Saturday, January 31, 2009

Women Do! Hero of the Month: Diane Mapes

I refuse to make fun of this story, because it's sort of heartbreaking. Being a female separatist in America would be sort of like being a vegan trapped in a churrascaria for all eternity, constantly fending off pushy waiters armed with giant sabres full of greasy chicken hearts and trying desperately not to vomit. You can't blame them for wanting to hide behind the salad bar.

Besides, there are worse brands of manophobia. I find the kind practiced by aging lesbians in Alabama communes far, far less irritating than the sort of empty, Hallmark-card female exceptionalism touted by your average Lola reader. The script goes kind of like this: "Women are so much smarter/neater/more hygienic/more psychic/saner/saintlier than those awful smelly clods who think they're Jesus Christ because they pick up the tab at Radius. Smirk! Giggle!" It's not really a kind of feminism, but it plays one on TV.

Which brings me to our Ms. January, Diane Mapes.* Mapes recently walked into a seminar purporting to teach her how to speak "Menglish" to those dim apes, emerged un-converted, and got paid to say so. It is fluff, but by God, it is honest fluff.

I learned that men were bound by duty, obligation and honor (weren't women bound by these things, too?) and that they all went through four basic stages of development, including something called The Tunnel, which either was a midlife crisis or a really bad commute between one stage and another.

Or maybe both.

By that time, I was starting to get a little confused about all the things that men were and weren't. Silly me, I thought they were just people like everybody else.

She ends up sneaking furtively out the side door:

Leaving early meant I would miss the top four ways I could gain a man's affection (i.e., charm and enchant him) thus compelling him to "take care of me, contribute to me, protect me and make me happy."

"Contribute to me"? Is that what those things are for?

I had plenty of respect for Alison's research (even more for her well-oiled marketing machine), but I really didn't care about becoming a queen in my own realm. Nor was I interested in learning Menglish or Portuegeezer or Guywanese.

Cheers to you, Mapes. While you're at it, can you put a stop to brocabulary?

*Tip of the hat to Jezebel.

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