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- Posts: 9580
- Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:02 pm
I can only remember a smattering about my Grade School years, and about the only thing I remember about 6th-Grade is the fear of going into 7th-Grade... Because in Jr. High, you had to strip naked and take showers with other boys in Gym class. The summer before, in 1969, the most amazing summer of my life, those long, lazy days at my Grandma's house in California: a man walked on the moon, I built space models, read Charlie Brown books, and collected Shell Presidents Game tokens from the gas station. I never thought about 7th-Grade Gym once during that time, but I got the chills in early September when school was about to start, and my Grandma bought me school clothes at Macy's. Then it hit me: there was one week left before I had to start stripping.My fear wasn't realized on the first day of Jr. High. We were told what gym shorts to buy (those really short ones that look ridiculous on old men), what squad we were on, and what would happen if we didn't take a shower: our “Coaches” (athletic kids who were responsible for a gaggle of clumsy dorks in their squad) would deal with it since no adults were allowed in the Boy's Gym. No, we didn't have to do the nasty until the second day: calisthenics first, then flag football, then “showers.” I pretended not to be scared. Men's Gym is a mixture of boys from 11 to 15, right during their growth spurt, so compared to me and the other 7th-Graders, the 9th-Graders looked like giants, and I was one of the smallest boys. I looked around at all the other 7th-Graders through the corner of my eye, most were hesitating, they weren't getting undressed, but the big kids didn't seem to notice? I thought it might be prudent to push through the embarrassment & fear, get naked and do whatever the big kids were doing in the shower. That tactic changed my life... Once the big kids caught on that the 7th-Graders weren't getting undressed, well, imagine your worst nightmare of embarrassment & social torture... It was worse than that. Despite my small size, or perhaps because I chose to get naked & take a shower that fateful day, I was made a “Coach,” but I never did to future 7th-Graders what got done. Since that time, I've always said that the difference between how men & women act in dangerous social situations is “7th-Grade Gym:” the first time you take showers, and you're in with boys 3-4 years older, much stronger, more mature, and have real penises. There's no adults to protect you because naked boys and men will cause somebody to lose their job. You are at the complete mercy of the bullies. 7th-Grade Gym is hell for 7th-Graders, but you do learn about the pecking order, the social hierarchy of Alpha dominance. Male adolescents learn not to talk back or pick fights they can't win, otherwise they will be embarrassed beyond recovery, or even beat up for not respecting those stronger than themselves: they're conditioned to subjugation. Females never learn that lesson, so females will put themselves into predictably vulnerable positions because they never had 7th-Grade Gym.
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- Posts: 1852
- Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2016 1:13 pm
- Location: Deep in the heart of Jersey
I had to laugh when I read this - my husband (once a 7th grade boy) says the most evil creatures in the world are 7th grade girls. When one of our girls was in 7th grade, he once yelled "Why don't they just hit each other and get it over with!"