How to Conform – Growing up with the (NZ) Patriarchy

The newest podcast is close to my heart, coming from a young New Zealand woman — well, 36 — who describes being pushed into playing sports by her teacher and boys. Such a delicious simple explication of the way authority works on our guilt, shame and desire to please despite our wishes to do our own thing.

Interesting in terms of the New Zealand Patriarchy, under which I myself grew up — even though I left New Zealand at age six, my parents were extremely patriarchal in their attitudes and lessons.  And also interesting, as I mention above, in terms of school and society conformism.

Will never forget leaving my laced up Australian public school — with uniforms, prefects, assembly, and caning for boys for my raucous new Manhattan private school where kids wore what they wanted, called their teachers by their first names and — often — shockingly to  me, swore at their elders…. No wonder my New York teachers said my brothers and I were a “quiet joy” to have in class — not that that lasted forever….

About louisewleonard

Author of 52 Men, 2015. Excerpts in The Rumpus, Tin House, Fiction Advocate and Gargoyle.
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