Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A boat of one's own

People who teach nineteenth-century literature love to talk about homosocial spaces. Men had the military, the courts, the government, the businesses, the clubs, the bars, the Masons, most schools, you name it. Women basically had the home and eventually the beauty parlor.

Except now . . . there's Bryn Mawr. On Monday I was reminded this of how totally beautiful that can be and how old it can get. Part of the week before graduation is apparently the seniors and a bunch of professors going on a riverboat cruise, which ended with people dancing. If gyration-type dance is going to happen, I definitely like it better with all women. I've heard there are sketchy women, but I've never met any who hold a candle to your average sketchy man.

I looked out at the crowd of writhing women in little black dresses thought: we finally get our own. This is what Virginia Woolf wanted for women instead of getting chased off the grass at Oxbridge. We're eating sashimi instead of prunes and custard. And not only that, but there are hardly any male spaces left.

Then two of the professors (one male, one female) started ballroom dancing. And I would have swapped nearly everyone on that boat for a man with a decent lead. I guess I can't have things both ways.

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