RvB: Advanced Zoology
"This seems very familiar," York stammered, leaning against the lamppost.
"You got a case of the deejars," North called over, slipping his loose grip on the flashlight and dropping it on Wash’s head.
"Fucking hold on to it, you jerk!" The flashlight was thrust back into North’s chest. "You have one job, North."
"Obviously it wasn’t DD," York said, finishing off his bottle. "What the hell are deejars?"
"It’s French, you uncultured swine,” North leaned forward, redirecting the light again to Wash’s grumblings. “And no, our DD was totally…erm. Was it Maine?”
"I think he went…went…" York looked around, suddenly losing his buzz. "I think he’s talking to the elephants. Wash. Are you trying to steal a tiger?"
"Liberate," Wash corrected, as North muttered something about a thesaurus and Christmas.
"It’s a goddamn tiger, Wash!”
"That’s the point!" Wash said.
"And/or DUH," North added.
"What would you do with a tiger?"
"What wouldn’t you do with a tiger?” Wash answered.
"I remember this being a bad idea…"
"Look who called the sober police," North added, and then stuck out his tongue. "Have a heart for adventure, York. Tigers, they’re…predators…and…"
"And?" York encouraged.
"And don’t…can’t live on spaceships and Wash, what the hell are you doing?"
Wash looked at his companions, his face full of patient disbelief. “Space tigers are better than any other kind of tigers, and how do you think they’re made, anyway? By taking boring normal tigers into space. I’m furthering evolution.”
North and York exchanged a meaningful glance, after two unsuccessful tries at keeping eye contact, and North swiftly knocked Wash unconscious. “I think he’s had too much,” North said, before giggling.
"Let’s go find Maine," York muttered, walking over and taking one of Wash’s arms while North grabbed the other. "I hate being the grown-up."
These days, before we talk about misogyny, women are increasingly being asked to modify our language so we don’t hurt men’s feelings. Don’t say, “Men oppress women” – that’s sexism, as bad as any sexism women ever have to handle, possibly worse. Instead, say, “Some men oppress women.” Whatever you do, don’t generalise. That’s something men do. Not all men – just some men.
This type of semantic squabbling is a very effective way of getting women to shut up. After all, most of us grew up learning that being a good girl was all about putting other people’s feelings ahead of our own. We aren’t supposed to say what we think if there’s a chance it might upset somebody else or, worse, make them angry. So we stifle our speech with apologies, caveats and soothing sounds. We reassure our friends and loved ones that “you’re not one of those men who hate women”.
What we don’t say is: of course not all men hate women. But culture hates women, so men who grow up in a sexist culture have a tendency to do and say sexist things, often without meaning to. We aren’t judging you for who you are but that doesn’t mean we’re not asking you to change your behaviour. What you feel about women in your heart is of less immediate importance than how you treat them on a daily basis.
You can be the gentlest, sweetest man in the world yet still benefit from sexism. That’s how oppression works.
Giving pep talks to friends on facebook about their lives post physics, like I know what the fuck is going on in mine and totally wasn’t having a minor meltdown just an hour ago.
Glad to know I can still bullshit convincingly.