Inspired by the rash of high-profile, high-earning new women fighters (Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, author of Lean In; political dynamo Reshma Saujani, NY public advocate candidate and author of Women Who Don’t Wait in Line; and ubiquitous naked singer Miley Cyrus who says, “Every time I do anything, I wanna remember: This is what separates me from everybody else. I have this freedom to do whatever I want”), an intrepid underground traveler sent this report to me, in the interest of disseminating her message of young female power:
So I was riding on the train, and suddenly I had a thought: Gee, wouldn’t this ride be a whole lot more entertaining if I got up off my duff and rode between the cars? Even though I can’t afford the new iPhone, I could take a selfie movie with my little Nikon. All I had to do was lean in and over while holding the camera between my knees. I could do something creative and different like rub up against the door in a really sexy way and then post it on YouTube. Then Queen Latifah or J-Lo or maybe Hillary would call and then I could give up this job search—which, let me tell you, has gotten pretty boring since being laid off four years ago.
So even though it was rush hour and the subway was like sardines, I pushed my way toward the end of the car. A couple of guys in suits gave me a look like was I trying to rob them, but I just shot them the “watch out, I know how to fight” finger and told them, “I’m just leaning in like Sheryl Sandberg said to do, and grabbing my place between cars, whether it’s my turn or not, and separating myself from your sorry Wall Street asses so I can take my rightful place on YouTube.”
“You’re what?!” said a woman who looked old enough to be my mother. “Sweetheart, that’s a good way to kill yourself.”
“Old school,” I said, giving her a friendly wave. She couldn’t help it if she was from the ice age of Gloria Steinem.
“Miss,” said an old guy with a tool case standing in front of her. “You really don’t wanna—”
“Don’t mess with me, mister,” I said, yanking on the sliding door. “After I go viral, to which I will cause it’s been deemed the evolutionary movement of which I’m a part, will you ever be sorry!”
“Obfuscation,” mumbled the old guy to the old woman as he moved toward me. “They do that when they want to seem smart.”
“Yeah, right,” I scoffed. “I’m gonna be your friggin boss!”
And that’s when all hell broke loose. As I slid open the door, the old guy tried to subdue my between-car dancing passion by grabbing me around my waist, but I simply stamped on his instep while jabbing him with my elbow just like I learned to do in my fight classes, and before you knew it, I was on the landing between trains with the door shut and about a hundred guys shouting at me from the other side of the glass.
I could tell this was my moment. So I raised my hand for them to pay attention and with the other hand, I whipped out my Nikon and started filming. First I aimed it at the old woman who was smooshed up against the door trying to get it open against the hundred guys who had fallen against her when I made my escape. Then I put the camera between my knees and started doing this sexy wiggle thing, leaning my butt out over the train’s connecting thingy, which was a little hairy since we must’ve been going about a million miles an hour. “Oh, this is sooo good,” I mouthed, making my lips all pouty on the “O” words. I could just see this on YouTube. Screw waiting in line for some sorry-assed job waiting tables or selling cosmetics at Macy’s. I’ll be all over the news and the entertainment gossip shows after this thing streams. Hell, Miss Oprah herself will call after this ahead-of-the curve daredevil act, and I’ll probably get my own show—that’s what I was thinking when the train screeched and halted, throwing me down on the tracks, which is where I broke my legs and neck and how I ended up in this sorry-assed body cast.
The doctors said if I hadn’t fought off the conductor by insisting on leaning in on the third rail and trying to walk, I might not have become a paraplegic, but ya know, we’re a new breed, we younger female gladiators. We take what’s ours, we separate ourselves from the pack, and we’re not afraid to fight.