What Happened When I Got “Schooled” By A Woke Feminist
“Every joke is a tiny revolution.”
- George Orwell
It was a stinker of a summer’s day in Park Slope, Brooklyn. I was eating leftover pizza as I cooled off in front of my air conditioner. Myself and K had just gotten home from a day spent frolicking at Fort Tilden. It had taken us 90 minutes each way on our bikes, so I was feeling pretty wrecked as I stuffed my face full of pepperoni pie.
A friend sent me a DM on Facebook. He was going to a rooftop party that night in Bushwick. I checked out the event page. It looked pretty cool. There was gonna be stand-up comedy, live music, and some poetry readings.
I noticed that another friend who lived in Queens, Brent, was also planning to attend the bash. I sent him a text:
ME: Hey dude. My buddy just invited me to a rooftop party tonight in Bushwick. Unless the Zuck’s fucking with me it seems like you’re planning to go too……
BRENT: Hey man! Yep, I’ll be there. Candice is actually gonna be reading a couple of her poems.
ME: Nice. Looking forward to meeting her.
BRENT: Right on. See you in a couple hours!
Brent had been dating Candice for close to two months, but I hadn’t met her yet. I showered, kissed K goodbye, then I carried my bike down my building’s rickety staircase.
The night air was still thick and hot as I pedaled towards Bushwick. That summer I rode my bike every single day and I was fit as a fiddle. After navigating through the traffic on Broadway, I found a 7-Eleven right next to the party house. I grabbed an 18-pack of Modelos, locked up my bike and buzzed up to the party.
It was a pretty ramshackle affair. Stylist chicks gossiped in the hallway. Three black dudes smoked a blunt in the kitchen. A guy with a blue mohawk scrolled through Insta while he waited to use the bathroom.
I found my way up to the rooftop and ran into Brent and Candice. She was bookish, just as I expected. On one of their first dates they’d gone and got drunk at a Medieval Times in New Jersey, and Candice definitely looked like someone who would have fun getting drunk at a Medieval Times in New Jersey. I handed both of them a Modelo.
A punk band from New Orleans was making a hell of a racket, so it was basically impossible to conduct a conversation. The band finished their set and the host of the party grabbed the mic. He was extravagantly gay and dressed like a modern dandy.
“That was amazing, boys,” the host said to the band. “Now, ladies and gents, it’s time for a change of pace. Please put your hands together for Candice who’s going to be our first reader of the night.”
About half of the crowd applauded politely as Candice wandered over to the makeshift stage. She looked nervous as fuck.
Now, in the interest of full disclosure, it’s important I let you know that I’m not really a poetry man. The last time I remember genuinely enjoying a piece of poetry was at the end of the movie In The Bedroom. But I’m definitely open-minded. On that fateful night in Bushwick I was ready to expand my palate.
Unfortunately, Candice’s stuff didn’t do much for me. To be fair, most poets would struggle to follow a punk band on a rooftop with a crackly PA. The first piece was a feminist manifesto on roids, without any discernible through line. At one point she literally said “hear my pussy roar!” non-ironically. A few girls in the crowd whooped in approval, but I struggled to understand exactly what I was meant to be appreciating. Her second joint was more of the same, and after ten awkward minutes she shuffled off the stage.
Brent gave her a hug and some congratulations. Then it was my turn.
“Good job!” I said. “That first piece was powerful. As I was listening to it, I felt my penis go back inside my own body!”
Her face turned.
“Umm, I don’t want to hear about your penis,” Candice said. “Don’t ever say that type of thing ever again.”
It took me a few seconds to realize that she wasn’t joking. Her outrage was sincere. My response was immediate.
“Free speech,” I said with a shrug. “I can say whatever I like.”
She stormed off towards the exit. Me and Brent looked at one another, perplexed. Then he chased after her.
My other friend arrived at the party shortly afterwards. I hung out with him, drank my Modelos, and listened to more bands, poets and comics. There was no sign of Brent and Candice for the rest of the night. When things were starting to wind down, I jumped back on my bike and rode back to Park Slope.
The next day I got a text from Brent.
BRENT: Hey man. Sorry about Candice last night. She was super nervous to read and got too drunk. Was not expecting her to react that way. Was way overboard.
ME: No worries, dude. Makes sense if she was super nervous, no hard feelings. Still had a fun time! Looking forward to the next hang.
I revisited the confrontation in my mind. The fact was, I didn’t enjoy Candice’s poetry. I could’ve just said “good job” and left it at that. Honesty generally is the best policy. But I was trying to endear myself to my mate’s new girlfriend, and that’s why I cooked up a fake and misguided compliment.
The irony here is that what I said was primitively poetic. My penis did not actually withdraw back into my abdomen during her reading. In my twisted mind, I thought maybe a so-called poet would appreciate my bawdy turn of phrase. Evidently not.
Also, “free speech” as an excuse for uncensored expression has been permanently sullied by the Alex Jones’ of the world. I had no issue whatsoever with Candice being offended by my sexualized language. My issue was with her telling me what to say and what to think moving forward.
To give Candice some credit, at least she did her thought-policing and censoring face to face. Usually these battles are fought from behind keyboards.
Ultimately, these dumb little language games are just power trips. The woke who walk amongst us are convinced that the demographic I fall into — straight, white, male and evil — are hellbent on actively maintaining control of society at large. The patriarchy man, the goddamn patriarchy.
Although it seems implausible, this hypothesis could be true. But even if it is, it has absolutely nothing to do with me on an individual level.
In a recent episode of The Bret Easton Ellis Podcast, the notion of “comrade-approved art” was discussed. In this post-Empire world, content that fits the current progressive zeitgeist is shared and celebrated. Work that doesn’t check all the right boxes is sidelined and ignored.
The next stop on this train is censorship. So before we get there, let’s try and live it up a little. You tell me about your roaring pussy, I’ll tell you about my retractable penis, and we’ll all have something to laugh about one day in the gulag.