Slave School: Equal Rights? For lilfluff

From my call for gender prompts and [personal profile] lilfluff‘s commission comes a discussion at the Cali Slave School on the Rights of Man. Err, Males.

“Aren’t you going to hold the door for me?” Steve teased. Jill wrinkled her nose at him, and did not hold the door. Pointedly.

“You know very well that’s not what that was about. It’s not like everything just turned one-eighty from home.”

“Well, no,” Seth argued, pointedly holding the door for the rest of them. “I mean, back in the States, women and men have equal rights.”

“Under the law,” Jill couldn’t help but point out.

“Well, what other kind of rights are there?”

“Social rights,” Debbie offered. She flopped in her accustomed place in Jakub’s chair; normally he didn’t mind, but today he glared at her.

“Like having your own goddamned chair when you want it?”

“Woah.” She slipped out of the chair to the floor. “Sorry.” Her tone said she was anything but.

“Cut him some slack,” Jill advised gently. “They’ve just found out they’re 1890’s women.”

“Yeah,” Seth pointed out, “but it’s not the eighteen-hundreds anymore. Women don’t get treated like that back home.”

“Depends on the woman, and the man,” Debbie argued, trying to get comfortable on the floor. With a glance to be sure it was all right, Jill settled onto Seth’s bed, watching the guys process that.

“I never treated anyone like that,” Steve asserted angrily. “Second-class citizen.” He tugged on his collar roughly, the steel cutting into his bullish neck. “Fucking second-class second-class citizen.”

“Wouldn’t that make you a fourth-class citizen?” Carl, who had been quiet through the whole thing, offered this bit with a small smirk. Jill wondered what he thought of the whole mess; of all of them, he’d been the quietest all along.

“Not. Helping. Man.” Steve yanked hard on the collar again. “That’s shit. And not only is it shit, they have to explain it all, like it’s right or something.”

“‘A woman’s place is in the home,’” Debbie countered.

“Again,” Seth argued, “eighteen-ninety, not the two thousands.”

“Dude, my grandmother thought I should go into nursing. Or maybe teaching. Good, womanly jobs.” Debbie’s voice rose louder and louder. “So don’t tell me that shit ended in the eighteen hundreds.”

“Legally, though, women got the right to vote at the beginning of the twentieth century in the ‘States,” Seth soothed.

“Well,” Jill interjected, before this could get further out of hand, “neither of us have that now. As far as rights go, Debbie and I have about one more right than you guys, and I hope to God we don’t have to use it anytime soon.”

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9 thoughts on “Slave School: Equal Rights? For lilfluff

  1. Well. They at least haven’t been officially declared, “Lowest of the low.” And they’ve got school to learn all these things. They won’t even be stuck with a tuition bill. Of course since that’s because whoever buys them will pay it… Hmm. I kind of like the idea they might at least be guaranteed the right to name their own children. Even if it is sort of a backhanded right.

    • This was tricky to write, but I pulled on straight white middle-class male friends of mine and discussions I’ve had with them about privilege.

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