We’ve all been there. It’s 11:37 PM. You drove to a Philadelphia suburb to celebrate the engagement/marriage/pregnancy/birthday of a friend or her dog. For the sake of brevity, let’s not dig too far into the nature of the term “friend” being used between two women who met in a frat basement.

You’ve met her friends from high school before. They still define themselves as “the girls” and “their guy friends” despite the fact that we’re literally thirty. They listen to a lot of Chris Brown and wear t-shirts with zippers with boat shoes they’ve had for a decade.

Matt Bennett has been on the prowl. You know what he wants. We all know what he wants. Your heart starts racing. You’re cornered.

You’re about to have a one-sided philosophical dialog about Friedrich Nietzsche’s Wikipedia page, whether you want to or not. Unless you try these tactics.


Imply that your faith kept you from killing yourself, and for that matter, everyone at this party

Start with an innocent aside about how your faith in Mother Gaia, belief in astrology, and can-do attitude got you out of a deep shame spiral that started, along with your bulimia and step-father moving in, when you read Beyond Good and Evil.

Extrapolate wildly, maybe even show him the thinly veiled suicide note you used as your Common App essay.

Ask for his honest opinions on Gustav Landauer

Maybe start with some condescending factoid or joke that makes little to no sense. For instance, if he starts to tell you how Nietzsche proposed to Lou Andreas-Salomé three times, laugh and say “well at least he didn’t die in Munich like poor old cuck Gustav Laundauer.”

Make sure not to imply whether you agree or disagree with Laundauer’s pacifist leanings, or make it clear that your basement is flooding—as we all know Gustav was a total smoke!

Drink too much

Presented without comment.

Ask if his idea of the Übermensch is also white, ya know, like he is

No way to cut off an Aryan taking a Philosophy course to impress Lillith, (hopefully the first wife of Adam, but probably the new girl in HR at Goldman), like bringing up the Holocaust.

Pivot into a conversation about the merits of “Baby It’s Cold Outside”

This is perhaps the only topic that you can womansplain without being spoken over or stoned to death. To confuse him, talk exclusively about sexual liberation while simultaneously throwing the drink he just fetched you onto the floor.

Mimic signs of Pneumonia

Trigger his subconscious hypochondria by coughing, uninterrupted, for 45 seconds. While in your fit, tape on a very dramatic fake mustache. Stare at him and shout “DID I DIE AS GOD DID?”

If that doesn’t get him, just hold your breath until you pass out.

Use the word “Eschatology”

You can really find any way to use it, it truly couldn’t matter less. Some of my greatest hits include:

  • “Have you viewed any of Nietzche’s work through the lens of Islamic Eschatology?”
  • “You just reminded me! Eschatology!”
  • “Will you be a dear and pass the hummus plate, Eschatology?”

Pretend you just got your period

This is an oldie but a goodie. Stare at him and rip a picture of Pope Leo XIII in half. Take a vial of lamb’s blood out of your purse, pour it on yourself and scream, “Friedrich, amirite?”

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