Two hours had passed and Daniel’s mom still hadn’t returned. He had spent his time destructively productive bouncing through anger, feeling sorry for himself and obsessing about the details of the betrayal.
He felt stupid that he had believed that Zoe was different and wondered how many people knew that she was having an affair. He thought back to the cocktail party three weeks ago they had both attended. Many of her colleagues were there and he wondered which of them knew – which ones were laughing at him or looking at him with pity.
It was probably for the best that she was in Washington this week, he thought. He didn’t want to approach this aggressively because if he did he would lose his position to ensure she answered for herself.
It was time to retrieve Catherine from school and the last thing Daniel wanted to do was speak with other dads and the few moms who congregated outside of the school gates. Every other day, he chatted with Brian and Sue about the school curriculum, the teachers or something else meaningless to pass the time until the children filed out.
He had been resistant to Catherine going to an all girls private school, but Zoe had expressed that it would help her develop faster because the teacher would not have to educate boys, as everyone knew they were “slower”. Other mothers had agreed with this sentiment and Daniel conceded to his wife’s better judgment on educational matters – after all, she held a PhD from Harvard. Daniel finished university and knew he had done all he could. The expectation wasn’t on him to go on further anyway.
He jumped in his HydroV and set out for Catherine’s school. He activated the WebV in audio mode and tuned in to his favorite person to hate - Victoria Chan.
Victoria ran a conservative WebV show that was anti-progressive and anti-men. For three hours per day, she ranted about why women shouldn’t allow men to work in top tier management or have control over reproductive rights. He knew she was extreme in her views but many women hung off her every word.
Daniel often thought that if Victoria Chan had her way, the human race would die out pretty quickly because there would be no males left. He found that getting fired up by Victoria’s sexist comments took the edge of his feelings about what Zoe had done. The feelings of empowerment and indignation wouldn’t last very long but it was a welcome respite. Besides, he had invested in his hate of Victoria for far longer, and whether he wanted to admit it or not he was still in love with Zoe.
“What a bitch,” he said out loud in the privacy of his own vehicle. Although as he said it, he knew the next election would be fought on the very issues she represented. She may be the extreme but males had to fight just to keep the rights they had now. Since he was close to the political system, he already knew male’s rights were not going to be championed in this next election cycle, which had just started.
Daniel’s circle was a specific one and they all thought Victoria was extreme and out of touch with real people. He was, however, intensely aware that he lived in a bubble of privilege that would not gel with most of the country. The males’ movement by and large had been a non-starter. Unfortunately, as soon as their beliefs of equality were challenged they would become more aggressive, which always played into the establishment’s position on why men were equal but perhaps not quite as successful as women.
People dreamed of a male president, but that seemed as far off as an intergalactic accord at this point. “Huh, we’ll see a one-legged dwarf hermaphrodite take the office before there will be a male again,” Daniel said to himself with a snigger at this vision.
Daniel had spent his whole life watching girls groomed for greater things and knowing that males simply had genetic differences that made it impossible for them to hold high positions. Sure, there were successful male individuals, but they were the exception and not the rule.
He didn’t focus on these issues on a day-to-day basis, but today it all seemed more relevant somehow. No one could ever accuse Daniel of being a dissident or an idealist, but that didn’t mean that he didn’t feel that something wasn’t wrong.
He was running a couple of minutes late and traffic was at standstill around the school. At least I won’t have to speak to anyone, he thought as he found a parking space and hurriedly made his way to where he knew Catherine would be waiting.