David Jenkinson: unpleasant masculinities at school

David Jenkinson tells story of unkind reference to own body shape by teacher at the Royal School, Armagh, 1940s.

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Yeah, I developed, or caught, whatever you call it, spinal tuberculosis. And this wasn’t recognised until, oh, fifteen years ago I suppose, from the radiographer. But – and this combined with asthma, I had very bad asthma, and this gave a marked spinal curvature which I still have to this day. It should never have happened. It certainly marked my life, although it did get me out of sports at the Royal School, which [laughs] didn’t worry me one little bit. But yeah, I remember one of the science teachers actually when I was in sixth form at the Royal School saying – there was a group of us sitting around a table working, and he was teaching us and he was talking about physiology for some reason or other, and he said, ‘You know, if some of us here had been,’ erm, what’s the word he used? ‘Taken a manly attitude to posture, they wouldn’t have spines like question marks now.’ That was in front of my colleagues, you know, nasty.

  • Interviewee David Jenkinson
  • Duration 00:01:24
  • Copyright British Library Board
  • Interviewer Paul Merchant
  • Date of interview 3/22/2010
  • Shelfmark C1379/06

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