Saturday, March 21, 2015

Queens County Revisited: The 1970's (20)

The only person I can recall ever speaking to me in the Queensborough Community College library during the 1970's was a white woman wearing blue jeans in her late teens or early 20's, who looked kind of hip and and seemed physically attractive. She approached me in the library as I was sitting behind a library desk while reading, and she said: "Excuse me. Would you like to go out with me now and have a cup of coffee together?

"Sure," I quickly replied. Then I closed my book and started to stand up.

By the 1970's, I had outgrown the notion, which I had been brought up on, that only the man should be the one to ask a woman for a date or initiate a relationship with a woman; and that a woman who asked a man for a date or attempted to be the one initiating the relationship should automatically be rejected by a man. So, by the 1970's, women around my age who were non-traditional and liberated enough to ask a man for a date tended to be the kind of women I found more interesting to get to know better.

But by the time I finished standing up, the Queensborough Community College woman student had pulled a clipboard and pen out of her pocketbook and was making a check on the paper which was attached to the clipboard, as she said: "Actually, I'm really just doing a survey for my sociology class to find out how most men respond when a woman approaches them and asks them for a date. And you're the first man who didn't seem to mind being approached and asked out by a strange woman."

"Oh," I said, feeling slightly disappointed that she was only playacting, in order to gather data for her survey. "Most of the other men you asked probably don't support women's liberation as much as I do, I imagine. But if you want, I'd still like to go out and have a cup of coffee with you." 

"Thanks for asking. But I already have a boyfriend. And thanks for helping me do the survey," she replied, as she put her clipboard and pen back into her pocketbook and began to look around the library to see if any other men to approach were sitting alone at some other library table.

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