By the end of this series I will have convinced you that the old gray lady truly hates women. Well, despises us, at least, unless we carry water for the patriarchy.
Maureen Dowd should have taught you that, already, or all those NYT pseudo-trends of women deciding not to have careers, after all that fuss of feminism, or those right-wing columnists (Brooks and His Brothers) who once in a while jab us in the butts with their knives of essentialism. Or even how the only feminist who gets column space there is Nicholas Kristof, and he only on women who live in other countries. If you are still unconvinced, let me give you a few recent pieces from that most excellent newspaper. I'm going to start with How To Strip For Fatherland:
The women arrived on time; they were, after all, Army wives. Gym-class demure in velour sweat pants, cotton T-shirts and dirt-smudged cross trainers, they looked ready for a Pilates workout.
Until Amanda Knight slipped on a pair of blood-red high heels. And Charlene Jernigan pulled on shoulder-length satin gloves. And Jen McNeil wrapped a blue-and-white feather boa around her shoulders. Then Lily Burana, the instructor, cranked up the music. Vintage Peggy Lee, circa 1966.
So let me get right to the point.
I don't pop my cork for every guy I see.
Hey, big spender, spend a little time with me.
Shoulders dipped, hips thrust, knees bounced, legs kicked, boa feathers fluttered. "One for Uncle Sam, y'all!" Ms. Burana shouted.
This is about a strip-tease course for military wives whose husbands are coming back from those blood-soaked fields of Afghanistan or Iraq. The point of the course is a very odd one. The creator of the course wants to help these women:
"Military wives are the strongest women that I know," she said. "It's moving every 12 to 18 months. It's multiple deployments. It's raising your children without a spouse at home. It's trying to work when you're moving as much as you do. All kinds of things that are absolutely mind-bending."
What these stressed-out women obviously need is to learn to strip-tease! That was the one skill they missed and the one skill Uncle Sam really needs! After all, every wife is now competing with porn, and military wives are stripping not only for their husbands but for the country!
That's what is angering me about the article: Its blind acceptance of the idea that military wives owe the country the provision of professional sexual services, its ignorance of the real reasons why military marriages are in trouble (hint: war and killing and long absences). The writer doesn't put any of this into perspective, never doubts the point of this strip-tease therapy, never asks what these women really need. It's all guy-centered and women are the things guys fuck. If they don't feel like fucking, it's the women's fault and they must try harder.
Thanks to C.A. for the link.