Decades ago, a potential suitor made himself comfortable in our living room. My dad, mom and I were all ears. He was overwhelmed in exasperation that he saw me once, riding with a male friend, with a slight edge of my arm touching the back of his body. That was least carnal to me but I guess the visual not quite translated that way. And with every ostentatious intent, the guy in my living room regained or atleast thought he did. He promulgated that the place of a woman (in this instance, me) was in between a man’s legs (in this instance, him).
The pin drop silence that followed in the room succeeding that comment was deafening in our minds, especially coming from a man, my dad, who is the wittiest guy of his times, known for his diplomacy and political acumen; a woman, my mom, a doctorate in child psychology and women education, author of hundreds of books already; and me, a confident 20-something who was set out to rule the world. Yet, not a single word was uttered to what felt like, forever. He had single-handedly shut us up and none had the enthusiasm to get back with a rebuttal.
In my head, I played that situation again and again in the span of hundreds of micro-seconds during that vacuum. What he just said was the privilege of a thigh gap. I disagreed so much that when I looked up, without saying a word, my mom and dad both had disapproved any continuation of whatever friendship I may have left with the guy. I’ve always been an obedient daughter (my relatives may feel otherwise) whose first and foremost loyalty was and always is to my parents’ ideologies.
Without saying a word, we wished him goodbye while he trotted down our stairs in chauvinistic pride that he’d conquered that room with that exact statement. We sat down to have a conversation that was perhaps the lengthiest and most strategic in our lives. We planned my future. Apparently, while I excused myself for few minutes, he’d also said that the essence of a woman’s existence no matter how affluent she may be, is meant to warm the bed of her man. This, we assumed was directed at my mom, whose doctorate is a waste because she had no higher calling than to sleep with my dad at the end of each day.
That night was the saddest yet most riveting of our lives. My mom and I refused to admit that a thigh gap defined a woman. I am sure Lorena Bobbitt would agree with us. While my dad was focused on how we contributed to such audacity. His analysis was around behavior but my mom and I were excellently stimulated on establishing the supremacy of ours than his. It was a unanimous decision to weed out such people from our lives once and for all.
And we did. While the persiflage of our kindred continued for years to come, we had buried a cold case of a male chauvinistic pig. And we moved on with a lesson learned of when to let go of toxicity that could possibly ruin lives. We are not sure which heart he warmed or what he may have burned down, but we sure saved ourselves from walking into pitiful and incorrigible relationships or humankind.