When I was in high school I followed a custom I’d learned in elementary school: I entered the oratorical contests. Now in high school we had the Marist Brothers as teachers, and one year Bro. Kieran offered me “Spartacus’ Speech to the Gladiators”. I memorized it immediately; it inspired rebellion.
That speech taught me that men and women think differently, and vive la difference. I got up on the stage and did what I had never done before – I spat out the harsh words of a Roman gladiator and slave. I gloried in the role. And I didn’t even get an honorable mention. Now I had won oratorical contests before. I was no upstart in public speaking. But I found out later who the judges were, and I accepted the results.
The Brothers had no representatives on the judges’ panel, as I recall. The good sisters, who had encouraged me in elementary school (The Schools of St. Mary) were the majority of five, and that speech just didn’t appeal to the fair sex. I was doomed by the good women who’d brought me this far.