ll just balance itself out!”
“No, <name>, we need to, as educators, make sure that no gender is being overrepresented in any academic field.”
Eventually more people started asking her questions and arguing amongst themselves until she left. (I might add, she looked really frustrated.)
A couple guys in my grade said they were going to walk in and wouldn’t go out unless they dragged them. I really doubt that’ll happen, though.
I gotta say, I was surprised by the general response to this blatant sexism. Last year, I had an argument with a teacher who made us write essays about how women are disadvantaged in the modern workplace. Practically nobody sided with me.
When I refused to go to the single-gendered “Girls club” every Friday at lunch in the 6th grade, kids called me weird.
Then in more recent years, every time somebody was misandrist, hey would take the misandrist’s side.
Not this time, though. I know a few girls who aren’t going because they think it’s too sexist. I personally am too much of a lazy hypocrite, but still. And people are getting pissed off left and right, asking why they felt the need to have a lecture just for girls when we only get one or two speakers a year.
Happy about it.
Little by little, the lies slip and get found out and meanwhile the pendulum swings.