So, I went on this date once - obviously, this was awhile ago - with a fellow grad student (he was in the English Department, I was in the Spanish Department). The conversation turned to our favorite books and authors, and I listed a few I was excited about at the time. I'd just discovered Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis, so that made the top of the list. Sarah Vowell is one of my favorite humorists and my sole source of U.S. history, so she made the 'favorites' cut as well. I believe I was reading Gertrude Stein's Three Lives at the time and wanted to talk about it, and I was also halfway through Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies and loving it (truly a great collection of short stories, I can't believe I haven't read her novel, The Namesake, yet). Anyway, dude looks at me and says, "So, are you -like- one of those girls who only reads books by women?" Seriously, the guy had just given me a list of all of his favorite authors - all of whom were men - and I didn't ask if he only read books by white guys. But, you name too many books by women, and you're 'one of those girls'? Come to think of it, he probably meant feminist... so yeah, I'm one of those. We don't just read books by women though, we also have bra burning parties and hairy leg contests. Sheesh.
That wasn't the worst comment like that I got on a date, though. The worst was when I went out to coffee with a guy who, when I mentioned working with the Women's Center, asked if I was a feminist. I said yes. So he says, "Answer me this, then. If women are as smart as men, why are there no women geniuses?" (No, it wasn't Larry Summers - I'm not that old). I think we both knew it wasn't going to work out by then.
Anyway, those are my two 'bad date' stories from the Your Male Privilege Is Showing category. Anyone else want to share? Ideas for other categories? Feel free to list your favorite lady authors and lady geniuses as well.