I have a person in my life who is my little brother in everything but blood. We grew up together, played power rangers when we were little, played with the dogs, normal sibling things. His parents are awesome, and I’ve done everything I can to help make sure he will grow up into a good man. Some summer, when he was eleven and I was thirteen, we were playing soccer. I was shooting and he was keeper. I took aim, stepped forward, and kicked! Except I missed a little bit, I hadn’t played on a team in a few years. He looked at me, shrugged, and said, “It’s okay, it’s just because you’re a girl.” I froze. Was this really the kind of person my little brother was growing up to be? And he had said it so casually to. I chased after him as he went to get the ball, sat him down, and asked him why he would say that.
“Because girls just aren’t as good at sports” he pointed out. He then looked confused as I slowly began to appear more frustrated.
“Who told you that?” I asked
“I don’t know. It’s just how it is, though,” the way he said it with such sureness, like you would explaining gravity, or that 2+2=4 was what got me.
So, I explained to him that what he said was sexist. And yes, that’s the word I used. I then had to explain to him what sexism was. I even had to explain that women had to fight for their right to vote. The whole time, all I could think was “Really?”
Well, time passed and I’m pleased to say that as of today, he has certainly grown up. I found out it was a group of other boys at his school filling his head with such thoughts. He actually stopped hanging out with them and made new friends. His soccer team just won a championship and he still comes out to play with me when he can (he fixed with previous statement with the fact that he’s a better shooter and I’m a better goalie. That would be correct) and today he has a girlfriend whom he loves and respects deeply. And he identified as a full fledged feminist.