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Kaci Sutton- Journal #7

Yesterday, I attended girls group. The dynamic was different than boys group. In boys group, there was a clear “alpha male.” The alpha male was the 40-year-old male who ran the group. He cut people off often, dominated the conversation, and told the boys what to do and what he experienced growing up, as if his experience was the universal way of living. There was no room for freedom of expression in the group. I noticed this even more so comparing boys group to girls group. In girls group, the leader, Miss X, also runs homework club. She told the girls last week, during girls group, it is better to be an open person so people feel they can come to you with anything. She really showed how deeply she felt about this by how she presented herself in girls group. She sat there and let the girls express themselves freely. In fact, one of the girls was passionately expressing her anger at one of the student teachers. One of the girls kept correcting her story since she was there too. Miss X told the girl to stop cutting her off and let her finish. That really empowered the girl speaking because she felt like her voice mattered. I later found out that the leader, Miss X, was a victim of domestic violence so she really pushes the girls to defend themselves and let them know what they say matters. That made me feel extremely happy because I want all girls in the world to feel that their voice does matter. Women have been oppressed for far too long and still continue to be oppressed so empowering these young middle school girls at a young age will help them stand up for themselves in the future. After she vented, I asked her how it made her feel. I knew it made her feel angry by her body language and her voice would rise when she felt frustrated, but I asked anyway to hear what she felt. I did not want to assume. She said, “It made me mad. That lady was so rude. The student teacher didn’t get in trouble, but I did. That’s wrong.” So I said, “So you don’t find that fair?” And she said, “Yeah, it wasn’t fair.” I could relate to her because I value fairness. The leader said, “Life’s not fair.” I hear that often, but in the moment during the situation, that does not change how it makes you feel. She felt like her teacher was not listening to her. As a fellow female, I would hope they would react differently; however, at the same time I only heard one side of the story and do not know if it was even true. I did enjoy that the girls, unlike the boys, were able to really express themselves, free of judgment.

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