I accidentally made this really long, so sorry about that. there were just so many things to sass about
Every morning Bruce’s alarm goes off at 5:30 sharp, waking him for his secretarial job at the big ad agency downtown. A competitive position, Bruce considered himself lucky to have snagged it, and although he’d like to think that his college degree had some play in the decision, he knows that most of it was his physical appearance – after all, no powerful woman in this city would be seen with an ugly secretary; that’s just plain embarrassing.
And so Bruce wakes up bright and early each morning, giving himself enough time to primp and prepare himself for a long day of subordinance at the office. His face routine probably takes the most time, involving a regimen of anti-aging, anti-wrinkle creams that he applies liberally to his 25 year old skin (because it’s never too early to start fighting the aging process, as his father would say), followed by an expensive foundation to try and hide the fact that he, like every other human, has pores and the occasional imperfection. After that he spends a solid 15 minutes painstakingly contouring his face in an attempt to gain cheekbones like Kyle Kardashian, and then of course he fills in his perfectly manicured brows, trying to achieve the popular silhouette that all the successful men seem to have. Finally looking somewhat presentable, Bruce moves on to his closet where his self-confidence takes its daily nose dive.
None of his expensive tailored suits seem to fit quite right… These pants don’t fit like they used to, he worries; and this shirt makes me look so fat, what is wrong with me?? He tries on outfits and then promptly removes them after staring critically at himself in the mirror, tearing his body apart for all of its flaws. Ever since he was a little boy the idealized man was all he ever saw in the media… those perfectly-thin-yet-muscled men with airbrushed skin and long legs; the kind of men that were in every movie and in every single commercial, using their sexuality to try and sell things like beer and sports cars to the women. The worst of all were the Victor’s Secret models, marching across that runway with their perfect bodies in their scandy little silk boxers. Women expected men to look like that, but in reality, very few men had bodies like the photoshopped Victor’s Secret models. But that’s something that the women just wouldn’t accept, shaming men for their realistic body types, driving some to extreme diets, over-exercising, and even eating disorders.
Finally dressed and made up, Bruce grabs a handful of almonds and some lemon water and heads off to work. As usual, even though it’s not yet 9 am, he’s met with the persistent cat calls and crude comments of women huddled at street corners, some of them even getting aggressive when he ignores them. He feels much safer once he’s at the office, but that’s because he knows to avoid the receptionist woman who always tries to take a swipe at his ass and calls him “sweetcheeks”. He tried to file a sexual harassment complaint once to the HR lady, but she just told him that “girls will be girls” and left it at that.
Bruce spends his day filing, answering calls, and running errands for his boss, Lindsey. Lindsey likes Bruce, but she laughed in his face when he came to her asking for a raise so that he would get paid just as much as his coworker, Alice. Afterall, they do the same exact things under the same job title, but “she’s a woman so obviously she deserves to be paid more”. However, Bruce secretly dreams that one day he could be on the creative team and making decisions and truly contributing instead of just being on the sidelines, but he knows that that’s unlikely to happen, being a man in a woman’s world.
At the end of the day Bruce walks home, his finger resting on the trigger of his mace spray just in case. It’s dangerous to walk the city streets as a man once the sun sets – there are always women just waiting to prey on a man with his guard down, taking their bodies for themselve. Rape is far too common, but Bruce doesn’t even see the point in reporting it if it was to happen to him, because he knows that he’ll just be blamed for dressing too promiscuously and “asking for it”. So he chooses to walk fast and hold his mace at the ready.
Once he’s home Bruce likes to work out and eat a small spinach salad to keep his figure in check. He enjoys television, but it annoys him that women always have the leading roles. It seems like the men are only there half the time for brief comic relief or to look sexy, but oh well, that’s how the world is. However, there’s an election coming up so he enjoys watching the debates, especially since the first male candidate is running this year! Bruce and many other men around the country, especially his fellow meninists, are strong supporters of Henry Cables, who preaches that he’ll finally give men an equal voice, close the wage gap, and try to bring more gender equality to a female-dominated society. Henry is leading the nomination for the democratic ticket, but Bruce worries that his republican competitor, the brash Danika Trump, will end up winning the election. Danika has the support of many of the women in the country, especially the white conservative ones who fear losing their power to any minority group. Bruce hates Danika – especially the way she objectifies men and torments other candidates on the appearances of their husbands.
Bruce hopes that Henry will win and make history as the first male president of the USA. Growing up, Bruce was always disheartened when the majority of people he learned about in history were women. The president’s song the 5th grade class had to memorize and perform? All women. The report on an influential scientist in the 20th century? All women. However, there was a small 3-page excerpt with a tiny photograph and everything in his American History textbook about the men’s suffrage movement, so that was nice at least. Bruce went to college with hopes that he could one day make history and elevate men to the level of women, but despite all of his hard work and efforts in class, the women still got most of the professor’s attention. And even with graduating in the top of his class, Bruce was unable to compete with women with lesser academic success when looking for a job, so he had to settle with being a secretary. At least he came out of school with an education – many of his friends went to college simply searching for a “Mr. Degree”, and usually dropped out to get married to some rich woman and raise the kids when she continued on in the workforce.
Bruce flips off the TV once “Keeping up with the Kardashians” comes on. He’s not up to seeing what new fashion or dieting trend Kyle is promoting. Instead, he goes to bed, praying that one day his future sons will have the same rights as his future daughters.