Thank you. I fight everyday for a sense of history of what NC was and what it has become. Most people know nothing or very little of its progressive history, just putting it unfairly in with the rest of the southern states. I know from my family history, how much we fought for the progressive state NC was and will continue to, until I die. Lucia Blount Safran Messina.
Dumite, the club has not existed for years. It was a relatively short-lived phenomenon. The administration did not condone and was clear about not permitting the activity as the article states. The fact that teenagers may have continued an activity for a period time not sanctioned by school officials is not unique to high schools in America.
The best part of the Indy this week were all the ads - brilliant, poignant and clever ads that businesses took out against HB2.
Tolerance doesn't mean a lack of boundaries and using the same shower and locker room is different than nude bobsledding and shower games between children. I am totally opposed to HB2 and also the lack of responsible leadership shown at Cary Academy. It is a huge liability to allow such conduct and students can hold "shower club" outside of school and their parents can sponsor it if they want their child to participate! Everyone should be welcome to belong and be appreciated for whomever they are, but that doesn't mean adults turn a blind eye to being responsible. Why would any teacher care what it "looks like" rather than the issue of what is going on? Abigail did a great job writing this piece and her open mindedness is to be applauded, but the school 's behavior is very troubling.
The real question is what the hell are the faculty thinking and how has the school not been sued? It has nothing to do with male bonding, but supervision, direction and avoiding a situation that is begging for some unfortunate incident or misunderstanding to wreak havoc. It is fascinating that there are posters for the club that no adult seemed to address for years and when one meekly did so they were ignored. Tolerance doesn't have to be taught by nude bobsledding in school. Seriously...
It's the Abigail who wrote this btw--and for those wondering what the hypothesis is, it's basically that Gen Z is definitely left of center--but dismantling the gender binary is not necessarily on the collective mind so much as redefining masculinity. The proof would be in the interviews with the boys, Schwalbe and Jae especially, as ze is very attuned to the degree of progressivism Gen Z is willing to offer.
Just wanna thanks say to the first guy that advocated for me, a minor, to wear revealing outfits and strip down in front of my male peers, I'll def take your advice to heart. @dude
It's actually the tolerant response by the peers of those straight-identified, male-identified suburban high school students who shower together that supports the hypothesis.
Would be interested in hearing from the author as to what "this hypothesis" is. If "this hypothesis" is that "...generation Z is moving ...left of center," then "this hypothesis" seems likely to be true, but weakly supported if supported at all by a group of straight-identified, male-identified suburban high school students showering together.
@chiburbbi I think it's the hypothesis in the preceding paragraph that, "...generation Z is moving left of center."
Excellent summary of the political history as well as weaving into that the personal stories of our fellow citizens who are so dramatically affected.
The author offers "Shower Club as a case study of this hypothesis." What is the hypothesis to which the author refers?
Great writing and reporting.
Not sure if she told you, but her and Bob were both incredible scout leaders. They both taught many young men great values that we still hold on to today. It is great to hear they are doing well and glad that you enjoyed your stay in my home town. My irst job was in the hardware store next to the piggy wiggy. This write up hit home. Thanks.
Thank you for your notes and observations about Eastern North Carolina. Here's hoping Triangle readers of Independent can make their own forays "Down East" if they are not already personally familiar with the cities, towns and counties from Laurinburg to Elizabeth City.
The poetic challenge of one 20th Century North Carolina governor to appreciate the special heritage of Eastern North Carolina is before us still in the 21st Century. Gov. J.C.B. Ehringhaus, who was from Elizabeth City, was writing about the special meadows of Northeastern N.C. known as The Albemarle when he compared it to our imaginative fancy of what Camelot must have been like in medieval England, a comparison made all the more interesting when First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy suggested Camelot as a metaphoric touchstone for the administration of President John F. Kennedy.
As one who grew up in Charlotte and later attended Duke, I always enjoyed family gatherings in Piedmont places such as Shelby and Salisbury, and we had kinfolk from throughout Western North Carolina and the Piedmont from Marion and Hickory to Burlington and Chapel Hill, but few family ties to Eastern N.C., so I was able to get to know more about the eastern section of the state in these personal experiences from late teen years to age 30:
--Covering Charlotte 49ers "road games" in the old Dixie Conference as a high school stringer for the Charlotte Observer including trips to St. Andrews College in Laurinburg and N.C. Wesleyan in Rocky Mount.
--Scouting Eastern N.C. cities and towns as a reporter on the state desk of The News & Observer in my mid-20s. Back in those days, you had to "go out there and find out what was happening" because, absent some helpful news tips, that was about the only way to report on local government and business from Smithfield to Wilson.
--Doing a cross-state feature for The N&O in the now socially suspect guise of hitchhiker from the coast to the mountains trying to follow in the footsteps of such N.C. newspaper columnists as Jerry Bledsoe of the Greensboro Daily News, J.A.C. Dunn of the Winston-Salem Journal and Jack Aulis of The News & Observer. For my geographical endpoints for this dubious outing (which definitely contributed to a downward slide in my fortunes as a news staffer with The N&O), I selected Duck, N.C., and Ducktown, Tenn., as this featured was headlined: "Duck to Ducktown: A Stitch in Time." But the first installment was called "Stuck in Duck" because I had trouble hitching into Duck from the outskirts of town so that I could then begin hitching west out of Duck! But the best thing was enjoying the Albemarle Sound area while wondering how in the world I would be able to make it from Northeastern N.C. to Southwestern N.C. and on across the Tennessee line to Ducktown.
--Weekend excursions as an editorial writer for the Fayetteville Observer in my late 20s as our paper was still an afternoon daily in the mid-1970s, with an impressive regional circulation in the Cape Fear Country. So on Saturdays we would head out to enjoy unique and colorful Eastern N.C. events such as Mule Days in Benson, the Collard Festival in Ayden, the Shad Festival in Grifton and the National Hollerin' Contest in Spivey's Corner. At these gleeful local celebrations we would witness the best in local business-government cooperative efforts to spruce up hometown life in all those places Down East.
--Campaigning for the U.S. Senate in the wide open Democratic primary of 1978. Talk about the Wide Open Bluegrass Festival of the present time, that senatorial primary was wide open because everybody and his brother (we could have used some sisters in that field too) thought he could be just the guy to take on the Squire of Senatorial Conservatism, Sen. Jesse Helms, in what was to be his first re-election campaign in 1978 after his surprising win over Durham Congressman Nick Galifianakis in 1972. Drawing from the previous journalistic adventure of hitching from Duck to Ducktown, I chose to hike the state in 1977 from Manteo on the coast to Murphy in the mountains to see if I could get a leg up on the competition, which included a stellar field of Democratic hopefuls including two state senators from the Triad, a banker from Charlotte and son of a highly regarded former governor and our state commissioner of insurance. One single highlight of that hike: walking beside cornfields in Wayne County in the spring of 1977 with stalks of corn higher than I was only to learn with regret weeks later that a sustained summer drought was severely depleting the eventual autumn yield of what had promised to be such an abundant harvest for N.C. family farmers in that year before the May 1978 senatorial primary.
So, capsuling my personal, professional and philosophical outlook upon the one section of the state that I had not previously known very well, I would mention these favorable impressions of Eastern North Carolina:
--A deep love of learning among the people, including science, mathematics, classical literature, poetry, dance, music and drama.
--An eagerness to seek out gainful employment along with the upgrading of occupational skills to do a good day's work.
--A robust, good-hearted attitude toward visitors from the rest of North Carolina or from other states and country as to why they took pride in their home cities, towns and counties.
--A full willingness to be part of the supporting cast of the greater public support for all parts of North Carolina including industries, enterprises and technologies trending as "the latest things" on the urban scene in the Piedmont so long as the communities of Eastern North Carolina were not left behind in the investment in public education, environmental protection, employment training and the allocation of state-funded resources for economic development and advancement.
I wish we had as many passenger train connections to those cities and towns with such great future potential in Eastern North Carolina as we do to the cities of the N.C. Piedmont because I would sure book some more excursions "Down East," as Andy Griffith would say, "first chance I get."
Very well written. The City of Rocky Mount spent money to improve the appearance of its downtown core, and they succeeded. But they didn't succeed, or haven't yet, in filling the renovated storefronts with real tenants. The buildings are still mostly empty, although they look much better than before.
And it's not just the small towns and cities down east that are struggling. Out in the rural areas there are many abandoned houses, once family farms that either cannot compete with big ag or cannot attract a new generation of farmers.
WADEB Lease land if you cannot afford to buy and raise your hogs. It's doable, but if you really want to buy land, keep a better paying job for as long as it takes.
I agree, I wish the city people would stay in the cities. I have a housing developement right next to my organic farm where people spend all day spraying Round Up on their perfectly manicured lawns- it makes me feel ill. The only barely affordable farmland in NC is in places that you wouldn't want to live and couldn't make a living.
The sad thing about farming now is it's so hard to get started. Plus up here in Person few farmers can afford to just farm anymore, since tobacco was wounded so badly here. I want to pasture raise hogs, but thanks to so many people moving out here for cheap land, it's hard to buy farmland anymore. I just wish people would stay in their cities and let us use our land out here to raise what's needed.
Garland to cookout! amazing!
This 10 year old list is in need of an update.
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