What have I gotten myself into? Maybe I was happy being a ... (Short short)
| A strange voice echoes through the room. "Welcome to the Alchemy Lounge. The change begins. Soon, you too will be a man. Nothing can be done to reverse this situation.
It's coming from the loudspeaker. "Prepare yourself for the reality of male privilege. No longer will people hit on you when you want them to stop. Or, when you don't. You will not be valued solely for your body. Nor for your thoughts and feelings. In fact, if you have any, best keep quiet. Men with feelings belong to a third class you don't even want to know about.
"Forget loneliness. Not a word you'll have use for, any more than the fish word for 'wet.' Implicit rejection from every woman. You do get to choose, of course, from whom you get explicit rejection. Want to be accepted? Oops."
After a short pause, the voice laughs. "Soon enough, you're going to behave like a hammer-headed throwback."
Another voice comes over the loudspeaker. "Don't mind Angelo. He likes to mess with your mind. I mean, all that stuff is true, and it gets worse. But, what he doesn't mention, is this funny little chemical we do."
Robin stands up and pumps her fist at the speaker. "Testosterone doesn't make that big a difference?" She shakes her head, runs her hand through her spiky hair.
"Says the guy whose natural supply is a little shy." The new voice laughs, a tinny, nightmare laugh. "The real 'male privilege' isn't money, prestige, respect, or even muscle mass. It's just ... testosterone, baby."
Angelo cut in. "Our clients have all the love they'll ever need, growing right out of their endocrine system. No half-way sissy-boys in the Alchemy fraternity."
Robin stumbled back against the wall and slowly sunk to the padded, steel-gray floor. She hunched down, stared between her knees and breathed.