- My dance teacher, who will remain anonymous, was a big influence on my views on gender. He was my dance teacher for six years and was very open about his sexuality. Growing up I thought that there were only two types of genders and that you didn’t have a choice because it came down to science. Now that I am older I know that isn’t true and my dance teacher actually helped me understand that. In the six years of knowing him I have met two of his partners. One of his partners was a male and the other was born a male but identified as a women and was in the process of transitioning. At that time in my life I had little to no knowledge on transgender and didn’t quite understand it. When he would bring his partner to our dance classes I was very curious and confused but was shy to ask questions. One day my dance teacher decided to bring her in again and actually talk about it because he felt that we had a lot of questions, almost as if there was an elephant in the room. Him explaining this to a bunch of 13 year olds was of course a little difficult but it turns out that I wasn’t the only one in my class who had questions or needed some clarification on this topic of gender. After this talk with him, his partner, and my entire dance class, we all had a better understanding on what transgender was and it was really eye opening for me to hear her story. This experienced allowed me to view gender differently
- The story I felt was the most memorable to me from the film Girl Rising is Suma’s story. This young girl is from Nepal who was sent to work by her parents instead of going to school, this is called Kamlari. Kamlari is another word for child slavery. Suma was forced to work under harsh conditions and eat scraps from the families’ plates just to get by. She didn’t have any independence and she wasn’t being educated. She was a child herself forced to cook, clean, and ever care for other kids herself. She was stuck in a situation where she felt trapped and her songs were the only thing that got her through the day. From this film and Suma’s story we can see that health, economic, and education are all social ecological factors that come into play and have shaped these events that happened in these girls life. In Suma’s story she didn’t have the opportunity to education because of her parents giving her up to work for these families, because of the environment she lived in and having no income or stability she was forced and stuck in this situation until she got help. Many factors come into play weather it’s from human trafficking, slavery, or lack of education and we have to consider all the factors because our surroundings, upbringings, and status contribute to that. Stories like these and raising awareness and educating the public is what’s going to break this cycle.
Girl Rising. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://washington.kanopy.com/video/girl-rising
By: Stephanie Cruz