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Kaci Sutton- Journal # 5

Yesterday I attended “boys group.” Naturally, I focused my attention on gender. Today I am going to girls group so I will reflect on how the two are similar and different in terms of how each gender interacts with one another later afterwards. For now, I want to blog about how I saw gender functioning in an all-boys environment. I’m used to being around all boys. I’ve always gravitated to all boy group settings since elementary school, especially at lunch. I spent the most time through my youth with boys in middle school because I was a tomboy, played basketball, and did not care about makeup and liking boys. I just was not interested. In boys group, before I went, I thought I would feel uncomfortable because it is an all-boys inclusive group and what if I made them feel uncomfortable since I never attended it before and I am a girl. I didn’t feel uncomfortable at all. I did make a few of the boys feel uncomfortable, only because they found me intimidating. Three of the boys told me I was so tall and I was pretty so they did not know how to interact with me. Since I was there, the leader of the group (a 40-year-old man) took the opportunity to use my presence to his advantage. He had all six of the boys introduce themselves to me. He asked each of them, “How would you introduce yourself to a female?” He told them he was trying to teach them manners and how to be polite. He also told his son in particular, who had to introduce himself to me first, that, “I want you to be more open and get out of your shell. You’re so shy. I want you to learn how to approach females.” He didn’t know what to say. He just kept saying, “I don’t know.” This boy really was not interested in greeting me or how to greet me or engaging in the entire discussion. It was interesting to observe because it made me and the lady who runs Homework Club feel the disconnect between the son and the father. I later found out the son loves art, style, and his grades. He is thirteen. There is nothing wrong with him not being interested in girls yet. I felt bad for the son because his dad didn’t seem to get it. His father is assuming he is heterosexual. Maybe he is and maybe he isn’t. The entire conversation was centered around women and how they don’t understand women. Listening to the conversation was extremely stereotypical. It was making me mad because I am a girl and I do not do half the things they were talking about. I was happy because I was able to show them not all girls are the same. Not all girls care about how much money you have or what you wear or what car you or your parents drive. He even said, “You have to watch out for the ugly duckling. Don’t overlook them.” The ugly duckling? In my mind, I was like, “Are you serious right now?” He told the boys those are the ones who will have your back and come back after college “bangin.’” What a great example he was setting… I was not entirely happy after I left. I am glad I could be there and hear everything because it reminded me of our class and how women really are objectified.

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