I am an artist/art teacher. Recently I surveyed my seniors about their notion of feminism. These are the registered or soon to be voters, the next generation of policy makers. The responses I received were as varied as their backgrounds.
I sampled a few students and their responses. I took the portraits with their issues in hand, their writing, their ideas. I then shifted the conversation to my colleagues.
We discussed bathrooms. There is a boys room and a girls room, but what about our population of transgender students? They go to the nurse when nature calls, a place sick kids visit for treatment. Some schools have started to create unisex restrooms, where faculty bathrooms used to be.
Some teachers were angered by this change because now they had to travel far to use a faculty bathroom. Thinking of their new inconvenience, they didn’t consider the implications this change had on students who felt displaced.
High school is an amazing place where we cultivate young activists, thinkers. This is also a place where we deal with the realities of an ever changing world. I am fortunate and inspired daily by the young minds, and by the changing culture in school. How we adapt to social, technological change, how we learn from them as they learn from us…all of this is a strange world in flux. This is exactly why I chose to look inside these halls to rethink and possibly learn to understand their notion of feminism, sexism, identity.