Listening to Now 💜 Run the World ✨
In Orange County, on the border of Fullerton and Anaheim, growing up in the 1980s and 90s, I was still raised to believe women were meant to be demure; submissive; feminism was a bad word, a loud word, a sign of drama llama to the third degree.
Once Upon a Time 💌 When Image is Everything💦
My disabling view of my womanhood wasn’t my mother’s fault. She tried to raise me as that finger-snapping strong, independent woman, but as much pressure as she placed on me to bring lightning and thunder to the world, school, peers, and teachers placed equal pressure on sitting straight, minding my manners, and maintaining an image worthy of love.
And since my mom was a strong, independent woman—who worked 60 to 80 hours a week, who wanted human things like a relationship and self-care time, while trying to single-mom her way through the first chapters of her not-as-latchkey-but-still-latchkey daughter’s life—I often relied heavily on the guidance of school, peers, and teachers, needing somewhere to turn.
As a woman with Asperger’s, I still turn to people for guidance more than I should.
I still nurture the fear of getting the social standard wrong.
I’m trying to stop.
Meaning Making ⚡ I 💛 Beyoncé ⚡
As a child, I wanted to have favorite actors, actresses, singers and songwriters, favorite colors and foods etc. etc., but because I never chose the stuff my classmates would choose, I was bullied, made fun of, used like a rope to climb social ladders, until I didn’t talk about favorite things anymore.It wasn’t that I didn’t HAVE favorites anymore… I just didn’t know how to have conversations about them.
But I’m trying to have an opinion again, not just about smarty and brainy ideas—I was always permitted an opinion about school stuff—which was fine and all, yet deserves to alongside silly stuff, things like role models, heroes, and celebrities.
And I’m pretty sure, today, my favorite celebrity is Beyoncé. If I could, I’d retell her music videos as poems, then offer those poems with free lesson plans as a Poetry Accessibility CurriculumCapitalizing the name of this imaginary project, for whatever reason… for 11th- and 12th-grade English classroomsAnd maybe for preparatory college English, too., so teachers could incorporate music videos and poetry easily into their classroom warm-ups.
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