I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

20 June 2017

My Upbringing as a Girl

My parents and grandparents, my aunts 
and uncles, and several of my teachers
were progressive thinkers who thought 
that girls, too, could grow up to have careers, 
just in case they never married (in which case
of course they wouldn't – or, more precisely, 
home and motherhood would be the glorious,
totally fulfilling and naturally preferred career) 
but they still believed, those adults of my youth,
unquestioning, that girls couldn't, indeed mustn't
play football, or any of those rough sports, 
because that was what boys did: those critters
who were made of slugs and snails and –
you know how it goes.


(The era was the 1940s.)

This grew out of (1) a discussion, 'Exploring our feminine' inspired by the writing of Brooke Medicine Eagle in Buffalo Woman Comes Singing, and (2) an exercise in Wingbeats, to create a one-sentence poem of 14 lines and at least 100 words.

Linked to The Tuesday Platform for June 20 2017 at 'imaginary garden with real toads'.

16 comments:

  1. I remember those days. (carrying books...)

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  2. your last two lines made me giggle
    In my growing up day,it was a no no for girls to climb trees for fear they make the fruit sour (✿◠‿◠)

    much love...

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    1. Ha ha! We didn't have that one. (I did climb trees sometimes despite disapproval.)

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    2. In French culture girls were not allowed to make mayonnaise when they were menstruating because it made the eggs curdle:)
      Incidentally I still dont like rough body contact sports for anyone and as for boys being made of slugs and snails and puppy dog tails....well, it's true:)

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    3. I didn't want to play the rough sports either, and like you I deplore them now – I just resented the fact that I didn't have a choice in the matter and that that was due to gender.

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  3. Good to be surrounded by progressive thinkers, especially when it comes to educating girl children. Sport can be a matter of choice.

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    1. I meant to imply that the progressiveness was limited (of its time, without them even realising that). But yes, I was surely better off with that upbringing than if they had been entirely conventional.

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  4. It's always good to have such wonderful people around us to inspire and help us achieve the life we dream of!!❤️

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    1. Indeed. And so they did; perhaps I shouldn't laugh at them.

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  5. I remember hating kicking that ball... probably was those slugs. Or it was the girl inside...

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    1. I did hope to suggest that boys were equally stereotyped.

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  6. Sadly that line of thought is still prevalent in some places... like the form as well...

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  7. This took me back. My generation was certainly programmed for marriage. I enjoyed the read.

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  8. In the part of the world I grew up in, expectations were very much the same!

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  9. Yes, those were the days. But I wasn't involved in all that, everyone was equal for me. This week our 7-year-old granddaughter is attending a 'soccer camp' for both boys and girls. Her class has four boys and three girls.
    ..

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    1. You were exceptional, Jim, even when a child! I'm glad things have improved for your granddaughter's generation.

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