Sexism in Grade 4? Seriously?
I was teaching at an elementary school the other day refereeing a game of soccer in Phys. Ed. class. It was a typical class. You had many boys playing quite competitively, you had some boys hanging out on the side lines hoping to get involved. You had a few girls going all in and a number of girls walking around with their friends on the opposite team and only touching the ball when it landed right at their feet. This is pretty normal. Having taught elementary physical education for many years, I wasn't put off and continued to encourage everyone to play hard.
At one point, a girl (one of those who walk around with their friends the whole game) came up to me and made the following audacious charge:
"The boys are being sexist. They aren't passing to me!"
At first, I was a bit floored. Where is this language coming from? You sound like a militant feminist and you're only in grade 4. Recovering quickly and seeing the situation for what it was, I countered with a strong negation. The conversation went more or less as follows:
Mr. Biffert: The boys are not being sexist.
Girl: Yes they are. They won't pass to me.
Mr. B: The boys won't pass to you because you are a weak player, not because you are a girl.
Girl: What!!! Are you saying that I am a weakling?!
Mr. B: No. I said you were a 'weak player' on the team. You are not trying very hard. The boys want to win the game and they are afraid that if they pass to you the move will not work in their favour.
Girl: I can't believe you are calling me a weakling!
Mr. B: If you play your hardest, you'll become a better player and the boys will trust you enough to pass to you.
Girl: Well, I'm not playing at all because you just favour the boys.
Girl stomps off.
Mr. Biffert (under his breath): It won't make any difference, because you weren't playing to begin with.
I reflected on this conversation for a couple days for I was so awed at the language she used and her argumentation. She was excusing her lack of effort in the game by not only blaming the boys, but then accusing of them of the crime of sexism.
At one level, I'm ol' fashioned and bit surprised. On another level, I guess I'm not. The media around us, the music, the promotions, the contests, the marches, the posters, the protests, - are all geared towards empowering girls, fighting for gender parity, women's rights over the bodies (even if a living baby is inside it) and so forth. What is sickening is that their illogical arguments and their toxic propaganda has officially made it into the elementary schools.
Here is another example of the same phenomenon:
At another school I was given the task to teach the muscular system to group of grade 5s. At one point I was explaining to the boys what exercises they could do to get a six-pack. One girl put up her hand and asked me I was talking to the boys about weightlifting. The question caught me, again, a bit off guard. I'm not sure this would ever have been questioned 10 years ago. So, I began to explain how God created boys' bodies and girls' bodies in different ways for different purposes.
"Generally, boys are stronger than girls because their bodies were created that way because God needed men to be the protectors and to fight the wars."
Well, the girls in the class then took me to task.
"I know a woman could bench 10x more than you can!"
"I'm stronger than my brother!"
"How dare you say boys are stronger than girls!"
"This boy here isn't very strong!"
I thought the statement that 'boys are stronger than girls' (generally speaking) was pretty well a known fact of nature. Simply grow up with siblings and you realize quite quickly that at a certain age the girls stop wrestling their brothers because the boys are getting too strong.
Like before, the dialogue didn't end well. I refused to placate their feelings and give them platitudes to make them feel better. I simply told them that if they want to weight lift, than to go right ahead, but at the end of the day, boys are still stronger than girls because God created our bodies differently. I did try to explain how a girl's body has a womb and that their bodies were designed for bringing forth new life - but this comment through the class into an uproar. I guess the word 'womb' is a dirty word now?
So what's the solution? We live in a world where even the young girls are demanding to be boys. There was no joy or pride in the fact they could nurture life some day. It was all "Don't tell me I can't do this!" Or "Don't tell me that a boy is better than me at something!" The solution is to take back femininity. We need to add pictures of Moms and mothering back into school textbooks and bring the dialogue back to the joy of having a family.
Now, before you jump all over me here, I'm not saying girls should be Moms and not have a career. If a girl isn't married or can't have children, she should pursue to the best of her feminine genius whatever career she wants. But, it is in that beautiful vocation of Motherhood that we find the true feminist movement and this is the lacuna in the whole feminist rhetoric.