Wednesday, March 15, 2006

I Object (Again)

(I may have told this story/aired this complaint before on this blog. Let's just say it was formative.)

So when I was in tenth grade, we read a lot for English class, mostly in themed units of three. We started with three "boy stories" - A Separate Peace, Lord of the Flies, and that other book that's like Separate Peace that everyone reads in high school but I can't think of. Then we went to three "girl stories" - Antigone, The Merchant of Venice, and The Pearl. Which, it turns out, are still mostly about men.

Now, I (and my classmates) objected then. We asked why, especially in a class that was 80% girls, we weren't reading books that were actually about girls/women. Our teacher told us if he assigned things that were actually about women or girls, the boys wouldn't read them, whereas we'd read anything.

I bring this up (again) because I've just watched a PBS special on Willa Cather, and I'm angry that NEVER in my school career did we read anything by her. Boo! I must now go and find her books at the public library. And, um, find time to read them, because it will be term-time again when I get back to Evanston.


LutheranChik said...

What's really sad is, I think this is the dynamic that drives things like Sunday School curricula as well. I hated the Old Testament until I was in college and being introduced to feminist/liberation theology...I think it was because of the steady diet of "boy stories" in Sunday School

cats said...

it wasn't until i hit college and was an english major that i was able to read real literature written by women.

if you get a chance, one of my favorite books is called the last report of the miracle at little no horse by louise erdrich. it is very worth it.

and i feel the same about sunday school lessons, lutheranchik... that's why i often have to make up my own curriculum.