Today in gym we were going to play a game which was basically a giant bouncy ball (seriously, its got like a 4 foot diameter) that you push, roll, bounce, kick, hit, etc. from side to side. When you hit the other team’s wall you get a point. A majority of the class played kickball in the other room, but about twenty of us played this game (big ball battle pushing)
When we walked into the activity room my gym teacher split us up girls and boys. It was a team or eight boys, and then 15 or so of us girls. The boys were playing four on four. But, we would have to share the court, so there would be a five minutes of play and then we would switch from girls to boys and vice versa.
This was complete bullshit. So I let him know that. I asked him why. Why. Why can’t we play with guys? He goes to tell me that it is because guys are aggressive and we could get hurt. So I yelled about how girls can be aggressive, and guys can be not aggressive. He said letting us play with boys could get him fired and that it was a liability. I can’t bite my tongue so I yelled “BULLSHIT. Is it not a liability for guys to get hurt? Do you not care about them? Why are we so fragile? Just tell me!” He says he is only doing it “for our safety”, and I should thank him.
That was when I completely lost my shit. I yelled about how he is not protecting us from anything. He is contributing to a culture where girls are seen as weak and fragile, and should be scared of guys who are strong and aggressive. A culture where we shouldn’t even be playing sports in gym but since we have to lets make it easy for them because they are girls. A culture where guys feel this need to be insanely manly, and if they aren’t they’re weak and gay- which is also an insult in this culture. He is contributing to a culture where women are subservient and weak to men, and we should thank him. I should thank him. I was screaming and yelling.
My gym teacher then said If i don’t want to play with just girls I can leave and play kickball in the other room. I said no, I’m going to stay and play. I knew if I left, probably some of the girls would leave with me and even some the guys (everyone was looking at me and hearing this conversation- I mean I was fucking screaming), but that would prove his point when I could prove mine.
While my teacher was in the other room getting the balls, I gathered up all the girls and got us all to decide we would play as hard and aggressive as we possibly could. So that is what we did.
We ended up all punching, pushing, yelling. kicking, body-slamming, shoving, insulting, and running as much and as hard as we could. It was great. We all, on both teams got sweaty and red. Whenever someone fell we would help them up or they would get up themselves.
Two girls had to go to the nurse, but they were smiling as they walked out. I got slammed on the floor twice and bruised my hip. One girl had to sit out because she got hit on the head. Another girl scraped her knee, and kept playing. The best part is not once did anyone complain, we all sucked up the pain and high fived each other and yelled “FUCK YEAH OVARIES!!”.
We all, especially me, would make really sassy and sarcastic remarks to the teacher. He would stop the game because we were being rough and not playing “ladylike” and we would say something along the lines of “oh how else will i attract someone get married and pop out babies, i must be ladylike or else I can’t fulfill my purpose on earth” “you’re right! i’m so weak, this hurts” and “wait, are we being too aggressive for you? I’m sorry” (my personal favorite was “oh my gosh, this hurts my uterus to act like a guy, I’m I’m I’m melting” in a wicked witch of the west voice).
A couple of the guys even jumped in to play with us and he stopped them but the guys would jump in and get beat up by these girls and just high five the girl who hit them. They would also accidentally hit the ball into the teacher while he reffed, and we all would try to *accidentally* get the teacher in the middle of the action so he could see the “aggression” head first.
After the games he complained about the violence and I asked “sorry, were we aggressive?” and he said the reason we got hurt was because we are girls.
No. We did not get hurt because we are girls. We got hurt because we were ferocious. Not because it just happens to be easier to hurt a girl. He would not accept the fact that we were aggressive. That girls are equal to guys in that aspect.
During the final goal, i realized I got what I wanted. All the guys were playing with us, despite him pushing them to the sidelines-they would just hop back in. When we won, we all cheered and celebrated; guys and girls, from both teams. In my gym class people never talk to each other outside of one or two of their friends and we were all united for the first time.
After the game, I helped this guy put the big bouncy ball back. And whoops I let it slip and hit the teacher with it. And whoops I kinda did that twice. and said:
oops im sorry
this is dangerous i shouldnt sport
i should go back to cooking and cleaning
like a true modern woman should”
Anyways, There is no one message to end this massive story with I just wanted to share. I’m also going to share with my principal Tuesday when I am back at school, I’ll update you guys on that later.
I also want to say to all the girls (and guys) out here. If you see shit going down that is ignorant, oppressive, or just flat out rude and against what you stand for- be it feminism or anything else- you have to stand up to make a change. It is little random acts of defiance from the bullshit standards we live under that change them.
Keep Fighting, Guys!!
Prove people wrong.