When Men Want to Talk Shop
Anon XX
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Not too subtle, was he? Discouraging, but at least it’s not all men. At least not in the circles with whom I’m familiar.

I’m what’s probably considered a third or fourth wave feminist, and even go so far as to label myself a humanist at times simply because I want equality for all, and there’s disparity in many places. But, sadly — women are still lagging behind in too many areas.

True story — I write, and many years ago I sent out a manuscript (you had to always do hard-copy in those days) which I received back in short order with these words scrawled across the cover page, “Unsuitable topic for a female writer” — it was obvious from the condition of the piece that it hadn’t been opened, let alone read.

At first I was crushed, but then I was furious. I decided then and there I’d never submit anything anywhere, under my full name again. And I haven’t — to avoid a knee-jerk gender biased reaction, I’ve used my initials ever since. (That long-ago article? It was about the Vietnam War…)These days I mainly concentrate on poetry and am mostly a poet of witness writing about social justice, domestic abuse, genocide etc. — and yes, I get published.

Keep on keeping on. If you have the nerve and feel safe enough (and this is important — don’t ever put yourself at risk) — call the man/men out. Some guys still really don’t have a clue. Even in these comments (and I’ve only read a couple) — someone is talking about this as being “overblown” — missing the point entirely. Of course, people are probably going to think about each other as mates (at some point) but using the ruse of “talking shop” to hit on someone is deceitful and unworthy. What about that don’t some people get?

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