April 12, 2013

Susan Patton

Susan Patton

Never have I heard such epithets hurled at a lady, and a Princeton graduate to boot. The mildest comments were that she’s a traitor to feminism, to coeducation, and to the university ideal. Telling it like it is nowadays is a no-no. All Patton did was publicly acknowledge a truth—that one uses university in the good old US of A to network at worst and to find a suitable hubby at best. When I was at “THE” university, as the U. of Virginia was and is referred to by gentlemen who think Robert E. Lee is the greatest American ever—as I do—there were no female students except a few ugly ones from the local village of Charlottesville. There were three all-women colleges within fifty miles however, and that’s how we spent our evenings, driving to and forth. Bonnie Richardson, Mary-Blair Scott, and Ellen Hurst were the three beauties everyone was after. All three of them married Virginia men straight after graduating. I’ve stayed in touch. Oh yes, I almost forgot: All three were honor students and very, very smart.

Elite universities are for connecting. Just look at how many Harvard graduates wind up at Goldman Sachs. So why pick on Patton? Ah! Beware of those who can’t get any sex. Feminists seem to think that sex is a battle—and for some of them I’m sure it feels like Thermopylae—but actually it’s more of a piano duet. There is no aggressor stroking the keys. Sex, in the great scheme of things, is a much more casual and unimportant thing than it is customarily admitted to be—at least for those who have access to it. The aggrieved ones screaming away at Obama and Patton seem to me like that crazy Rochester wife up in the attic from Jane Eyre, only this time in soulless newsrooms in DC, New York, and London.

But let’s get down and dirty, as they say. One of the most disturbing habits a woman may possess is that of taking everything personally. Instead of commenting in a lighthearted way about the obvious bulge in the president’s trousers when Kamala’s name came up—pun intended—an extra dose of social outrage and personal emphasis on her stomach turned the woman at Salon more pathetic than usual. I’ve said this before, but the Rochester woman sounds like a very bad piano with a very loud pedal. And she should go and see a doctor about her stomach. Napoleon remarked that a woman for him was like a holiday. Well, of course, but Napo wasn’t known for knowing women well. And he was among the great men of history whose wives cheated on them. When I was going through my Napoleon stage as a teenager and read about Josephine’s indiscretions—and later those of Marie-Louise—my stomach turned over.



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