MICHAEL: Do you want to check out the new inflatable sculpture installation in Chelsea this weekend? The Voice said the artist’s optimal suggestions of the negative space are a powerful statement on today’s political climate.
ALEXANDRA: No. We have to double down on social justice this weekend. I choked on Wednesday and I can’t handle the guilt.
MICHAEL: Remind me what happened Wednesday? Did 45 accuse Hillary of sneaking into his closet and scotch taping all his ties while he slept? Was someone detained?
ALEXANDRA: The Women’s Strike. I went to get dressed that morning and panicked. Everything in the closet was so tidy, nestled in perfect little boxes thanks to the new Elfa system you had installed after we finished that KonMari intensive seminar at the 92nd Street Y. But it felt like my clothes were mocking me more aggressively than Samuel Jackson going after Ben Carson. I was all insecurity — do I wear red? Keep it casual? If so, which empowered T-shirt? The nasty woman one? The future is female? Nevertheless, she persisted? Keep your rosaries off my ovaries? Feminist AF? Maybe stay subtle with the vintage Lilith Fair tank? Or should I just throw back on my punjammies and stay in bed?
MICHAEL: Don’t worry, my sweet revolutionary. There will be another protest next week, I’m sure. The Climate Change March is next month. You just have to stay informed on the issues and…
ALEXANDRA: WHAT ISSUES ARE WE SUPPOSED TO FOCUS ON, MICHAEL? Every. Single. Day. He attacks something I love. And I’m not just talking about Barry.
MICHAEL: Wait. It’s my turn to be the levelheaded, strong one again? Already?
ALEXANDRA: I am a feminist, but that doesn’t mean I won’t have moments of weakness. And yes, I realize that by admitting I have feelings and emotions I’m reaffirming all the horrible things the GOP says about women and their ability to hold positions of power but I can be a competent, levelheaded professional AND have “the feelings,” can’t I? Isn’t that a core tenet of feminism?
MICHAEL: You’d have to ask Kellyanne now that she’s joined the feminist club.
ALEXANDRA: Oh, for the love of edamame hummus, she did, didn’t she? Seriously. If I wasn’t so opposed to derogatory words rooted in misogyny I would have quite a few names to call her. None of them “feminist” by the way.
MICHAEL: Last week I read an article, maybe in Mother Jones? Anyway, it said that evolved intersectional feminists are using the term “womanists” now.
ALEXANDRA: I’m pretty sure no feminist nor womanist worth her salt has to rely on her husbands to remind her of the correct empowerment terminology. I’ve failed. I might as well go ahead and take your last name at this rate.
MICHAEL: You don’t have to get nasty.
ALEXANDRA: Yes, Michael. Yes, I do. I HAVE THE FUCKING T-SHIRT. And feminist or not, I need you to pull me out of this emotional root-vegetable spiralizer. We’re a team, right? STRONGER TOGETHER, MICHAEL. Stronger together.
MICHAEL: Fine. But tomorrow I’d like to have a nervous breakdown about healthcare reform. Can we pencil that in? Going freelance sounded like a much better idea LAST year.
ALEXANDRA: TOMORROW WE COULD BE FLEEING CIVIL WAR.
MICHAEL: You watched another Keith Olbermann video, didn’t you?
ALEXANDRA: I’m watching When We Rise and reading Hidden Figures. And I’m scared shitless. Our generation has no comprehension of adversity, Michael. We weren’t built for rations and protests and bread lines. I spent twenty minutes yesterday watching YouTube videos on how to grow avocado plants from the pits. I peeled an avocado pit, Michael. And I stabbed it with those wheat grass-infused, handle bar-mustache adorned toothpicks you ordered from Etsy. Then I watched it sit in a cup of water for over an hour and NOTHING HAPPENED. WHAT IF I CAN’T GROW AVOCADOS, MICHAEL? I need to know that if civilization as we know it ends, I can still have some goddamned avocado toast!
MICHAEL: You have as much chance of growing an avocado in this climate as you do fermenting the free-range yeast necessary for the un-sprouted, artisanal wheat berry brioche you insist said toast be made with.
ALEXANDRA: STOP NITPICKING AND NURTURE ME, YOU ASSHOLE.
MICHAEL: Look, why don’t you sit down and listen to the “Yes We Can” speech again. That always…
ALEXANDRA: I’ve let down all of womanhood, Michael.
MICHAEL: Wait, what? Because of that Bernie video you liked on FB?
ALEXANDRA: I didn’t strike hard enough. I just know it.
MICHAEL: You read that article in the Atlantic about how the mere ability to strike was the absolute definition of privilege, right?
ALEXANDRA: I did. And it’s all true. But look what the women of Dublin did! They shut that city down! I binge-watched The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and ate Indian delivery with disposable utensils out of non-recyclable styrofoam.
MICHAEL: So you did strike! How empowering!
ALEXANDRA: I may or may not have sent a few work emails from my Apple watch. But I never opened the MacBook, I swear. Still, I felt anything but empowered. At one point I found myself sobbing while spooning Kittery Klinton and listening to an a cappella version of “Girls Just Want to Have Fun(damental Rights)” on the iPad. It felt like November all over again. I’ve only been carrying the knowledge that half my country thinks I’m “less than” for half a year. How do people do this for a lifetime?
MICHAEL: Well, Alex. I don’t think they have any other choice. I think that’s the point.
ALEXANDRA: Did you read that letter Barry posted from some Indian woman with a note saying he was so proud of Michelle? “I’m in,” the woman in the letter was saying. That she was ready to be a part of global social change. Meanwhile I couldn’t even fully commit to stop being a woman for just one day.
MICHAEL: I don’t think you were supposed to stop being a woman.
ALEXANDRA: No? NO, MICHAEL? Just being completely devoid of a gender sounded more achievable than that medley of requests they sent out. “Stay at home so no one can objectify you. Don’t stay at home and do unpaid domestic work. Don’t prepare any meals. Don’t spend any money in restaurants. Do all of those things while wearing red, the color of love and menstruation.”
ALEXANDRA: THERE IS NOTHING GROSS ABOUT THE REPRODUCTIVE CYCLE, OPPRESSOR.
MICHAEL: I’m sorry, Alex. You’re right. I should be flogged with fallopian tubes. Sometimes the old thoughts break through. You can take the boy out of the red state…
ALEXANDRA: I know we’re being eco-conscious here but do we seriously not have a single paper bag in this place? I just got an email alert that 45 signed another executive order. I’m not sure this hemp tote from The Strand will cut it if I start hyperventilating again.
MICHAEL: Why don’t I run out and grab a bottle of wine and some tapas from the place down the street? I know they quit using the biodegradable take-away containers made from corn fiber, but then we’ll have a few extra paper bags on hand for tomorrow when we’ll have to figure out how best to hoard anxiety meds and birth control while our already shitty healthcare system crumbles.
ALEXANDRA: I suppose you can’t save the planet and yourself at the same time. Lucky for us Mother Earth didn’t get in on that strike business. Yet.