As a child, I was part of this program for girls and boys (it was sort of like Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, but weirder). One of my favorite things about the program was making pinewood derby cars. We got to design, carve, paint, and finally race the blocks of wood on a track. Sitting out in the backyard painting our cars became a family tradition.
When I got to fifth grade, I had to move to a different program location (the location we’d been going to didn’t have enough kids to keep doing it). I didn’t think it would be that much of a change. When it came time for the wood cars, I had many ideas for my latest design. But, according to the leader of the program at that location, “girls don’t do that kind of thing.”
I never had the opportunity to make another pinewood car. The girls never learned to tie knots or pitch a tent like the boys. We were never allowed to play basketball or ball games like the boys did. Do you know what we did? We baked cookies in the kitchen. Don’t you dare tell me something is not messed up with that.
I just felt like I needed to write this. It’s one of those things that still makes me really angry.