I never intended to become a zombie huntress; I had only intended to protest prom, high school’s last bastion of patriarchal society. I felt bad for the girls in my school, who flocked to prom like it was the second coming of Christ, complete with double-rainbows and unicorns. I would save them from all things prom: the spaghetti straps, push-up bras, and fuck-me pumps in candy colors. I’d save them from the horror of hair extensions, the tyranny of tooth whitening, and the stupidity of silk-tip manicures. I’d save them from the neon hideousness of fake-n-bake tans, and from the ultimate indignity, the Brazilian bikini wax. All this ending in the evening’s most absurd moment, the deflowering of virgins by dumb jocks in the back of Daddy’s old Beemer. Dear sweet Gloria Steinem, it’s enough to make me gag.
I’d been protesting prom for weeks, standing next to the prom ticket table with a table of my own. My best friend Cokie, who’s as quiet as she is loyal, sat dutifully beside me as I handed out my carefully-composed, Pulitzer-quality flyers, like “Prom and the Reinforcement of Stereotypical Gender Roles in Our Modern Society,” and not to be outdone, “Prom and Its Effects on the Developing Female Mind: The Dis-ease of Mass Consumerism.” I secretly slipped in some other flyers, like “Meat is Murder” and “Veganism and You: Fighting the Meat-Industrial Complex.” I even included, out of the kindness of my heart, a recipe for my favorite vegan, gluten-free brownies. The best way to reach people is to bombard them while you have their attention, and hope that something, or anything, sticks.
But I wasn’t sure if anyone was listening. I needed to be at prom, with my bullhorn and picket signs, telling my fellow womyn they had one last chance to redeem themselves and embrace feminism before it was too late. Even though there’s nowhere I’d rather be on a Friday night than staying in, reading Simone de Beauvoir by the fireplace, and painting my fingernails black, I knew that being on the scene at prom would be my last chance to save souls. Except prom night did not go as I had imagined.
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