This is what greeted me on Christmas Eve morning. I did not know that I would cause so much anguish, for this letter writer continued, “It makes my stomach churn to hear a woman talk this way.” There are many ellipses—apparently from a finger stuck on the keyboard in catatonia. The letter writer claims that I contradict myself:
“And when you were done writing this article you scratched your balls and said ‘It is good.’”
I’ll have to try those gender rolls some time; I’m getting tired of Kroger brown ‘n serve. This letter-writer, obviously an A student in Women’s Studies 101, then put her own powers of feminist Freudian analysis on me:
“First you say this is what happens when there are no men around to run herd over us silly women and then you seems [sic] to be saying we women should all strive to be like men. You don’t seem to understand that its [sic] these twisted Conservative/Fundy marriages with their fixed gender rolls [sic] that have women stuck at home to watch the View in the first place, probably as they wash down some Xanax with cheap Chardonay [sic] at 11 AM.”
Actually, the breasts I’m scared of are the artificially enhanced ones that pop out of Victoria’s Secret Infinity Edge Push-Up bras and that can be used like Caterpillar wheel dozers by “assertive” and “strong” English department heads to push around adjuncts like me. I was also scared of the pointy ones that Madonna had in her early shows. However, one dare not criticize the use of such weapons for these are examples of how women can “choose” to do what they want with their bodies. The poor dear continues:
“I think you are scared of your own breasts.”
Other online armchair psychoanalysts said I wanted a penis. I was called names that I won’t repeat. Some, who have wept tears for imprisoned terrorists, suggested forms of torture for me. Many readers assumed I had a husband who vetted the column before it was published. Many compared me to Serena Joy who has become as familiar to public school students as Macbeth once was. They assumed that I was a brainwashed wife of an oppressive patriarch, like the character in Margaret Atwood’s feminist propaganda novel, “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Most of these women claim they don’t need any man. Well, with partners like Rosie O’Donnell to do the heavy lifting, I guess not. But I had many nice comments and suggestions, too. Several commentators suggested a talk show called the “Right View,” with panelists like Michelle Malkin, Laura Ingraham, and yours truly. That’s quite an idea. I don’t believe that this country has had a Slovenian-born American talk show host. Which set me to thinking: who would I invite? One of my first guests would be Elizabeth Kantor. For audience members we would provide gift bags with her recently published book, “The Politically Incorrect Guide to English and American Literature” (Regnery). In addition to providing renewed appreciation for all the dead white male authors, Professor Kantor gives the real scoop on what Margaret Atwood’s novel is about. We could discuss Jane Austen and her promotion of patriarchy. Also my fave, Flannery O’Connor, who shows that “even modern American liberals aren’t immune to original sin.” I think that such a discussion would be more effective in restoring clear thought in feminists on the verge than even smelling salts. It might even lead women back to recognizing the thought appropriate to different arenas. For example, in scholarship and politics, we would use logic again. In questions of abortion, we would use compassion, and not ruthless arithmetic. I would have some strong principled men on the program, like Congressmen Tom Tancredo, who has firmly stood against illegal immigration, and Virgil Goode, who has called for ending diversity visas that give preference to Muslim immigrants (a Clinton legacy). These two are the men who care about women enough that they don’t want to see us raped by Mexican gangs or forced to wear the hijab. I think I would also follow the format of women’s talk shows (like Oprah) and invite some victims. On one segment I would have women harmed by feminist men. I would have women like myself who have been shouted down by long-haired hippies who claim they bravely marched and “changed the world” and ended the Vietnam War, and tell me and President Bush’s daughters to go fight in Iraq. I would have college teachers like myself who have been victimized by female department heads who mandate that we place on our syllabi the objectives of “gaining a better understanding of race, class, and gender.” And for a public flogging I would put on the stage the male intellectual castrati who follow orders of such female bosses. Men in days of old could smell the danger of a female take-over, whether at the pulpit, at the lectern, or the battlefield. I would have men who will knock away the cookies that are brought by the department head to meetings—the woman who uses an e-mail signature line from bell hooks, lives in a multi-million dollar high rise condo, and will not let you mention anything positive about Western civilization in the classroom. I will have men who will put those little pimp-tweeb rappers in their places and not let them talk about women the way they do. These men will take over English departments and fire any mush-brained Ph.D. who puts the lyrics of Tupac Shakur on her syllabus as a selection of “poetry” or asks for travel funds to present a paper on “fat studies.” I would have a woman who has given in to spoiled men and offered shelter, food, and sex to men, “trying out” a relationship, only to find that no matter how much she “works on herself,” the boyfriend will never be “ready” for a commitment. This is the woman who has been pressured into aborting the children the boyfriend was not “ready for,” and now finds herself middle-aged, living with five cats, and popping Paxil every night. We would have some psychologists on to help her get over the delusion that her “choices” means that she is a “strong” woman. I would also have some male victims on the program, like the college students I’ve taught who’ve had feminist ideology imposed on them even in math classes. These are the young men so immune to “empowered” women showing flesh that they think nothing unusual of the dress of their female classmates: tank tops, and jeans so low and tight that a photo of one from the back sitting down could not be published in a family newspaper. Maybe there is a reason so many of them turn to violent video games and pornography and make an increasingly smaller percentage of the student body. Even tag and kickball have been outlawed on some playgrounds. They have been told since elementary school that only women, and men of color, deserve to live. Maybe that’s why they emulate rappers—the only (and distorted) representations of masculinity allowed by the Left.
“And by the way, categorizing yourself as ‘not a typical woman’ so that you can set yourself apart to criticize other women is so lame. No matter how you try you’ll never actually be a man and no matter that men may be agreeing with you that ‘those silly women really do need looking after’, they are not impressed by you or do they really give a s*** what you think. . . . . after all YOU ARE A WOMAN!!!”
I would also devote one full show to the book I mentioned in my previous column, “Truth and Method” by the German philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer, who took on the prima donna of the French post-structuralists, Jacques Derrida. Yes, the French, in addition to their military acts of treason, are also guilty of intellectual treason. Gadamer was not on the reading list of a literary theory class, but the professor let me do my presentation and paper on him. In this way, by reading the authors routinely disparaged by my cutting edge professors, I managed to get a pretty good education. Among the French postmodernists like Foucault, Derrida, Barthes, and Kristeva, I found Gadamer quite refreshing, especially in his promotion of Aristotle’s concept of “sensus communus,” or common sense, which is in very short supply in the culture wars, especially in that theater: the academy.