Ms. Cranky Pants

The other night I attended a reading at Book Soup, an oasis of erudition located smack in the middle of the Sunset Strip.

The program featured a handful of writers who’d contributed to Slake, a new literary magazine that recently launched in Los Angeles. Four fellows came and went, then the magazine’s founders opened the floor for questions.

Immediately, a hand shot up in front of me.

“Will any women be reading tonight?”

This little jab came from a 60-something charmer who probably still burns bras in her backyard.

The two founders (one male, one female) looked at each other, then back at their challenger. Somewhat flustered, they named several prominent female writers whose work appeared in the magazine.

“We extended invitations, but none of them could make it. The women all had better things to do.”

At this, the audience chuckled appreciatively. It was as though we had the same collective response to what amounted to a lame, outmoded accusation.

Just to be clear, I’m very grateful to those who paved the way for my generation, and I’ll concede there’s still work to be done.

Men still make more money on average, but on the bright side, we women are now more likely to earn doctoral degrees.

Someone should have told Ms. Cranky Pants to take aim at the Hustler store down the street.

Nobody is oppressing us at Book Soup. Lord.

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