Sunday, April 23, 2006

An Initially Grumpy Book Review

Grumpy. That's how I felt tonight. Not only was it raining and bone-cold here but I went to a brick bookstore to relax and what reared up from the shelves? Books by anti-feminists.

First the Caitlin Flanagan (collected vituperations about the horror that is a uppity woman, by one who is more uppity than any of those she vituperates about), then the Kate O'Beirne scribble about how feminists ate Cincinnati and the rest of the universe (never mind that they also allowed Kate to have the career of upbraiding the rest of us), and then Carrie Lucas's little chirpy booklet about how it's really quite all right to tell other women to stay away from fields such as writing or working for a living, because Callie's got it covered. All these good ladies are doing the very thing they accuse the rest of womanhood for. Must be fun to be schitzophrenic like that.

What do you think I did next? Yes, I naturally looked for the feminists books that should have been displayed somewhere in the vicinity of the above-mentioned page turners, but lo and behold, there were none. Tucked away in a distant corner I did locate an interesting-seeming book about a woman who had dressed up as a man for a while. The back cover promised to reveal to us women the whole exotic world of maleness and how tough it is to be a man. The praises listed included one from Camilla Paglia and another from Christine Hoff Sommers. Google their writings if you don't understand why I sighed and put the book back on the shelf. But not before noticing that it was dedicated to the writer's wife, which probably only means that she is lesbian but to me seemed to whisper that this particular woman had managed to escape the Shedom and is now a free and far-ranging guy. Even though it's a tough world out there in Hedom.

All this is background to explain why I bought Marjane Satrapi's new cartoon book called Embroideries and why I laughed so hard at the restaurant where I withdrew to read it that I nearly choked on the broccoli. The back cover on that one promises bawdiness and does she ever deliver. I'm not sure if I had enjoyed it as much in a less pissed-off state, because the book is kind of tough on Persian husbands. But tonight it was just the thing to relieve my grumpiness. The double chocolate mousse cake did the rest. But I really have to write a book so that the wingnut women will also get heartburn when they visit a bookstore.
If you want a more professional review of Satrapi's newest book, check out this site.