Girls! Want to live happily ever after?
Kill yourself now.
Listen, I've been very patient. I've put up with the slow, sure erosion of our dreams, our ideals, our dewy-eyed expectations of a world brimming with child-care centers, with men sharing the dusting, with women going two weeks before remembering to shave their legs.
I hung onto a thread of sanity as hordes of women decided that feminism meant they should turn themselves into small men and wear pin-striped suits and bow ties and pursue the key to the executive washroom as if it were the Holy Grail.
I just hid under the covers when Women Who Love Too Much became a best-seller, and women by the scores gobbled the book before breakfast and became convinced that they had this dread disease they had to cure before men would want them.
And then the marriage epidemic! And the concomitant baby epidemic! People put blinders on their brains and hypnotized themselves into believing that real life was "Father Knows Best"! And if they couldn't scam themselves into sugar-coated marriages, they blamed it on their codependency problems! So we were back to blaming the victim, but I held my peace. I may have whimpered a little.
But that was then. Now I'm out for blood. No more Missus Nice Girl. Now I've read, in the goddamned New York Times, the goddamned Newspaper of Record, that yearning for the handsome prince on the white charger is a perfectly reasonable pastime. That hoping and praying to live Happily Ever After is totally okay. These fantasies, according to the New York Times, help us endure.
Endure Jesus motherfucking Christ. Didn't we bury this concept with enormous fanfare in 1972?
I don't blame the writer. I know what it's like to be on deadline. Casting around hysterically for a topic, she realized that all her friends had seen Pretty Woman and took it from there.
But because such an idea has been published in the New York Times, people will run around believing again that it is true, and they will again start reading Cinderella to their four-year-olds. And the whole hideous cycle will be perpetuated.
Believing in the handsome prince on the white charger who will catch you when you swoon and spirit you off to Happily-Ever-After-Land is the utter downfall of women.
Because it is a wish that will never come true. It is a wish that will guarantee that we will never be happy.
It is possible for a woman to be happy with a man, but not if she wants to be rescued. Do you know what kind of guys want to rescue women? Mafia guys! Guys who want to play God! Guys who want total control! These guys are bad news! Tell them you want to take a part-time job and they lock you in a tower!
Plus, if you're waiting around to be rescued you never do anything but get your legs waxed. You're too anxious and passive to even read a murder mystery. You've given men all the power, again. You've turned yourself into a giant child.
Girls, what would you do if some adorable guy came up to you and said, "Hi, my life isn't working out at all. Everything's falling apart. Take care of me, please."
You'd say, "Yo, I'm not your mother!" Wouldn't you?
Men are not our mothers. Our mothers are our mothers, and they were the ones who passed on these festering fantasies.
Men are just guys running around who want someone to take care of them too. When we swoon on them, decent men have a tendency to gibber and cry, to feel helpless and inadequate and run away. Or if they're not so decent, they'll lead us on, drop us flat, and steal our wallets.
Wanting to be taken care of is one of your basic human emotions. Our job as humans is to take care of each other. But if we expect rescue as our birthright, if it's supposed to be all one-sided, we're dead. When we don't get it, we're pissed off and crazed, blinded by our own feelings of deprivation, and pretty soon nobody invites us to parties.
Here's my plan: If any girl tells me she rented Pretty Woman and suddenly felt a hideous yearning bubbling up from the pit of her stomach, I am going to take her hand and force her to rent Ford Fairlane.
See how she likes the other side of the coin.
in Get your tongue out of my mouth, I’m kissing you good-bye! (Feminist Rants)
© 1993 Cynthia Heimel