“How do you get a zombie to respect you? You can’t, because they’re zombies. They are not capable of engaging in rational debate. No civilized dialogue for those people!”
That morning, Peter decided to look up the word ‘misogyny’. He reckoned to do it at the public library: the internet was still down. Once again, it looked like someone was delinquent on their internet bill, and Jared the building manager was sick and tired of sporting the bill.
According to the internet, misogyny literally meant a ‘dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women’. Peter closed his eyes and meditated on that for a second. Well first off, he was attracted to women, but he knew that in this post-modern confusing age, that alone was not a good enough excuse to consider really liking women. Did he hate all women? Peter thought about it for a second. Hell no; if he was truly honest with himself, he had to conclude he hated anyone that ultimately had some secret bad agenda or contempt for his person, but they didn’t necessarily have to be women. There were plenty of manipulating and malicious male douchebags that used to torment him at school during his whole young life. Besides, he had great admiration for Michelle, and Cheryl, and Jamie, and some of the other O.G.’s. But was he prejudiced against women? Well, to do that question justice, he decided to look up what the word prejudice was.
Prejudice, as he discovered, was defined as ‘wanting to inflict harm or injury, that results from some judgment about a person. “Except if that was true” Peter thought to himself, even after all these stupitudes, he really didn’t feel like wanting to kill his accusers just because of their ignorance.
Prejudice was also described as having preconceived opinions about a person that are not based on immediate facts or reason. Peter realized something: technically, not even for his worse female enemies could he pinpoint that he had any preconceived opinions of them that was not based on reason or actual experience.
“Ironic” he thought to himself. “Those two staff members certainly had a preconceived opinion about me that were not based on reason.” They had accused him of being a white male and in sense, downplaying his entire Hispanic heritage, and one of those ding dongs was a white man himself. Peter decided to read further.
Five hours later, Peter regrettably started looking for new apartments. One of his best friends named Cheryl came downstairs to try to talk some sense into him. She was pleading with him not to leave like this, but he kept trying to explain to her in different ways how he realized he couldn’t reason with half the members of the Boatyard under these conditions.
“Truthfully, I’m still trying to figure what I did to piss half of the Boatyard off” he grumbled to her. All he could deduce was that every member accusing him happened to be of the ‘new wave’: that is, anyone who had started to live there right after the Fall of last year, and if he wanted to be technical, participated some sort of protest whose rationale seemed ambiguous at best. In Peter’s mind, this was so messed up: none of the O.G.’s, that is, the men and women, older kids, or most of the minorities like himself (who had actually complied with the original rule of needing to develop an artistic project in order to live here) had ever had any problems with him. The New Wavers were the kids who benefitted from the new rule of the Boatyard that came to be known as the Jubilee lax law. In what might have been the worst recent rule passed in the spirit of tolerance, the Boatyard was no longer a ‘members only’ place where actual professional artists were the only ones who could earn a residency there. Now two dozen recent grads had moved in: all priding themselves in their zeal for social justice.
“But that new policy fucking has nothing to do with actually being an artist that creates stuff” Peter reasoned to Cheryl right before he finally packed up. Two days later, he lucked out finding a beach house right by Barrington Public Beach off Narraganset Bay. The extra $1750 a month, was completely worth it. It would give him time to write his memoirs about this place.
“Damned if anyone reads it anyways; I don’t care!” cried Peter as Cheryl helped load up his car. “I love how everyone forgets that I was the one that orchestrated an actual science clinic in the Boatyard for free. You know; to bring everybody up to speed on learning how to think critically.”
“How do you mean?” asked Cheryl. As he packed, she was following him while a pile of books to the car.
“Four years ago before I moved in, I thought we had gotten rid of racism and ignorant fanaticism of all types out of society” Peter muttered. “But now I finally realized what I should have if I had paid more attention in history class. The human condition of bullshit has a way of recycling its ugly head in a society every twenty five years or so. If these idiots really want social change, you’d think they’d take advantage of a free education, but watch how many of them actually were willing to take the time and learn something that could actually create their own businesses.”
“No I’m not! Like it or not, science and technology is the foundation for any advanced civilization. If that is what they truly want; a civilization independent of all the people that run these corrupt industries, you’d think they’d run towards the opportunity to learn something about science.” He went upstairs and picked up two more big bags and started lugging them to his car while Cheryl helped.
“You know, I even tried to look up the word ‘misogynist’ the other night. I wanted to see what it really meant. It turns out that by definition, I’m not one. These people don’t even know what the fuck they are talking about” he muttered as he threw a backpack into his trunk.
“Misogynist?” asked Cheryl. “I looked up Gaslighting too, which is another thing they accused me of” Peter went on. “It turns out I am not that either.”
“It is an attempt for someone to overthrow someone else’s reality. So if someone believes a complete delusion until you explain that their reality is a complete delusion…then I guess according to them that’s ‘Gaslighting.”
“That does sound pretty convenient” Cheryl admitted. “Gaslighting is an old school term. It is technically making someone think they’re crazy when they’re not. Which is what they do with everyone who is more educated than them and tries to point the irrational error of their ways.”
“Well…some of their ways” put in Cheryl. Peter just frowned at her for a moment and continued packing his car. “Yeah; I should kick myself for having this money, the ability to articulate my ideas properly; this education; this privilege, and not because I had to work my ass off to have a stable job to get to where I’m at” he went on as they walked back up the stairs. “It can’t be because I’m a male, can it?” Half the victims accusing me are physically stronger than him anyway.
“Are you angry?”
“Actually, no” said Peter as they walked back to the car. “This looks like it’s all worked out for the better. My experiences getting kicked out of this progressive gender-equality minority-equality identity politics experiment opened my eyes.” He slammed a bag of books into his trunk none too gently. “Well, yes” he corrected himself. “I am pissed. This is such idiotic bullshit. What about Pete?”
“Yes, what about you?” consoled Cheryl. “Your feelings matter too. It’s ok to be frustrated.”
“No, I mean, the other Peter that lives here!”