My history teacher swivels her neck towards the audience, then towards the board. We hear only one crack in her movements. Fitting for today’s lesson, she says, pulling her sleeves past her elbows. Fair lies on the board like it’s expecting someone to smear it and rewrite it in a different font. Fair is usually used two ways: an archaic word for beautiful, an adjective to say something is just. The word fair has been used often in talking about women. ‘Protect your fair lady,” where I’ve written this fair. The problem is, Ms. Harlow continues, we’ve forgotten ‘fair’ when it comes to women’s rights. My fingers move to the center of my notepad.
Seeing that this word is used frequently, I looked up the definition, as I knew it was a homonym, but I was not completely sure what the other definitions besides “something that is just” were. I discovered new definitions and read about some history of the word. That gave me the idea for this poem: a history teacher teaching about the history of women’s rights and the problems that still occur today. I ask myself how the definitions are so connected, yet there are still inequalities today.