When I was working at the New York Post a few months ago and giddily running everyone from my past through various searches, I looked up my favorite teacher from high school, Debra Schmitt, who I’d been thinking about a lot.
Back in the ’90s, she taught a class called Feminist (or was it Women’s?) Literature at Stuyvesant High School, a class that could not have been more up my 1994 alley. She was smart, theatrical, bawdy, very funny and a little reckless.
I remember her walking around the classroom one day in a long, stretchy red cotton turtleneck dress (it was the ’90s) talking about, I think, Alice Walker and the shame attached to women’s bodies, and she said, by way of example, “I put this dress on this morning and looked in the mirror and said, ‘Debra, everyone can see your nipples.’ And then I said, ‘I’m a woman. I have nipples!’ And so I wore the dress.” Continue reading