I was quick to point out that discrimination is not always so obvious. Boys and girls receive very different kinds of attention, especially when they are younger. Forgive me for not remember the sources I looked at in another class, but last semester we read several articles, all of which came to the same conclusion. Girls were taught to be neater, especially when it came to physical appearance. Girls are rewarded for trying, and are often quickly “tracked” into more nurturing roles. Young boys get away with more physically aggressive behavior, are challenged by teachers in search of the correct answer instead of merely getting praise for trying. So, yes, no one tells women at the university level they can’t be engineers, but very few teachers promote this idea among young girls. If this wasn’t the case, would braincake.com be around?
As far as my own school years, I had very different experiences than the ones given in RED. I did, however, identify with the one story about the friend of the girl who tried to kill herself. Mostly, I was the girl who wanted to die. And believe me, it was not for lack of trying. I did, several times. How I made it to adult hood is beyond me, but I give the vast majority of the credit to my best friend, “Marie” (name changed). I met her in 6th grade. She is still one of the few people I have met in my life I can be myself around. She knows things about me that no one else does, in graphic detail. She is one of the strongest women I know, and she does not care who you are – she will kick your ass. I learned so much from her, and I am stronger because she told me it was ok to not be what society told me I should be.
I am surprised how important prom was in the online reading. Maybe it was just me, but when I look back at high school, I do not see my prom. I went, yes. I had an expensive dress. I couldn’t afford the salon hair or nails at the time, because I was supporting someone else who needed the money to eat. We went solo, four of us girls. We took my brand new car (that is something I will never forget – my parents kept telling me I would never get a car from them then one day, I came home to find one there. Apparently, since I had gotten enough scholarship money to pay my tuition, my reward was a car. It was bought with my college fund). We were there a couple of hours. The best part was the stop at Steak and Shake after. I guess when I look back at other people though, prom was a huge event for them. I do remember going to the restroom at one point in the night and hearing one girl complain about all the bobby pins in her hair. I was very grateful at that moment that I was not being poked all night by hair pins! I had really already left high school at this point. For my 12th grade year, I was entirely off campus taking classes at a local college. I had already left behind the need to impress them I suppose. I remember seeing several popular girls pregnant that night and I was grateful. I made it out of high school. I was in college, I was going to a major university, I wasn't pregnant. I survived high school, and while my future was uncertain, I had more possibilities in front of me than I could imagine.