Confessions from the Classroom
Setting: A cold March morning in 2011. My first day of research. A classroom packed with grade 8 students. An Ontario city of about 75,000 people, tucked between broad expanses of farmland. A 10 minute free-write. The writing prompt: Choose an object or activity that you think best expresses your gender. My Object of Expression: The object I would choose is my flowered jeans, because I normally don’t like jeans but these I thought were different because all along the side of the legs there are rows of string that end up being stems of flowers that are blooming. These jeans make me feel happy because they represent the sort of feminine side to me and at the same time show my masculine side. They also make me feel like I’m a part of a large force that stands up to bullying and criticism to express themselves and to show the world that our lives have meaning. If somebody were to tell me that I couldn’t wear my favourite jeans I would stand up to everything they’re trying to criticize and tell them that they had no say in what I wear and certainly have no say in what I believe in. When people see me they might ask me what I have on my leg and I would clearly say and explain what it was and it’s a horrible thing that I notice them mocking me about x tomboys and other gender heroes it, but if I were...
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