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rough draft of a letter I mean to send

To the guy in the coffee shop who argued vehemently with me that women are more privileged than men in our society and that women are truly the oppressors,

Oh, hi.

Been awhile since we talked. probably because after you berated me for two hours about how women were Satan's gift to mankind (ironic, that) I might have told you to knock it off or I'd knock you out. Of course, you took that as a threat to your person as opposed to a hyperbolic phrase and stormed out screaming about bringing the police back to arrest me.

24 hours later you managed to email me with the same threat, and then claim that they'd actually never do it because I'm a woman. You added a smiley face. which didn't really fit the whole victim thing. It was more a violently subtle add on, a sort of triumphant colon and parenthesis that seemed to say "hah! who is the oppressor now?" and I wanted to send you back a sort of very disturbed face, but I could not find the punctuation that quite fits being threatened by someone who manages to both be a victim and a black mailer?

I think you wanted a more personal argument from me, you wanted a little blood laid out there for you. I'm sorry I disappointed you. Your argument, at the time, seemed so appalling it was all I could do to keep my jawbone in place from its abrupt collide with the floor. It was pretty much all I could handle to catch my eyebrows from skyrocketing through the roof of the neighborhood coffee shop you so tactfully chose for your soapbox.

And I missed some of your points at first, I must have been thinking about my anxious walk home from work at night. Jingling my keys in my hand for a few blocks, hoping that I won't be the one woman in four who suffers attempted rape in the United States. I must have been thinking about that, and been too distracted to fully focus on what you were saying. I am so sorry. That was around the time that you said only "successful" rapes could be counted, so correction, one in six women, that mathematical fault must be mine.

Or maybe I was thinking about when I go to work and endure comments like "good girl", open critiques of my appearance, and offers to clean houses. if not offers than orders by managers I can't refuse. No. Seriously. My hands are tied when men leer at me in the shadows of buildings or cat call me in open daylight, stare me down when I walk past them, and swear at me when I stare back. My hands are tied at bars or restaurants when a few might make a pass at me, then call me a prude, a slut, or try to grab me anyway if I refuse.

What? Has that never happened to you? Oh! And you're shocked I'm complaining! You think this attention is complimentary? Let me give you the compliment of being twice your size and shoving you up against a brick wall, or the flattery of having twice your weight and leaning a little too close.

Let me teach you a few things you'll need to know, being a victim of another gender and all. No, shut up. No one takes a man seriously. Come on! You think I'm going to listen to you? It's probably your testosterone talking. Everyone knows how emotional and illogical men are. No! Stop it! Stop talking! I'm talking over you because I don't respect you! Where are your children? You are supposed to be care taking not talking, don't make me call you your own body part but completely slandered!

Another lesson for you, no, no, listen. I definitely know your problems better than you. That's why that crowd of women made those crucial decisions about men's healthcare. We're good at making decisions for you, and you can trust us, because men need to be protected. You're so volatile! Believe me when I say that you need to be coddled and I'm willing to be as condescending as necessary to piss on most if not all of your dreams until you have a nice warm bathtub full of urine to feel safe in. Don't worry, no one will hurt you, you can't even help, er... hurt yourself. Don't even bother reaching for that glass ceiling because remember? Your hands are tied!

But seriously. I've heard a lot of complaints recently about men and their lack of power, and, as an oppressor, I can't help but fully agree. I've heard that you have run all but 12 of the Fortune 500 companies. Pathetic! That you make up 70% of all lawyers, 77% of all federal judgeships and a measly 73% of state judgeships. Why not 100% for these things? What happened to you guys?

And holy hell! Women are really taking over the Supreme Court! There are THREE women out of NINE! That raises the total for all of history to FOUR! Yikes! Really screwed the pooch on that one, huh?

Don't even get me started on higher education and employment as a whole. 40% of wives are making more money than their husbands! But we need to see this as it really is: only 60% of men are still on top of things! The world is crumbling before us! Not to mention how much women are dominating higher ed, making up more than half of the student population and earning more masters degrees than they know what to do with. Literally. The figures of women in management positions have risen from 35% to 38% in twenty years.

At this rate in only a handful of short centuries women could be equal to men in positions of management! Luckily, as long as people believe that there is no divide, we can hopefully keep women working more and earning less for a few more hundred years, but when that time comes, watch it! It's going to be oppressive!

Now you're interrupting me again. And I have to say that makes you a whole lot less attractive to me. I'm actually shocked that you sound half educated, and it sort of intimidates me, but I'm really just ignoring what you're saying and staring at your chest. I can't help it! You shouldn't wear such revealing t-shirts! I can't concentrate on your mouth words when your body just screams at me "Disrespect me! I'm wearing sportswear!". Speaking of, what's your jock strap size? No really, I won't tell anyone.

I don't have to take you seriously. Listen to the radio for a little white, or watch this television, take a shot of mainstream media to the face. Generally, women will be telling you how they're going to get you drunk and naked and hurt you in some physical way that will leave you reeling emotionally. You don't really have a say in this. It's generally under our control.

Or there will be a lot of pictures of people taking advantage of men, and I will inevitably feel the need to do the same. Why? Because it's science. Stop arguing. There is no way that your gender knows shit about science. No. It's, like, nature or something. Your brain doesn't understand brains. Stop thinking, you might hurt yourself.

There are two million more women living in poverty than men, over half of the 37 million Americans living in poverty. Single females are twice as likely to be living in poverty than single males. And I realize that this is pretty oppressive towards men. I can understand that it seems really unfair that there are more chances for women to encounter obstacles that they have a slight chance of overcoming and those slight chances of overcoming these overwhelming and completely defeating obstacles mean more chances to be seen as champions. This is pretty emasculating, and I have to say, it's a tough situation for you.

It's a difficult world out there, and I wanted to get you full prepared... to not be in it. A few more decades, no wait, centuries, of lessons, and you should be ready to have a try at working for equality.

Better yet, I'll pump fake the hell out of you and say that you're oppressor instead of me. So I get to be both the one with the power and the victim, basically I get to have my cake and eat the whole bakery! I know how much you like obstacles, and this will really give you something to overcome. I'll pick some places where you might be making some headway, say education or employment, and then I'll take those figures completely out of context and say that you're oppressing me! I'm really giving you a chance to prove yourself. Get it?

Anyway, just thought you'd like this little note, keeping in touch and what not. Can't wait to see you when I'm comfortably enjoying coffee at a quiet neighborhood locale. Be sure to send me more emails with smiley faces, I find it really endearing.





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