Liberating Words: “No Boys Allowed”

The poems in our ongoing “Liberating Words” series were written in an interdisciplinary course for high school juniors at The Winsor School, an all-girls school in Boston, Mass. The course, “The Personal Is Political: An Interdisciplinary Look at Feminism,” is co-taught by Libby Parsley, a History teacher, and Susanna Ryan, an English teacher. The second unit of the course focuses on the history and literature of second-wave feminism—the women’s liberation movement of the 1960’s and 70’s. Students read a compilation of poems by women writers from that period and then wrote their own poems; the assignment asked them to represent an issue or problem they see as central to 21st-century women’s experience through the very personal genre of poetry.

No Boys Allowed
by Rose Heald

He asks his 13-year-old son,
Do you have a girlfriend yet?
Any cute girls?
You should really get on that.

He asks his 13-year-old daughter,
Do you have a boyfriend?
Any boys?
Good, boys are trouble
Stay away.

He says,
No boys allowed
For either of you.

Rose Heald is a junior at the Winsor School, an all-girls secondary school in Boston.  She likes volunteering at a local assisted living home and spending time with family in her free time.



Lia Kornmehl is a junior at the Winsor School who is passionate about jazz music, milk chocolate, and equal opportunities for women in the workplace.