Late October Post

I haven't posted in a while, and I don't have new cartoons today. (I actually have some that I haven't scanned, but tonight is not the time.) A lot is going on, good stuff, but it's kept me pretty busy.

Tonight I'm thinking about something that happened maybe a couple months ago - certainly several weeks. I could probably figure out when, but it doesn't really matter.

Up until recently, I conducted a group of teenagers as a chaplain - the details aren't terribly important here, but I never brought a "message" to them, I mostly checked in to see how they were doing. Sometimes they opened up about what was really bothering them, but not usually.

But back a while, something I said brought up a debate that the kids had been having over lunch, about feminism. One of the older girls had been defending feminism, and two of the older boys were talking about how it wasn't necessary.

What really bothers me in retrospect is that I more or less just let it happen: I didn't intervene, didn't add my two cents, didn't use it as a "teachable moment." That's because I like to see the kids interacting with one another, and articulating their own positions. I think "people like me" dominate too much of the public discourse.

But one of the older boys, who I like, and is fairly intelligent and articulate, was talking about how feminism wasn't necessary. I have hopes that he'll grow out of that in the next five years or so - precisely because he's fairly intelligent.

I wish I had intervened, though. He shut down the older girl (who I also like, for the same reasons) - and I wonder what would have happened if I pointed that out. "You just talked over the top of CJ until she just gave up. You didn't think anything of it, you didn't notice it. That's why we need feminism."

But I didn't - and I wish I had. I don't think it would have damaged my relationship with the boy, and it might have strengthened my relationship with the girl. She never really talked about her problems, although I know if I were in her shoes, I wouldn't have either.

In any case, I probably won't see any of them again.