John Schilb

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 1981


You stumble into the preregistration line, knowing you're the only human being in the lobby with a beard, hoping no one will pay attention to your suddenly unique gender. Your mind flashes back to the Hartford airport a few hours ago: masses of tired businessmen being catered to in the cocktail lounge by "girls" wedged into tight white blouses and even tighter black hot pants and even tighter black high heels. As you sipped your Bloody Mary, you wondered if Susan Griffin had seen the place. But the present snaps you forward with the moment you've been nervously anticipating: a woman, in this instance one directly behind you, asks in a tone of forceful curiosity, "Do you teach women's studies?" Gulp. Now you're not just sweating from the heat or the crowd or the weight of the suitcases. You take a deep breath, slowly turn, and croak, "Yes." Then, in a burst of compulsion, a desperate move to gain legitimacy, you whip out your credentials: courses taught, papers given, friendships achieved. Only after several minutes do you realize that she has pretty much accepted your right to be there, that she has replaced her furrowed brow with a smile—that, in fact, you're being slightly ridiculous. She interrupts to let you know that she is a friend of your college's president. Would you give him her regards?



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