Mansplaining: Policing of Women’s Choices Edition (a short film)

A woman [DUMB GIRL] has announced on Facebook that she is moving to another (bigger) city in a two-week period. She has also posted links to a bunch of stuff she’s selling on Craigslist, including a house, a super nice car, and a lot of furniture.

She has been dating a guy who lives in the city she’s moving to for a while, but for less than a year.

She also has a job offer at a great company where she will be making more money than anywhere in her current city is capable of offering her, doing work she not only enjoys but that she’s extremely experienced at. The new job will also give her more time to pursue creative work and travel.

Fade in — interior. Day. DUMB GIRL is sitting in front of a computer, playing with her hair. MALE CHORUS [a group of diverse yet somehow indistinguishable dudes] is standing in a huddle on the other side of the room. They are all acquainted with DUMB GIRL, but don’t actually know the details of what’s going on in her life, and they don’t really want to ask.

MALE CHORUS

Please don’t tell me you’re moving for a boy.

DUMB GIRL

Yes, I am! He offered me candy. (giggles)

INTERIOR MONOLOGUE OF STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER (offscreen)

I’m fucking 35 years old. If I want to move somewhere for a boy, or a man, or a woman, or a piece of cold chicken, I can do whatever the hell I want. Also: when I was 22, I moved 3,000 miles across the country to a part of the country where I had neither friends nor family nor job nor any savings nor anything other than a car and some clothes, all for a boy. I survived, surprise! To top it off, I learned a lot. I now have a job, and investments, and life experience, and I’m moving somewhere that there are friends and family.

MALE CHORUS

Why are you selling your car? Don’t they have roads in Austin, Texas?

DUMB GIRL

I don’t know if they have roads there! Haha! Isn’t it a pretty car?

INTERIOR MONOLOGUE OF STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER

I’ll be living in a city where I can walk to my job. Parking is also prohibitively expensive there. Also, did I mention I’ll be doing contract and freelance work and don’t really want a monthly car payment? Taking it with me is a hassle.

MALE CHORUS

You shouldn’t sell your house. You should rent it out on Air BnB and get more equity in it.

DUMB GIRL

I do love that house! But it’s okay because I have a place to stay when I get to Texas! (super cute shrug emoji)

INTERIOR MONOLOGUE OF STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER

You have no fucking idea how much equity I have in that house. If I can get just what that house is worth I can pay off my student loans and have money leftover for another down payment, or more investments, or traveling. The market is hot right now. I’m not interested in trying to manage a rental property from 800 miles away. Also renting depreciates the value unless you’ve got stellar renters and guess what, those are super difficult to find.

MALE CHORUS

Aren’t you going to want your furniture when you get to Austin?

DUMB GIRL

Heeheehee IDK I thought I’d be sleeping on the floor! It sounds fun!

INTERIOR MONOLOGUE OF STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER

I’m downsizing from a three-bedroom house to a one-room apartment. I don’t need two beds, four couches, five chests of drawers, a dining room table with six chairs, and a breakfast nook table. I’m leaving my king-size bed and bedroom set until I sell the house. It’s great for staging. And I would like to have some money during the transition.

MALE CHORUS

Don’t make such a rash decision!

DUMB GIRL

But I LOVE rashes!

INTERIOR MONOLOGUE OF STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER

I’ve been planning this for months! I couldn’t post it on Facebook until I put my two weeks’ in at my current employer. I also couldn’t put my house up for sale until then or sell my furniture until I was ready to move out. I’m not an idiot. All of my friends have known this since day one! In fact, my mother and my therapist both agree this is going to be good for me.

MALE CHORUS

That sounds like something an abuser would do — get a woman away from her roots, her friends and family.

DUMB GIRL

Yeah, I do whatever men tell me to do. Especially abusive men!

INTERIOR MONOLOGUE OF STRONG FEMALE CHARACTER bursts from the head of DUMB GIRL, taking the form of a monstrous beast with rolling eyes, foaming at the mouth. MALE CHORUS retracts in fear.

None of this is any of your business! I don’t have to justify my choices to you! I don’t need your unsolicited advice or opinions on my life! You don’t know anything about what’s going on with me!

Roars. Other STRONG FEMALE CHARACTERS rush in from all sides and begin to eat the members of the MALE CHORUS. Blood is spattered across the room. Limbs are thrown. The computer is smashed to pieces by what appears to be a man’s leg. There is much male screaming and female roaring. Fade to black.

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