I’m standing in the copy room when a Social Studies/History teacher walks in. She is 12. Or 23, or whatever. To distract her from the hundreds of copies I’m making before she can get a turn at the machine, I ask her what she’s teaching today.
“I’m teaching a lesson on oppression,” she says brightly. “I’m getting on my Oppression Soapbox. We’re going to look at all kinds of oppression — race and class. Economics too. How they all come together.”
“And women?” I ask. “Sex and gender?”
“Nooo,” she says, looking at me like I just started squirting ketchup from the copy room fridge directly into my mouth. “That’s not really…that’s not part of it. That’s not my thing.”
And then I died a little inside, because we live here. Female oppression IS her thing, she just doesn’t know it yet. She has no sense of history — no concept of the way things used to be for women and how they could be again if we just sort of don’t care until it’s too late.
I didn’t say anything — the bell was about to ring — but No no no no no.