I want to shake my fist and burn my bra,
Get these girls to feel some passion,
A cause to love with all their lives.
But everything is dull and bland,
Until they find their freedoms gone,
But by then it’s far too late
And all they do is wave goodbye.
I had a really eye opening tutor time the other day. I have a small group of fifteen year olds that I have in my group and every day, for half an hour, I talk to them about a subject that is important in the world, and yesterday it was equal rights for women.
I am normally met with an audience of totally bored faces and I have managed to get my head around that and not feel too offended by it. But yesterday, I was totally blown away by the attitude of some of the girls; and not in a good way.
I made this whole presentation about some really inspirational women and I delivered it with as much enthusiasm as I could because I do feel that it’s really important that these kids understand these topics.
I spoke about Sheryl Sandberg and Emmeline Pankhurst and I was really getting into it. I mean, I spoke about one of the women who fought for my right to vote and shape my own life. And then, when I had finished, I had two girls come up to my mentor (their actual tutor) and ask why we have tutor time when it’s such a waste of time and so boring!
I stood very quietly behind them as they told the teacher what a waste of their time they thought that tutor time was. I felt a little bit hurt but more than anything I was shocked that that was how little they thought of the rights that had been gifted to them by those women that went before.
I wonder if we started to revert to the way things work and all of us women work for less than our male counterparts, whether they would then think that the lesson was boring? Would it be boring if their legal rights were taken away and they couldn’t vote? I think not.
I’m reading an incredibly frightening book called Vox by Christina Dalcher which is about a fictional future where this kind of thing happens. It’s terrifying because I’m now seeing how easy it would be to undo all of the good work that has been done. A lot of kids don’t give a crap if it doesn’t affect them right this second or it won’t bring them some immediate benefit.
Please, if you have children, make sure that they know about this stuff and they they do care about it. They’ll regret it if they don’t, and everything they thought was their right will be just a distant memory.