I’m tired of your sexist friends.
I’m tired of your frat boy friends in their forties who think Yeager bombs and keg stands are the pinnacle of a successful evening. Who openly brag about hot chicks they can bang. Who refuse to grow up like it’s a badge of honor.
I’m tired of your sexist friends who for years have prided themselves in finding our interests inferior, whose inarguable knowledge encompasses the common sense notion that their interests are the default, making our beliefs, by default, the non-default. Our movies, our music, sub-par. Our taste in books scoffable. Our preferences our problem, to put away in the linen closet after we finish the laundry.
I’m tired of your sexist friends who mock emotion and openness. Who glorify the subjugation of feeling and who worship in the church of non-feeling. To whom the suppression of reality is a triumphant and laudable feat. Who throw javelins of not caring and jump hurdles of shedding tears with merely a scratch.
I’m tired of your friends whose alcohol and drug consumption could table a small village. Who drink away their problems. Who deride anyone who doesn’t.
I’m tired of your sexist friends who whom our bodies are a conquest. To whom the suffering of subservience to the narrowed-down and particular Single One is met with entitlement and obligation. To whom the body has a job, and the body not doing The Job is a capital offense.
I’m tired of your sexist friends who embrace divorce like the Final Frontier. Who encourage each other to get out and “get laid” once again. Who act like signing paperwork acknowledging a failure of promises and a life of hope and love is an act of defiance. Of freedom. That you’ve escaped. That everything that happened before was wrong. That now it can finally be right. And by right, they mean by banging a lot of chicks and getting wasted. By right, they mean by rejecting anything the woman has ever said.
I’m tired of your sexist friends thinking the twenty-year-old versions of themselves were the best possible versions.
I’m tired of your sexist friends who don’t even bother to hide it. Who invite couples to attend while putting caveats on the seating arrangements. Who designate the comfortable armchairs for the men, and shared seating for the women. Who expect their friends to control their women who have the audacity to sit in the man’s chair. Who look askance at a woman who presumes her equality when clearly there is none. Who expects the partner to ask her to move. I’m tired of your friends who accept you most when you put your woman in her place.
I’m tired of your sexist friends who openly resent women’s fashion magazines, yet own four gaming consoles.
I’m tired of your friends who openly mock us. Who deride us for our expectations. That we expect them to be equal partners. That we expect them to be involved fathers. That we expect respect. That we expect to be met where we are. That we expect their time and consideration. I’m tired of your friends who can’t be convinced to speak respectfully, even of their own wives, meaning I, your wife, am no exception.
I’m tired of your friends who furrow their brows in annoyance when we speak. When we say things they don’t want to hear. When the TV is too loud, when they’re staying past their welcome, when their statements are too hateful. When we say what we feel and have the audacity to expect we have rights. Their twisted mouths. The roll of their eyes. The exchanged glances with undertones that say, what a bitch.
I’m tired of your sexist friends who openly approve of me when I look pretty, but whose approval is conditional when I open my mouth.
I’m tired of the tacit understanding that we are the enemy, whose sole purpose in life is to destroy happiness. Who think nothing of what we sacrifice so you can play. Who leap to assuming the worst: that we aren’t just tired or want a break from the infant, but that we are actually jealous of your fun and resentful enough to bring it to and end. Who think of nothing but themselves so assume that others do as well. Who are small minded enough to believe that we are, too.
I’m tired of your friends who still think they will ever be in a band.
I’m tired of your friends who hold you responsible for the imagined offenses they presume I’ve committed. Who confront you instead of me. Who presume you will get the little lady in line. Who hold your decades-old friendship emotionally hostage because they believe that this woman has behaved so badly that you are not deserving of their forgiveness.
I’m tired of your friends whose beef against me is finally standing up for myself. Is realizing after all these years that my music is fine, the division of labor is unreasonable, and that I am equally deserving of the nice chair.
I’m tired of your sexist friends who have put me in the back for twenty years.
But most of all, I’m tired of you for permitting it.
I’m tired of you, for being sexist, too.