Not what they want to hear
The most controversial project that I’ve started here so far has been my Girls Club. At eleven weeks in, the boys still ask me when I’m going to start my Boys Club when I show up at school at 17:00. The controversy only worsened this week when the t-shirts I ordered for the club arrived. The question changed from when the Boys Club would start to when I would be making them t-shirts.
In the US, my usual response to questions such as those would be that the entire rest of the country is a Boys Club, every other month is White History Month and the Men’s Center is the entire rest of campus. Those responses don’t really translate here.
My general observation about men here, both my students and those older, is that they are not used to hearing the word, “No.” No you cannot join my club. No you cannot play with my iPod. No you cannot take my bicycle. Chauvinism is not just an underlying part of the culture. Chauvinism is the culture.
When I started the club, I was tentative. I could feel myself bending under the incessant questioning, by students and other teachers. But then the girls took hold of the club. It became their place. Their one place where they held dominion. The one place where they could say no boys allowed.2 notes