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It’s the end of the work day. I am writing my final story when my editor approaches. He has a copy of another story I have written in his hand. When he had asked to see a copy of it, I honestly didn’t expect to see it again. That’s the way he works.

This time he stops by my desk and drops a heavily penned copy of the story on my desk. Briefly he bends toward me and explains why he has made the corrections. He does not look me in the eyes: he has been somewhat intimidated by me since I realized that many women’s fallback position of “smile and be nice” doesn’t get me anywhere in this particular relationship. He shuffles away and I look at the paper briefly and put it aside without much thought; he has done much worse to other stories for less reason. A colleague of mine whom I don’t know very well; much younger, male and restless, leans toward me.

“What a misogynist,” he says. “He only does that to women.”


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