Barry SCHWARTZ (Barijo ŜVARC) (chemoelectric) wrote,


As a man I don’t as often experience the pointed end of sexist arrows. I wonder if women who think a man must be looking for a date would like it if I thought they should be vacuuming or baking cookies. I hope it really is something that the young people will grow out of; there’s lots of time for that to happen.

I was lucky. When I was in the CETA program, there was an orientation program run by Middlesex County College (who BTW successfully recruited me, and that’s how I went to college), and it turned out we were given a sexism test disguised as a vocational exercise. Guess who ended up being one of the two young men who ended up as the demo cases of male chauvinist pig-ism. In front of the whole class I was made an example. I was 19, however, which meant I had practically a whole lifetime to deal with this deserved humiliation positively. Believe me, it hasn’t been a steady course; It must have taken 10 or 15 years before I could even start to adjust significantly to the self-revelations.

This is why I think my elementary school teacher may have erred in forcing me to play ball or whatever when I wanted to play hopscotch with the girls; he reinforced male chauvinism and fear of women. Also I was too small to play ball without being disappointed in my performance. Puberty would change that, but at the time hopscotch was a sport in which being small didn’t matter. I liked hopscotch, and had no reason to be nasty towards girls and their activities other than social expectation, which my teacher unwittingly reinforced.

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