Alternative Valentines

Happy Valentines Day! I know what you’re thinking, “Hey McKenzie, we’re in the middle of a fascist takeover, and no one will even swipe right on you on Tinder.” Listen, I get it. Everything is pretty bleak right now, but I believe there is still some good and love-worthy stuff left in the world and even if no one is taking me to a nice dinner, or buying me roses, or appreciating my nudes I still have plenty of Valentines. Here are my alternative valentines for this year.

  1. Sourdough bread
  2. A woman on the blue line who offered me her seat after I had worked a fifteen hour shift
  3. Gin and tonics
  4. All the friends I got to visit in new cities this year, and who let me sleep on their couches and drink their wine
  5. Chance the Rapper
  6. A boy I met at the airport who trekked across O’Hare to find the only open Starbucks at 2:00 am and go on a date with me while I waited out a thunderstorm so I could get to my grandpa’s funeral
  7. The women I met at the Women’s March
  8. The barista that remembers my order
  9. My thyroid doctor who has to stand on a step stool to pat me on the head like a dog, which should not be comforting but is.
  10. Strawberry honey greek yogurt
  11. My sister
  12. All the girls I have bonded with while waiting in line for the bathroom at a bar
  13. The tube of red lipstick I have worn since high school
  14. Corinne from The Bachelor
  15. My vibrator (sorry mom if you’re reading this!!! sorry!!!!!)
  16. Hillary Clinton and all the kick-ass women I know who have been snubbed by a less qualified man
  17. Dr. Teal’s lavender scented bubble bath
  18. Myself (duh)

Eulogy for my Curling Iron

If a friend sticks with you through the good times and the bad, lifts you in your worst moments, and does their best to ensure you’re having a good night, then I am not ashamed to admit my curling iron has been a dear friend. I bought my curling iron over eight years ago. I was doing my first high school play and was hard pressed to get a good ‘40s wave going in my long, thick, brown mane. I picked up a medium-quality iron from Target on my way to dress rehearsal, and we had been making waves, feathered bangs, and soft holiday curls together ever since. But three days ago, as her red light flickered off for the last time, I laid my old companion to rest.

We had a good, and uncharacteristically long, run, my curler and I. Two years ago my straightener of only four years caught fire as I was rushing to get ready for a show. It was a weak and unreliable thing, and I began relying solely on a soft wave as my signature look. So, we spent those last two years really in the crux of a love affair. I could tell she was getting old. Really, I should have replaced her long before I went to college and I did try. On my childhood dresser she was lined up next to multiple new, shiny gold irons of a variety of thickness. But no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t get the same look with any of the others. Sophomore year my friend Taylar had taught me how to hold the iron upside down with one hand and wrap a strand of hair around with the other hand to get this natural, soft wave I could still run my hand through. Other irons made the curl too thick, or too stiff. Years of use had crusted a layer of hairspray so thick it had turned green, and a handle that screeched when it was used. Still, she drudged on through dress rehearsals, first dates, Christmas dinners, and Seventeen magazine tutorials.

It seems silly to mourn the loss of an item so seemingly menial and easily replaceable. I’m not a girl who is particularly concerned with her look. Honestly, I leave the house with bed head far more often than I go out with polished curls, but it’s the timing of this death that stings. This year has admittedly not been an easy one. I don’t cope well with change, hence why I have used the same curling iron for nearly a decade. This year I graduated college and since then I have been on one of those intense life roller coasters where each day I never know if I’m about to climb a hill, coast, or plummet right into the ground. Nothing has gone the way I expected, and nothing has stayed the same this year. I would sell my left arm for just a moment of consistency, to go out every day with that same soft wave.

I was good at school, like really good, and I loved the writing program I was in. Because I was good at school, it was just kind of expected that I would also be really good at life after school. Grades have always come easily to me, why wouldn’t everything else? There is no structure to life after school and there are no right answers. The decisions you have to make are really hard, and they feel really big and scary. I have spent whole days in bed, crippled by the fear of not knowing where my life is going and wondering if I’m making mistakes every step of the way. I wanted things to stay the same, to grasp onto a life that I loved and was good at.

Two weeks ago I was in Austin, by myself, volunteering for a film festival. On my last night there, in the hours when day turns to night and the change is palpable I started crying on my way home. The cab driver, who hardly spoke English, kindly ignored me and kept his eyes strictly on the road while I had one of those life changing, epiphany moments you see in movies. The tiny Austin skyline was sinking behind me. I was going home, but what was I going home to? A lot, actually, even though just hours earlier it hadn’t felt like that. If things had worked out the way I had originally wanted them to I would not have been in the back of a cab buzzing from cheap beer and dancing with new friends to a live country band, knowing with a conviction stronger than I have ever felt that I am on the path I am meant to be on.

This year I have lost a lot of the things that made me feel like myself: a relationship, good grades, my friends, and now even my fucking curling iron jumped ship. Yesterday, I was running errands when I passed the hair tools section at Target. Like an afterthought I lackadaisically wandered in and pulled a medium-quality iron from the shelf. It’s the same brand and thickness as my last one. I can only take so much. Change sucks, but even kicking and screaming, I adjust.


Pokemon Go: The Story of an Outsider

It was a seemingly normal afternoon in Chicago, but I had no idea the turmoil that was about to take place. I was scrolling through Twitter when I saw the trending topic. I gasped.

I sounded it out slowly, letting syllables I hadn’t uttered since Elementary School echo against the walls of my empty apartment.

“Pokemon Go.”

How had it resurfaced after all of these years? Was it coming back to taunt me all over again? Had I not suffered enough?

I went about my day innocently enough, but I couldn’t escape the game. People were walking around like zombies holding their phones inches from their faces observing the world with a lens I didn’t have the storage for. The world was changing; it was palpable. And I didn’t have the 4G capability to keep up.

The memories from my youth flooded back to me. I am transported back to that place and a shiver goes down my spine. It was recess, and I was enjoying coloring a picture of a dinosaur in my notebook when I noticed a group of boys with giant binders talking excitedly in the grass. Their leader, and my crush, Jordan was seated in the middle orchestrating the whole thing. He had bangs that covered his entire right eye, and was already getting acne. He was practically a man.

I walked over and asked if I could join their game. Jordan looked me up and down with his visible icy blue left eye.

“No,” Jordan said pulling a Snorlax from his binder and throwing it into the middle of the circle. “You’re a girl.”

That night I had my mother drive me to the local Target and buy me a starter pack of cards. I came to recess the next day prepared, but I hadn’t realized the courage these battles took, and also I hadn’t bothered to read the rules. I made a fool of myself pulling a Weedle for my first move. And like that I was laughed off the playground.

Still I trudged on. No matter how many packs of cards I bought, or how many hours I spent with my cousin trying to explain the game to me I just couldn’t catch on. The best I could do was dress up as Pikachu for Halloween and hope everyone was so impressed they wouldn’t notice I had no idea how to play. Still, I was turned away from the game. I vowed to never touch another Pokemon for the rest of my days.

Now I was twenty-two and it was back.

All around me people were exclaiming:

“There is a Pidgey by that fountain!”

“I just became the gym leader of this Whole Foods!”

“I don’t have enough candy for my Evee!”

And I was forced to ask myself, “What does any of this mean?” Because those are not real words.

To get my mind off of things I took a walk to the park. It was the most peaceful place I could think of. But alas, even the tranquil landscape was overcome with Pokestops. I figured I could escape my childhood nightmare at the one place I go to escape all of my childhood nightmares. And to my hellish surprise my local bar was hosting a Pokemon Go Pub Crawl.

There is no escape from this reality which I do not understand. In this strange new world I am an outsider, but like the protagonist in any dystopic story I have learned something about myself:

I dislike being left out, but I dislike Pokemon even more.

King George is America’s sociopathic ex-boyfriend, which makes total sense to me

By now the word has gotten out that Hamilton is quite possibly the greatest thing to ever happen ever to anything. But, not one to be hip to the times, I only began my personal journey into Hamilton fandom about 12 hours ago. And it has consumed me.

As a self proclaimed lover-of-theatre, this show has been on my radar for some time. Most of my friends are “theatre people” and have been preaching to me for months about how it’s going to “change my life,” and “become my new obsession.” But I was like “Keep it in your pants everybody; I’ll get to it when I get to it.” Plus, I was still jamming to Fun Home.

So, last night while dicing some peppers, I put it on as background music to drown out the sound of my neighbor cooing to his girlfriend or dog (I’ve never seen them, and I honestly can’t tell if he’s talking to an animal or woman.) In only three songs my peppers were abandoned in a heap on the cutting board as I approached my computer in a poltergeist-like trance so I could start the album over again, which I can only assume I will do from now on until the day I die.

I am always impressed when storytellers find a way to fully flesh out characters in just a few minutes of song. Musicals are one my most favorite forms of storytelling because of how complex and layered they are. Like grapes, when musicals are good, they are GOOD. And when they are bad, they are like mushy little bags you just have to sit through and swallow, until you can finally forget. Hamilton is like a crisp, red grape that explodes in your mouth with a perfectly smooth skin and unexpectedly sweet flavor.

A whopping six years ago when I was still in high school, history was one of the classes I struggled in the most. The names of every white dude with a weapon and some land blurred together for me. We essentially learned all of the same facts about each important person, but they were never people to me. They were just six or so facts on the back of a flash card. In Hamilton the characters become actual human beings who feel desire, turmoil, and joy. It’s so much easier to remember people when you can connect with them.

Lin-Manuel Miranda not only takes a fresh and important take on the story of America, but gives so much attention to detail that the story becomes something much bigger than what is told in eighth grade textbooks. George Washington is no longer the rosy cheeked,  dude in heels holding an axe that I remember seeing a portrait of in one of my high school classrooms. He is this bad ass general who’s ready to fight for his people. King George is every sociopathic, fuckboy I have ever dated and that makes so much more sense to me than just knowing he had legal holds on our founding fathers and something about tea. I feel sympathy for Aaron Burr in “Wait For It” even though I know he’s getting it on with someone’s wife and eventually murderers the Protagonist.

Hamilton does not ignore the wrongdoings of those this story is about. It is no secret that our history textbooks have left out some damning anecdotes about our founding fathers, and Hamilton neither glosses over those facts nor excuses that behavior. Our history books ask us to glorify the guys that fought for us (us being the white Protestants) and Hamilton begs us to ask the question “Sure, but at what cost?” Instead of simply seeing George Washington as a guy who chopped down a cherry tree, and never lied, we understand him as a person who fought hard, but fought hard for people who were like him. And we get to explore this story to quick and soulful music that would never before have been thought to accompany the white washed version of our founding that we have been told.

Art has the power to understand how complex our stories are, and to tell those stories in ways that highlight that complexity. All of these characters have lives woven together in complicated ways, and their words make them human beings we can understand and empathize with. Artists take stories and say “Look at how cool, and messy, and complex, and beautiful life is,” and history does the same.


I went to the opera and it had no chill.

Last night in an attempt to become a more cultured and well rounded person, I accepted the extra ticket my friend had to the opera. I strapped my body into a far too short dress I found at the back of my closet, because it had a collar and I figured that would look refined, put my glasses on in case we were in the balcony, and made my way downtown.

Outside the front door I was greeted by a gentleman wearing a full length cape. I paused, expecting him to break into song, or at least check my ticket. But his entire purpose was to stand there in his gorgeous black cape and say in the most dignified of voices “Good evening, miss.”

I met my friend at the table she was working at. Her coworker was seated next to her, shellacking a handful of beautiful indigo fingernails. She was wearing a fuchsia jacket with a collar a full six inches larger than my own. When my friend told her this was my first opera she replied “Well, this is a good one to lose your virginity to.” And by that I expect she meant opera virginity, because who the hell would want to bone to an opera?

They explained to me that this opera was an easy one to follow along to. The story was funny and sexual (not my words) and that even though it is a four hour show and all in French* I was sure to love it.

I was like, Hold the phone. I’m about to sit through four hours of people singing words I don’t even understand? In true opera fashion is there time to fake my own death before this gets going? But alas, I was already there and my excitement was only slightly deterred so I headed into the theatre to find my seat.

It took me a good full minute to get my coat to lay flat against my seat while I simultaneously tugged at the bottom of my skirt, and balanced my program and cell phone in the other hand. The seats were covered in a rose gold velvet that would give the latest iPhone back a run for its money. The ceilings were enormously high with gold embroidered balconies jutting out into the air. White haired patrons gathered in the rows ahead of me like a decrepit sea, the aroma of which was like a spicy venison and Vicks Vapor Rub.

The curtain pulled up on two women in bed together, and I was immediately confused. They began to sing a love song to each other in French*, as they romped in the sheets. The one in a ponytail was apparently supposed to be a boy, but seeing as the role was played by a Soprano, it could have fooled me. For all I knew, this was an opera about French* lesbians.

Luckily, there was a bar on top of the proscenium translating the songs into English. But if I wanted to read the words, I would miss a bit of the action on stage, so after a few minutes of live bobble heading, I fixed my gaze on the characters. There were characters dressed as other characters in some sort of tom foolery, but I was too busy trying to figure out if the images painted on the back of the set were nude or not to really care about who was who.

The costumes and set were lavishly over the top. The walls were stretched tall, and the skirts were puffed out. It looked like a page out of Cinderella. In one scene a market takes place inside of one woman’s bedroom, which I will just trust is historically accurate and not question it. She is sent a singer as a gift (bring that back, I want to be serenaded on the reg while I’m doing my work) and presented with feathered hats, and decadent foods. Then, the most incredible and dramatic part of the entire thing happened. I can only sum it up as the greatest thing to ever happen ever during a live performance that I was in the audience for.

A man walked three tiny little puppies onto the stage. They were like three little puff corns, prancing through the velvet clad ensemble. And like that I was completely engrossed. They were delicate, graceful, and handsome. They made their way across the stage the way I imagine three cotton balls sent from Heaven might perform a waltz. Their energy was palpable, even from where I was sitting, but they made no noise. Oh no, they were well-behaved. Then, there was a startle of commotion! In a flurry two of them tangled their leashes together, one got away from the actor and ran backstage, and a single tear fell my eye as I lightly applauded their magnificent performance.

I can’t tell you how the opera ended because I have horrible etiquette and no morals and left during the second intermission. I entered the freshly snowed streets of Chicago a new woman, finally penetrated by the kind of culture that can only come from sitting through three hours worth of a high society activity that one really does not understand. With my nose turned up slightly  more than normal I made my way back to my apartment, unzipped my dress right in the foyer, sat on my couch with uncrossed legs, and ate a slightly stale bagel while Law and Order played on my laptop.

*The opera may have been in Italian, German, Dutch, Spanish, or Old Timey English. I really couldn’t tell, and don’t actually remember what they told me.

Sleepy, weepy, and bored

I had just woken up from a nap when I realized I couldn’t see out of my left eye. There was an open jar of pretzels and peanut butter on the coffee table and my laptop was open to a paused Netflix page, sitting on my chest. The day had escaped me and the sun was no longer pouring through the front room of my apartment. I had slept with my eye pressed against the corner of a couch pillow and was temporarily blinded in the indigo evening that had overtaken the living room. As I groggily sat up, I realized I had taken a nap every afternoon that week, slipping from the afternoons to evenings unnoticed; I guess to pass the time.

The thing is, I hate napping. It throws off my sleep schedule, makes me feel nauseous, and gives me FOMO. So, why then had I spent the last seven or so days passing the time in a deep slumber?

By the time I entered high school I was told I was ready for college. After failing an econ test, my senior year teacher assured my parents it wasn’t because I wasn’t smart or a good student; I was clearly beyond high school and didn’t care about things that didn’t challenge me. The truth was probably more along the lines of I was too busy practicing some theatre audition to be bothered to study. Then I got to college and my advisors told me I was taking the necessary steps to getting a post grad job. I was told over and over how impressive my resume was, even as just a junior in college. Aside from selling my eggs, I followed all of the advice from my advisors. By the time I graduated I had completed six internships, and held four on campus jobs. I was the president of an organization and held a handful of leadership positions, while maintaining an impressive GPA. I was told over and over and over again “You’ll be just fine.” I networked, made a LinkedIn, and sat back waiting for all of the super cool adult opportunities to come my way.

For the first time since I can remember the plan I came up with didn’t work. Granted, it was kind of a shitty plan. I was disappointed to find that by graduation day I hadn’t been offered like a million jobs. But as my mother so lovingly keeps reminding me, careers take time to build and “in the real world, you’re no one yet.”

I graduated two quarters early, so none of my friends are going through this with me. They are trying to be sympathetic to my situation and send me job postings, and offer to make me dinner on the regular. As they leave me to go to class I call out after them “Bye! Have fun doing lame college stuff! I’ll just be over here doing cool ADULT stuff like eating this frozen quinoa I found in the back of my freezer and showering just because I’m bored!”

There is another time in my life I remember feeling this lost, or inadequate. I look back at that time and wish I could go tell myself that everything is going to be okay and everything works out. And oh my god stop crying over a carton of yogurt in the student center; you are so embarrassing I cannot believe I acted like this, my god.

I’m sure that two years from now I will look back on this time and wish I could tell me that it works out. Because it has to work out. Right? Like, I’m pretty sure it has to work out. It’s going to work out. Yeah, I’m like 70% sure. I’m pretty sure it’ll be fine. I’m–yep– okay.

Going from someone whose day is packed from 8:00 am to midnight, to someone who has the time to take four hour naps has been a scary and difficult transition for me. I would like to report that my days are also filled with getting to those books I’ve always wanted to read, and writing that collection of poetry that’s been dancing in my head the last year. But really I’ve just been cooking eggs in a bunch of different variations and watching a lot of crime documentaries.

Maybe instead of looking at this period of time as “that time I was super unemployed and bored,” I should see it more like “that time I had time to make myself breakfast everyday.”

Suspend your feminism, we’re going to Vegas

It is hard to contain your constant feminist rage when every other step you take puts your foot directly onto a playing card of a topless woman. But alas, I was in the city of sin for the next four days and all social consciousness was off. For the first two days two of my best girlfriends and I roamed the Strip alone before being met by eight of our friends for the remainder of the weekend. We joked that it felt like our lives had been put on pause for the long weekend; all responsibility went out the window. I hardly even checked my email.

Right away it was obvious that being a single, independent woman in Las Vegas was going to be beneficial. As a group of three women walking alone we were bombarded on the street by club promoters. Every other dude in knock off Oakley sunglasses wanted to get into the hottest club for free. We would alternate whose name we gave them, getting us put on a guest list. We later learned that promoters are paid $5 for every female body they can get into a club. Free drink tickets were offered to us by the handful, if it meant we would show up.

I never felt unsafe walking around the Strip at night. We bounced around from clubs, casinos, and hotels and were only approached by sleezy men or cat callers less than a handful of times. The weirdest interaction we had on the street was from a psychic who told us things she could not have known about us, and sent me into an existential crisis. We weren’t being outwardly harassed, so it didn’t feel wrong to partake in this exploitation of our femaleness. Sure, we were getting into clubs for free, but behind our backs a transaction was being made, and our female bodies, as they so often are, were reduced to their value to the men around us.

Once we were joined by the rest of our crew, we spent most of our afternoons drinking in the same outdoor bar. It was our favorite place because we had made friends with one of the promoters and knew his game. He wasn’t sleezy or creepy. He didn’t treat the women any differently than the men on the street, and he didn’t make a direct profit from getting bodies into the bar. After about four or five mojitos, I found myself in a heated conversation on Hillary Clinton.

“Suspend your feminism,” I joked. “I mean we are in Vegas.”

“You can’t just suspend your belief system for a weekend,” someone said. “You wouldn’t really be a feminist.”

It’s poignancy hit me so hard it could have knocked me to the floor. Is it possible to get free drinks, know you’re making some promoter a couple bucks, and still be a feminist? How could I call out the problematic nature of these transactions without being the wet blanket of the group?

The problem with being a woman and getting into clubs for free and getting free drinks is the behavior it perpetuates. The assumption is that if you get enough free alcohol in the cute girls the men around them will spend money to get themselves drunk and to further the drunk of said cute girls. It also perpetuates power dynamics. It assumes men make more and are therefore willing to pay more for a night out. There is also the dangerous assumption between the lines that these women will then owe the men something. History will tell us if a man is buying a woman a drink, he is probably doing so with the intention of sleeping with her. I have come up with this helpful formula to further explain.

(drunk girls + guys with $ to spend on more drinks = at least a little hand stuff back at the hotel) + (guys with $ who are pleased with experience and willing to come back to the club) + ($5 per female body in club) = MONEY$Y$Y$Y$Y$Y

We did call out a couple of people for unwarrantedly hitting on us. I did vocalize my opinions on the fetishization of exotic bodies in the burlesque show that we saw. We did have conversations at the bar about the grossness of the treatment of women on the Strip. I definitely talked about Hillary Clinton at least twice. But, did I uphold my feminism to the degree I should have?

After all what happens in Vegas stays on your conscience forever.

Pure Barre is pure hell

Pure Barre is everything that sucks about working out combined into a one hour hell session. The concept, from what I understand, is to immediately get your muscles to their absolute most fatigued point and then force yourself through an interval. Just  hours after my first class I was so sore I was having trouble walking. It’s hell. And it’s kind of awesome.

Apparently the memo had gotten around to everyone and their mom that Pure Barre is notoriously hard. Not me. All I knew before my first class was that it stole concepts from ballet. I had danced ballet all through high school and figured I could fake my way through at the very least.

I waited patiently at my spot on the carpet in a deep butterfly while women with defined biceps, dressed head to toe in Lululemon entered the room. Besides the shape of my body, my patterned Target leggings and old theatre t shirt gave me away as the least fit and least prepared in the room. I forced myself into a deep forward fold, focusing only on my knees and waited for the instructor.

Her voice was overly enthusiastic; her eyes dark and dead. She began the routine. Knees up to meet your hands over and over like a march, to the beat of Justin Bieber. I stared at myself in the mirror focusing hard on my knees. Suddenly, everyone was on the floor doing a full body sit up. By the time I made it to the floor, we were up again.

Exercise is not now, nor has it ever been a strength of mine. To this day I am haunted by running the mile in fifth grade in a pair of jeans and a shirt I had to hold together with my hands. I can still see little Nolan Something’s face as he watched me pant an entire lap behind him. I have never looked cute in yoga pants, or running shorts. Exercising makes me look clunky, confused, and kinda sad.

Still I trudge on. I have often turned to working out during rough periods of time. When I was growing up my mother worked as an aerobics instructor on the weekends and often took me to the gym with her. Since I can remember her remedy for almost everything is working out. Feeling stressed? Endorphins. Sad? Endorphins. Lonely/afraid/nervous/excited/achy/hormonal/coming down with the flu? Endorphins.

The gym gives me a place to go every day and something to work toward. I practice hot yoga when I’m sad, take up running when I’m stressed, turn to vinyasa when I’m off center, and do muscle work when I’m mad at some fuckboy and want to build up my strength in case I ever get the opportunity to hit him.

During this transition from college life to whatever comes next, I have turned to Pure Barre. It gives me a reason to get out of my apartment, and out of my  head. It gives me a break between rewriting my resume and scouring the internet for open positions. It gives me a way to prove to myself how capable I am, except during the three minute plank. In reality, can anyone do a three minute plank? It is hell, but it is the hell I need right now.


Career advice

The worst career advice I’ve received came from my appointed career counselor.

The appointment had been a disaster from the start, and I should have left long before he told me I needed to move to the artist district if I was ever going to meet a man. I definitely should have left after he asked if I had ever dated a man with a beard, or said my GPA could give some of my male colleagues a run for their money (DUH.) But I was lost, and I trusted that this sweaty dude in a tweed blazer could do at least something to help me out.

I told him about the job offer I had just received and how I didn’t think it was enough money. He challenged me, and asked what made me think I deserved more. The job would require me to relocate to New York City. The move alone would drain my finances, and the pay would hardly pay my rent every month. I am smart and prepared; I had done my research. And then he said it:

“You might as well take it and sell some eggs.”

He may have been joking about the move to the art district, or the thing about beards, but this line came out so smoothly and matter of factly I knew he thought this was legitimate advice.

Now, I’m from North Dakota and know quite a few people who have picked farming as their desired career path. My first thought was “Where the fuck am I going to keep a chicken in my Wrigleyville apartment?” And then I realized what he had meant.

Besides being sexist and inappropriate, his comment was simply not helpful. It wouldn’t solve my problem with relocating or my questions about my resume. It dismissed my potential as an employee and chalked my worth up to my body.

I mean if you’ve got it, you might as well sell it. Uterus? More like jingly, jangly piggy bank.

I feel the need to defend myself, and consequently this advisor, by saying it’s an invasive and painful procedure that includes hormones and at home shots. And I am terrified of needles. I don’t want to do that. I had gone to his office as an accomplished, hard working, future employee. Not a uterus.

This sweaty, beady-eyed dipstick had the audacity to forego any actual career advice (how I could negotiate for a higher salary, or other positions I might be suited for) and remind me that I was deserving of a lesser position and pay because I’m a woman. Who cares if women make seventy cents to a man’s dollar when we can make a whopping $8,000 a cycle!? His gross objectification of me was inappropriate, offensive, and honestly embarrassing. I felt like I had been covered in garage sale price stickers.

He had my stellar resume and class history sitting in front of him. But my worth still came from what I could do with my body.