To the Editor:
Claire Gordon took reflexive victim-hood to a new level of vulgarity in her essay this week (“Myth-making men reify the almighty phallus,” 3/25). If there was a valid point behind her column, a little linguistic propriety might have made her case more persuasive. Yet I wonder why in the first place she felt the need to share with us her apparent rage against the male member.
I can guess the answer. The confident self-righteousness of her essay is characteristic of modern programs in women’s/gender/queer studies etc.
Who is to blame for male obsession with the phallus? Men, of course. And who is to blame for female interest in phallic magnitude? You guessed it — men! And who is to blame for problem x, y and z? Men, men and men.
I do have some understanding for Gordon — she is simply regurgitating what is taught in Yale classrooms every day. Her professors have apparently assigned her readings from the likes of Andrea Dworkin, who thought of all sexual intercourse as a kind of reinforcement of female subordination. This strikes me as a tragic misconception of what sex and love mean, or can potentially mean.
Perhaps Gordon has done us a favor in the end. She has spared us four long and hard years of studying extreme feminist theory, and has given us the essence of it in the course of a single piece in the News. The message is simple: If there is any blame whatsoever to be stuck, then always, always, always stick it to the man.
The writer is a junior in Berkeley College.