Saturday, February 18, 2012

What Are Women For?

I’ve been flung headlong into a state of existential angst ever since reading James Poulos’s article, “What are Women For?” I can’t believe this entire time I have been going through life as though I am a full-fledged human being capable of independent thought, action and autonomous decision-making. I can be so stupid sometimes! It never even occurred to me to consider what I, as a woman, am “for.”

And since the article never directly answers the question, well, now I’m really stuck. For the last several hours, I’ve been wandering around like a clubbed sheep, unable to find a foothold, unable to figure out what to do, unable to even get out of my pajamas. It’s terrible. If there are any men out there who can tell me what I am for, immediately, I would be eternally grateful. I feel like a such a fool, going around as though I might  have had some purpose independent of my biological identity as female. All I can say is thank God there are brilliant thinkers out there like Poulos to ponder the hard questions and write such crystal clear, succinct sentences as:

“Anyone serious about thinking through the role of women in today’s civilization is doing worthless work unless they take the controversies on the right hand in hand with the unsuccessfully suppressed tensions on the opposite side of the spectrum, where disagreements far more volatile in their profundity roil respectable liberalism.”

Jill at Feministe sheds some light on the topic when she explains,

“Men are… men. Their existence is a given, a necessity, the baseline off of which everything else is relative. It would be silly to even ask what their “purpose” is, because having a “purpose” implies service to some greater thing — “purpose” being the reason a thing is done. It’s silly to ask what men as a class are for, because men as a class simply are….Women, being not-men, must be purposed for some thing relative to men.”

Well, that’s a start. But it still doesn’t explain what I am for. Someone please help! My feeble lady-brain is all fevered with the complexity!

--Kristen McHenry

1 comment:

Frank Moraes said...

Oh sweetie: don't worry your pretty little head! As long as we men know what you're for, that's all that matters. It isn't that time of the month, is it?

Or, if, as I fear, satire is dead: James Poulos is a demagogue. He has been on my radar for years, unfortunately. The first time I read him, he was arguing that the South should have been allowed to secede from the Union because the South would have voted for it. Of course, people have long been willing to vote for enslaving large numbers of "others" who don't have the vote.

He calls himself the Postmodern Conservative, as though that means something. He goes out of his way to offend, and in this way, he is very successful. Credit must be given: in the arena of conservatism, it is hard to stand out in terms of repugnant, regressive, hateful dogma. The man writes for The American Spectator—need anything more be said?