Ever since, the tell-tale whistle of Nerf ballistics can be heard through the office at random intervals. No full-on war has started again, but skirmishes still occur.
One afternoon, late in the day, I found myself in a standoff with a friend. And then suddenly, something hit me in the right butt-cheek. Having only seen my friend with a weapon in his hand, I proceeded to empty the rest of my clip at him, as he protested that it hadn't been him.
He also swore he wouldn't tell me who had taken the shot.
I pressed him for why, and he finally side-stepped apologetically to the phrase, "Bros before hos," further backpedaling with, "You're not a 'ho, but you're also not a bro."
And that was when I got offended.
This is a dude I'd talked with at length about video games, music, and drugs. We'd talked about relationships and our families. I often gave him a lift home.
At no point did I ever think I'd be considered "other" simply because I'm a woman.
But apparently I was.
People, this is rape culture distilled. If he wasn't going to tell me who shot me in the butt with a Nerf dart because of perceived gender difference, what the hell else won't he interfere with? Even if he doesn't realize the scalable nature of this stance?
I know this guy thinks of himself as a good guy--and he is! But...his firm insistence that he "couldn't sell out a bro" tells me that in his eyes, as cool as he may think I am, I'm still "other," and possibly "lesser," even if he doesn't realize it.
At its bare bones, this is a story of someone defending another's actions simply because of his gender versus mine. And that shit ain't cool.