Dear MTA Riders of the Male Persuasion,

I know you like to spread your chests wide, inhaling deeply and filling your lungs with that special patriarchal air that is your birthright. I know you need to place your legs in wide stances to give ample room to your massive testicles, which you have inherited after generations of Darwinism have assured only the largest and best scrotum survive. I know you need to mount your body against the entire center subway pole, claiming your land like Columbus. I get that.

Therefore, as a woman who is subordinate to your powerful Y chromosome, I will happily stand in the middle of the subway car, rudderless. A ship out at sea, if you will. Perhaps if I were a little taller, I could reach the bars that run across the ceiling of the cars. Alas, I am diminutive in stature, the result of poor nutrition during a starved adolescence in which I maintained the lowest possible body fat percentage in order to please and honor your standard of beauty in the hopes that you would choose me as your prom date.

I understand that it is advisable, nay, vital that your knees never touch each other. If you have managed to obtain a seat on the subway, somehow persevering against the swarms of greedy, seat-grubbing women of the pregnant and elderly varieties, then I know how important it is that your knees be as far apart as possible. I am sure that there are numerous studies that demonstrate the connection between touching your knees together and an elevated risk of stroke, heart disease, testicular cancer, and feminism.

I would hold the handrails near the door, but you have barricaded your body against them, representing the glass ceiling of the workforce, the science and technology bias, and the American Presidency. Instead, I will ride the train without safety and without support, just like the centuries of women who paved the way for me have done. In these moments, I think of Margaret Sanger, I think of Rosa Parks, I think of Nuria Fernandez, former Chief Operating Officer of the Metropolitan Transit Authority.

Alas, I know it is my lot in life to surf the subway during morning rush hour, as this is the penance I must pay for having the gall to enter the workforce. Luckily, I have a strong set of abdominal muscles at my ready, one that, god willing, will eventually bear dozens of male offspring to carry on your name and superior genetic material.

That is, assuming I do not fall during this train ride and sustain a massive fatal head injury.

Jenna Clark Embrey