Image: an unknown man contemplates things. Image Source.
Seeing as Dick Gaze is the genre that just won’t quit, I thought I’d give it a red hot go and help bring you all closer to the hair, eye colour and loosely interpreted vulnerability of the women I work with everyday. You might think you know the intricate mechanisms of humankind but you don’t. I do. I am King of your thoughts and feelings. And now I am going to explain them to you via my imagined patriarchal belief system in which I know women better than they know themselves, alongside some terribly place adjectives. Did you really read until now?
I walk into the office on a dreary Friday morning, rain streaking down my face and obscuring my usually perfect, handsome vision. But that doesn’t mean I do not see. Emmeline greets me as I walk toward my desk, she is wearing jeans which seem to say, hey use the poetry words you learned during your expensive degree to subtly objectify me, so I do. The denim isn’t quite denim, but something altogether more luminous, her fragile emotional state sewn into the seams, off-blue like her thoughts. She answers a call, it’s about work. I can tell. We laugh together. Or maybe that’s just my laugh. Doesn’t matter, I know she’s definitely laughing on the inside. As she clicks her mouse I stare at her hair because that is why women have hair. It is long, the colour of a sad pony, each soft strand seems to be whispering special secrets to the next soft strand. What are they saying? I wonder. But then I realise I already know. With a writerly flourish, I toss my interview questions romantically on the floor. I don’t need to ask her anything. Our wordless communication flows effortlessly like the dainty sound of her typing, her tiny doll hands asking to be looked at.
Today, Courtney wears all black so I already know she’s aggressive and anti-men, but I guess we’ll see about that once she’s spent a couple of hours with me. She is stand-offish, and has done well for herself, so I don’t expect the warm smile she welcomes me with. I didn’t realise there was time for warm smiles when you are fighting for women’s rights, and it is a pleasant surprise. When she smiles warmly, her face lights up, her skin is dewy but also ferocious and I hold her handshake for a few minutes too long to let her know, that I know, that she is world-weary. Now, I must consider her hair because, well, there it is, startlingly on her head, falling down about her face, delicately covering her skull the same way a night sky might cloak the moon. When she tries to tell me about the work she is doing this morning, I look sympathetically at her and lightly touch her shoulder, which I am astounded to find isn’t padded. I thought she was a business woman! When she asks me to let go of her hand, I do. But not without first offering advice about what I think she should do with her career. It’s what I’m here for. There’s that warm smile again. You’re welcome, I say aloud. She doesn’t hear me because she has already left the room.
I look around the empty office and accept that we are all alone in the world. As another busy woman brushes past to collect a freshly printed document she had asked me to hand her half an hour ago, I wonder why these hard-working ladies don’t take some to appreciate the beauty of the things around them. I can help them because I am kind and generous with my gift. I don’t just see a desk and a cup of coffee, I see futuristic inanimate objects propelled here from another time to enable me to write, so I can enable you to understand. Don’t you see, I ask them, gesturing wildly. No one looks up. Fuck off Kat, they mutter. If only they knew what I know.
Or should I say: what I don’t know.
Listen, we’re no experts. Read the guys who really started the movement: