I am woman, hear me whisper

Today I was in a room. A room filled with women – and a few men. These women were bright and talented, eloquent and funny. Their positions ranged from super important to junior manager. Collectively we had twelve college degrees between us; some of those were graduate diplomas.

I love to be grouped together with smart women. It is nothing at all like being grouped with whores. You see, when grouped with loose women, you will undoubtedly end up being groped. But, when you are associated with a group of smart women, men will buy you drinks and then grope you because they know you know the meaning of quid pro quo.

Smart women get at least 10 extra hot points. Not so smart women, like me, get five points just by standing next to them – if we keep our mouths shut. Well, maybe that’s just me. And maybe that’s just me being misogynistic. But, I’m pretty sure we can all appreciate the beauty of intelligence.

Together we can do anything. Even end fisting.

I consider myself to have selective intelligence. I’m smart about some things and incredibly dense with others, but from my college transcript you would think I was special. And by special, I mean: “…like some people out there in our nation don’t have maps, and, uh, I believe that our education, like such as South Africa and, uh, the Iraq, everywhere like, such as — and I believe that they should.  Our education over here in the US should help the US — should help South Africa and should help the Iraq, and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future for our children,” special.

My college work is embarrassing, frankly. Don’t get me wrong, I wrote great papers and did well in my English classes, but I didn’t understand I had to actually enroll and attend courses in other subjects. I obviously didn’t graduate with any high honor or Latin ranking and that makes me a bit sad. One day I’ll return to school and give it another shot. At least give school a real chance. And not get sidetracked with every single club or activity that revolved around or happened at the student bar. I would also not join a sorority again – although the sorority did teach me a few things about women, and for that I am thankful.

My freshman year I pledged for a sorority for a total of five minutes. I think the sisters realized that I was up to no good, so we amicably parted ways. It wasn’t until my junior year that I pledged and actually became a sister of another “start-up” sorority. In my application – yes application, just like a job – I was very forthcoming and actually came out. I believe in my interview – yes, interview, just like Millionaire Matchmaker – I even explained how it was hard for me to make friends with women and how I longed for sisterhood.

And I did. I did make friends. And I only slept with one of them. Just one. But aside from her, I learned so much. I learned how women acted both in front of men and behind their backs. I learned how women acted with other women – those that they liked and those that they disliked. I learned that when we would work together, we could do anything, but those times were few and far between because we were too busy holding each other back. Creating cliques. Creating drama. Creating misunderstandings. We were all so young, too. Too young to understand that as soon as we entered the work force, we were going to be patted on the head and shown a glass ceiling. Too young to understand that even if we could activate our network to somehow improve our livelihoods, men would have the final say. Even in the predominantly female professions, like teaching, it is the handful of men that make more money and are in the positions of power. We totally should have let men pledge our sorority, like, such as, South Africa.

Sure, I mock Miss Teen South Carolina for her ridiculous answer. But at least she spoke up. Not at all like the smart women in the room today. No. We all remained quiet and smiled pleasantly, while the few men in the room, a count I could illustrate with one hand, led the conversation. I looked around at each woman, one smarter than the next, hoping they would catch my glare, hoping they could read my mind, hoping they would say something, but they didn’t. At one point, I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to do it. I had to speak, just to speak, just to have the sound of a woman’s voice soften the husky barks between the guys. I had nothing of substance to add, but I didn’t care, something had to be done. And just as I opened my mouth to say something that would have come across as equally dumb as Miss Teen South Carolina, the highest ranking woman in the room spoke up. And right after she finished her brilliantly executed sentence with perfect inflection and grammar, the other women, one by one, chimed in. And before I could even smile about the whole thing, a cacophony of women’s voices filled the room.

After a little while of sitting back in my chair and enjoying the new world order, I noticed the man quietly sitting next to me. I smiled at him. He smiled back. So, I leaned in and whispered, “I know what quid pro quo means.”

Published by Mari

I was born with a widow's peak and a thick accent. I majored in English as a second language. I work (marianeladearmas.com) and travel (alittlecubangoesalongway.com) and sometimes do both.

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