Blog Against Sexism
posted by Amy
Vegan Kid is hosting Blog Against Sexism Day today, International Women's Day. Even though years have passed, I still flash on one particular day whenever I think of sexism. I was nineteen, it was the first day of the semester, and I was looking forward to this class especially because of the topic (medieval lit, if you must know). The professor walked in, handed out the syllabus, and then told us that "pretty girls--especially those wearing shorts--should sit in the front of the class" and they'd be guaranteed a good grade. Most of the class laughed. I felt my face burning with anger and embarrassment. I never said a word in that class, although it was an easy A. And to this day, I still get a sick feeling in my stomach when I read Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
Now I'm raising a daughter. I think about someone saying something like that to her and her classmates, and I hope with all my heart that she'd speak up, that no one would laugh, and that she'd know, from growing up surrounded by women and men who challenge sexism, that her voice matters. And I hope she doesn't have to figure this out as an adult, as I did, but rather never loses that conviction.