After reading Brian Bayer’s “Women Pt. 1” in last week’s Carroll News, I have been waiting with bated breath for the exciting second installment, no doubt appearing concurrently to this letter. When I say “bated breath,” I mean it. I wonder how I’ve survived 22 years of estrogen-flooded existence without such an enlightening (and enlightened!) perspective on, as Bayer put it, “the wonder of womanhood.”
I was immediately struck by the dulcetly witty pun on the word “broad.” After using a clean, white handkerchief (ladies always carry one) to wipe the tears of laughter from my eyes, I thought about how carefully selected it was. A pun on any other word, the kind with a problematic etymology rooted in patriarchal oppression, simply wouldn’t do.
Bayer’s ability to penetrate the female psyche was nothing less than extraordinary. As I read his account of Carol’s feeble feminine reasoning, I couldn’t help but feel exposed. How could Bayer have known that each and every time I’m asked to lunch I picture myself blushing and veiled?
John’s [the hypothetical male character created by Bayer] understanding and even way of handling Carol’s fickle emotions was both generous and chivalrous. A true everyman, he met the fragility of woman with logic and confidence. Bayer was right to point out that, “It would have been much easier for both John and Carol if Carol had just been straightforward from the start.” Isn’t that always the way with us women, complicating everything? Man is pure, faultless, and a “good friend,” to borrow from Bayer. “Women Pt. 1” taught me to always be suspicious of myself and my intuition. I’ve learned to wait out my constant emotional storms and to encourage other women to do the same.
Throughout the writing of this letter, a comparison has been surfacing again and again. To this point I have stifled it for fear I’d seem too adoring, but I can suppress my feelings no longer. Bayer is the Moses to our vast desert of femininity. Until “Women Pt. 1” we women were allowing ourselves to be led deeper and deeper into the wilderness of miscommunication by the serpent-like trickery of our own sex. Bayer ended all of that. He destroyed the golden calf of all women: the unquenchable thirst for matrimony. And, staff in one hand, recitations from God himself in the other, he led us out of the vicious lips of the Red Sea and into the Promised Land.
Indeed, the Schott Dining Hall will be a land of milk and honey now that heterosocial dining can proceed without my sisters and I assuming that lunch equals marriage. What an incredible relief for us all.