‘TOKYO - MARCH 22: A model showcases designs by Yu Amatsu on the catwalk during the 2nd SHINMAI Creator’s Project collection show, held as part of Japan Fashion Week, at Tokyo Midtown on March 22, 2010 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images)’
“All gender is a performance. That all it takes to turn Tina Fey from a normal person into a bombshell is some makeup, high heels, and a push-up bra is mostly a testament to the extreme fetishistic powers of makeup, high heels, and push-up bras.”
“Perhaps the translator was peeved that I insisted on playing a modest role in the conversation, but when I said something about how Women Strike for Peace, the extraordinary, little-known antinuclear and antiwar group founded in 1961, helped bring down the communist-hunting House Committee on Un-American Activities, Mr. Very Important II sneered at me. The House committee, he insisted, no longer existed in the early 1960s and, anyway, no women’s group played such a role in its downfall. His scorn was so withering, his confidence so aggressive, that arguing with him seemed a scary exercise in futility and an invitation to more insult.
I had written a book that drew from primary documents and interviews about Women Strike for Peace. But explaining men still assume that I am, in some sort of obscene impregnation metaphor, an empty vessel to be filled with their wisdom and knowledge. A Freudian would claim to know what they have and I lack, but intelligence is not situated in the crotch — even if you can write one of Virginia Woolf’s long mellifluous musical sentences about the subtle subjugation of women in the snow with your willie. Back in my hotel room, I Googled a bit and found that Eric Bentley in his definitive history of the House Committee on Un-American Activities credits Women Strike for Peace with “striking the crucial blow in the fall of HUAC’s Bastille.” In the early 1960s.”
VANCOUVER, BC - MARCH 15: Andrea Rothfuss of Germany celebrates winning the silver medal in the Women’s Slalom Standing event during day 4 of the Winter Paralympics at Whistler Creekside on March 15, 2010 in Vancouver, Canada.
(Photo by Hannah Johnston/Getty Images)
At the races, 2010.
[ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images]