I’m standing in the copy room when a Social Studies/History teacher walks in. She is 12. Or 23, or whatever. A newlywed; freshly pregnant. 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.
Sometimes, you just can’t find it in yourself to argue. Sometimes, you know that only time will do the job.