Tuesday, March 6, 2012


I’ve never been a girls’ girl. I have 3 brothers, a father who is a much more forceful personality than my mother, and guys have been my friends basically since I was old enough to select my own company. I didn’t become close friends with a girl until I was in my twenties and even then it took a while. (This is one of the reasons that school was so miserable for me, it was all girls and, almost always, female teachers.*) I am, quite happily, one of the guys in most group settings.

I was in our nation’s fair capital a few weeks back to attend a couple of amazing exhibitions that were well worth the trip and one of the perks was meeting up with several very close friends (all male but one) who live and work there.  It was great, we all went out to dinner and caught up. And I was comfortable. For some reason I feel safe when it’s like this. It’s the same when I am with my country gang (who are all currently evacuated thanks to NSW flooding) – I am safe and loved and understood.  When I’m at a party, I always gravitate to the guys, who can often be found outside while the girls talk in the kitchen, a phenomenon Lyn has talked about before.

There are exceptions to this rule. On the same trip to Canberra I went to a party where I only knew the couple taking me and ended up having the two most interesting conversations of the night with women. Progress! Of course the main exception to this rule is all of you; I’m fairly confident any one of you who is a regular reader is a woman and I couldn’t feel more a part of this wonderful online community. But the fact remains that in person I still pick the guys. It’s a comfort thing.

Except tomorrow morning one of my seminar classes starts and it is an all girls class with a female teacher. This seriously makes me want to throw up. It’s a small class, it will probably hold steady at about seven of us, plus the teacher who is an unknown quantity. It is a threatening scenario, in my eyes, and I am deeply uncomfortable at just the thought of it.

The catch up dinner in Canberra? The one other female at the table is a good friend and I was excited to see her. But I was thick enough to express to her my concerns about this class and why. The response I got was hardly reassuring: ‘That’s really stupid, Moz.’

This friend is not usually unkind. In fact she is a really nice person who gets on well with everyone and about whom no-one has a bad word to say. Especially other girls. I doubt she has ever sat in a room full of people and felt out of place on a regular basis. So perhaps she wasn’t the best person to express my concerns to. But the fact remains that I am worried sick about this situation and what it means for two hours every week. Just today Emma talked about being back in class and being a good student, something I have never mastered. I am always surprised when anyone from class becomes my friend, because I think I can be a little difficult in the classroom, mostly because of how out of place I felt growing up. Did people dislike me because I had all the answers and wasn’t always delicate? Or did I become like that because no-one at school liked me? Cause and effect? Post hoc ergo propter hoc? Who knows, but it remains that this class has me by the balls and it hasn’t even started yet.

Maybe this is really stupid. Maybe if I was in a class room full of all of you guys it would be different. But for now I won’t be sleeping tonight - damn anxiety.

In other news I am banning myself from making a porn related joke for a week. They’re just too easy.

*Single sex schools are much more the norm here, at least at high school level. I went to all girls’ schools for 12 of my 13 years of schooling. 


  1. It's not stupid Moz, but perhaps one should try not to let past experience preempt future ones. Can I be annoyingly pedantic about language here? A class comprised entirely of girls would be uncomfortable, for sure, a class full of women on the other hand could be cool, and hopefully you'll find the later to be the case :)

    1. That's basically what I'm hoping. Apart from the teacher I'll probably be the oldest person in the room by about 7 years though. Here's hoping.

  2. How did it go, Moz?

    My class this week was better, and I think what helped was seeing myself as an adult, mature woman rather than my dated vision of myself-as-student, which would place me somewhere in the early teens.

    And you know I agree with you about the boys!


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