Saturday, July 14, 2007

Mrow! Fffft!

Gracious. It seems that girls, even 'feminist' ones, will be girls:

In "Uncommon Arrangements," Roiphe also returns to another of her favorite themes, assuring readers, in a sentence that could have been the subtitle of "The Morning After," that "where a man has been monstrous, the woman has almost always had some hand in creating her particular monster."

"What you're picking up is my resistance to demonizing men," she said. "I have a definite ideological resistance to placing women in the role of victim, especially when you talk about something as intimate and complicated as their personal lives. I do believe that both people are always responsible, and I know from my own experience with marriage that it's very easy and seductive to see yourself as the victim. To me, there is a moral imperative to resist that story."

This is a tune Roiphe has been warbling for 14 years now, and it surely soothes those men who are sick of being told that sex is no longer theirs to take whenever they want it, that they have to share domestic duties, that they have to wear condoms to keep themselves and their partners safe. Don't worry, her books say. Not all of us want so much from you.

Pretty Lady must say that Rebecca Traister rather lost her, in that segue. She is At Sea. She is not at all certain how dear Rebecca got from Here to There, so to speak.

Because Pretty Lady herself has a certain resistance to demonizing men; she is a firm believer in Personal Responsibility for men and women equally; and she is perpetually alive to the debilitating effects of casting oneself in the role of Victim. She was unaware that this had anything to do with nonconsensual sex, condoms, or tedious domestic responsibilities.

And in fact, Rebecca's entire article seemed full of sterling examples of one of Pretty Lady's pet peeves; that is, the reckless Imputing of scurrilous Motives to a person with whom one does not happen to agree.
Here still is Roiphe's seductively low-pitched murmur, a signal tuned precisely for the ears of men who are sick of being hassled about the fucking Legos already. "This endless conversation about who is doing what in terms of house responsibilities and all that," said Roiphe wearily. "To me it goes back to that great Joan Didion essay: We are mired in the trivial."
Pretty Lady's mind, quite frankly, boggles. She scarcely knows where to begin. Her thoughts, roughly, in no particular order:

1) We ARE mired in the Trivial, most definitely, no doubt.

2) The catty insinuation of tone in the initial sentence is precisely what Pretty Lady would expect from the most Patriarchy-Pandering female in existence, which in itself makes the sentence a textbook example of Obvious Projection.

3) It is disingenuous in the extreme for a self-proclaimed 'feminist' to disavow the provocative powers of such underhanded insinuation; such power may, indeed, be used to Create Monsters, male or female.

4) Whoever cares the most about a particular domestic task, performs the task. This is a rule of existence, which no amount of trivial bickering, nagging, picketing, politicking or divorcing will change.

5) Mature persons are capable of an honest disagreement without resorting to such smarmy character smears.

6) The 'disagreement' in any case appears to be largely a matter of perspective, and not a fundamental misalignment at all. At least when we disregard the insulting rhetoric and look merely at the logical underpinnings of each lady's statement.

7) Though in the case of Rebecca Traister, alas, the term 'lady' must be applied advisedly.


Anonymous said...

Whoever cares the most about a particular domestic task, performs the task.

That sounds oddly reminiscent of my living arrangement.

Ain't marriage grand?

Anonymous said...

I second that.