What we talk about outside the library

This actually happened. Earlier this afternoon.

I was walking past one side of the library – the local branch of the library, which is a nice old Carnegie one –

and I went around that corner you see there and approached a middle-aged couple hanging out at that brick wall you see, which around the corner is at the right height to sit on. The man was lighting a cigarette just as I got near them, which made me do my internal grumpy protest at the universe, but then I was distracted from that by what he was saying, in a loud brook-no-denial voice. “That’s the problem with women here in Washington.” Pause. I had just passed them so I turned to look, at that, then turned back. “They think they have so many god damn rights.” Pause. “They’re not responsible.” Then I was out of earshot.

I’m not making it up.


  1. yazikus says

    Sadly, I’m not surprised. I had an experience at work that seems similar. I work in a very conservative, republican leaning office. Normally I just stay mum about politics, etc. One day, everyone was complaining about Obama, so I thought, well, I have a legitimate criticism of Obama, I should join in! I mentioned that I had recently signed a petition at We the People to ask the Obama administration to “stop using the othering language of ‘wives, mothers, daughters’ when talking about women’s issues”. My male boss looked at me suspiciously, and said slowly, “You, you are some kind of….. women’s… rights advocate, aren’t you!”. I was like, “Uh, yes. I suppose you could say that, yes.” He was just so scandalized, and I kicked myself for stepping in it when I thought I was just joining in with the old anti-Obama office banter. Luckily, he is gone now.

  2. Maureen Brian says

    That’s a handsome library you have. Interesting to see stone mullions like that so far away.

  3. Alex says

    I can only assume that the guy is a feminist complaining about many women in the state being irresponsibly unaware of discrimination (“they think they have so many god damn rights”, when they really don’t, making them too complacent rather than supporting equal rights advocates like yourself.) 😀

  4. Pierce R. Butler says

    The man was lighting a cigarette …

    Probably one made of tobacco, too. What a waste of a Bic-flick. (sigh)

  5. says

    @yazikus says August 16, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    Sadly, I’m not surprised. I had an experience at work that seems similar…

    Sorry to hear about that experience. Work can be a tricky place to talk about politics. There’s tripwires that are hard to see until you hit them. I can only imagine what union organizers go through! It sounds like your ex-boss was caught by surprise as well.

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