Vegetal Beginning of a Story

Yesterday’s post seems to need a little clarification.  I hope you will forgive my vegetal beginnings of what I hope can be turned into something good.  I’ve written several essays that have been very well received, but yesterday may have been a little two dark.  Maybe this beginning would have been better written in my private journal.

Recent political rhetoric has stirred passions about how women are treated, and how women are valued.  As one who grew up with the Women’s Lib Movement during the 60’s, I was almost convinced that the discrimination and marginalization of women in the United States had come to an end.  The tolerance of sexist language and attitudes during our recent election shows that woman are not on an equal footing with men, even though one of the candidates was a woman.

In the story I tried to write yesterday, Appearances, I think I missed the mark.  Yes, it contained a collection of real events.  There were girls in the high school restroom every morning, monopolizing the mirror, but my personnel feeling about the situation were not so harsh.  I thought they didn’t need it.  However, make no mistake, we girls were judged and if you were willing to play the boys games, they were all over you.

I was painfully shy as the new girl in town.  I held back, they didn’t snub me.  Did they notice and try to make me feel included?  Come on!  This was high school.  We were all immature.  I was the shortest girl in the school, but not the only one with short hair, but the boys do love that long hair.

Only in retrospect do I realize the girls who monopolized the bathrooms, where doing what they couldn’t at home.  They also rolled up their skirts to make them shorter.  It is my understanding that even those in all girl schools did the same.  Why did we do it?  To be stylish.  Plus, we liked attention from the boys.  Our self-image was strongly influenced by boys.

Yes, there was some touching.  These were boys and girls who had known each other since kindergarten.  I was a total unknown.  Only one day, and I don’t know why, a boy put something, including his hand down a girls bra.  It started a free-for-all.  I would have decked any boy who touched me, but to be truthful, they knew I wouldn’t like it, and neither would my boyfriend, nor my male friends.

The teacher, was in chemistry, and was every bit at bad as described.  I should have told my parents, but I never did.  I was 17, I thought I should be able to handle things on my own.  My mistake.  That teacher was a bully to all the girls.  He absolutely said those things, day after day.  Going to the administration never occurred to any of us.  I didn’t need the credit to graduate, but it did affect my GPA, and I wasn’t allowed to go away to college and went to x-ray school instead, because my grades were not high enough.  My parents feared a lack of commitment to my education.

There were many nice boys in my high school.  Both boys and girls thought I was attractive, nice, kind, honest, and intelligent.

Now you may think my experience with high school is unique.  I assure you these things still go on in high schools.  I volunteered at the local high school when our boy, our youngest, was in high school.  What I saw were boys and girls groping each other in and around the school, behavior that in the late 60’s would have gotten us detention, and possibly a paddling.  Teachers walked by without a word.

I asked about the proper response to the public displays of affection, and very physical reactions to each other these young people were engaging in.  It was not considered a problem.  So why was I there?  I lasted about three weeks.  Maybe my experience is still unique.

Maybe it was only that school?  I think the teenage pregnancy rate illuminates the issue. For several years the teenage pregnancy rate has declined, but 7 percent to 12 percent pregnancy rates still exist depending on ethnicity, for a total of 249,078 babies (2014).

So I am asking for some feedback that can turn this embryonic story into something worth reading.  Maybe a story can change attitudes where demonstrations can’t.

 

 

 

 

 

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7 thoughts on “Vegetal Beginning of a Story

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  1. I’ll have another read of this when I get 5 minutes (although I might make it even darker 🙂 )

    What I will say though is who cares how dark, how rude, how offensive (ok maybe not offensive) a story is. Write it where you like, when you like and don’t worry about what people say as long as it’s what you want to write. I’ve never cared about what people think and I’ve dealt with trolls for 25 years but after the recent barrage of email abuse I got from a few bad poems because someone I don’t even follow took them seriously I must admit I made a conscious effort to make things darker and savage. The poems weren’t anything like the silly crazy nightmare based on my life that the other stories I wrote were but until recently those stories about how insane I really am never used to be part of my writing either.

    At the end of the day I write what takes me at the time, I’ve gone a bit darker lately but I still write for myself and don’t care what others think. (although I must admit when told I shouldn’t write posts about someone I don’t even know I will more than likely rebel and do the opposite).

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    1. It is about trying to be effective, not nice and bright. It’s about being a better more interesting writer. It is about being readable, interesting, and engaging. I’ve written for myself for 40 years. Now I want to more effectively write for an audience. If you get my point I am happy, but to get my point I have to engage you, make you feel, and make you think. I like my essays. I want to be a better storyteller! You get a reaction. You hook people. That is what I want to do, less the crazy, I hope.

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      1. Ok this is a long response 🙂

        The thing is WordPress is not a very productive way to engage with your readers. Consider how many likes and comments you get compared to your follower numbers. (looks worse for these people with 3000 followers and they still only get two comments so don’t let the figures get you down).

        But WordPress is not productive for writing advancement as far as I’m concerned because not enough people are willing to comment, good or bad.

        WP is fun and a decent outlet to write anything but very difficult to gauge how people perceive your new writing when so few actually take the time to comment. Likes really mean bugger all, anyone can like something even if they didn’t read it, comments actually give the author feedback.

        I write what I write not expecting comments but happy when I get them, however each morning when I log on I can pretty much guarantee who has commented on my site because it’s the same people time and time again. Other people just like, which makes me wonder if they even read.

        I get where you are coming from and it’s a very difficult thing to gauge. I have several different outlets for my writing and have had varying success with hooks and making people want more. Some I’ve planned but most just happen that way, I get to a point in the writing and it either completely changes direction and the hook arrives or it just naturally stops. I don’t know if there is a secret to making the hook but I do know that looking down my stats page the number of likes does not give tell enough of a story to tell me whether a hook has worked or not.

        Just go for it, write something and I’ll tell you if it’s crap 🙂

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