Sunday, March 18, 2012

Ignorance is ... funny (or it can be)...

Without going into detail about the particulars, I was recently characterized as "aping masculinity." The anonymous person who said this "...don't know me vehwee well, do he?" He said that my attempt to "play the role of male defender" is "a commentary on the weakness of the current generation of men..."

I don't know about that, but I do know people should really know a little more about the reality of things before they spout off, because their spouting off has the potential for making them look real, real stupid.

Mr. Anonymous obviously doesn't know I write novels that trash radical feminism, praise Biblical patriarchy and uplift traditional male-female roles. No woman wishing to play the role of male defender would write a scene like the following, which appears in my novel, Southern Man, nor would she put a hunk like the dreamboat at right on the cover...


        Troy leaned back in his chair to see around the banker’s lamp on his desk and looked toward the door. "Dinah, can we get your help in here for a minute?"
        "Sure." She came to Troy’s desk and stood behind him and Max.
        "Do these customer files in the new software have log notes?"
        "Yes, sir."
        "Where? How do you get to them?"
        "Let me see." She looked at the screen. "I think you hit F-six, Assignments."
        Max shook his head. "Nah, that can’t be it. Don’t make sense".
        Troy gave Max a pointed look. "Mash F-six," he said, and Max did.
        "Yeah, that’s it," Dinah said. "Look at the bottom of the screen. All the F-keys, or most of them, have changed functions. Now F-nine is Log Notes. The exact same notes are found in the History, too—that’s F-ten—but they’re mixed in with notes put there by the system."
        Troy glanced up at her. "What kind of notes does the system put?"
        "Oh, really dumb things like, it keeps a record of when the time changes, things like that."
        "Time changes. You mean like daylight savings time."
        "That’s nuts," Max said. "I don’t know why that needs to be recorded in a customer’s file. Who wrote this software, anyway?"
        "They didn’t tell us that. The program also records system outages and down time and puts that in each customer’s history, too, and it—"
        "Okay, okay, okay," Max said. He looked at Troy and rolled his eyes. "Leave it to a woman to tell you a hunnerd things you don’t need to know." Then, to Dinah, he said, "Thanks, that’s enough. All we wanted was how to find the log notes."
        She looked at him and raised her brows slightly. "Oh. All right." She headed back for her office.
        Troy called after her, "Dinah, shut the door, okay?"
        "Yes, sir."
        He waited until she was back in her office and the door closed and then turned to Max. "I’m glad you’re all right. ’Preciate you checking on me and the family. And thanks for the computer lesson."
        "You’re welcome. That sounds like a dismissal." Max pulled the side chair to its place along the wall and leaned back against the credenza.
        Troy swiveled toward him. "I’ve just got some catching up to do. There is one thing, though."
        "In the future, try not to be such a jerk to my secretary, okay?"
        Max shook his head in incomprehension.
        "You know what I’m talking about. That crack about women telling you more than you need to know. It was unnecessary and it hurt her feelings."
        Max’s jaw dropped. "You’re joking, right? Because if you’re not, then she’s way too sensitive. Anyway, it’s true. If I hadn’t stopped her she would have jaw-jacked on and on about things we didn’t ask about and don’t need to know."
        "She was trying to be helpful. That’s what women do, because that’s how God made them—to be helpers and companions to men. Mainly wives to husbands but you find it in the workplace, too."
        Max looked at him in silence. He had tendency to get quiet when Troy brought up God.
        "They want to help us," Troy said, "and they want to please us, and so they go overboard sometimes. You don’t have to get bowed up about it."
        Besides, Troy knew, but did not tell Max, that sometimes, seemingly useless tidbits provided by secretaries could turn out to be priceless information in the overall corporate scheme of things.
        "You’re a sentimental slob on top of being a hillbilly," Max said. "You always have been but it gets worse every year."
        Troy gave him a hint of a smile. "Sentimental has its advantages. You’ve had, what, two wives and three secretaries, and now you don’t have either one? All I’ve ever had is one wife and one secretary—and both of ‘em would rip your head off if I asked ‘em to."

If that passage doesn't make the statement by Mr. Anonymous look as stupid as it is, this one will:

       Troy was persuasive when he and Patty made their case for marrying shortly after the end of school in June. Don and Virginia were impressed with Troy and his arguments, but it was Patty’s that made their decision.
       "Mama, Daddy. I need to marry Troy because he’s better than I am and I don’t know that I’ll ever find anyone else who is."
       "Wait a minute," Troy said, taken aback. "I’m just an ol’ boy from Tennessee. I’m not better than you. I’m not better than anybody."
       "Yes, you are. I don’t mean it like you’re thinking. The Bible says I have to submit my will to the man I marry. I couldn’t submit to a man who’s no better than I am so I have to marry someone better than me, someone I can look up to. And you are better. You’re smarter, stronger, you have more courage, more responsibility. Things like that."
       Still not sure how to take what she was saying, Troy murmured, "Well, honey, I’ve got four years on you..."
       "No, it’s not just because you’re older. It’s because you’re better."
       It was Patty’s assertion that she could submit to Troy, and may never find another man who she could submit to, that persuaded her Southern Baptist parents.

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