Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Essay June 1957

    I am not normally inclined to write essays. I was never fluent at the art as a student, and I do not strive to become fluent as an adult. I could never be Alexander Woolcott. But occasionally an author realizes that a more poetically framed piece of information misses its target. How many times has a playwrite, aiming an attack at a certain kind of mother-in-law, risen in disgust as an elderly matron fails to realize the import of his work? I refuse to take the chance, for I find I am becoming too often pushed into a classification in which, I have no wish to fit.
    Recently - perhaps I am more sensitive now than before, but I doubt it - I have been accused of wanting to "dominate" my girlfriend. The accusation has been made by that girlfriend, by a friend of hers, and by other woman I have known. Have I not heard, they as, of the age of equality? Do I not know that women have the vote, are working as hard as men, in men's jobs, and, in fact in Russia that a woman has every right a man could have? These are not all the questions. There are others. But summed up they imply that I rate, in my attitude to women, somewhere between Brigham Young and a White Slaver.
    Now, I bristle at this. I was brought up in the sort of home where it was often left to me to do the housework, cooking, baby-watching, and so on; and I became quite versatile in performing most of the chores to which the modern housewife is subjected. I do not brag, but state a fact. I am a damned good housekeeper. Only my natural good manners prevent me from outdoing woman at their own game. With this knowledge of housewife arts has come a sympathy for their lot. You see? Already I am sympathetic towards women. And yet I am still accused of wanting to dominate.
    Ah, you reply, if you are a woman, K.B. is only trying to prove his superiority. This is just Bulls....!

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