Saturday, January 21, 2017


Who are the women at the Women’s March today? I’ll tell you because I was a feminist many, many years ago. I was a biology major at Columbia University and a very serious, intellectual student, who was forced to earn my living as a fashion model. Of course, normal girls envied me for being a model. I got to put on make-up, get my hair done, wear pretty clothes and get paid. Like everyone else at Columbia, I regarded these activities as ridiculous and annoying, but the pay was so good I was willing to go along with the gag.
It was while working for Vogue magazine one week that I really became exasperated with these silly, female editors who were having a spat over who got to use a certain silk scarf in their photo shoot. The other editor at her shoot with her photographer had the scarf and refused to send it on to the editor I was working with so we could use it. Consequently, several models, a photographer, and his assistants spent the entire day sitting around while our editor made angry phone calls.
I was bored and angry about the waste of a day, when I could have been doing something important, like studying organic chemistry. These sorts of experiences were all too frequent in the fashion world. Well, after one too many scarf episodes, I got on my high horse. It was appalling that to earn a living I had to waste my days with women whose sole purpose in life was deciding which scarf to wear. These women knew every sign of the zodiac, but had no idea what the periodic table of elements was! They were hopeless.
In a fit of righteous anger, I joined NOW. I’d show those silly editors a thing or two, yes, I would. How I looked forward to receiving the free gift that accompanied my new membership. What sort of fascinating and intellectually obscure book or perhaps a compass or some small, but cool, piece of technology would arrive that I could take with me on bookings and show off when scarves were being discussed. How I would lord it over the numbskulls I was working with, even if they didn’t get it, I’d know I was engaged in far superior activities, though trapped as a model.
When the happy day came and my NOW gift arrived, I opened the treasured box with a sense of excitement and reverence. Here were women like me, women who cared about serious issues, who thought big thoughts about important things, and who would know that all the elements in the universe were on the periodic table. Yes, I’d found my kind of women.
The square box was really too small to hold a book. Inside there was tissue paper, out of which fell into my hands a necklace with the NOW logo in a circle. I don’t think it’s possible to convey in words the crushing blow this necklace delivered to my whole world as I gazed woefully at my gift from my feminist sisters. Not only had they sent me a necklace, I knew enough about jewelry from my day job to know that it was without a doubt the ugliest necklace anyone had ever created. It was a cheap, shoddy chain with the NOW logo in faux wood. There was no way I could wear it to my bookings. They’d have laughed at me right out of the studio. Even I hated that necklace. Any woman that would wear a necklace as blatantly awful as this one was in a word, pathetic.
I was shattered. I had to rethink everything. Didn't Feminists care about chemistry or world affairs? I’d have been happy with a Spanish English dictionary, but a necklace? OMG The more I thought about it, the more it became clear that a feminist was a person who didn’t even know how to be a woman.
The women I worked with were part of multimillion dollar industry. They knew real stuff, like how to look good and be fashionable. Women and men both liked to look good. I liked to look good, too. My standards were quite a bit lower than theirs, but I wouldn’t have been caught dead in that NOW necklace.
I begin to take the fashion ladies much more seriously and appreciate that while dressing up might not be as important as the periodic table of elements, it was a real skill that often rose to the level of an art. Respect for womanhood and its charms and value was born in my heart and intellect. I liked being a woman. Not only that, I had to admit that nice clothes did make me feel very special. I liked high heels and chic suits. I liked having my hair look good, and making the most of my facial features.
Feminists were a sad, fraudulent variety of womanhood. Everyone wants to look as attractive and be as attractive as they can. This doesn’t stop anybody from doing serious work. It’s perfectly fun and energizing.
Well, it was a slippery slope that I was on. First, I bought a few nice designer clothing pieces, then got some great shoes, wore make-up when I wasn’t working, and my descent into femininity culminated in accepting kittens from girlfriends, and I finally even got a puppy. It turned out that being a woman was alright. I even got to have a baby, but that came much later. However, being a mother was the very most demanding, intellectual and important job I ever had, and also the most fun.

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