There is a fantastic benefit the dames at LUPEC Boston have created this September: a number of area bars and restaurants are donating the proceeds from a specific woman-themed cocktail to Jane Doe, Inc, the MA Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence. So naturally, when Julia, Janell, Joanna and I met up after work last night, we went to participating restaurant No. 9 Park, to splurge on a fancy cocktail and know the proceeds were going to help a great organization.
We had a lovely time. And then at the end of the night, someone from the restaurant approached Julia and me to ask how our drinks were. There was some awkward banter, and then he asked why we were there. Well, we like the idea of cocktails for this cause. Our literary magazine, Julia pointed out, is run by all women.
"Hopefully not battered women!" he quipped.
Ha ha, it's a safe joke, guys! Because everyone knows battered women don't drink cocktails at No. 9 Park! It's not their scene. Battered women don't go out in public. In fact, I don't know a single woman who's been physically or psychologically abused by a partner or parent, or witnessed the abuse of a mother, sister, friend... It's a them issue, not an us issue. And it certainly doesn't touch the editorial staff of Fringe.
I think this was an isolated case, as No. 9 Park is woman-owned and operated and known for civic engagement. So chalk it up to awkwardness, insensitivity or ignorance on this one employee's part. But I left feeling a little angry, and conscious of how much more work we need to do to build awareness of violence against women.
For more information about LUPEC Boston and Jane Doe, Inc, please click
Follow the LUPEC Boston link to find out which bars are doing the cocktail promo in September. The Jane Doe site has info on how to donate directly.