Sunday, December 03, 2006

I am the real world.

Part of the point of single-sex education is that women learn to be leaders in a female community so that when we go back into the “real world” (like Bryn Mawr isn’t real) we have skills and confidence we would never have developed if we’d let men lead. There have been times when I’ve doubted whether it makes that much difference, but lately I've become convinced.

Hearing my sister describe her new life at a big state school – frats, her alcoholic boyfriend, hookups, breakups, cops with breathalyzers, her cleaning up other people's messes because they're too drunk – makes me really glad I’m not at a big state school. Not that there isn’t drama at a women’s school, but somehow it seems more civilized.

A few days ago I was reminded why using humor to attack is so popular - you're unassailable because you can claim that it was all in the spirit of fun regardless of the seeds you plant in people's minds. Any argument I could make to the author of this editorial would be met with "Chill out - it was satire!" The author would then no doubt tell his buddies over lunch that his every point about bitchy castrating women had been validated.

Last night some Haverford students came over to the house and we wound up arguing about capitalism late into the night. It was interesting, not least because it was the first time I’ve had a conversation with strange men in some time. I really enjoyed the debate, but the part that surprised me most was that I turned into Strident Feminist Woman. One of them was making statements like "It makes more sense to have a dude making decisions as long as the group can rely on his judgement" and ignoring my "Or a woman. Or her" after every "dude" and "his". Eventually he told me that using only men in his examples was just a product of "the male psyche," just like Bryn Mawr students are always using women in their examples (which is total rubbish because everyone is trained to see men as the default. I use women in examples because people don't expect it.) Kaity made them orange juice and ramen, which they didn't thank her for. Afterwards they left the dishes for her to clear up. It's probably a good thing I was asleep by then.

Strident Feminist Woman should be my superhero identity. I should have a logo. Power: nontraditional pronoun use.

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