disobedient, unruly, wayward, errant, badly behaved,
troublesome,rebellious, defiant,recalcitrant, uncooperative,
willful, intractable,unmanageable,uncontrollable; awkward,
difficult, perverse, contrary;
Next example, 5th grade:
My teacher had just relocated to NorCal from Mississippi, she was super feminine, super Christian and very conservative. One day after school, she told me she wished I would let her call me by my given name. (I went by my initials, A.J.) I asked her what was wrong with going by my initials?
Turns out, it bothered her that I had a “masculine” nickname. My given name was so pretty and feminine and she liked it so much better. And besides (here’s where my stomach rolled): “Girl nicknames usually end in ‘y’s or ‘ie’s: Becky, Debbie, Suzy, Bobbie.”
The taste of brown spotty bananas flooded my mouth. I realized that she was afraid that I wanted to be a boy. She wore fashionable linen dresses everyday to class, she wore lots of mascara, she wore pantyhose and pearls. As she pouted and batted her over mascara’d eyelashes at me to “C’mon why don’t you give Airial a try for a little while?” (because that’s the way women get their way) it hit me that she dressed the way she did to impress upon us the standards of ‘womanly’ behavior. She was a role model, an authority on gender. I squinted up into her face and said, “Sorry, but having a vagina doesn’t mean my name has to end in a question mark.”
Speaking of vagina’s, when it came time for us to have Sex Ed, she let it slip that she was uncomfortable with California’s comprehensive curriculum; it allowed for too much discussion. Her way of saying it was that it took up too much time. But, basically she didn’t like the part where the students were encouraged to raise any questions they had about their bodies and/or sex.
She wanted us to have a coloring book about anatomy. That’s all the school should teach. Anatomy and maybe some function. The rest was private. A family matter. Really? This was 1988, VP George Bush had just been elected President. During the campaign, I saw how family planning, abortion and women’s rights were used as part of political platforms. I was learning how my post-puberty body was going to be subjected to legislation. Private my ass.
So I did my 5th grade persuasive speech on the legal ramifications of prosecuting mother’s for drinking alcohol or doing drugs while pregnant; specifically how that law could be interpreted to punish women who had legal abortions. Yup. I was that kid. The look of disgust on her face as she sat in the back of the room… I figured the worst she could do was fail me. I reasoned that I still wouldn’t get held back and bad marks were worth it. I got a good grade on the speech because my technical ability was flawless. But my citizenship grades was where she got me. If you went by what my report card said for that quarter you would have thought I had gone rabid in her classroom that Spring.