What does it mean to be a woman in 2018?
I hope it means, among other things, that you and your best friend do not have to—as my best friend and I once did—agree to be sexually harassed by a dog-sitter in order to secure his services for the weekend because he is the only dog-sitter available and it’s already late on Thursday.
I hope it means that you and your friend do not discuss the matter in advance and decide that the literary and artistic merits of going to the Edinburgh Festival outweigh the degradation of being groped by a man with eyebrows like bulrushes and teeth like dirty tombstones. I hope you understand that this man is abusing his dog-sitting power and that you don’t merely fold the cost of having drinks with him into the larger cost of going to Scotland for the weekend.
I hope at the pub, when this man stares down the front of your shirt like his eyes are on stalks, and when he slides his hand up your best friend’s thigh, you don’t meekly give him the keys to your house and tell him that the dog likes a little warm milk mixed with her food. I hope it means you throw your beers in his face and walk out. I hope it means you report him to the Citizens Advice Bureau. I hope it means you get him black-listed in the dog-sitting community.
I hope it means you can enjoy the 2018 Edinburgh Festival and not sit through the 1997 version of David Mamet’s Oleanna in a fit of guilt and shame over having left your beloved dog with such an asshole.