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Man up

"How am I supposed to pee?" she wondered. She knew standing was involved, and the toilet seat should be up, but what should she do with her penis? Hold it or just let it hang loose between her legs? What about when she finished? If she shook it, wouldn't urine get all over her leg?

The AI party had won the last two elections by a super-majority, perhaps, because many of the voters were computer programs that didn't find excuses not to vote. And one of the party leaders, maybe as a joke, programmed various "requirements" for all citizens. This election cycle, the theme was sensitivity. The AI algorithms reasoned if you walked in someone's shoes, you would be less of an asshole, so every adult was required to "be someone else" twice a year. She had already role-played a worker in a poultry processing plant and spent a day as a stray mutt living on the streets. She had decided that the mutt had a much better life.

But today, she was to spend four hours morphing some XY chromosomes. She did research on the internet in preparation for her role. One article claimed every male in the world has heard these three expressions in some form or another: "Don't be a pussy," "Man up," "Grow a pair." At first, she wasn't sure what pair they were referring to and was embarrassed when she learned the answer.

Other statements she read claimed:

"Invisible until something is needed"

"You must be strong and reliable, or you won't make anyone horny."

"Your pain is inferior, always."

"Being interested in a woman is a thin line between being flirty and creepy."

Perhaps, she thought, this explained the statistics about males being more likely to drop out of school, binge drink, and commit suicide.

She finally finished peeing and pulled up her pants. She noticed pee spots on the fly of her jeans but decided that pulling out her hair dryer to dry them wouldn't fit her XY role.

Each role-playing adventure included four random experiences specified by the AI programs. Her first assignment was to go grocery shopping. She noticed the only men who carried lists in the store were married, so she went without one. Her former boyfriend hated to shop and had always done surgical strikes, so she quickly headed to the meat section and loaded up on ground chuck and buns. On the way out, she passed the paper aisle and picked up a 24-pack of toilet paper - no reason to have to make another trip soon. Finally, feeling the need for something healthy, she grabbed two frozen pepperoni pizzas and a six-pack of Modelo.

She then headed home, where it was time to mow the lawn. There were plenty of females who cut their yards, but she wasn't one of them. After pushing her neighbor's mower out of the garage, she stared at it for a long time. She wasn't sure if it needed gas or how to check. She halfheartedly pulled on the cord and succeeded in wrenching her shoulder. She glared at the mower, willing it to turn on. "For God's sake," she thought., Ten-year-old boys can start a mower, but they had ten years of "growing a pair." She decided her lawn didn't need mowing and to move on to her next experience.

She tried her best to look cool when she walked into the bar. Giant TVs lined every wall, and the sound was deafening. Most of the bar occupants stared at a screen where oversized men wearing helmets and loud uniforms crashed into each other. Sitting at a booth in the corner, she looked around. At an adjacent table sat two women about her age. She nodded at them as she sat down. When the bartender took her order, she asked him to add two drinks to her tab for the women. When he told them, they raised their glasses in a toast but then looked away and kept talking. She was too embarrassed to pursue it further and wondered how men had the courage.

Finally, she left the bar and headed home. The last experience was supposed to be a surprise. When she walked in the door, the phone was ringing. Her mom's voice on the other end sounded strained. "Your father just had a heart attack. They don't know if he's going to make it." She tried to think of brave things to tell her mom. She tried not to feel her own heart go thud. She tried not to cry. She tried "not be a pussy."

She always thought men had it easier in society. After all, they had most of the money, power, and prestige. She knew these four brief experiences were inane AI claptrap and not representative of most males. She certainly would be glad when the next political party returned to power. But she also suddenly realized that "manning up" was not as easy as she had assumed and that this experience might actually help her be less of an asshole.

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2 comentários

12 de ago. de 2023

This is a comment that says something relevant about the above post. It is insightful.

Respondendo a

That is so not insightful.

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