One of my friends called the other day…very apologetically. She was down on main campus, and needed a ride back up to her apartment. She asked me if I could drive her, so she didn’t have to walk.

She asked me if I minded being woken up at two in the morning.

I mumbled something, and got in my car.

What I wish I’d said is as follows.

Yes. Yes, I mind it terribly. I hate it when the patriarchy calls me at such an ungodly hour and demands my attention. And it is wont to do just such things, for it is neither polite nor (despite many suggestions otherwise) godly. It’s a choice between two evils, and there’s no winning.

I’m protective, and I try to be generous with my time. But I hate the way the patriarchy twists that around and makes it a virtue that is excluded to the class of masculine men, and wants me to think about my friend as an object of protection and not as a takenoshit woman in her very own right. I hate the way it uses racialized imagery to pit us against each other. I hate the way that it makes my acknowledgement of the violence patriarchy produces into a reinforcement of the culture of fear. I hate just about everything about it.

But nobody said there was any purity in the revolution. And I’d rather work on dispelling stereotypes and cultures of fear rather than sleep in only to wake up to bad news. Freedom of movement is crucial, and there can be no compromise about that demand. But I leave it to my friends to make those calls. Whatever they decide, I’ll do my best not to be crabby about driving around at night. Because I don’t mind helping my friends. Not in the least.

But I do blame the patriarchy.