As a 19 year old girl, I was shy and meek and very bad at standing up for myself. I worked at a Denny’s with a lot of creepy and rude customers, and one day a regular customer came in and he asked to borrow my pen. I was the only hostess on duty at the time, and the host stand only had one pen, which I very much needed almost constantly. We usually had more pens but servers would often lose theirs and come raid the host station for replacements. This particular pen was very excellent and I guarded the thing with my life… you all know the kind of pen I’m talking about, super ergonomic design and never runs out of ink and writes on any surface. This pen wasn’t going anywhere, not if I could help it.
Well anyway I told the customer, “oh I’m sorry, I’ve only got the one pen right now and I need it”. He said “don’t worry I’ll give it back when I’m done” and just took it. Well I sucked at standing up for myself and they drilled all that ‘customer is always right’ nonsense into our brains pretty well so I just resigned myself to having to track down another pen. (Not an easy task in that restaurant, there was some kind of black hole for pens there.)
Well another customer, a woman in her 40’s, saw the whole thing go down. After the guy had seated himself, the woman pulled a pen out of her purse, I thought she was just going to give it to me but she actually walked over to the guy, snagged my pen out of his hand, and smacked her pen down on the table and said very audibly “Respect her no.” And then she brought me my pen back. I was so touched by this simple gesture of coming to my defense that I paid for her lunch myself. The whole thing took less than 3 minutes but it honestly taught me so much, it taught me the importance of standing your ground, defending other women, and not letting men get away with ignoring your No. If a man can’t even respect a no on something as simple as borrowing a pen, how could he be trusted to respect you on even bigger issues? Anyway I just think about that incident a lot, the importance of standing your ground and not letting men feel entitled to take whatever they want. Bless that woman, I hope she is having a really excellent life.
FANGIRL CHALLENGE [3/?] male characters » TWELFTH DOCTOR “You call this a war? This funny little thing? This is not a war! I fought in a bigger war than you will ever know. I did worse things than you could ever imagine. And when I close my eyes… I hear more screams than anyone could ever be able to count! And do you know what you do with all that pain? Shall I tell you where you put it? You hold it tight… till it burns your hand, and you say this… No one else will ever have to live like this! No one else will have to feel this pain! Not on my watch!”
I walk into a coworker’s office to get some flyers printed for an upcoming event. As they are being printed at an agonizingly slow pace, she turns to me and asks “Hey Taylor? Are you friends with any artists?” I respond yes, I know some people, what exactly are you looking for? She begins to tell me a story about how she met a student a few years ago who gave her some drawing samples and said she could illustrate a book. This student has 3 jobs and a full coursework load- definitely not enough time to do commissions.
“But her artwork is so beautiful!” my coworker laments as she takes out a sketchbook the student gave to her years ago. Now, I do not know what I expected to see. What I do know is that I did not expect to see manga-style furry artwork. Like, the exact style you would have seen on Deviantart back in 2009, complete with pencil smudges? Lovingly scanned using a library printer? And a caption that would read “XD Smexi~~~”? Something vaguely like this:
You get the point. Anyways, I smile and ask what her book is about- attempting to hide the fact that I am frantically trying to figure out at exactly what moment I had left the administrative office of the history department of my high-level research university and crossed over into the Twilight Zone. A Twilight Zone where grandmothers in university administrative positions hand you the ghost of deviantart regrets past. She looks me dead in the eyes and says “Fornification. I am going to teach the young people about fornification.”
At this point I’m rapidly losing my grip on reality. But that was okay because she launched into a 45 minute lecture about why she wants to write the book. Her lecture she gives spins a rather confusing web- linking the history of anti-black racism in Europe with Chinese politics in less than a 3 minute span. I am still holding a pencil drawing of a catgirl in my hands. My flyers are still printing.
I am almost dissociating by the time she tells me she is going to make Christianity the framework of her book. That’s it, I think, I’ve lost it. I grip my keychain, a gift from my boss, in my hand as if it is my last possession from a former life. I am vaguely congnizant of the fact that she asserted that there is not a single person on the planet who does not believe in a god- and those who are not Christians are just afraid of accepting the existence of Jesus. I don’t argue, I am too tired. I am a broken woman already. I am still gripping a catgirl and my keychain.
She says she wants to teach the young people about all of this so we can all unlock a better future together (with Jesus). She says she know she will be effective because she can see the gears turning and switches flipping in my head. She’s wrong, I’m actually fairly busy astral projecting into the beach scene painting behind her desk. But she wants the illustrations because she wants the book to be fun for the young people to read.
I tell her she should contact some people in the art department.