Political Fiction Short Story
© Copyright Cupideros, Monday, March 7, 2016
2,075 Words

Former Sex Worker, Bri “Brianne” Dinwiddle; Tessie “Pinkie” Zange; Ava, former high school track star; her best friend, Pazia Katz, and History Graduate student, Monica Poindexter sit in class and try to understand the paradoxical statement “Knowledge is Empowering, but Wisdom is Power” with their other How to Fly a Marshmallow Kite Classmates.


The Gibson Girl Professor took a glance at her black watch.  She smiled.  "You’re all on time.  You didn’t tear one another down, too much,“ she said after giving a detached glance to Cia Rose and the sandy-hair blonde sitting on the outside row of chairs by the door.  "This should be an interesting class.  You, fourteen students, will learn a lot in this class, but I promise, because this class is experimental, it will be fun.”

All the women in the class smiled and turned and looked at one another.
“Oh and do not worry,” the Gibson Girl Professor said, after she turned from writing on the black board in white chalk, ‘Knowledge is Empowering, but Wisdom is Power’ no one fails my class.  If you come to class every day, read the material, participate, in the discussions, you should pass almost accidentally.

Tessie mouthed the word again, “Accidentally.”
Bri “Brianne” Dinwiddle, former Sex Worker twirled the word around her tongue as if her tongue were a stripper pole, “Accidentally.”
Ava turned to Pazia Katz, and they both said, “Accidental A!”
Monica grinned, having already “Accidentally” passed last Spring Semester.
Cia Rose scoffed, “Accidentally pass, I’d better accidentally study my ass off then.”
The Japanese woman said, “Is this like Zen?”
“You can all call me Professor Gibson and a little like Zen, but more in tune with the female spirit.”
“Professor Gibson Girl,” they all laughed. 
“If you turn to How to Fly a Marshmallow Kite, page, 78, you’ll see the Gibson Girl photo.”

All of the girls quickly open and found the photo. 
“Yes.  You never know what a feminist looks like sometimes, but she is always a born female, having encountered and countered, the definitions of her being.  A feminist can lift weights or be a ballerina.  So let get right to it.   How do you do Feminism?”
Bothered, Tessie said, “Professor Gibson shouldn’t we define our terms first?  I was told that by someone in political science.”
“A male, no doubt,” said Bri.  "Ugggh.  Those political science boys are everywhere.  I hate them.“
"I hate them, too,” Cia Rose stated, “Poli Sci is all about how to lie and rewrite history.”

Professor Gibson said, “A good time to examine our terms is after we define How to do Feminism if you are taking my class.  If you never take my class, yes, it is very important to learn to define your terms.”

All the girls offered a number of suggestions, some right, some terribly complicated, some way off the mark onto some aberrant tangent of feminism, some harkened back to the suffrage movement, others even talked about 411 BC Lysistrata, although  a Greek man Aristophanes wrote that comedy about women holding a sex strike to end wars.  Professor Gibson let them go on and on for nine minutes.

“I see we have discovered problem number one,” Professor Gibson stated, and smiled.  "See Knowledge is Empowering, but Wisdom is Power.“  She pointed to the statement on the board.  "You all have some knowledge of feminism how to do it, but it is not very powerful.  How to do feminism is very simple?  Step 1.  You raise your own consciousness about female issues.  Step 2.  You raise others’ consciousness about female issues.  Step 3.  You act on your raised consciousness about female issues.”  Professor Gibson stopped to let that sink in.

“Write this down, class, if you do Step 1 and Step 2, you end up with the first half of the statement on the black board.  Repeat the first half.”
“Knowledge is Empowering.”
“All right, however, and many forget this, if you do Step 3, act, take some action supporting your raised consciousness thought, you will obtain the second half of the statement on the black board.  Repeat the second half, class.”
“Wisdom is Power.”

“But I still don’t get it,” Tessie said.
“Do you know How to Fly a Marshmallow kite, Tessie?” Professor Gibson asked, kindly.
Tessie slowly replied, “Uhhh, No.”
“Well, then don’t beat yourself up for not knowing how Wisdom is Power.  Just hold on to the statement "Knowledge is Empowering, but Wisdom is Power” as a paradoxical statement until it makes sense.  Because, I assure you, Tessie, after taking this entire class semester you will be able to turn your Knowledge into Wisdom.  That is your goal.  Turn your knowledge into Wisdom and then you will gain Power.“
Pazia Katz replied, "I get it.  If I gather all the ingredients to make a cake, that is only Empowerment.  When I know how to blend all the ingredients in the right way, cook it so long, remove it when done, I will have a perfectly baked cake people can eat!”
Professor Gibson said, “You didn’t take this course by design, did you, Pazia?”
“I’m taking it because my best heterosexual,” she emphasized, “Girlfriend, Ava is taking the class, and I, her heterosexual best friend,” she emphasized, want to take it, too.“

Professor Gibson nodded.  "People who take the course for other reasons than learning usually grasp the concepts faster.  The others tend to think too hard or have mixed too much knowledge with the process of empowering.  Doing acts supporting feminism is often missing in all the empowering steps feminists take.  Sometimes, many times, simplicity makes things clear.  I assure you it is easier to stop buying rape songs, movies and rapy music, and movies, than it is to protest or raise other’s consciousness or your own to beware of rape songs, movies and rapy music and movies.”

“Game of Thrones,” The entire class said.
Cia Rose grunted, “What’s wrong with Game of Thrones.”
Professor Gibson shook her head.  "As I was saying.  How many of you watched the entire Game of Throne series?“

Nearly all their hands flew up.
Professor Gibson asked them again, "Why didn’t you stop watching after you realize it presented the same misogynist thing in Season Two as Season One, as in Season Three?”

The class fell silent.

Pazia Katz whispered to Ava. “I told you to stop watching that B.S.”
“What was that Pazia?”
“I tried to get Ava to stop watching it?”
Ava jumped on the defensive.  "I thought the women … the writer made were … were  … Empowering.“

Professor Gibson went and underlined the second half of the phrase.  "You didn’t feel much Power after each episode did you, Ava?”
“I hate that show,” Bri blurted out.  "Not all women are whores!“
"Who said they were whores,” Ciaa Rose defended Game of Thrones.
“Men in the Game of Thrones said women were all whores, by their actions first, if not by their words second”
“That is Power, Bri,” Professor Gibson said.
“What?” Bri asked not sure why the compliment came her way.  "I read the book How to Fly a Marshmallow Kite.  I really want to understand men, why men treat us so poorly.  Like we are irrelevant.“
Tessie jumped in, "It’s because we do not define our terms in our debates.  I lost a debate with a guy who said he could have a baby before I did.  So I went out and re-hooked up with my ex-boyfriend to get pregnant.  I get pregnant easily, and the guy I argued with showed up with a baby the next day in his arms?”
Professor Gibson said, “Because he didn’t say he would birth a baby, because that would be empowering.  He said he could have a baby before you to express his power over you.”
“That’s, right,” Tessie said, sadly.  "I had to spend an entire hour telling him how I give blowjobs for losing that bet.“

"No way,” said the Native American Woman.  "I would not honor that treaty agreement.“
The Japanese woman argued, "That’s sexual harassment.”
The entire class went into an uproar about the abuse Tessie suffered.
“You had the power not to honor the agreement, Tessie.  He lied.” Cia Rose said.  "People make up big lies all the time.“

Professor Gibson listened to all the advice to Tessie.  She liked the idea of their help, but they forgot the maxim on the board all ready.  "Tessie.  Which part of the statement on the board, this Maxim made you go on that date?”
Tessie fought back tears.  "I, guess, I wanted to show feminism was empowering by showing up and bravely lying about all the ways I do blowjobs.“

The class laughed.
Monica said, "You lied about all the ways you like doing blowjobs?”  She laughed.

The class laughed again.

“I couldn’t figure out anything else to do.  So I acted in my own best interest.”
Professor Gibson underlined again the second half.  "See.  Wisdom is Power.  You would feel a lot worse if you told him how you truly gave blowjobs. Now everything else is heresy.“

The woman class teetered with laughter.

"But I have to monitor everything about the lies I now told.”
“Why they were lies?” the sandy hair girl voiced, after being quiet for a long time.
“Take your power,” Ava said.  "I raced with a boy name Eaton, who sneakily tied my shoe laces together, after looking into my eyes and saying I was the most beautiful woman in the world.“
"Awwwweeee,” class started to say, and when Professor Gibson started shaking her head, and pointing to the white maxim Knowledge is Empowering and Wisdom is Power on her black T-shirt, the class started saying, “Yuuuuuukkkkkkkkk.”
“Right,” Ava said, “I friendzoned him for cheating.  I did not have to define what a race meant.  He knows it does not including cheating as did I.  So I did not owe him any date after losing the race.”

Professor Gibson raised her eyebrow to Tessie.  "And neither did you have to go on that date to prove feminism was empowering.  Feminism does not need to be Empowering!  Feminist need to exercise Wisdom is Power!  If a women’s magazine gives you low self-esteem and makes you feel like you must get married, or have sex or have a boyfriend who beats you and puts you down in a joking manner–unsubscribe.  Stop reading it.  If enough women did that, the women’s magazine, movies, etc., would change overnight.  It is this being stuck in the empowering phase, that trips women feminist up.  But I assure you, what you do by accident now, Pazia, or not at all, Bri, Tessie, Cia, will become second-nature power by the time you finish this class How to Fly a Marshmallow Kite.  So to recap. 

Feminism is done like this:

Step 1.  Raise your own consciousness on feminist issues.

Step 2.  Raise others consciousness on feminist issues.

Step 3.  Act on your raised feminist consciousness, take action, not talking to anyone; take action, be a feminist, because the other feminist in Steps 1 and Step 2 are just theoretical feminist.  Theoretical feminist are irrelevant at some point.  You could actually just skip Step 1 and Step 2, like women in earlier history did.  They did not waste time arguing to win a Nobel Prize or invent something–they just did it.  If every woman did that, feminism would not be an issue at all.  Yes, those women who did thus, have been forgotten but that is another part of feminism to be discussed.“  Professor Gibson smiled.  "Unless, you just want to dig up those women’s achievement up for yourself and emulate them.  Like the woman who invented the Kevlar bulletproof vest material.”

Tessie felt much better after the first day of How to Fly a Marshmallow Kite Class.  She looked forward to the class on How to use Five Steps to Think Critically, too.
Bri knew this was no class to be ashamed of as she stuffed her How to Fly a Marshmallow Kite book back into her beige bag, knowing, full well, it stuck out for everyone to see.  She did not care if misogynist Westin, or good-looking Jett Bliss saw her favorite book.

Ava was glad she friendzoned Eaton, and she also decided no more Game of Thrones.
Pazia thanked Professor Gibson for setting Ava straight on Games of Thrones.
Monica realized she needed to do more Wisdom is Power acting than warning, pointing out which men were misogynist jerks.

Professor Gibson watched a new group of unsure women began to light up and begun to understand Wisdom is Power and beyond the Empowerment of Knowledge.


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