I’m newly sober and dog-paddling through the booze all around me. Driving home from work, I pass billboard ads for Fluffed Marshmallow Smirnoff and Iced Cake Smirnoff and not just Cinnamon, but Cinnamon Smirnoff. But it also dawns on me that the women are girls (or the flappers).It’s summer, and Whole Foods has planted rosé throughout the store. A local pharmacy, the same one that fucks up my prescription three months in a row, installs self-service beer taps and young men line up with their empty growlers all the way back to Eye & Ear Care. A woman with a single malt scotch is bold and discerning and might fire you from her life if you fuck with her.The women who flip gender norms and false limitations the bird and live to run successful companies giving “the man” a run for his name.The ones who don’t find their success a compliment just because they have a vagina.My job on this panel is to make this place sound good, so I leave some stuff out. “I think this is a great company for women.” My jaw gently opens on its own. “There’s a woman on my team who had a baby last year.Particularly the fact that I’m drinking at least one bottle of wine a night to dissolve the day off of me. She probably learned to read between the lines before she could read the lines themselves. She went on maternity leave and came back, and she’s doing fine. (Okay, I made that last one up.) At the office, every desk near mine has a bottle of wine or liquor on it in case people are too lazy to walk the 50 feet to one of the well-stocked communal bars we’ve built on our floor. “People love this with a shot of bourbon poured over it,” the person taking my order says. ” *** That’s the summer I realize that everyone around me is tanked.Traveling for work, I steel myself for the company-sponsored wine tasting. My plan is to work the room with my soda and lime, make sure I’m seen by the five people who care about these things, and leave before things get sloppy (which they always do). A woman with a PBR is a Cool Girl who will not be shamed for belching.
This is for the women who throw down what they love, and don’t waste time following society’s pressures to exist behind a white picket fence.We’re very supportive of moms.” Guy #3 jumps in just to make sure we have 100% male coverage on the topic. *** Do you remember the Enjoli perfume commercial from the 1970s?“The thing about this place,” he says, “is it’s a meritocracy. The chick who could bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never let you forget you’re a man? For spreading the notion that women should have a career, keep house, at one of those fancy theaters that serves cocktails to blunt the terrible stress of watching a movie in air-conditioned comfort.And merit is gender-blind.” He smiles at me and I stare back. We are tough enough to put up with being ignored and interrupted and underestimated every day and laugh it off together. A few rows ahead of me, a group of women are drinking champagne through straws.I could buy myself a superhero costume and devote the rest of my life to vengeance on mansplainers everywhere. They whoop and holler at the screen as though at an actual Chippendale’s.“If you’re tough and persistent and thick-skinned, you’ll find your way,” I say.