28 April 2006

Miracles, Chap. 2

Deborah Johnson grew up in California, in a small coastal community sandwiched between two other small coastal communities at an unidentifiable point along the line of identical small coastal communities that compromises the California coastline. She was raised by her mother, a woman who never married and pretended that her status as an unwed mother made her a societal outcast. Being California, nobody really cared about her marital status, and she was the life of many neighborhood parties. This was, again a result of being in California, how she came to be with child in the first place.
Ms. Johnson tried to teach her daughter to be like her: self-sufficient, confident, and capable. These things Deborah learned but she also learned that there was no need to have a man around the house at all. With a proper reference book and a bit of elbow grease, there wasn't anything a woman couldn't do alone except conceive a child. Judging by the parties her mother attended, men would line up for blocks to participate in that event, while some methods of conception meant that the man didn't have to be in the same state, or even alive.
That isn't to say that there was a shortage of suitors for young Deborah. She was quite pretty and many boys in her schools attempted to court her. This mostly involved holding her bags at the mall while she flitted from store to store with other girls her age. The conversations of the girls on such outings never varied from a finite set of topics; who was or wanted to date whom, who had or wanted to fight whom over who was or wanted to date whom, clothing, jewelry, other fashion accessories, and how stupid and immature they felt the boys under discussion were. The last subject was always Deborah's favorite, and she would raise her voice when giving her reasons for feeling that all boys were stupid and immature so that her “date” could clearly see that she felt nothing but hatred for him. Under such conditions, being gossiped about in front of one's face and subjected to an endless barrage of ridicule and torment, it was of no surprise that few boys tried to “hang out” with her a second time, and none had the stomach for a third.
This continued as Deborah progressed through high school, and into college, where she took on journalism and women's studies as her majors. She devoted herself wholeheartedly to her studies, and her hard work paid off as she spent her summers interning for the dominant local paper and the area's network affiliates. She became part of one of the college population's many small cliques, one in which none of the women could sustain a relationship for more than a few weeks. This led to Deborah and her friends being the subject of many vicious and not entirely unfounded rumors about their opinions of men.
Towards the end of her senior year, still having not had any relationship with a man that she felt to be meaningful or of any importance, she landed the job opportunity of a lifetime, which happened to be at Lifetime Network. As a junior script consultant, it fell to her keen eye and red ballpoint pen to ensure that certain objectionable and offensive material never made it through to production. She worked with several other women to ensure that no male character exhibited any traits that might, to the network's audience, mitigate their inherently dangerous and boorish behavior.
The job suited her perfectly. She believed in the importance of her work to the core of her being. The pay, even for such a low position, was twice again what any of her male classmates could hope to get in an entry level position. The health insurance left nothing to be desired, while flex hours allowed her to finish up her college studies. The company was even eager to pay her tuition so that her studies could continue indefinitely.
With her new employers support, and surrounded by a cadre of women unwilling to challenge her beliefs about the uselessness of men, Deborah thrived. She secured her diploma, and entered the master's program for women's studies. Leaving her journalism career behind, she began dabbling in the other socio-ethnic studies programs.
It was in one of these side programs, tangential to her goals of a master's degree and possible doctorate in women's studies, that a very peculiar thing happened. She was correcting the instructor, a bossy Japanese woman advocating the destruction of male-dominated western civilization so that the gender-neutral societies from the rest of the world could rise up to fill the void, on the fallacy of allowing any male voice, regardless of their originating society, to be heard when men were clearly not capable of even cleaning up after themselves, when the person next to her agreed so vociferously that it seemed at first, both to Deborah and the rest of the class, that he was arguing with her. It was while he continued her tirade on the evils of men that she realized that she found him rather pleasing to the eye. When the teacher began groveling obsequiously to this man for her unintentional downplaying of masculine vileness, Deborah began to grow faint.

Goe, flipping between stories.

No comments: