My earliest memory of masculinity and peer pressure

I was in grade 6 (about 11 years old). I think it was early in the school year. My family and I had just moved to the area, so I knew no one at the school.

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I was in grade 6 (about 11 years old). I think it was early in the school year. My family and I had just moved to the area, so I knew no one at the school.

The teacher had assigned us a short story exercise. I was excited about it, as I liked to write. We handed in our stories, and our teacher started reading them out loud.

You could tell the boys’ stories. They were about fast cars and sports. As the teacher progressed through the stories, those themes repeated themselves. Then he got to my story. He read it aloud, and it went something like this:

Outside of a small town was a large hill. On top of the hill was a gigantic egg. One day, the egg started cracking. The townspeople gathered around the egg in anticipation of seeing what was inside. Eventually, it broke open, and a large rabbit hopped out.

That‘s all I remember of the story. I don’t recall whether the rabbit did or said anything.

What I do recall are the laughs and snickers. I put a lot of creativity and imagination into that story, and it was ridiculed, mostly by boys. The teacher never revealed who the author was of any of the stories, so I don’t think anyone knew it was me. But my beet red face gave it away.

For many years after that, I never wrote a story along those lines. They were all about spies and fast cars. And no one ever laughed at them again.

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By Kim Siever

I live in Lethbridge with my spouse and 5 of our 6 children. I’m a writer, focusing on political news, social issues, and the occasional poem. My politics are radically left. I recently finished writing a book debunking several capitalism myths. My newest book writing project is on the labour history of Lethbridge.

I’m also dichotomally Mormon. And I’m a functional vegetarian: I have a blog post about that somewhere around here. My pronouns are he/him, and I’m queer.

One reply on “My earliest memory of masculinity and peer pressure”

Well, I like your story. Students had to do exactly this kind of creative writing in elementary provincial achievement tests. You were born too early. Maybe you could finish the story now for your own children.

Wouldn’t it be nice if gender bias would stay out of school?

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