Dude-Free Thursday became a sort of sociological study of men and boys in their “natural environment”; when *this* happens then they react in *this* way.
Many, many women who have come before me have talked about the way men take up way more than their fair share of space, how they demand smiles, how they wheedle and whine to get their way and all of these things are easily seen when one is paying attention.
The would-be Separatist’s question is what to do with that knowledge, if anything.
The first time I remember acting on the knowledge, face-to-face with a male person in public, was on the Thursday I was purchasing a laptop for The Kid who had just recently begun home schooling (un-schooling, really). I walked into the office supply store and told the young man posted at the door that I was there to pay for X Computer, that I had already called, that it was waiting in the back with my name on it and would he be so kind as to have someone fetch it to the counter for me, thank you very much. Instead of calling the stock room on his radio, he asked me what I needed X Computer for and was I sure that I had chosen the right one. Did I have any questions he could answer?
My first thought was to rip out his tongue for exercising his privilege to question my intelligence on sight, but instead, after a couple of beats of charged silence and with dead seriousness I repeated that I’d be waiting at the counter.
It doesn’t seem like a big thing, and it wouldn‘t have been, but it was the first time I really, really saw with clear vision the fear that is born of confusion when a woman doesn’t play her part, doesn’t acquiesce.
And when I processed that, my hindsight reminded me that I’d sensed that particular fear many times before but only had a shaky framework from which to capture and identify it. No longer, though.
They really should be afraid of our good reason.