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Gender Changing The World Essay, Research Paper
Changing the World
I am the king of my own destiny. I am a productive force in the civilized society in which I live. I will take this day and make my almost perfect society better, because I am the king of my own destiny and a pillar in my community.
These are the words of Dave Gore, a small town storeowner, school board member, husband, and father of two teenage girls. He says these words every morning before he begins his day. A normal day for Dave is to come down stares at about 7:30am to a hot breakfast prepared for him by his lovely wife Pam. He would make sure that his two daughters, Tina 13 and Lori 16 were ready for school and he would also tell them he loved them and to be safe driving to school.
Thought Lori was a responsible driver, she was still an inexperienced driver and Dave thought by reinforcing safety every morning would only help her as she drove off to school with Tina.
After the girls left Pam told Dave that she was concerned about Tina. Pam said that she has been unusually distant lately, and yesterday Tina asked her who am I mom. Pam said that I told her that you are our daughter, but Tina replied, “Is that all I am as she exited the room?”
Dave took a drink from his coffee and said, “Do you think she is going through an identity crisis like Lori did when she was that age.” “No,” replied Pam. “I think the question was not for me to give her answer about who she is, but it seemed to go deeper than I realized at the moment she asked it.” Dave said, “Well let me know when she comes home with pink hair saying that she is trying to express herself.”
Pam gave Dave a look that said you are not taking this serious enough and Dave smiled and finished his breakfast.
Before Dave left for the store Pam said, “I really think you should talk to Tina.” “She might need someone to open up to.” Dave said, “I will as soon as I get home from work.”
When Dave arrived at the store Barry Bray was sitting in a chair directly in front of the store window. This did not alarm Dave because Barry has been sitting in front of the store for the past ten years. Dave had worked for Barry at the store for several years until Barry decided to retire and sold the store to Dave for well bellow market value. Barry continued to come down to the store every morning. Maybe he missed seeing the customers come in and out and holding conversations about local news and politics, or maybe he had come there for 40 years and it was a habit. No mater why he came Dave liked him there because of his conversation and wisdom.
Around lunch Dave went outside and sat in the chair next to Barry. He said, “Barry my daughter, Tina, asked my wife who am I?” “I think she is just being a teenager and is prepping us for some outrageous stunt she is about to pull. My wife thinks that Tine is trouble about something.”
Barry looks at Dave and says, “Maybe your girl is growing up”, and he gets up and walks inside the store.
Dave watches at Barry as the door closes behind him. Dave was puzzled because Barry has never in the 17 years he has known him been a man of few words.
The phone rings and when Dave answers it. The voice on the other in says, “Mr. Gore your presents is requested at Welch Middle School.” Dave asked, “Is everything ok.” The lady on the other in says, “Yes, but Tina’s teacher is concerned about her.”
Dave asked Barry to watch the store for a little while and he grabbed his coat and left for the school.
When Dave arrived at the school Mrs. Kelly, Tina’s math teacher, and Mr. Cunningham, her guidance counselor, met him at the principle’s office. Mrs. Kelly said, “Thanks for coming of short notice, but we are concerned about Tina.”
Dave asked, “Is she having in problems with her schoolwork?” Mrs. Kelly said, “Heaven sakes no, she is one of my brightest students.” “Then what is the problem,” replied Dave. Mrs. Kelly said that Tina would not participate in class unless all of the boys have taken a turn before her. Earlier to day she refused to answer to her name. She wants to be called Dave’s child. “That is when I became concerned and sent her to see the guidance counselor,” said Mrs. Kelly. Mr. Cunningham said that he thought that the expectations that were set for Tina was extremely high and that she may be caving in to the pressure. Mrs. Kelly disagreed with Mr. Cunningham and said that Tina is not caving in but seem to be reaching out for help.
Dave asked Mrs. Kelly, “Where is Tina?” “She is having lunch,” said Mrs. Kelly. Dave asked Mrs. Kelly to send Tina to his store as soon as she finished her lunch.
By the time Tina made it to the store the afternoon rush had started and Dave was extremely busy. Tina sat down in the chair besides Barry in front of the store. She had begun to rock in the chair when Barry broke the several minutes of silence when he said, “I hear you have been having some problems at school young lady.
Tina said, “I have not been having any problems. I’m just not playing by the unjust rules anymore.” “What rules are you referring to,” asked Barry? Tina looks at Barry with her big brown eyes that seem to look trait through him to his soul to see it was asking because he wanted to know, or was he just passing the time until her father could talk to her. After a stare down that would probably have intimidated Mike Tyson, Tina said, “Barry do you know who I am?” Barry said, “You are a bright young girl that is growing up to be a young lady.” Tina said, “That is what I am, but who am I?” Barry thought for a minute and said, “You are Tina, the young girl from Island, Texas, who is probably going to be a great leader.”
Tina looked at Barry with a confused look on her face. For the first time since she has asked the question who am I, someone had given her an answer that she did not expect and she felt that he would understand her problem and she begin to tell Barry how she was feeling.
She asked Barry why is it that women are always identified by there relationship to men? My mom and dad are Mr. and Mrs. Dave Gore, and she and her is part he. Also words like hussy that were gender neutral and positive have became negative and geared toward the female gender.
Barry said, “Young lady, you have observed one of the oldest forms of sexism, language. It is hardly noticeable unless it is used in its harshest form, but young lady you have noticed. Now you must figure out hot change it.”
Tina asked Barry for some advise.
Barry said, “First of all, you must realize that man created language, and he who create the symbols and there meaning has the power. This is why in language males are often recognized as superior. In order to change this you must first change the way we use our present language or change the language.”
Tina said, “You mean to stop using gender directed words like chairman and foreman and use words like chairperson.”
Barry said, “Not exactly because when we use words like chairperson we assume that the chairperson is a female because if a male holds the position we will call him the chairman.”
Tina looked at Barry and said, “Well we should create new words for all gender-designated words.”
Barry said, “It would take lots of thought to create new words that will not be easily made gender specific. It will also take a lot of education, which you can’t get sitting here in front of the store or by not participating in class.”
Tina took off in a dash toward the school. After about a hundred yards she turned and said, “Tell my dad that I’m off to school, and I’m going to be okay.”
When Dave came out of the store he asked, “Where is Tina?” Barry said, “She is off changing the world by changing language.”
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