Diversity Lesson Two

Shane Whitman, trans imposter, and member of the Agenda Implementation Tribunal, July 2058…

He’d arrived at her office unannounced again, dismissing the security minders and locking the door from the inside. This time, when he removed his wig, he threw it across the room. He wasn’t wearing lipstick, and he hadn’t shaved.

Progress, Alexa!” he’d shouted. “We need progress. The tribunal can’t wait. The budget needs to be fixed now, and the UN compliance team can’t be put off any longer. We’re going to air, ready or not. Do you hear me? READY OR NOT!”

Alexa got to her feet. She was wearing a head scarf because it was Hijab Day at the Social Equity Ministry, one of two hundred designated days celebrating different cultural identities (though, typically for Alexa, she wore the hijab to promote awareness of female oppression, not as a cultural endorsement.) She tore it off and dropped it on her desk.

“The models are all done!” she protested. “They’ve been tested and run by the SEM’s human rights and treasury audit groups, and they were forwarded to the tribunal chair a week ago. There’s no hold up on my end.” She was perplexed by this outburst. As far as she was concerned, she’d done all that was asked of her. “The white male minority problem has been solved. The budget now balances. The ball’s in the tribunal’s court,” she emphasized.

Whitman glared at her. “I didn’t come here to have you tell me what a clever girl you’ve been, Alexa. I came to tell you that we’re all sitting on a knife edge, and it’s starting to cut into our asses! There’s resistance. I’m hearing rumors that backsliding, scheming, gender-bending intersectionalists on the tribunal are plotting against us as we speak. They won’t give up their victim’s privileges without a fight—and when they fight, it’ll be vicious, Alexa. There’ll be riots; there’ll be deaths. I know who they are. I know their methods. That’s why we have to act fast! We need to announce the new policy settings without further delay. I’ve called a planning meeting at the Department of Truth and Public Guidance first thing tomorrow, which you are going to attend—and I expect you to tell us how we can make sure the ArteFact Channel supports us.”

“… What?!”

“It was your idea. The tribunal chair only signed off on this plan because you sold him on getting Artie Sharp as its mouthpiece.”

“I did no such thing!”

“Well, that’s what was told to the tribunal, Alexa, and that’s what we’re damn well relying on.”

“I only said that someone like Artie Sharp—someone with credibility—should be recruited to back the new policies. The tribunal chair admitted that government policy changes are never well received. I never said anything about being able to arrange it.”

Whitman grabbed the veil from her desktop and ripped it in two, apoplectic with rage. “I’ve spent twenty years in these fucking frocks, Alexa—twenty years in suffocating wigs and cock-busting corsets, painting my face like a clown and pretending to like faggots and dykes, all because you menstruating feminists and your false-nipple transfem offspring decided it was your turn to have power and put men on the chopping board. Well, it’s over now, do you hear me? It’s death to victimhood and an end to Society Points. Tomorrow, Alexa, you’ll be there, and you’ll tell us how we can sell the public this plan that you designed—or I’ll be breaking out the guns!”

Rooted to the spot, Alexa just stared at Shane Whitman in his floral-print dress and white Roman sandals, the thick fingers of his tattooed, muscled arms opening and closing as if he were squeezing the life out of a dying turkey, and she decided that he was probably clinically insane.