Fabulous Five 019 - The Boys-Only Club

Fabulous Five 019 - The Boys-Only Club by Betsy Haynes

Book: Fabulous Five 019 - The Boys-Only Club by Betsy Haynes Read Free Book Online
Authors: Betsy Haynes
CHAPTER 1
    "Let Brian carry the computer, Katie. He's stronger
than you are," said Mr. Waldrop.
    Katie Shannon stopped in her tracks. Her mouth dropped open
as Brian Olsen, who was a physical fitness nut and had a brown belt in karate, took
the computer out of her hands. Just as she was about to protest, Joel Murphy
took her elbow and said, as if he were talking to a little kid, "Here, let
me help poor widdle Katie over to her desk." Everyone in the class laughed
as he escorted her to her computer work station.
    Katie's faced turned as red as her hair, and she jerked her
arm away fom Joel, giving him the meanest look she could muster. She didn't
need help from any boy, and she didn't like being laughed at for something so
dumb. She could have easily moved the computer herself.
    She fumed for the rest of the period over Mr. Waldrop's
sexist attitude and Joel's stupid joke. She was furious at herself, too. Why
had she let Brian carry the computer? Katie couldn't stand it when men acted as
if women were weak and needed males to take care of them. And if she could do
it all over again, she would slug Joel Murphy.
    Katie was still seething as she walked through the cafeteria
line and joined the rest of The Fabulous Five—Jana Morgan, Beth Barry, Christie
Winchell, and Melanie Edwards—at their regular table. Even her best friends in
the whole world couldn't cheer her up today.
    "What's wrong?" asked Beth, looking at Katie over
her fork loaded with lasagna.
    "Everything," Katie said in disgust as she set her
tray down. "Wakeman Junior High is the most sexist place in the world."
    Jana stopped eating her cream cheese and jelly sandwich and
raised her eyebrows. "Why? What happened?"
    Katie told them about what had happened in class.
    Melanie rolled her eyes. "Brian just likes to show off
his muscles. What's the big deal?"
    Katie frowned at her. "That's just the kind of attitude
that makes females second-class citizens."
    "What does?" asked Melanie, looking confused.
    "The attitude that it's okay for men to help us carry
things, even if we don't need their help. If you let them think you can't do
things for yourself, they're going to believe it and feel superior."
    "Come on, Katie," responded Jana. "Not all
boys think they're better than girls. Randy certainly doesn't." Randy
Kirwan had been Jana's boyfriend since the sixth grade.
    "Does he open doors for you?" Katie demanded,
pointing a fork for emphasis. "Is he the one who asks you for a
date, or do you ask him? Are you supposed to go 'ooh' and 'aah' when he's
wearing a football or basketball uniform? Does he go 'ooh' and 'aah'
over something you've written for the yearbook? I bet you're the one who's
always admiring him, and I know he opens doors for you as if you can't do it
yourself. "
    "I kind of like for him to open doors for me,"
said Jana defensively. "He's just showing me he respects me."
    "He's telling you, you can't do it for yourself,"
said Katie, stabbing a french fry as if it were an enemy.
    "And what I can't understand," she added, looking
around the table at her friends,"is how you can all be so nonchalant about
it."
    "Listen who's talking," teased Beth. "You're
the one who's dating Mr. Macho, Tony Calcaterra."
    "Tony and I have an understanding," said Katie. "He
may look macho, but he understands how I feel about male-and-female
relationships. We're equals. He's very sensitive to that."
    "Do you mean to tell us that you're the one who
asks Tony Calcaterra for dates instead of him asking you?" asked Melanie
skeptically.
    The question stopped Katie. She tried to remember if she had
ever asked him for a date. Surely , she must have. "Not all the
time," she fudged. "But that's what being equal is all about. Either
person can ask. Tony is very aware that women are men's equals, and he always
treats them that way. He's a lot more sensitive to women's issues than you
think."
    "Oh, yeah, right," said Beth sarcastically. "When
was the last time you asked Tony for a date?"

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