3/19/2002

it's different for girls

I'm reading an article from salon.com, written in April ’99 by a certain Betsy Andrews, entitled "Grad school jerk-offs: What is the connection between solitary study and private pervdom?" wherein she repeatedly appropriates the masculine verb (if only English had genders in grammar) "to jerk off" for female self-manipulation, which is, of course, not only inane, but slightly insulting, in that any male reading must know this is yet another move by feminists to take the pleasure out of any joy previously relegated solely to the phallus or those of us with one. First it was the university, then the workplace, the social club, and now we can’t even have a friggin verb to ourselves. She describes the female evil more accurately elsewhere, though: "I sit down and, spreading my legs…finger my clit to orgasm." Sorry, but "fingering one’s clit" is hardly jerking, babe. She knows it, too, which is why instead of calling it "fingering" like she should if she wants to get it right, she opts for the much more heroic verb "to jerk".

Ms Andrews goes on to quote another masturbatrix: "I could not read the Federalist Papers without jerking off…. I think [it] was a way in which I wanted to say, 'Fuck you, Founding Fathers.' Imagine the horror that they would have experienced if they found that young women were treating the Federalist Papers with such irreverence." She’s apparently convinced that her brave, irreverent act somehow threatens Western Patriarchy, but I have a feeling the horror would not be so high-minded as all that. It’s an issue of decorum more than anything. It’s just not something anybody in his right mind would care to hear about. Nor do most men place such earth-shaking significance on the act of onanism. We don’t jerk off to give the Founding Fathers what-for, girls, we jerk off because we’re bored and horny. Another young jerkette was quoted as saying, "You deal with being in this atmosphere where you feel isolated from these people, and you have no community. I created fantasies about people—professors, other students—that I was in no way attracted to. It was a way of processing how to work out a sort of ambivalence or feelings of isolation from the environment and the community." Say what? Are we talking about masturbation or M-theory here?