Suzanne Fields

This is an almost-believable fantasy because nearly everyone in it is isolated by their computers, from which they seek friendship and love. Broad scans of the camera expose men and women walking and talking alone, speaking to the air, phone buds hidden in ear canals. That future, as all can see, is now.

When Theodore attempts a kiss with a woman of flesh and blood and their lips touch, she begins a monologue of instructions as if she's the voice of a GPS -- brake pressure on lips, move nose, turn left with tongue -- until she bursts into tears to ask if he'll be another one of those guys who only wants to take her to bed and will never call again.

If the disembodied computer voice is a fantasy of the feminized and passive man of the future, who seeks the perfect woman to respond to all his needs, the flesh-and-blood woman who tries to control the kiss is a real-life nightmare, aggressive and hysterical and terrorized by her ticking biological clock. There's real-life urgency in their failure to connect. He has been emotionally neutered and escapes into a relationship with a computer that "reads" his every need. She has grown aggressively angry about the way real men have treated her in seductive encounters.

This is the inevitable metaphor for what happens after decades of narrowing feminist ignorance of the natural and enduring differences between men and women. Glib how-to books that tell women how to take control can't teach them how to excite the masculine drive for creating and protecting a family.

In the movie "Her," a computerized woman with a husky voice goes a long way to seduce a man, but ultimately it's the feelings of a frustrated, angry human woman that leaves us questioning the direction for men and women moving into the new year and the future. The sequel is likely to be called "Him."


Suzanne Fields

Suzanne Fields is currently working on a book that will revisit John Milton's 'Paradise Lost.'

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