Asshole walks into a bar...
Bartender says, “Get you a martini?”
Asshole says, “Martini?!? Phooey!” (spits) “That’s a girl’s drink!”
Asshole hoots, “A drink for a GIRL, that’s what it is. Unless I’m a leyyyyyzbeeeeeaaaannnn, right? A lezzzzzzzbo? Because I do like women! Maybe you should fix me a girly marrrr-teeeee-neeee ‘cause I am a lezzzzbeeeeeaaaann.” If the bar wasn’t separating Asshole and Bartender, Asshole would have nudge-nudged Bartender. He did wink.
Bartender, once again, says…nothing. He’s embarrassed. Here’s this guy, using his outside voice, two feet away from five elegant women engaged in what is clearly some form of low key, post-work, intellectual conversation. And the closest woman to the Asshole has a martini in front of her.
See, I’ve never been that great at punch lines, or telling jokes, but if it matters, that woman closest to the Asshole was ME. And as soon as he stopped his loudmouthing (which we all know would have resulted in him asking for a "Bud", despite the fact that he was in a fairly top shelf French bar/restaurant), I said—more to co-worker next to me than directly to him and fanning myself with a wine list, “God, I feel like I can’t breathe.”
Asshole says, “Um, are you okay?”
Me: “Yes, it’s just that sometimes when I become so offended, my lungs just stop working for a moment and I forget to breathe.”
Asshole: “Did I say something to offend you?”
Bartender moves far, far, away to the other side of the bar. I turn on my stool a few degrees so I’m slightly facing Asshole, point to the martini in front of me and say, “Martini.” I point to myself and say, “Girl.” He looks confused. I point to the martini again and say, “girl’s drink? Lesbo?” hoping to refresh his memory.
Asshole: “It wasn’t directed at you…um, er. I wasn’t talking about...”
Because I’d spent the day at work letting irritation and snarkiness build up, and because all I wanted was to drink my fucking martini without some dillweed screaming in my ear, I said, a bit louder, “I am a GIRL who is drinking a MARTINI. I may also a BE a LEZZZZBIAN. That’s offensive.”
Asshole: "But I LIKE women, slur, slur, I really do."
I leaned closer to him and said, "SO DO I."
Asshole mumbles something about me taking his comment the wrong way and exits, stage right. I swear I was two steps away from clocking him on the back of his head if I’d heard “bitch” in that muttering, but I didn’t.
Did it make me feel better? Yes. Do I think Asshole learned anything? Probably not, but he might take a look at his surroundings before launching into a drink request that belonged more at Fatty McDumbass’s Sports Bar.
There was at least one woman of the five who reported later that she was “cringing under the bar” at the exchange. The two at the far end didn’t even hear it. And the one next to me, my pal Al, simply observed and smirked. Should the situation have escalated, I think Al would have been the one to hold me back from ripping Asshole’s hair implants out.
OK, so maybe I am more vigilant than other people. Maybe if I hadn’t been in a foul mood to begin with, and looking forward to that first and second martini to take the edge off, I wouldn’t have said anything. The bartenders are pretty good about making the asshats who’ve spent the day sucking down canned beers on the public golf course behave. But I’ve also done it in other instances. I told a friend recently how the statement “quit being such a girl” bothered me. And I’ve corrected people when they’ve used phrases like “fag” and “bitch” as terms of endearment.
But someone has to do it. Consider hyper-vigilant me the one who balances out apathetic you and takes shit for it on top of it. You can thank me later.
And if no-one ever speaks up, we’ll continue to live in a world where “acting like a girl” is a derogatory statement. "You're such a girl" means you earn 71 cents on every dollar Asshole makes. "You're such a girl" means there's a good chance you won't be taken seriously when you should be. We are girls, we are females, we are women - but don't let them take those things and turn them into reasons why we deserve less, why we should be considered weaker, lacking in intelligence, run by our emotions.
Off my soapbox now. All I ask is that the next time someone tells you that you “run like a girl,” get to the finish line first. And the next time someone tells you that you act like a girl, thank them, then punch them in the neck. My any means necessary, ladies. By any means necessary.