Last year, I ran a gender and sexuality workshop for the peer advisors here at Brown. When we asked them how their perceived gender affected their Brown experience, a guy stood up and told me: “When I walk into a room, no one sees me as a white male. I’m just [insert white male name here]. There is no sexism at Brown.”
Why yes, honey, of course.
It was actually pure respect for women that led a faceless guy to come up behind my friend at the TWTP dance, grab her waist, and whisper into her ear: “I’m going to break you in,” as if she was some animal or an object.
Silly of me to feel devalued when a guy insists on paying for dinner because “it’s a matter of honor.” Or when he refuses to let me talk to the waitress and insists on doing everything for me because he’s a “gentleman” — cutting me off and telling the waitress what I’m going to order, asking her to refill my drinks anyways when I told her it wasn’t necessary, and flagging down the waitress for a to-go box when I was quite capable of doing so myself — all the while, silencing me and rendering me invisible.
I understand when the Mock Trial team says that having three female attorneys on the same bench would be “too bitchy.” It’s because we females are really all just moody hormonal wrecks, causing inconvenience to the world with our pre-menstrual cycle freak outs.
No worries. I know it’s just to “toughen us up” when guys make girls walk down Thayer at 3am after a booty call. We really just need to learn how to fend for ourselves and stop being oversensitive. I’m sure we will also learn to appreciate those cat calls from drunk guys on the street. I mean, we basically invited them to do so with our short skirts and revealing clothing. We should be flattered.
And always, when women say no, we actually mean yes. We just don’t know it. Even when my friend is turning red and frantically grasping onto her clothing to keep the guy from ripping it off, I’m sure he placed her well-being before his sexual needs. Oh, where are my manners. After you’re done, we should smile and say “thank you.”
Yes, honey. I’m sure Brown is a magical sexism-free place.