Social Experiment – Worlds Collide Part 2

| February 23, 2016 | 1 Comment

Let’s conduct a social experiment. Be sure to check out Gayathri Angou’s post for Part 1; this is Part 2. Part 1 and Part 2 are pieces originally written for male and female character by a girl and a boy–Gayathri and I, respectively. Then the pronouns in each piece are switched–the “she” and “her” are switched to “he” and “him.” This surprisingly changes the entire dynamic of the piece and ends up sounding rather odd… the experiences of men and women are starkly different in today’s society–that’s a given. But interestingly, their experiences are starkly different in fiction and writing too.

Story 2A: Original

He sat there in his Womens’ Studies class, feeling very much left out of the conversation. It wasn’t that he didn’t read about these things, or understand these things, it’s just that they were a little outside of his area of expertise. The Professor discussed all these theories about feminism and he liked to think he put in the work to keep up. However, when it came down to discussion, he was always learning new things and had little new to contribute himself.

‘Hey,’ his classmate next to him said with a prod, ‘You feeling okay?’

‘Oh! Hey. Yeah,’ he replied awkwardly, ‘Just a little distracted by all the…’

He tried to think of a word other than “distractions” for several long seconds.

‘…Distractions,’ he finished.

Class ended promptly, and as he was rising he felt the need to thank his classmate for having noticed his state of stupor. However, he found himself shrinking back at the last second when his face met his classmate’s backpack.

A little annoyed with himself, he then made his way to Pavement Café to grab a cup of hot chocolate. He pulled his beanie off his head as he approached the counter, and it was there he spotted a familiar face from class.

Kate: “Hey! I think we’re in Calc II together?”

John: “Hey yeah we’re in the Tuesday lectures together! You are…? Sorry I’m forgetting your name.”

Kate (laughs): “That’s no problem, I’m Kate.”

John: “Ahh Kate, and I’m John.”

Kate: “So how’s your day been?”

John: “Great, for the most part. Just tired, just got done with my Women’s Studies class. You?” (laughs)

Kate: “Yeah it’s been alright, had a rather strange interaction with my lab coordinator along the lines of girl and guy stereotypes in the mech eng industry, so yeah really fun stuff.”

Barista: “Vanilla Latte for Kate!”

Kate: “That’s me! Alright see ya John!”

John: “See ya in Calc!”

Hot chocolate in hand and done with classes for the day, he then stepped out and began to make his way back to his room, thinking wistfully of the new episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Story 2B: John is now Kate

She sat there in her Womens’ Studies class, feeling very much left out of the conversation. It wasn’t that she didn’t read about these things, or understand these things, it’s just that they were a little outside of her area of expertise. The Professor discussed all these theories about feminism and she liked to think she put in the work to keep up. However, when it came down to discussion, she was always learning new things and had little new to contribute herself.

‘Hey,’ her classmate next to her said with a prod, ‘You feeling okay?’

‘Oh! Hey. Yeah,’ she replied awkwardly, ‘Just a little distracted by all the…’

She tried to think of a word other than “distractions” for several long seconds.

‘…Distractions,’ she finished.

Class ended promptly, and as she was rising she felt the need to thank her classmate for having noticed her state of stupor. However, she found herself shrinking back at the last second when her face met her classmate’s backpack.

A little annoyed with herself, she then made her way to Pavement Café to grab a cup of hot chocolate. She pulled her beanie off her head as she approached the counter, and it was there she spotted a familiar face from class.

John: “Hey! I think we’re in Calc II together?”

Kate: “Hey yeah we’re in the Tuesday lectures together! You are…? Sorry I’m forgetting your name.”

John (laughs): “That’s no problem, I’m John.”

Kate: “Ahh John, and I’m Kate.”

John: “So how’s your day been?”

Kate: “Great, for the most part. Just tired, just got done with my Women’s Studies class. You?” (laughs)

John: “Yeah it’s been alright, had a rather strange interaction with my lab coordinator along the lines of girl and guy stereotypes in the mech eng industry, so yeah really fun stuff.”

Barista: “Vanilla Latte for John!”

John: “That’s me! Alright see ya Kate!”

Kate: “See ya in Calc!”

Hot chocolate in hand and done with classes for the day, she then stepped out and began to make her way back to her room, thinking wistfully of the new episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Featured photo: Temed el amor de la mujer más que el odio del hombre. via photopin (license)

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Category: featured, Poetry, Prose and Comedy, The (Sex)es

Aaraf Afzal

About the Author ()

Aaraf Afzal is many things, but he's not particularly good at being any of them. He continues to work towards this goal, among others, studying Film & TV and Economics at Boston University. An avid subscriber to the belief that all forms of media have their own sense of artistic beauty, he is particularly invested in writing fiction and recently released his first novel "Re: Revolution" in Bangladesh. Alongside his pursuits at Culture Shock, he's currently at work writing an online series called "The Chosen Zeroes." Fandoms and inspirations include Neil Gaiman, Kingdom Hearts, Ratchet and Clank, Marvel Comics, and Culture Shock. Giggity.

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