Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Missed Opportunity

I have no stage combat expertise, no equestrian experience at all, really no form of performance on my resume of any kind since I taught Korean high schoolers to sing English pop songs eight years ago--so it comes as no small surprise that I am nonetheless totally qualified to be a Squire at the local Medieval Times. I can lift 40 pounds. am a team player. I do have an interest in moving up, someday, to a Knight role. It seems providential: half a  dozen bullet points, and with each one I tick off affirmatively I am more and more startled that this is in fact something I can do until I have said yes for them all. Having spent the afternoon realizing I am, at best, passably qualified for one or two of the hundreds of posting in art, education, nonprofit, writing, ETC, part-time, and gigs, Craigslist seems for a moment like kismet. There's only one thing Craigslist has offered me without hesitation, and if I clicked on it only out of curiosity, it seems for a moment that was no mistake: I was meant for this.

Except there's a line of fine print. The writing is kind of beautiful, actually, exquisitely nimble in its lawyerly care, so impressive I hardly feel discriminated against as it explains that a commitment to historic accuracy means the part has been scripted for a male. Females need not apply.

I have already learned from Craigslist ads that I am too old to be an egg donor, too childless to be a surrogate mother. Now I'm just too female to apply for a job wearing a tunic. I spend a few days wondering about gender identity and Medieval Times, about the historic accuracy of paper crowns, and by time I'm ready to bind my breastbecause, seriously, what is more historically accurate than a female dressing as a man for the economic advantage or personal fulfillment denied to her sex?it doesn't matter. The ad has come down.

1 comment:

Club Narwhal said...

why medieval times, WHY!??? also, i felt similarly when i wanted to be part of recreational historic village set-ups, like Williamsburg of Plymouth Plantation, and realized that it would be unlikely that i would ever be hired due to my, well, asian-ness. i suppose they could put me in the native american section but it still felt like a lie. welcome to america.