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i was following along as my teacher read the last few sentences of the book's chapter. i had already finished the book earlier this week, which is odd because i usually find these pretty boring, but i took a liking to this one because it had some themes that i cared about.

from across the room, i heard bryson and his annoying friends snickering at nothing and inwardly rolled my eyes. i'm not a teacher's pet or anything but i feel like it's just rude to talk while someone is teaching/presenting, especially when they're only trying to help you.

ms. darbus finished up the last sentence and spoke with her soft voice, "ok, so i wanna hear you guys's opinion on this chapter, specifically on a theme that is brought up continuously throughout the book... gender roles."

i saw a couple of hands fly up at that, mostly boys, and i furrowed my eyebrows, interested to see what they had to say.

ms. darbus pointed at a boy sitting at the front of the class, i think his name was julius.


i was right.

"well, i think gender roles are kinda stupid. like, it's not fair to expect someone to do something or act a certain way because of their gender. there's plenty of women who do what men do, and men who do what women do." he said.

i smiled at his answer, every now and then i was reminded that every boy at this school wasn't a misogynistic prick.

ms. darbus nodded approvingly at his answer, "i like that answer julius, not many men think that way."

her eyes wandered around the room and stopped at bryson, pointing to him next.

"no offense ms. darbus, but i think women need to stay in they place, y'know?" he spoke with confidence.

i scoffed lowly and shook my head, preparing myself for the nonsense that was about to spill from his mouth.

"they should do the light work while we go out and do the real shi-", ms. darbus gave him a stern look.

"-stuff. especially nowadays, every female be trynna do everything men do and act like us. they needa go back to sittin pretty and cooking and cleaning."

almost every girl in the class looked at him like he was crazy, and frankly, he had to be if he thought that. i wasn't even surprised at his answer, men have proved to me day in and day out that they are dense.

ms. darbus looked like she wanted to say something smart back but she only shook her head in disappointment.

"do any of my girls have something to say?"

once again, hands flew up but this time it was mostly girls.

"go ahead sam."

my head turned to the back and i glanced at said girl. i didn't know much about her except for her name. she was in a few of my other classes and we spoke every now and then, but that was it.

i always thought she was really pretty, and her features were adorable.

she sat up slightly and looked in bryson's direction, "no offense bryson, but it isn't women's job to cook and clean for you, if you want a maid or a butler, hire one. and i don't know who told you that women don't do 'real things' but they lied. y'all aren't the only ones with important livelihoods."

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