A Play In One Scene
by Dillon Eliassen
Mildred: a lobbyist
Natalie: a Pfizer marketing executive
Eleanor: an activist and sexual psychologist
Andrea: Director of “March Against The Patriarchy”
Setting: an office on K Street, Washington, D.C. Spring, 2019
Mildred: Thank you, Andrea, for agreeing to join Natalie, Eleanor and myself today. We know you have a lot to do in the next few days.
Andrea: Yeah, it’s crunch time. Less than 48 hours until the March, and there is still a ton to do. I have to finalize the order of our celebrity speakers, make sure our PayPal is working for our merch tables, have to approve the applications of male feminists who want to march with us (sticks finger in her mouth) ugh!
Mildred: We appreciate you giving us some of your valuable time.
Andrea: Well, I had to, I promised Ellie I’d come. I’ll agree to anything if I get 3 Pomegranatinis in me! (laughs)
Eleanor: (laughs) Just like when we were at Smith College together!
Andrea: (laughs) I know!
Mildred: (laughs) By hook or by crook, right? Well, since we know you have plenty of last minute details to attend to, let’s get started. We asked you here today in the hopes that we could develop a mutually beneficial arrangement.
Andrea: Such as?
Eleanor: Andie, what do you have planned for after the March?
Andrea: Gary and I are taking a well-deserved vacation to Belize. When we get home, I have to start planning next year’s March.
Mildred: Well, you certainly do deserve a vacation after organizing these resistance protests against Trump. But what I think Eleanor was really asking was, what sort of effect do you hope the March will have?
Andrea: Oh, well, you know, the usual. For our voices to be heard, for the patriarchy to realize their time is up, for men to treat women as equals in the boardroom and the bedroom.
Mildred: And those are all respectable goals, Andie. But, we were thinking of some more concrete changes we could enact following the March, if the March were able to garner support for a certain…concept and policy proposal that would actually reify the goals contained within the rhetoric and sentiments expressed by the March.
Andrea: OK, Millie, what-
Mildred: Mildred, please.
Andrea: Sorry, Mildred. What concept and policy proposal would that be?
Andrea: Andrea, please.
Natalie: Sorry, Andrea. Andrea, Pfizer’s Research & Development division has recently made a stunning breakthrough in pendulous chemistry technology wherein we’ve developed-
Andrea: Excuse me. ‘Pendulous chemistry technology?’
Natalie: I’m sorry. That’s R&D’s fancy way of saying they now have a pill that can keep a man flaccid for as long as one week. It was first developed to counteract erections that last more than four hours, but with the prevalence of #MeToo and other movements that expose men as all being potential rapists, our Sales and Marketing division asked R&D to develop a pill that would inhibit erections. Happily, a side effect of the pill is the temporary complete loss of libido. It’s called Flaccida.
Andrea: Okaaay…where does the March fit into this?
Mildred: Andrea, you would agree that the March Against The Patriarchy is a grassroots, populist movement.
Andrea: I would.
Mildred: And do you know what the most powerful force to elect politicians and enact legislation is?
Andrea: (hesitates) A grassroots, populist movement?
Mildred: Bingo! Now, you have a great opportunity here, with the March, to introduce support for making Flaccida mandatory and compulsory for men so that women no longer have to live every day with the fear of being raped, sexually assaulted, harassed, or advanced upon. If you can convince your celebrity speakers to advocate for legislation that would enforce the weekly consumption of Flaccida pills for men, I’m sure popular support for a law would pressure Congress to actually do something to protect women from all the Harvey Weinsteins, Bill Cosbys and Aziz Ansaris of the world.
Andrea: You want me to get ScarJo and Nat to drum up support for a law that will make all men impotent all the time? Why not pass a law that makes women wear chastity belts, or a law that forces all men to be castrated?
Eleanor: Oh, Andie, come on, nobody’s talking about castration. Although, that might be something to look into…
Mildred: Nobody’s talking about castration.
Natalie: Pfizer’s development of a chemical castration pill is still only in the early stages anyway.
Andrea: Um…doesn’t this sound a little…extreme? I mean, the forced impotence of all men? What if a woman wants to have consensual sex? What then?
Natalie: Well, Pfizer still sells Viagra. Just pop the little blue pill and the effects of Flaccida will be counteracted.
Andrea: Oh, I see. Pfizer will make out like a bandit on this deal.
Eleanor: Now, hold on, Andie, it’s not like that. We’re trying to make women safe. Flaccida will ensure that they don’t have to worry about any aggressive behavior from men that makes women feel uncomfortable. I mean, isn’t that what you want the March to help bring about? Don’t you want the March to lead to real, tangible and concrete results? You don’t organize these things every year just for a show of superficial solidarity, do you?
Andrea: (phone rings) Sorry, hold on. Hello? Oh, no, again? OK, I’ll be right there. Ladies, I have to go. Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd are fighting again.
Natalie: Oooh, tell them about Flaccida!
Andrea: I’ll think about it.
Image: The Telegraph, “Britten in Brooklyn”
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