Friday, September 12, 2014

The Writer He

For some stupid reason it has been very hard for me to find good persuasive essay examples to share with my classes. Most persuasive writing available in media and online doesn't follow the five-paragraph-essay formula believe it or not, and that's where my classes are right now. I pick some reading from the textbook, okay, but solid, legit, simple persuasive essays about, you know, why we should be allowed to burn the flag or not just aren't easy to find apparently. So, I decided to write a sample essay myself. I used the school's writing rubric to write an essay about the benefits of school uniforms.

I shared this example with my students, and we had a discussion about why the piece deserved a high score on the rubric. I felt weird saying I had written the essay because a. it's kind of weird/sad(?)  I spent an hour of my Sunday writing a five-paragraph essay and b. I didn't want our discussion of why the essay achieved rubric success to look like a veiled attempt at me making my class an ego-boost activity. I didn't mention anything about the author, and no one asked. So, during the discussion the author became "he." Everyone kept saying, "This guy used examples really well," etc. At first I would correct statements by saying, "Yes, he or she did use good examples, like the one about the cost of fashion." But eventually that was cumbersome, so without my even knowing it, I also just started calling myself "he."

And that is how patriarchy is a thing.

No comments: