To Be a Girl at DA // Things are happening!!!

Hello, my dedicated readers! Yesterday during the Twenty Time period and today during tutorial I made some serious progress on my sculpture/structure thingy. To reiterate, Mrs. G-B is the bomb. She has taught me how to use so many tools and countless techniques that I’m sure will be useful at some point in my life. We attached the two rings together with pegs, wood glue, and screws. This part will eventually be the top, circular part of the female symbol. Also, my super helpful mom went to some craft store and got wooden notecards, which is how I have decided to present my information. I drilled holes in the top of each one and tied string through it. (These will hang on/around the cross part near the bottom of the structure.) I have yet to write the responses on the wooden cards but I’m planning on it this weekend! I’m pretty sure this was the last designated twenty time period so I’m definitely going to have to come in a lot during lunches and tutorials, but I think it’s worth it because I’m super excited for this to be put together and completed!

To Be a Girl at DA // Interview 4 (Grace Gordon)

For my fourth interview to find out what it means to be a girl at DA, I interviewed Grace Gordon. Grace is a freshman (first freshman yet).

  1. How long have you been at DA?
    1. Grace has been at DA since kindergarten.
      1. (She’s been here through it all-the first one of the girls I’ve interviewed.)
  2. Do you remember any experience where you felt empowered as a female?
    1. She can’t recollect a specific time that she has felt empowered, but there’s never really a time she doesn’t. She feels proud to be who she is.
      1. (I’ve found that Serena is the only one of the girl’s I’ve interviewed who could remember a specific memory where she felt empowered.)
  3. Do you remember any experience where you felt “less than” as a female?
    1. Grace said, “Not really.” No certain experience makes her feel down.
  4. Do you think DA faculty call on one gender more than the other in class?
    1. She thinks that most teachers don’t call on one gender more, but there are particular teachers who favor one gender more than the other.
      1. (Grace is the first person to have thought that some teachers favor genders.)
  5. **How do you feel about the DA dress code?
    1. Grace thinks it is definitely harder for girls to follow the dress code than boys because we have so many options to wear. The dress code was more enforced in the middle school, it was strict there, and people were dress coded more frequently. She thinks it’s not enforced very much here.
      1. (Trend in pattern–no one thinks it is very enforced at the US. However, I think it’s interesting that Grace kind of says that girls break the dress code more than guys because we have more freedom, choices and opportunities to.)
  6. Do you feel that women’s sports are treated, viewed or attended any differently than men’s sports at DA?
    1. She said it varies between the sport. For example, men’s basketball is way more popular than women’s. Grace said that volleyball, which is a very feminine sport, is popular is the fall though.
  7. Do you think expectations are any different for females than males at DA?
    1. Again, “Not really.” She said there are generalizations: that girls are on top of things and organized, and that sometimes people think guys are less organized. Grace said that expectations depend on the person.
      1. (This has come up several times: that expectations depend on the individual, what their parents expect of them, their background/motives, etc.))
  8. Do you think, when there is a conflict between students, girls tend to stick up for girls more than guys stick up for guys?

    1. depends on what the conflict is, but she’s thinks both genders will stick up for their friends, depends on the friend group
  9. Do you think any faculty members or coaches at DA tend to show favoritism toward one sex more than the other.
    1. “Not really.”
      1. (This is interesting considering that earlier she said that some teachers show favoritism towards one gender more than the other.)
  10. Have females been given equal academic attention at DA in your opinion?
    1. “Yes.”
      1. (Trend in results.)
  11. Is sexual harassment and related topics discussed enough at DA?
    1. She doesn’t think so, she think DA spends a lot of time talking about drugs and alcohol and we need to spend more time about sexual harassment and related topics.
      1. (Trend in results.)
  12. **What could DA do better to improve equality between the sexes at DA?
    1. Grace think DA does a fairly good job, but as a community, we need more objective views, to get rid of gender generalizations, to judge based on the person, and that co-ed PE classes would help.
      1. (All of these things make a lot of sense. However, I have never heard that someone would rather have co-ed PE classes. Now imagining the possibility of one, I can’t tell if it would break down gender bias barriers or just rather support them and put them into effect?)
  13. What does DA do really well to improve the equality between the sexes at DA?
    1. She said academics are good, and that the co-ed classes we do have help improve the equality.
  14. If you had the choice to be a male instead of a female, would you change? Why?
    1. Grace said she would not change, because she really likes being a woman and she likes who she is and being a woman has made her the person she is today.
      1. (Again, everything depends on the individual. She likes who she is as an individual, and being a woman has contributed to that. It seems like her personality and her traits are a larger part of Grace’s identity, not as much being a woman. However, being a woman has larger affected her traits and personality…complicated.)

Everything that I’ve found is sort of piecing together and I am truly realizing that a lot of these answers are based on the individual…

//

I am really interested in this project and the (hopeful) aftermath of it; like spreading awareness to those who take women and what they go through for granted, and all that jazz…But I am not quite sure how I will represent the information I’m finding into ONE mixed media representation. I need to think about a way to represent all of this data (which is all so varying). Hm…

To Be a Girl at DA // Interview 3 (Jaspreet Bhutani)

For my third interview, I decided to interview Jaspreet Bhutani. She is a sophomore, different than Serena or Carolina. She also isn’t involved in sports, but the arts and science.

  1. How long have you been at DA?
    1. Jaspreet has gone to DA since 9th grade.
      1. (This will probably affect her responses to the following questions, as she has only experienced the Upper School.)
  2. Do you remember any experience where you felt empowered as a female?
    1. Jaspreet said that she feels empowered during science, she loves it and speaks up often.
      1. (This is unique because I have always thought of “women in the sciences” as a minority group, one worthy of having a Mix-It-Up Day seminar on. I also don’t hear of many girls who absolutely love science, as Jaspreet does.)
  3. Do you remember any experience where you felt “less than” as a female?
    1. She has felt “less than” as a female in sports. She doesn’t like them, and feels there is a stereotype here that guys the people who are immersed in sports, so she feels as though theres a general consensus guys should only do sports and she sometimes feels unwelcome to play sports.
      1. (This response varies greatly from Carolina and Serena’s responses, as they play sports and feel good when playing them. I think Jaspreet’s response relates to the fact that she does not like sports nor play one.)
  4. Do you think DA faculty call on one gender more than the other in class?
    1. No.
      1. (Trend in pattern.)
  5. How do you feel about the DA dress code?
    1. Jaspreet’s opinion on the dress code in general is that girls should be able to dress how they want, but there should be restrictions. However, everyone should be able to be comfortable, no matter what their form of comfort is.
    2. Her opinion on how it is enforced is that it is talked about more than its being enforced. (Teachers talk the talk but don’t walk the walk.)
      1. (She kept going back and forth on how she felt about the dress code. I think this is how many teachers feel–stuck in the middle–and that is why is is not enforced very much.)
  6. ***Do you feel that women’s sports are treated, viewed or attended any differently than men’s sports at DA?
    1. She doesn’t think they are treated differently, but maybe men’s sports are seen as a little bigger deal.
      1. (Again, I think this response is affected by the fact that Jaspreet is not apart of women’s sports at DA. If they are treated differently, as the other interviewees have said, it wouldn’t affect a girl like Jaspreet, who has other interests than sports.)
  7. *Do you think expectations are any different for females than males at DA?
    1. Jaspreet doesn’t think that the school puts pressure on one gender over the other to do well. She said she personally pushes herself to do well, and that expectations depend on the individual, not the gender.
      1. (I thought this response was interesting, and I agree. But it left me wondering which gender the greatest amount of individuals who put pressure on themselves comes from?)
  8. *Do you think, when there is a conflict between students, girls tend to stick up for girls more than guys stick up for guys?

    1. She thinks if it is the friend of a girl, girls stand up for them, but if is someone they don’t like, they will not stick up for that girl.
    2. She thinks guys stick up for each other, but not more than girls, the same amount.
    3. She tries not to see gender inequality at school, so maybe she’s just not looking at it enough.
      1. (The fact that Jaspreet actively tries not to see gender inequality at school greatly affects her responses and views on things. Also, her opinions about the genders sticking up for each other greatly applies to the individual, not the sex as a whole.)
  9. Do you think any faculty members or coaches at DA tend to show favoritism toward one sex more than the other.
    1. No.
      1. (A result of trying not to seek such favoritism out?)
  10. Have females been given equal academic attention at DA in your opinion?
    1. Yes.
      1. (Trend in results.)
  11. Is sexual harassment and related topics discussed enough at DA?
    1. She thinks not, that programs like Peer Ed say that it is done, but not what to do when it happens.
      1. (Trend in results.)
  12. What could DA do better to improve equality between the sexes at DA?
    1. Jaspreet thinks it would be beneficial to have more clubs/campaigns like HE for SHE and SHE.
  13. What does DA do really well to improve the equality between the sexes at DA?
    1. She thinks such clubs listed above help, and that our community is very accepting and good at treating everyone the same.
  14. If you had the choice to be a male instead of a female, would you change? Why?
    1. Jaspreet would not want to change, because she thinks you don’t have to change your gender to be better or more powerful, and that power for the females is changing, getting better. She believes females need to keep trying to make that happen.

All of Jaspreet’s responses strayed a bit away from specifically females, and weened in on the individual. I interpreted her responses much differently after she stated that she tries not to she gender inequality at school. This could mean that she just doesn’t see things that do happen, or that these things just don’t happen. I can’t wait to keep interviewing and getting more perspectives. I need to keep in mind in my endeavors that I am not trying to prove anything, just find out how girls feel.

To Be a Girl at DA // Interview 2 (Carolina Bartolome)

For my second interview, I interviewed Carolina Bartolome, a junior. (Words in the parenthesis are my thoughts/opinions on her response.) Some of her responses varied greatly from the last interview, and some were similar. However, a large factor in many of her responses have to do with her background. *The responses with stars are the ones I find most interesting.

  1. How long have you been at DA?
    1. Carolina has been at DA since fifth grade.
  2. *Do you remember any experience where you felt empowered as a female?
    1. “Not really.”
      1. (I’ve heard many people say that there are many opportunities to feel empowered as a female at DA. Is that really true? Or is it only true if you as an individual seek for such opportunities?)
  3. Do you remember any experience where you felt “less than” as a female?
    1. When she came in fifth she barely knew any english; it was struggle socially. She often felt left out, forgotten.
      1. (This is more about how she felt “less than” due to her ethnicity, not her gender. It is still, however, very interesting.)
  4. *Do you think DA faculty call on one gender more than the other in class?
    1. Carolina don’t think teachers prefer one gender over the other to call on, not necessarily, but girls volunteer answers more, guys don’t because they put up a front that they don’t care about academics or anything.
      1. (I see a trend in the responses that girls volunteer more, but it is interesting that Caro said that guys pretend that they are “too cool for school”. Maybe that applies to only the guys in Carolina’s grade.)
  5. How do you feel about the DA dress code?
    1. She thinks that it’s pretty fair, sometimes not enforced. She said it was really enforced her freshman year, but since then, the student body has “taken over” and hasn’t followed it as much.
  6. Do you feel that women’s sports are treated, viewed or attended any differently than men’s sports at DA?
    1. She answered with a solid “yes”. She gave homecoming as an example: men’s soccer is the main event that everyone attends, even though volleyball and field hockey also play at the same time (left neglected by the student body).
      1. (Trend in results)
  7. Do you think expectations are any different for females than males at DA?
    1. Carolina thinks there’s a balance between the amount that both genders are pushed academically, but sports wise, definitely guys are pushed harder.
      1. (Trend in results)
  8. *Do you think, when there is a conflict between students, girls tend to stick up for girls more than guys stick up for guys?

    1. She thinks that if its for the right reasons, each gender sticks up for their own gender. Caro also thinks that the sexes are afraid to stick up for the right side because of the gender barrier.
      1. (This response varied greatly from Serena’s, and implies that girls and guys stand up for whichever side is correct…most of the time.)
  9. *Do you think any faculty members or coaches at DA tend to show favoritism toward one sex more than the other.
    1. Caro answered yes, however she said it was more of a race thing, instead of gender, and that some teachers favor white people.
      1. (This one goes a little off topic, but it was really interesting to hear because with all the groups and clubs supporting diversity, the fact that there is racial profiling and discrimination at DA is often neglected.)
  10. ***Have females been given equal academic attention at DA in your opinion?
    1. Caro thinks yes, and that it has definitely improved over the years. Her freshman year a bunch of teachers were about to retire, and that many of them were “stuck in the past”, not as woke as people are now about treating males and females with equality.
      1. (This is REALLY interesting, and especially not being at the upper school in the past, I never thought about a campus filled with not-young teachers who are modern and vigilant.)
  11. Is sexual harassment and related topics discussed enough at DA?
    1. No, she thinks it could be discussed more.
      1. (Trend in results)
  12. What could DA do better to improve equality between the sexes at DA?
    1. Caro thinks we could have an assembly that confronts the whole school, we need more things as a student body, for example, the He for She club.
      1. (Wasn’t very specific on what exactly the assembly would be about.)
  13. What does DA do really well to improve the equality between the sexes at DA?
    1. She said they give good one on one opportunities for help, ex: tutorials. Also, they offer a lot of help to all sexes (counseling): Mrs. Frasier, Dr. Copeland, and Mr. Wilson.
  14. *If you had the choice to be a male instead of a female, would you change? Why?
    1. Carolina said no, she wouldn’t rather be a guy because it’s harder to be a guy friend-wise, that they are not allowed to be emotional, and that girls are more open with how they feel with each other and more honest.
      1. (I didn’t think about it from a guy’s perspective before. Hm, very interesting)

The responses in this interview were greatly affected by Carolina’s ethnicity, so they were more diverse, and went a little off topic from how it is like to be a girl at DA. However, these responses were very interesting, and reminded me that every person’s background is different, so all of their responses/experiences will be different.

To Be a Girl at DA // First Interview (Serena Walker)

The first girl of DA that I interviewed to find out the meaning of being a girl at DA is Serena Walker. She is a senior. I wanted to start with the furthest perspective from myself: she has seniority, especially over freshmen like myself. The following will include the questions I asked her (these will be the questions I will ask every female I interview) and her answers to them. The words in the parenthesis beneath her answers are my thoughts on what she said. The answers will be in the third party perspective.

  1. How long have you been at DA?
    1. Serena came to DA in the first grade, left to move to Wisconsin (where she attended public school) in the middle of seventh grade, and returned to DA her junior year.
  2. Do you remember any experience where you felt empowered as a female?
    1. In lower school, Mrs. Pause, the music teacher, needed a student to play the lead role of the rabbit for an important production. This was a gender neutral role so basically everyone in the class, including guys, really wanted it. However, Mrs. Pause picked Serena for the part of the rabbit and Serena’s says she remembers feeling awesome.
    2. Also, Serena says getting to play games with guys on the playground at recess, and beating them made her feel empowered, as well.
      1. (I think it’s crazy how vividly Serena remembers these moments from lower school. These must have been important memories that partially defined her childhood.)
  3. Do you remember any experience where you felt “less than” as a female?
    1. Serena said not at DA, and that they do a good job with equality among the genders.
    2. Serena said that at public school, there was a lot of ignorance that she faced and there were many disrespectful guys.
      1. (When she said that she’s never felt “less than” as a female, I thought that the answers to the following questions would comply with DA being a place that is fair to girls in all ways possible. Let’s see if what I thought was true…)
  4. Do you think DA faculty call on one gender more than the other in class?
    1. She said that they don’t, however girls volunteer more.
      1. (Perhaps this means girls feel very comfortable/confident at DA and with the people around them.)
  5. How do you feel about the DA dress code?
    1. Serena feels it’s tricky: sometimes administration highlights the things of girls’ bodies that we have no control of. She thinks our bodies shouldn’t be considered a distraction, and often are.
      1. (From my perspective, I completely agree. There have been many cases where I, or one of my friends, has been dress-coded, when wearing something with the same appropriation as another girl, because our features were distracting- more so than the other girl.)
  6. Do you feel that women’s sports are treated, viewed or attended any differently than men’s sports at DA?
    1. Serena’s response to this was, “Yes, oh my God.” She said that men’s basketball receives alumni money to pay for sweats, bags, jerseys and recruits, but women’s basketball has to pay for their own gear and has been trying very hard to recruit a girl to play but have been ignored.
    2. Also, way more people attend guy’s basketball games.
      1. (I found this interested due to her initial response that she has not felt “less than” at DA.)
  7. Do you think expectations are any different for females than males at DA?
    1. Serena feels than everyone, males and female, are pushed at DA.
  8. Do you think, when there is a conflict between students, girls tend to stick up for girls more than guys stick up for guys?

    1. She said that guys stick together and really have each others’ backs.
    2. Serena thought that girls put up a front that everyone is for empowerment and the “girl code”, but that there is really an unspoken truth that girls all talk about each other behind their backs.
      1. (I think what she said is interesting, and in my opinion, very true. This is what I think is one of the largest things that is wrong with how girls treat each other at DA.)
  9. Do you think any faculty members or coaches at DA tend to show favoritism toward one sex more than the other.
    1. She said that there is someone in the athletic department that shows favoritism towards guys sports through donating money and items.
  10. Have females been given equal academic attention at DA in your opinion?
    1. Serena answered with a quick “yes.”
      1. (I agree.)
  11. Is sexual harassment and related topics discussed enough at DA?
    1.  She thinks not, and that there are a lot of issues that are tiptoed around.
    2. She thinks as a community, we don’t do a great job.
  12. What could DA do better to improve equality between the sexes at DA?
    1. Serena thinks that students and faculty should collaborate more and talk through more of our issues.
    2. She says DA has to LISTEN.
  13. What does DA do really well to improve the equality between the sexes at DA?
    1. She thinks that that groups such as SHE and HE for SHE clubs help improve the equality between sexes.
    2. Serena feels as though the people who care REALLY care and that we have people to confide in.
  14. If you had the choice to be a male instead of a female, would you change? Why?
    1. Serena responded “Oh god no.”
    2. She said that she loves being a girl because we are “so powerful, powerful beyond measure.”

To Be a Girl at DA // Description

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Hello! For my Twenty Time project, I am going to find out what it means, or what it is like, to be a girl at Durham Academy. I will interview females from all different kinds of niches at DA; this includes girls involved in sports, arts, debate/academics, teaching, or nothing at all, etc. I will turn each interview into a blog post, with what I took away from it and a photograph of the girl At the end, I will turn the results I find into a mixed media representation of what it means to be a girl at DA. This mixed media representation may be in the form of a mural, or a sculpture, but that part is to be determined. The goal of the project is to spread awareness to everyone (whether it is guys who are unaware of the struggles girls go through, or to other girls who need to be reminded of them). My first step will be to arrange meetings with a girl from each grade; my second step will be to determine which questions to ask them; and the third step will be to actually interview each girl. This project is important to me because I care a lot about equality in every aspect among genders and within the same gender. Mr. Haynes has agreed to assist me with the mixed media representation and I am hoping that this becomes sort of a campaign with SHE club, so Mrs. Frasier has also agreed to share her wisdom with me.

My ambition is to know what it’s like to be a girl for everyone at DA, but right now, the only perspective I have is myself.P1040716