Freelance Feminism

When I was a little girl I was pretty sure that my dolls could talk. When I was an older little girl I was positive. By the time the paint on their lips had rubbed off, we were discussing Nietzshe and Voltaire. But then I hit the pre-teen years, and my Barbies started having sex instead of talking about philosophy. Which was just as well, I always thought they were being a bit pretentious.
Of course, after picking out the perfect plastic pink furniture for their perfect plastic pink home, it occurred to me that Barbie was old fashioned. I packed them away to rot with the rest of my childhood things. At the time I was trying very hard to make a statement, and unaware of the environmental issues involved, it escaped me that their celluloid bodies would last long after my carbon-based flesh had become gooey compost.
Later rumination about the topic would reveal a latent lesbian sexuality that I packed away with the sunless tanner toned plastic, but that was for later. I believed I was becoming a feminist. This was the point, irony is overly fond of teenagers, at which I truly began to define my role as a women in relationship to men. My Barbies were having sex, and no, I never mentioned any Ken. So I packed them away, a little bit scared of myself, and set out in search for long as I could find it without having to talk to anybody. Shy to the point of transparency, I ducked my way through the social circles of junior high. A natural transition for the socially inept- my melodramatic goth phase came and went. One can only wear so much black before beginning to question that uniform as well.
I mastered the fine art of bullshit, which smoothed my social transitions in high school. I don't remember much about high school. It might have involved chemistry.or maybe just chemical substances... It didn't involve much else.
College came. I hung out with the theatre crowd, and if you don't know what that means about the boys, you're too young to be reading this. I started dating the ones that were mostly straight. Sex was weird. I taped a timeline of European history to my ceiling, so the time wasn't completely wasted. Guys look terribly funny naked, but I've found it's very often inappropriate to inform them of this fact. Problem solved: Just ask me. I know the name of every English king from 1300 C.E. on.
I had just started to work on the French aristocracy when John rolled over. I guess he was done. I started to get up, but he grabbed my arm. I sat back down, and waited for whatever post-coital gem he had decided to share.
"I have class."
"Just a minute.Who were you thinking about?"
"You didn't even look at me."
"Oh. Marie Antoinette." I'd already spent half the night lying on my back for him. I didn't see any need to perform the same favor with my voice, ergo, tactless honesty. Let him eat cake.
" Ok.I was expecting something more along the lines of Johnny Depp."
"If you want to think about Johnny Depp, that's okay with me."
"That's not what I meant-"
" -Of course, I doubt his breasts are as nice as mine."
"I'm sure they're not, but.Amy-"
" -He's got great hair though-"
"Amy." So John didn't last a whole lot longer then the others. I won't finish the rest of that sentence. I was dumped. Complete it with whatever euphemistic phraseology you feel like.
My next boyfriend took me to an art museum. And that was where Barbie got her sex drive back.
I was meeting Darren at the gallery. I saw her standing on a chair. She was wearing these 6-inch platform boots. They were topped with a miniskirt of unknown color, it was covered almost completely by a black silk men's dress shirt, unbuttoned, over a lace shirt visible to the point of questionable legality. She was underage.
She was lecturing, bouncing those little boots around her thighs while arguing with my boyfriend over the superiority of Charles Simic's poetry. Darren was blank, caramel-stuck to his love of Oscar Wilde. Bisexuals are like that.
I moved to support him, but tripped over my own high heels while watching hers. It's very disconcerting, you know, to find yourself enraptured by an underage girl with platform boots.
Darren pleaded me over, and I succeeded this time. I held his arm. He was bored with the argument. I could tell, but I didn't care. She quoted Kenneth Koch, and I quoted Velvet Goldmine. She told me that I smelled like mangoes. I told her that she smelled like oranges. We decided to trade scents.

I forget exactly when it was we kissed. Darren walked out then.