Friday Angst: SEXISM

September 13, 1994 (Age 13)

For many years I have been teased, torn, and filled with anger about something I have tried to change. It exists everywhere, no one’s anger alone can quench it. Sexism.

One of the most unfair problems in our world. I have felt it many times, in skiing, school, karate, and in most of the world’s minds.

When I try to talk to my classmates about gym, they roll their eyes and tell me how stupid I am. But there is a problem, and there always will be a problem unless something is done about it.

Everything about gym is unfair. Girls are required to do 1 pull-up and boys are to do 2.

Girls have to run the mile in 20 minutes, boys run it in 15.

When it comes to sports such as soccer, basketball, and field hockey, girls play inside, boys outside.

More than once after class I asked the reason for this. The ingenious reply was: “If a boy kicked a soccer ball at you, you would be knocked over.”

I’m not knocked over so easily.

I have tried talking to people, but it seems that no one but my parents believes that there is a problem, and will talk about it. I will not give up trying to change the way it is.

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6 thoughts on “Friday Angst: SEXISM

  1. DKC says:

    Nicely said. This resonates with me: “I will not give up trying to change the way it is.”

    For me, when I was 13, this was my favorite quote: “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.” – Edward Hale.

  2. kirsten hubbard says:

    “I’m not knocked over so easily.”

    THATTA GIRL.

    I love that you’re sharing these! I have a stack of journals I kept almost daily from ages 13-15, and I always consider sharing bits of them.

    • Lara Ehrlich says:

      Oh, Kirsten, PLEASE share them! We were all so wonderfully earnest and dorky at 13. Those journals provide hours and hours of amusement 🙂

  3. osutein says:

    I felt the same way at that age, though mostly because I thought it was unfair that girls only had to do 1 pull-up while I was forced to do 2, despite having less upper-body strength than half the girls in gym class.

    I don’t understand why softball still exists, though. It’s 2011. Let’s all just play baseball, people.

    • Lara Ehrlich says:

      Hehe. Whether you’re a boy or a girl, pull-ups still stink. I hear you about the softball thing! Though if it were up to me, I’d ban all ball sports…

      • osutein says:

        Same here. I’m okay, even marginally good, at non-ball sports, but I am horrible at all ball sports. Especially ball sports meant for tall people, like basketball and volleyball. Every summer in Chicago, I dread the inevitable “who wants to play volleyball?” invites, as it’s embarassing to decline with the reason that “I suck at volleyball beyond all reason.”

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