A Middle School Lunch Group Explores How to Create a Safe and Inclusive Space for Feminine Energy
Anywhere from 5-15 middle school girls have met on Wednesdays to eat lunch together in Ms. Allison’s Film & Theater Academy, but several students have felt unwelcome in the group due to cliques and the problematic emphasis that “only girls are allowed.” These issues speak to larger patterns throughout the middle school, so the Fem Fam lunch group may present an opportunity to address those conversations with the help of teachers and concerned students. This article discusses some of the positive aspects and a few of the challenges that have defined this group.
Article written by Nurto Abdiwahab (6th grade), Aliah Ford (7th grade), and Amina Ali (8th grade), Compiled by Naomi True (program coordinator)
“A group of people gets together and becomes family.” – Aniyah Dunn-Pinnix (8th grade)
“Because it’s just about having fun, you can show your true face and not worry about outside world stuff.” –Lexi Easter (8th grade)
Fem Fam is about getting to know each other. It’s a way of expressing your feminine side, having fun and being more open and social. Also we feel comfortable around the girls because mostly when you’re with a boy people start thinking you’re into each other.
In the group so far, we have played games, talked, danced, and done some drawing. We share food, and we also tell funny stories. Although we enjoy fun activities, we plan to talk about current and serious topics, but that could be a challenge. This could be a challenge because some students don’t want to spend their half hour of free time talking about serious topics when they do that all day in class.
This space isn’t only for females, it’s also a place for people who respect positive feminine energy. I’ve always known that there were more than two genders, but we didn’t start talking about the topic deeply until middle school. The first time that gender was a classroom conversation was in 5th grade. We had a little class unit about gender for a week. As a class we didn’t go in very deep. That experience changed in middle school when entire classes were based around gender issues. Not just male and female but the grey zone in between. We haven’t talked about the gender spectrum in Fem Fam yet because I feel like it’s a hard topic to openly talk about, but it shouldn’t be.