Monday, November 5, 2012

Say it like a man

A little over a month ago, I sat down to dinner the night before a conference at the other end of the table  from a colleague. I have a lot of respect for this man as a scientist, he's done a lot for my personal career. I don't think I'd ever suggest to a female student of mine that she work with him, at least not unforewarned.

Colleague: Hey Barefoot, how are you liking University F?
Me: Um, I just got there, but its been good so far.
C: Have you checked out [foreign word] yet?
Me: What's that?
C: Its an interesting place.
At this point, since the conversation is being shouted across the table, everyone else who doesn't live in My City is curious what is being talked about.
Me: Could you tell me more?
C: It's like Disney Land.
Different colleague: You mean it has rides?
C: Well, yes, for adults. To me. You wouldn't like it.
The danger wave function that is present in so many non-scientific conversations with C collapses, and  I think "How do you know I wouldn't like it?" But any (more) discussion of sex and sexuality was not appropriate.
Me: Is this the red light district?
The woman across the table from me,  also from University F, nods, embarrassed.
Me: Why couldn't you just say that?

Weeks pass. It is late at night, and my computer is doubling as a radio. I follow a series of links to a show about prostitution. All of a sudden, I realize what I should have ended that conversation with.

Me: So C, you can't say "red light district" like a man? You call it Disney Land like a pubescent boy?

1 comment:

  1. agree! This is pretty pubertal. And I guess he thought he is making a very creative joke. *sigh*