Cowboy Grace

Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Every woman tolerates misogyny.” Alex said. She slid her empty beer glass across the bar, and tucked a strand of her auburn hair behind her ear. “How much depends on how old she is. The older she is the less she notices it. The more she expects it.”

Bullshit.” Carole took a drag on her Virginia Slim, crossed her legs, and adjusted her skirt. “I don’t tolerate misogyny.”

Maybe we should define the word,” Grace said, moving to the other side of Carole. She wished her friend would realize how much the smoking irritated her. In fact, the entire night was beginning to irritate her. They were all avoiding the topic du jour: the tiny wound on Grace’s left breast, stitches gone now, but the skin still raw and sore.

Mis-ah-jenny.” Carole said, as if Grace were stupid. “Hatred of women.”

From the Greek,” Alex said. “Misos or hatred and gyne or women.”

Not,” Carole said, waving her cigarette as if it were a baton, “misogamy, which is also from the Greek. Hatred of marriage. Hmm. Two male misos wrapped in one.”

The bartender, a diminutive woman dressed wearing a red and white cowgirl outfit, complete with fringe and gold buttons, snickered. She set down a napkin in front of Alex and gave her another beer.

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