(Part I is here)
You know what never ceases to amaze me? The fact that dudes who act an asshole think women don't speak to each other.
Let Gayle tell you a little story about high school, and about one of those awesome lady friends that I went to high school with. When we were, I don't know, I think sophomores, we were both friends with this dude who was a senior. One night he came over to my house to hang out, and we ended up making out. So I called my lady friend, and I said, "Lady, you won't BELIEVE what I just did!" And she said, "Really? Because you won't believe who I made out with this afternoon!" And I squealed, "Oh my god, I made out with someone, too! Who'd you hook up with???" And she said, "This Dude!" And I was silent for a bit. And then I said, "THAT'S FUNNY. Because that's who I JUST MADE OUT WITH." And there was another moment of silence. And into that void she asked, "WAIT. Does that mean we are both now connected to each other on the hook-up chain FROM BOTH DIRECTIONS? YAY!" And then we dissolved into peals of laughter.
And after we were done giggling and determining that yes, indeed, we were now connected from both directions (ok, I have no idea what this means now, you guys, don't ask), we were like, uhhhhhh, WHAT. Because we were best friends. There was no way on this big green earth we would not talk to each other about smooching this dude. How did he think he'd get away with it?
The next time I saw this dude, I invited him over to my house. And he walked in to see my friend standing there, waiting for him, too. She said, "So." And that was as far as she got before he turned around and practically ran out the door.
Seriously, dudes, what the fuck? Does the old hypothetical question, "If a lady speaks and there isn't a dude around to hear her, does she make a sound?" baffle you? A wonderful lady and I became good friends last year, only to realize that two years before, my boyfriend at that time had cheated on me with her. We both immediately cut him off completely (the gmail, IT NEVER FORGETS). Lately, it's happened AGAIN, with some guy trying to manipulate two of us, and losing both of us. Dudes, HOW DO YOU THINK YOU'LL GET AWAY WITH THIS SHIT?
It reminds me of how little kids think of teachers - teachers cease to exist once the kids go home and school is over. Children cannot conceptualize their teachers as people, with lives and agency and existences beyond the one devoted to the little people. And I think maybe the dudes are similarly egocentric - they cannot imagine the ladies doing anything except revolving around them. The ladies cease to exist when they are not in the picture. And perhaps this is why EVERY DAMN MOVIE PRACTICALLY fails the Bechdel test. Ladies talking to each other? About their lives? And incidentally, the dudes in their lives, who, oh wait, they don't revolve around? WHAT? I know.
I am aware there are those women who think other women are at fault if the dude they are with cheats. This is the patriarchy speaking, having set up a system where women are seen as competition for other women, since the only way to achieve value is by having landed a man and his affections. But this has never been true of my friends, the women I choose to love and surround myself with. All of us, especially as we've gotten older and wiser, have gotten REALLY CLEAR on who our enemies are - and it's not other women. A friend maintains that feminism is one of those things one gets more radical about as one gets older, and I think he's right.
When I was teaching middle school, the girls would fight. And I would get all the girls in my classes together for "girl talks" (or whatever I would call it, the girls would laugh because I'd always insist on changing the name of every meeting to something like "lady liaison" or "chick chat" or "femme fest" because WHY NOT) and we would have really honest conversations. And listen to one another. And I'd say, "Ok, I want you to identify the biggest problems in your lives." And they'd speak, and I'd be like, hey, gosh, I see patterns, now who are those problems coming from? Who makes it hardest for you? And let me tell you after that revelation, god help the boy who said anything that hinted of sexual harassment to one of the girls, because then he had to face a collective female wrath. It was AWESOME.
So, gentleman, I know you think you're the bees' knees and nearly literally the sun in the sky, but we don't revolve around you. And we speak. To each other. And we care deeply for each other. And we know who the enemy is. Next time you try to lie and deceive and manipulate some women, maybe you should think twice. We will actually find out! And then, there is the collective female wrath thing. And let me tell you, it is indeed AWESOME.