There’s something about those scratches on the other door that makes you nervous, so you decide to choose the pristine door. But even so, there’s something off about this door and you can’t quite put your finger on it. Is it somehow aggressively trying to tell you how nice it is? Like, if you didn’t choose it, maybe it would ask why people always choose the scratched door when they could be choosing such a nice door? No, doors are just doors, they don’t say things. So you approach the door. You put your nose to the gap between the jamb and the door and a soft breeze blows out, filling your nose with a scent you can’t quite place.
You feel something come over you. You decide to just go for it. You grab the handle and you yank that door open. A wave of the mystery scent washes over you as you feel yourself being sucked through the doorway. But, oh god, recognition sets in and you start clawing at the frame, trying to prevent yourself from going in. Whoever is on the other side, you don’t want to meet them, because you know what that smell is, you’ve smelled it before. You’ve smelled it on Chad, your college floormate, who said he had that poster of two women kissing on his wall because it was art. You’ve smelled it on Derek, who was in your film class and had multiple tattoos of Fight Club quotes. Worst of all, you’ve smelled it on Gary, about whom the less said the better. You’ve never been so sure in your life. That smell is Axe body spray, and you are certain you’ve chosen the wrong door.
But it’s too late. In spite of your herculean efforts to resist, you are sucked through the doorway and the door slams shut behind you. As you turn around and reach for the knob, the door vanishes, replaced by a door-sized version of that poster Chad had. You turn around and survey your surroundings. This place is dimly lit. You seem to be in an open space, something like the atrium of a building. In the distance you see the flickering of what seems to be a campfire. You can make out the shapes of people around it, but you’re not sure how many. You creep towards them, not wanting to to be noticed if you can help it. You can hear a man’s voice talking and the group around him giving short responses and cheers. As you approach, you start to make out the words:
“And we’re forced to meet here in the middle of the night, because if any of those sheeple knew we were having the inaugural meeting of U of T Law’s Men’s Rights Club, they would have a meltdown.” He pauses briefly for shouts of “Yeah!” and “You said it!” before continuing: “Because the rest of our class just can’t handle the truth. And the truth is that men these days, aren’t allowed to be men. To get a modern woman to love us now we have to what? Love romantic comedies? Have more than one pair of jeans? Be kind to people? My buddies, where do we draw the line?”
You are so mesmerized by this torrent of nonsense that you stop paying attention to where you are walking and, with a loud crash, you knock over a garbage can.
“Who’s there?” the leader demands. You desperately look around for somewhere to run, but there doesn’t seem to be any way out, so you approach the group. The first thing you notice is that it’s not a real campfire, just a video of one on someone’s iPad. The next thing you notice is all of these goateed, clean-cut, Axe body spray-wearing men are looking at you like you’re some sort of alien. You put on your deepest, gruffest voice and say: “Men. I’ve come to join you.”
The leader approaches you now. He’s wearing a shirt with the words “This is what a Meninist looks like” on it. He is wearing khakis. “You?” he asks, looking shocked.
“Yes,” you reply, “it’s just not right what’s happening to men these days.” He thinks for a second.
Someone in the group shouts, “It’s a lie, Brett!”
Brett speaks again, slowly, deliberately: “You say you’re here to join us. If that’s true, tell me, what’s your favourite movie?” He’s calling you out. You need to come up with an answer, and fast: