Here’s a silly piece I wrote a long time ago and dusted off last year for an audition.
I pride myself on being a sensitive enlightened feminist man. I’ve read Our Bodies Our Selves twice, once in hardback, and I never exploit women by opening doors for them.
I have a tough time at dances, however. I love dancing, but asking a woman to dance without compromising my integrity is where I get hung up. I can’t ask a pretty woman to dance because I’d be imposing my patriarchal standards of beauty on them. So I look for a woman I’m not attracted to. It’s even better if she doesn’t like me. Or men.
But then my body language gives me away. She can sense I don’t find her attractive, and I end up oppressing her by judging her with my internalized sexist standards, and we both feel terrible.
Fortunately, when I met Jenny, the music was loud, and we were dancing before I had a chance to think through all the socio-political implications. We made a date for the next night.
She came over to supper, because it’s hard to find a restaurant that can accommodate my diet. I used to eat meat and other oppressed foods. But now I don’t eat anything that requires the killing of any animals — or plants. I only eat fruits and vegetables that have already died of natural causes. (Of course, I also include onions in my diet because cutting onions is how I learned to cry.)
I was sobbing over the cutting board when Jenny arrived. One look at the wilted carrots on the table, and she said, “Let’s just catch a movie.”
But I had already made plans—to ride our bicycles to a civil disobedience against fracking. The perfect first date, I thought, getting arrested together for a good cause.
But on the way, she ran over some glass and got a flat tire. “It would be patronizing of me to offer to fix this,” I said, “so I’ll let you do it.”
“I’ve never been treated like this before,” she said.
I explained that that was because most men put women up on pedestals and don’t allow them to achieve their full potential as human beings or, in this case, bicycle mechanics.
“I don’t believe what you’re saying.”
“I forgive you for that,” I said, “because I understand that your mistrust of men is based on centuries and centuries of brutal oppression of women by white men, like myself. And—”
“You are one of a kind,” she said, “And why are you putting that broken glass in your pocket?”
“To recycle it course,” I said, but by then, she had hailed a cab and vanished. She didn’t even write or call me in jail.
I guess I’m just not as sensitive as I thought. So I’ve recently started a support group for men—the White Man’s Burden Support Group—because it’s crucial we men become more attuned to the plight of women.
Our first act of solidarity—since we’re not able to menstruate—is to go down to the Red Cross once a month and donate blood.