DAVE: Now, everyone, I think in light of recent happenings with harassment in the workplace, we should begin this meeting by letting our female colleague speak.
(Dave gestures to Cheryl)
ED: I agree. This is vital.
ALEXANDER: Truly great idea, Dave.
CHERYL: Thank you, and—
DAVE: It’s important for us as allies to let you speak.
ED: We’re big-time allies.
CHERYL: Thank you. I—
JACOB: Just one thing, Dave. What if she doesn’t have anything to say? Isn’t it just as bad to force a woman to say something when she doesn’t actually want to say anything?
ALEXANDER: I’m pretty sure that’s sexism. I learned about sexism on a podcast that had a woman on it.
DAVE: Wow. I never thought of that. I guess it’s time that I sit back, shut up, and pay attention.
CHERYL: I actually—
DAVE: Cheryl, it’s okay. You don’t have to speak.
CHERYL (like two decibels louder than usual): I want to speak!
(The men all look uncomfortable.)
ED: Cheryl, you know I’m an ally, but… wasn’t that a little… shrill?
ALEXANDER: Cheryl, I’m so sorry. See, sometimes, when women speak up, men sometimes interpret it as being “shrill,” even though it would seem just fine if a man spoke in the same tone. I learned that from a listicle written by a woman.
ED: I am so sorry, Cheryl. I’m sorry as an ally.
CHERYL: Thank you, Ed. Now—
DAVE: Women are 50% of the nation, they should be 50% of the conversation.
JACOB: Although, we only have one woman and four men in this room, so does that mean that Cheryl gets to speak more than all of us?
DAVE: Yes, I think that’s how it works. Look, I don’t understand equality, I just know I need to do it if I don’t want my name hashtagged all over Twitter.
CHERYL: Actually, if you hired more women, it’d be easy for women to speak 50%—
DAVE (appalled): Cheryl! You know I care deeply about gender equality in hiring. I disregard stereotypes. I just hired you that male secretary!
CHERYL: You fired a woman to do it. And—
DAVE: Do you think your stereotypical female secretary was really happy perpetuating the patriarchy, Cheryl?
CHERYL: I was grooming her for a management position!
ED (sotto): Shrill.
ALEXANDER: I think what Dave is trying to say, Cheryl, is that now that we let Karen go, she’s free to be in a management position anywhere she wants. Or to manage babies! One thing that’s happening right now, Cheryl, is that women think they have to be in the workplace, but it’s actually totally okay to stay home and have children. According to an article I read the title of, women still can’t have it all.
JACOB: Have you thought of that?
CHERYL: Thought of what?
JACOB: Staying home and having children. I mean — and I’m saying this as an ally — it’s not like you’ve contributed a lot to this meeting so far.
ED: Yeah, Cheryl — and I’m also saying this as an ally — maybe the working world isn’t the right place for you.
DAVE: Wow, Cheryl. I’m saying this as an ally — I’m shocked to see you go, but I accept your resignation.
(Cheryl’s head explodes, scattering bloody bits around the room.)
ALEXANDER: So shrill.