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Female president? Skirts are in a bunch

OK, so maybe it isn’t time for a woman president.

Not that Geena Davis did a bad job in her television role as President Mackenzie Allen, and not that the women mentioned in this space Monday were terrible people.

But judging by the response to my column suggesting that it’s time to start thinking of a woman at the top, the Virgin Mary would have come in for a lot of hell.

Even women don’t seem to want a woman president. It’s probably the emotional equivalent of refusing to allow their mothers to run their lives. On the other hand, men seem to feel that declaring support for a woman at the helm reveals what Gov. Arnold Testosterone has labeled a “girly man” attitude. Some women feel the same way.

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Members of both sexes, perhaps even all three, join in agreeing that the idea of a woman president is a liberal plot and the very reason newspapers are suffering circulation losses across the nation.

Basically, they say, the decline in circulation is my fault, and if I don’t put my life in order I’ll end up like Dan Rather. I’m not sure that would be so bad, since Rather is in a state of “retirement” that enables him to knock down hundreds of thousands of dollars doing very little.

I am also told that I am not only a “wuss” and a “no-gonad man,” conditions that are contributing to the feminization of America, but by my effete stance, I am also serving the enemy our troops are fighting in Iraq. (A “wuss,” by the way, for those not hip to the current language of debasement, is someone who is weak and ineffectual. A wimp. A liberal.)

I’m not sure how a suggestion to allow a woman on top extrapolates into impeding the war effort, but if it helps win the war, I’ll start belly-bumping, scratching myself in personal places and making disgusting bodily sounds.

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More often than not, e-mailers and a couple of telephone callers equate liberalism with “little-girl whiners,” which would come as a big surprise to a lot of barrel-chested ex-Marines I know who have emerged from combat hating war and questioning the intellectual capacity of those who make war.

Peace-loving has come to be defined today as a trait of the common liberal, a species of political animal more accustomed to dancing in the daisies than, as a real man might, sticking someone in the gut with a rusty bayonet, hoo-boy!

A writer from Lake Arrowhead clarifies that by saying, “You liberal ‘guys’ have been so feminized (and politically correct) that you no longer have any cajones. You might as well wear skirts like Donahue!”

I replied: “Donahue wears skirts?”

I wasn’t aware of that.

The response: “As with most things with you lib writers, it went over your head. The point was simply to state that all you liberal writers are wusses, and that one of the biggest liberals (socialist) Donahue actually wore a dress to prove it and was proud of it!”

I’m not sure that Donahue prancing about in a dress, however fetching he may have appeared, any more characterizes a liberal than J. Edgar Hoover in drag is symbolic of your average male FBI agent.

But then I guess the subtleties are just too much for me to perceive.

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The same writer, a woman, declared in an earlier e-mail on the subject that she wanted her guy “to have a gun and know how to protect me” instead of being like me and my ilk who need “a MOMMY to take care of you,” adding, “How pitiful you liberal men have become.”

The Mommy Syndrome, popularized in the Reagan Era in his constant reference to wife Nancy as “Mommy,” was mentioned in another missive suggesting that women control men by dangling their sexuality before our lustful little eyes.

If we do as they say, the writer, also a woman, suggests, we are assured a nice warm time under the covers. If we don’t, no fun in the hay tonight, baby.

I’m not certain that sex is the only draw in man’s untiring effort to please a woman. In today’s mixed cultural climate, a lot of exertion isn’t required for seduction among the more, er, “liberated” females. They dress and act in a manner that says, “Want Sex? Just ask.” It falls into the same category as wearing one of those convention stickers that says, “Hello, My Name Is...”

Personally, I work at keeping my woman reasonably content beyond the rutting season to prevent her from spending a lot of time wondering why she married me in the first place.

Despite all the sniping, I emerge still clinging to my mommy-toned liberal credentials, declining guns and bayonets and Budweiser beer in favor of flowers, perfume and mango daiquiris, being careful where I scratch myself in public and tending toward depression over a bad hair day.

And I still think it’s a whale of an idea to have a woman in serious contention for the presidency, but I’m no expert in the field. If you’d like to discuss it further, I’m having lunch with the girls on Monday and you’re welcome to join us.

I’ll be the one in the chartreuse mini-skirt. You’ll recognize me by the hairy legs.

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Al Martinez’s column appears Mondays and Fridays. He’s at al.martinez@latimes.com.


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