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I doubt it. "Come on, Edie! If some guy wrote a song about beating the hell out of his girlfriend's Mazda or whatever girls drive, you know everybody'd be mad about it."
"And by everybody, you mean women. Get away from me, Jeromy."
I tried to apologize.
"I mean it, Jeromy, just get out of here. I don't want to be around you right now."
She didn't talk to me for almost a week. I knew I shouldn't have said that, but it's the truth and it makes me angry that she won't admit that some double standards benefit women.
The last time Edie was that mad at me was the semester she graduated. She was in some philosophy class, and she had to write a paper on Marxism. She asked me what I knew about it, but she said to explain it so she'd understand it.
"It's simple," I told her. It's just like feminism, but without the vagina."
We were at my house. She couldn't leave because she needed my computer to type her paper, but she didn't talk to me the rest of the night and she slept on the couch. I got up early to make her an I'm Sorry Breakfast, but she was already gone.
She didn't take my calls for two weeks that time. But at least she never asked me to help her with her homework again.
Edie is a feminist. Or she thinks she is, anyway. It doesn't usually bother me when she talks about how her gender is being oppressed by the ignorant dead white men who set the standards. Sometimes it's just too much, though. I don't go around thinking about how I can dominate conversations with women or drive better than women, and I've tried to tell Edie this. She says I don't think about those things because the world is made for men. And because the world is made for men, I don't notice all the hardships women endure trying to adapt to a world that doesn't sympathize with the plight of the female. She says I don't think about the stigma, the real double standards.
Last week, we went to the mall to see a movie. We bought our tickets early, and then went window shopping. One of the car dealerships had a twenty-eleven Subaru on display. I have to remind myself to say twenty-whatever because Edie hates it when people say “two-thousand-and-eleven.” She says it sounds totally unnatural and it interrupts the flow of conversation.
I signed up for the drawing. Edie got mad at me. She said car manufacturers design cars with men in mind. She opened the driver side door and started pointing out all the man things about the car. Everybody looked at us.
It made me nervous.
We went in the furniture store. I was looking at the dining room sets. I want to live in a house with a dining room someday. Right now I only have an eat-in kitchen. I pointed out the set I liked. It had black leather seats, dark wood. Edie said that was the most ridiculous dining room set in the whole store. I asked her what was wrong with it and she said the chairs were symbolic of the double standards women have to deal with every day. When I asked her how, she blew up at me. She screamed. She screamed at me at the top of her lungs, screamed at me because the chair at the head of the table had arms. She said it was the man's chair, and of course I would like it because I'm power hungry. Just the fact that I wanted a dining room set infuriated her because dining room sets are matchy-matchy, made for a man who couldn’t possibly choose a table and then find some chairs to go with it that weren’t sold in a set.
We went into Nordstrom. She wanted to go in. I didn't. It was getting close to time for the movie. She got mad at Nordstrom. The men's cosmetics counter was is in a more prominent place than the women's. It pissed her off even more that the women's counter was right by the purses. She thinks purses are a form of gender bias. She says purses were invented by men so that they could turn their women into pack mules. She thinks everything is a gender war.
I told her that wasn't true, that women just like to carry more stuff around. She got pissed off, said that women wouldn't have to carry so much shit around if they weren't trying to be perfect for men. If they didn't have to worry about a man trying to stare at them everywhere they go, women wouldn't have to carry perfume and makeup and little trial size bottles of deodorant and Kleenex. She said maybe I'd like her to start picking her nose and smelling bad.
Cold Like Being Afraid continues...