rage against the machine

If I had to put my finger on the single most unproductive thing I do when I go to work, it has got to be sitting through mind-numbing meetings, frequently nodding (off) and pretending to care. Today was no different.

Until I heard Dudebro say: So, what do you guys think?

 

My mind went from “keep your head down” to “fuck this shit” so friggin fast.

So you don’t care what the women think?

I’m sorry, what?

I asked if you only wanted the opinions of the men in the room.

Of course not. I asked all of you guys.

Well, I’m not a guy. Neither are those two.

He looked mortified, and though I said I was only kidding, I really wasn’t and he knew it. Dudebro knows better. I have a reputation, and he’s fucking scared of me.

I was congratulated later by many people, for having “balls” and taking what is going to be “a giant leap for mankind”. These, btw, are the same people who go around rolling their eyes every time I speak up against their casual misogyny. Well, I understand. I’m that whiny “feminist” who just doesn’t have a sense of humor. I’m constantly complaining about how oppressed women are, when it’s just words.

But are they really just words?

It’s almost like if all this vocabulary just appears out of thin air; as though these things are said by unremarkable people, without any of these words having any meaning and place in any sort of systemic oppression.

But it does, doesn’t it?

Every time you address a mixed group as “guys” you’re erasing the women in it.

Every time you call someone “feminazi”, you’re equating women’s struggle for freedom from patriarchy with fascism.

Every time you jokingly call someone a “pussy”, you’re labeling women as the weaker sex.

You don’t need a degree in either linguistics or gender studies to know this, dudebro. Word have meanings. Use them carefully.

Honk if you agree.

Do you speak up against casual misogyny? Why do you think we treat men as the default human? What changes can we make to our vocabulary to make language less offensive to us “feminazis”?

 

 

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of baby talk

When I was young, I tutored a young girl three or four years my junior. Over time, we drifted apart, and she became nothing but a dim memory of somebody I had once found very amiable.

I ran into her at the mall recently. I saw her first – I could’ve ignored her if I wanted; I had all the time I needed to make a U-turn.

Instead, I waved like a maniac and invited her to coffee.

In 20 minutes, I found myself sitting cross-legged on the Café Coffee Day couch, trying very (very) hard to look interested in the one-way conversation about her daughter. It didn’t help that my drink was disturbingly depressing. Each sip tasted worse than the one before.

Wow! How old is she now?

Thirteen and a half.

Years? My eyebrows shrunk to half their size as I strained to do the math.

You’ll never stop joking, will you? She threw a cushion at me, smiling. Months, baba!

I rolled my eyes at her inwardly for the rest of the evening. How does the world keep spinning with a shockingly ridiculous person who can’t discount that one odd month (and fifteen days) off her child’s age? Is it so hard to say “a year”?

I pretended to count on my fingertips (yeah, I’m mean when I want to be) and said – oh, just over a year, then. Is she walking already?

Bad move.

She proceeded to take me through a list of ALL the milestones her baby had achieved, and then talked at length about how she thought her baby was going to be an underperformer because she had started to talk so late.

Then she started to show me 876,297,097 pictures of Little Miss G on the inflatable chair. Little Miss G on the couch. Little Miss G eating. Little Miss G smiling. Little Miss G frowning. You get my drift.

I ran out of there a fast as I possibly could. Just when I heaved the proverbial sigh of relief, my phone buzzed.

Friend request.

From Little Miss G.

Fuck my life.

Do you know any such child-obssessed parents or someone who has created an entire FB profile for their baby? What are the other annoying things that people from your past do now? How many photos of your baby do you have on your phone?