AMF On Wimmin
[This is taken from my Northwest novel A Mighty Fortress on the wimmin issue. It is the night that President Chelsea Clinton announces the ceasefire in the Northwest and the coming peace conference at Longview, Washington. Cody and Nightshade have just been summoned to the meeting at the Pentecostal church where the undercover U. S. Army officer Regenthal is plotting to use the church to set up an "anti-fascist" Christian fundamentalist death squad type group to resist the NVA and the establishment of the Republic. - HAC]
The mansion was a large home built back in the late part of the last century, intended for wealthy cyber-yuppies, and it actually had servants' quarters which had no doubt hosted a long series of illegal alien maids and gardeners and pool boys. Cody and Emily were able to find a spare bedroom with two twin beds in it tucked off to one side on the top floor. They lay down in their clothes on the separate beds, Cody set a travel alarm clock he carried in his gear, and turned out the lights."Tell me a story," demanded Emily.
"Once there were three bears who tore up and ate a little girl who wouldn't let them sleep," said Cody.
"Tell me the one about why you didn't want me to go with you into that meeting at church today," she said.
"Do we really need to be talking about this now?" he asked.
"Not if you don't want to," she said with a shrug he could feel if not see in the dark.
Cody sighed. "Look, we both know that you can do anything a man can do in this line of work, and you do it damned well, as good as me or better," he said. "No argument. And no, my macho isn't offended by you personally. It's not about you as such, it's a deeper thing, and I think it's the natural way for a man to feel. Just because women can do these violent and military things, some of them anyway that don't require as much physical strength and endurance as others, that doesn't mean that they should be doing them.
"Okay, I accept the world as it is, I know we need female comrades and we'd be stupid and probably lose the war if we didn't use all the available talent and intelligence and courage that women bring to our racial struggle. Girls like you are a necessary evil, if you'll pardon the expression, with emphasis on the necessary. Again, no argument from me. And if you feel you've got something to prove by being here, take my word for it, you've proved it to every man jack of us. I know we've got some Neanderthals in the NVA who don't want women to vote under the Republic, who want to shove you back into the kitchen and keep you barefoot and pregnant, and that's crap. Women like you have earned the right to do whatever the hell you want in our new country, for you and all your sisters and daughters, pardon the trite language. When they start handing out medals you've earned every one of them and I want to pin them on you myself. But God damn it, it just doesn't…." He ran down.
"It just doesn't feel right?" she concluded for him.
"No, it doesn't. I'm sure you've seen it on TV when some Army or National Guard unit is leaving for Iraq or Saudi or Gaza, and they show some woman in camouflage with an M-16 over her shoulder kissing her children good-bye and then handing them to her husband, who is going to stay home and take care of the kids while Mommy goes off to war, and those scumsucking liberal asshole news commentators think this is just the greatest and most wonderful scene since sliced bread. I used to see those stories on the tube and I'd wonder, what kind of so-called man could do something like that? How could he live with himself? How could he look himself in the mirror every morning knowing what a cowardly turd he was?
"Emily, for Christ's sake don't think I'm dissing you in any way. I'm not, I swear. But I shouldn't be fighting with you at my side. I should be fighting for you or--well, for some woman, back in a home some place with a family and children that I am trying to protect from these horrible tyrants. That's the way it's been down through history.
"And you, I mean women, you've always been a civilizing and moderating influence on men and their urge to fight one another. Kind of a brake that periodically gets called into play to stop us boys from burning down the whole house with our horseplay, so to speak. That's what your role should be in any kind of sane society, stopping us guys from doing a lot of the stupid things we do. Making us grow up and be responsible.
"But in America, a couple of generations ago, women decided they wanted in on the menfolks' rat-race, and the menfolks' pointless brutal competition, and the menfolks' politics, and the menfolks' wars, and when you did that, you stopped being a civilizing influence and became part of the problem. We ended up with power-mad bitches like Margaret Thatcher and Hillary Clinton sending the troops out to slaughter just as easily as men ever did. Look, am I making any sense at all, or am I just really pissing you off? Because if we're going to go into that den of fools this morning and break bad on them, I don't need you pissed off at me."
She laughed, "No, no, not at all. All you're telling me is that you've got healthy racial instincts, which I knew already.
"Look, Cody, you're spot on. It doesn't feel right to me either, because it isn't right. It's completely against nature for me to be doing what I'm doing, and I despise these Jewish feminists like Gloria Steinem and Germaine Greer and Shulamith Firestone and Andrea Dworkin and the whole plug-ugly nickel-nosed crew. They started all this nutty man-hating crap, this idea that men are enemies and competitors, so that now two generations later I have to live like this.
"I should be wearing dresses every day, and really baking cookies for a decent and honorable man who loves me and protects me and supports me, so I can get on with my own job in life of raising as many children as I can bear, beg, borrow, or steal. I need a man to be the head of the family while I am the heart. That's what every female chromosome in my body demands that I do, but these damned Jews and the lunatic world of toxic waste they've made won't let me do it. In the world that they've forced me to live in, I have to spend every waking hour getting one up on every man in sight, or else I'm a failure and a victim in society's eyes. I'll show them victim!
"There are women who haven't been so badly damaged by feminism that they've lost every genuinely feminine instinct. They know that something has gone badly wrong in our lives. Most of us have some little corner in the back of our minds where we understand what we've lost, kind of a genetic memory if you like. It hurts like hell, and we want it back. And thank you for not wanting me to go in with you today, male chauvinist that you are. Like all girls I'm a sucker for a romantic gesture. I think it's really sweet."
"I'm a really sweet guy when I'm not shooting people," Cody assured her.
She laughed softly in the darkness. "So I've noticed. Look, there's something else, and I suppose I might as well ask. Never mind my mother and never mind all these carnal sin jokes, are we ever going to get it on? I don't mean now. We have to go back on the job in a few hours. But is it ever going to happen? If you can tell me one way or the other, I'd like to know where I stand. For future reference, I'm interested and I'm on the pill."
"Emily, I just don't know," he said with another sigh. "I know that's not what you want to hear, but I just can't tell you now."
"Kelly?" she asked.
"No, not Kelly," he assured her. "Apparently I was pretty damned obvious, eh?"
"As an elephant in church, yeah," she agreed.
"That was just me taking a last gasping shot at having some kind of adolescence, which is another thing those It Takes A Village snakes took from me. I think that's why I talked Bells into letting me go back to high school for a year. I wanted one last taste of what might have been. Kelly and me were never possible. We talked a little about it at her house tonight, and we both understand that."
That hadn't been exactly the gist of the conversation earlier that evening, in the Shipman den by the light of the flickering tube, but as young as he was, Cody understood that there were times, especially where women were concerned, where honesty is not always the best policy. Besides, it was true. There had never been any realistic chance for him and Kelly, so he wasn't actually lying to Emily.
"But suppose I did get involved with you?" he went on, "And then tomorrow or the next day, or next month, or next year, we get in another firefight with the feds and you end up dying in my arms, or me in yours? Although I doubt it would be that dramatic, just horrible. You see what I mean, Em? I shouldn't even be having this discussion with a fellow soldier. None of this should even be a consideration. It simply adds to the confusion of an already stressful and confused situation. You shouldn't be here. But having said that, I'm glad you are. And I know now that the one thing that I remember my father telling me about women is true."
"And what's that?" asked Nightshade.
"They always want to have deep and heavy analytical talks about the relationship at four o'clock in the morning, when you have to work next day and you're trying to sleep."
* * * * *
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