A Female Student
in Robert Walls'

SchoolGirls is an excellent book that definitely shows the difference gap between teenagers. Not everyone has the Cleaver type family and this is why our society is so diverse. Two schools right next to each other might be completely different, but when we get right down to it everyone has faced some of the same problems.

Weston is a lot like Cortland in that it still has the homey community feelings. It is a place where young professionals move to be near the city yet still far away from the crime of the inner city. It always seems though that as more and more people move to the out skirts of town that the crime seems to follow them there.

I think religion plays an immense part into how teenagers view things that happen to them. Like with the opinion the community has on sex. Their policy of do not ask, do not tell, I feel goes right to their morals and base of religion. I feel that if you do not inform teenagers about sex then they will never be able to make sound, informed decisions when faced with a sexual encounter. If parents think that discussing contraceptives will promote desire, that is like saying here is how you study so now you will study more. I do not think that condom distribution equals teenagers having more sex.

I definitely agree that there is a double standard with girls being called sluts or whores while the guys are called players or studs. They both did the same act yet one is rewarded and the other is punished. I know that this does occur at Lakeview High School but I do not remember it occurring as much at the middle school. I also do not agree with Evie's mother, Margaret, that it is always up to the girl to say no. Guys are less likely to say no but it is not the say they never will.

If the definition of a slut is any girl who through her clothes, makeup, hairstyle or speech seems as if she might "do it", then I know no one who at least once in their life has never been considered a slut. I also want to know why guys disgrace women by calling everyone a slut. Evie tells us what she thinks are the characteristics of a slut to separate them from her. This leads back to the question of do the people we hang around with affect us that much. People do tend to hangout with people that are the most like them but throughout school people tend to gain and lose friends. This might mean that the people are constantly switching the way they behave or act. So friends do affect the way you behave and the way you react to certain circumstances.

Amy is so much like an average American girl, in that she thinks of herself as independent but we see the true side of her. I think she likes drama so much because of some insecurities she may have and that by pretending to be someone else she can live through them things she may never be able to do as herself. I never knew there was a typically feminine pose. I have never noticed that I sit a certain way in class until I read this in the book. Now I will catch myself thinking what am I telling the teacher by the way I am sitting.
It says that students who talk out in class enhance their self-esteem and learn from their mistakes. I also think that students find classes where they can speak out and voice their opinions or concerns more fun. It allows for them to develop their social interaction skills. I think the lack of respect for female classmates that people like Nate learn in school carries on to situations later in life.

It is said that girls are less likely than boys to take higher science and math classes. At Lakeview High School I noticed in my physics class that it was an even eight-eight split between guys and girls. It may be that girls are realizing that the field of science offers a lot of careers, that are exciting and also pay well. I love science and plan on getting a degree in a science major. It says that girls who like math and science are more resistant to gender roles and more likely to have a career as a professional. I hope this is true because I know that I do try to resist gender roles, maybe not as much as I could, but at least a little. By their senior year, girls have less problem solving skills. I think this makes the SAT and the ACT unfair toward girls, because most of the math problems have to have some problem solving skills.

In chapter one they mention an experiment that they are doing in science class. Most of the girls let the guys take over and do the experiment. I think it is because girls learn better from trial and error but guys do not have the patience to let them learn this way. Some people do learn better though by watching rather than actual doing.

Audubon is completely different from Lakeview. It is the exact opposite in that ninety percent of Audubon is black and ten percent is white while at least ninety eight percent of Lakeview High School is white with about two percent black. The students there are not encouraged to develop to be at their full potential, how most are treated at home is how they are treated at school.

Teachers lack respect for students but expect the students to respect them. Mr. Krieger swears at his students but expects them to participate and behave in the classroom. How does he expect them to learn if he is never prepared for class. People always wonder why these students are so far behind yet the same teachers that are suppose to be teaching them are not prepared and do not care.

I like the way Ms. Leland makes her class participate as a group. What is sad is these are the honor students who are getting the better education, while those who need it most are left with the other teachers. Group work makes people learn their strengths and weaknesses, but also increases social skills which are needed in a school like this.

The sexual harassment is definitely more apparent at Audubon. By being practiced by both males and females one is more apt to say that it then is not sexual harassment just teenagers being teenagers. I think the girls do it just to prove to the boys that girls hold all the power. The fault of sexual harassment does not lie with the school, because they are not making the boys or girls do this. Yet the school is not doing anything to help stop or lower the amount. Like at Weston, how the school promotes lack of respect to female classmates by their attention to guys is shown here at Audubon.

I know that a school will always take the word of a teacher over the students, but why? It is saying a teacher can never lie, but students always do. For example, when Mr. Kruger calls Carolina a bitch, and the counsellor believes the teacher when he says Carolina was lying. Where were her classmates trying to stick up for her, did they no hear it?

The fact that black girls have a higher self-esteem and a greater sense of personal and familial importance may be due to the fact that black girls live in a world of women. Their familial importance is strange to me though. if most black girls are raised by their mothers and white girls are raised more by two parent homes, why is their familial importance greater? It may be they want something better then what they know their mother had.

This book was incredible in that it shows people exactly what occurs to teenage girls. Its portrayals could be taken from the hallways of Lakeview High School, and that is what is scary. This book is based on middle school girls not high school girls yet the problems they are facing are exactly what I feel high school girls are facing. How are we maturing as a society if the children we are raising have to face the problems we had to face in high school when they are in middle school. We all need to realize that no matter how hard we try girls will always be considered lower then boys, in school, sports, and in the "real world". It does not matter what accomplishments women make, men will always have superiority. Teachers need to realize that girls learn in different ways then boys and that they need to base there lessons around ways of learn that are beneficial to both boys and girls.

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