The next morning Brittany woke up, had a shower, got dressed, did her hair, looked in the mirror and took a deep breath. “You are a great and you will make new friends.” Her reflection didn’t respond.
Arriving at school wasn’t nearly as chaotic as Brittany had imagined. The first day of school is normally really busy with excited students happy to see their friends, but this time everyone else already had a month to get into the routine and weren’t so happy to be at school this early in the morning. Her mom came with her to the office to make sure she was registered and get her schedule, gave her a big hug, and wished her luck. Brittany made her way to her first class, late of course, just like in the movies.
The teacher waved Brittany in, “Class, I would like to introduce Brittany Radford. Welcome Brittany we are happy to have you here. Please find a seat,” Mrs. Daniels gestured toward the seats.
Brittany gave a small nod and quickly found a seat. The eyes of all the other students were watching her every move. A group of three girls snickered, and whispered behind her. Brittany took a deep breath, and daydreamed about her friends back home. Her attention was suddenly snapped to the present when Mrs. Daniels said, “Over one hundred women were believed to have entered the institute, only twenty made it out alive.”
Was the teacher talking about the same institute her Grandma Fay told her about? Glancing at the board behind the teacher, the words “Perfect Woman Institute” were written in big letters with the dates 1888-1899, and “The Cult of Poseidon.”
Mrs. Daniels continued, “The Cult of Poseidon was a group of men who created the institute believing it to be a school where young women would be able to learn how to become the perfect woman. They would then be forced into arranged marriages. Some of their parents supported the idea, but the vast majority of women who were recruited were orphans. All of the women at the institute were tortured, many were raped, and over eighty women are believed to be either missing, or killed. The government shut the institute down in 1899. You can read more about the institute in Chapter twelve, and then write a report comparing their idea of the perfect woman to what you think our society considers the perfect woman today. Thank you for your attention, class dismissed.” Just then the bell rang.
As Brittany stood up and started gathering her things, she was knocked over. She didn’t need to turn around to know it must be the girls who were snickering behind her the entire class.
A stuck up girl’s voice confirmed her suspicion. “Nice shoes Brittany.”
The three girls brushed past her, glancing back to give her the nasty eye. Brittany waited a few seconds before making her way to the door. She hoped and prayed those girls weren’t in her next class.
To be continued…
Written by Amanda Drover-Hartwick
Read Part One Here: The Perfect Woman…Part One
Read Part 2 here: The Perfect Woman Part 2