When You Say No To The Patriarchy
Start writing a post
Politics

When You Say No To The Patriarchy

And then he replies, "Sit your ass back down."

82
When You Say No To The Patriarchy
Kickrocs.com

When it comes to patriarchal bullshit, I'm not one to shy away from confrontation. Some might call it aggressive, but sometimes people need a good slap in the face (figuratively… for the most part). A couple weekends ago, I had a run-in with a few such chumps and I’d like to exorcise my anger.

I was at The Rambler on Mississippi, lounging in the vaulted-ceiling upstairs, drinking amber ale and excited to be across the table from a total babe on our second date. We had been nursing our pints for at least an hour, talking intently, and never once did we make a break for the pool table. So when a couple of dudes start asking us whether we want to play, our lack of interest was obvious, but we shook our heads politely anyway. After the third inquiry, however, I began to get the vibe that this wasn’t a well-intentioned, "Hey, we've been hogging this all night, would you like the table?" but more of a, "Hey, you're two hot girls not paying attention to us and I want to get in your space." Finally, I looked him in the eye and gave a sharp, "No." Well, this “no” was so sharp, in fact, that he stormed away, seething. I wish I could say that the slur slipped out under his breath, but even from my distant corner, I hear distinctly— “Dumb bitch.” I exploded out of my chair, “What did you just call me?”

Bitch is a tough word for me. Though it’s inherently sexist for its gender affiliations, I use it from time to time and question instances in which men use it. For example, “Bitch, Don’t Kill My Vibe” is perfect, what other word could possibly go there? This is not one of those situations.

I was standing there infuriated, and instead of mumbling some weak apology, he said, “Sit your ass back down.” Just like that, I transformed from feminist killjoy to raging feminazi and marched over to the pool table hissing, with claws extended. To be perfectly honest, I don’t remember much of what happened next because of the adrenaline rush. But I know that his defense was that he was trying to offer us the table and hadn’t heard us say no. Words escaped me in the moment, but somehow I found the lucidity to demand an apology, and explained that “bitch” is a gendered term. Weirdly enough, this changed the entire mood, his anger dissipated, and he recognized familiar territory: “I call everyone a bitch, this guy, that guy, it doesn’t have anything to do with ‘gender.’” He apologized for all that had transpired and we shook hands. After my date and I returned to our table to process our incredulity, he came back a few minutes later for another round of apology handshakes. I’m not saying I don’t appreciate the gesture, but something made me doubt his sincerity; it was still in line with his original intent to get in our space and talk to us.

Though I’m proud of my actions, I regret not being able to verbalize the extent to which he represented the many facets of patriarchy so succinctly in that situation: demanding to be heard, cutting in on our conversation and space, calling me a diminutive term, barking orders, then undermining my argument, and thus invalidating my hurt.

And to add insult to injury, as we were leaving the bar, one dude called out to his friend, “Hey look, they’re your type! This guy is single, ladies.” I was so emotionally exhausted at this point that I flipped them off with both hands and yelled, “We don't exist in relation to you.

I might act like I’m real tough but I balled my eyes out the whole bike ride home. It was nice to sob to empty, dark streets but I certainly felt silly and fragile. It’s so emotionally draining to correct problematic behavior and yet, those at fault think that they deserve your time and energy. But then again, sometimes it’s worth it.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

Ford Cars That We Love

There's a good chance we've all driven a Ford or spent a lot of time at Ford, but what are some of the best cars they've ever made?

6070
Ford Cars That We Love
Photo by Jessy Smith on Unsplash

There are arguably few bigger automakers than Ford. They are a company that shaped the auto industry as we know it today and with a solid reputation in the industry, our wide range of Ford leases has always been a popular choice among drivers.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Prose: One Call

What if you had one call, but you could not say anything other than what you were told to say? In this short excerpt, Bethany finds herself at odds with her jailers and with the one she was told to call, the one she loves. What would you do when the conversation takes a turn off script?

5967
Prose: One Call
https://unsplash.com/s/photos/jail

With each incessant numbing ring of the phone call, I could feel the betrayal coiling around me like the phone line, squeezing me tighter.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

'Hotel Transylvania: Transformania' Film Review

Solid animation can't raise the newest entry in Sony's colorful monster series beyond the basics

68989
'Hotel Transylvania: Transformania' Film Review
Photo Credit: Amazon Prime Video – YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6suJohjIvfo

I take a slight issue with the idea that Adam Sandler didn’t have a good dramatic role until ‘Uncut Gems,’ what about ‘Hotel Transylvania’ (he says semi-seriously)?’

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

4 Common Reasons Couples Get Divorced

Are some people just not meant to be together? Is there any way to prevent an impending divorce?

91801
4 Common Reasons Couples Get Divorced

We've all heard the statistics. Roughly 50% of married couples eventually end up divorced. This can lead to complications, problems with your children, financial issues, and no small amount of negative emotions.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

​Pets are Good for the Soul

Millions of Americans have found comfort in pet ownership. The media has been awash with stories about a surge in pet ownership, as Americans have taken advantage of the ability of pets to improve emotional well-being.

84835
Good for the Soul
Pets are Good for the Soul

America is going through a mental health crisis. This crisis predates the global pandemic, but has in many ways been dramatically exacerbated by it. In 2019, 19.86% of adults, or 50 million Americans, reported suffering from a mental illness. The emotional toll of the pandemic has been heavy, with over half of U.S. adults saying that they have experienced stress and worry related to Covid-19. Anxieties over work, uncertainty about the future and other triggers have intensified the mental health crisis. Millions of Americans have found comfort in pet ownership. The media has been awash with stories about a surge in pet ownership, as Americans have taken advantage of the ability of pets to improve emotional well-being.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments