Guest post and photos from Linn, my feminist friend and summer roommate from Sweden!
The only time an intern in D.C. couldn’t wait for the happy hour to actually end.
It’s mid July, it’s hot and I sweep, as discrete as I can, the sweat out of my face one more time. It’s Washington D.C. and happy hour at a small pub downtown. I’m there with one of my roommates and her friend. Let’s call him X. X and I are just doing the obligatory background conversation.
X: So, what does your dad do?
Me: He has a small advertising company.
X: And what about your mum, does she work?
Silence. In a few seconds, maybe three. Or maybe just two. I consider my different options in silence. My mind goes something like this:
a) Make a big scene for the sake of female rights. Maybe I can pour my beer over him? But then again, no. I’ve paid for that beer and unfortunately my economical resources don’t welcome actions that consist of pouring it out.
b) Trying to explain that In My Home Country… the female rights have come a bit further than in this country where men chain their wives in front of the stove and expect pie for dinner every day. But than again, no. I can probably not expect that a young male human being should be smart enough to understand the irony between the lines in such a statement.
c) The last option, start That Discussion.
So, to sum the situation up: we have three sweaty, slightly tipsy interns fed up about politics after working with it all day, versus That Discussion. That Discussion that never is pleasant, that always leaves at least half of the company with a bitter aftertaste and the other half, often containing of me and other females, with a aftertaste of that good arguments never are enough when people have a penis and think that traditions actually are something very beautiful and valuable.
The ones realizing the pleasure in lie back in a chair with a cold beer on a hot day and only have shallow and safe discussions have probably won a big existential victory.
But then again, no. I might not be able to pour my beer out, but this young man is going down! And it can’t happen fast enough. So I breathe in, ready to start…
Me: IF my mum works? If she works? It’s 2010 and that you even consider something else… Now let me tell you something…
And that might be the first time in history, an intern in D.C. actually want the happy hour to be over as soon as possible.