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September 10, 2007 | by  | in Opinion |
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I am strong, I am Westfold

From a request by Salient Editor Steve Nicoll for an interview from H. Westfold concerning feminism. Westfold is a prominent writer of letters to the editor – especially to the Capital Times. The article in which Westfold would have appeared in is on page 20.

Thank you for your offer, Mr Nicoll. You may, if you wish, telephone me at home; but I think it extremely unlikely that I would want to be interviewed for the article you are proposing to publish, no doubt for the amusement of the airheads who read Salient, or contribute to it.

I am told that one of the avowed principles/aims of the VUWSA is the destruction of capitalism; and as far as I am concerned, that would be a return to feudalism, tribalism, or anarchy. Tell your Socialist/Greenie friends that if they were aiming to bait me, they had better go and see a taxidermist, to engage his professional services for themselves!

Yours sincerely, H. Westfold.

Roy Orbison in Clingfilm

From one of a series of flyers, that has mysteriously appeared around Wellington in the last few weeks. This one was found taped to a post on Majoribanks Street, in Mount Victoria.

It always starts the same way. I am in the garden airing my terrapin Jetta when he walks past my gate, that mysterious man in black.

‘Hello Roy,’ I say. ‘What are you doing in Dusseldorf?’
‘Attending to certain matters,’ he replies.
‘Ah,’ I say.
He appraises Jetta’s lines with a keen eye. ‘That is a well-groomed terrapin,’ he says.
‘Her name is Jetta.’ I say. ‘Perhaps you would like to come inside?’ ‘Very well,’ he says.

Roy Orbison walks inside my house and sits down on my couch. We talk urbanely of various issues of the day. Then I say, ‘Perhaps you would like to see my cling-film?’ ‘By all means.’ I cannot see his eyes through his trademark dark glasses and I have no idea if he is merely being polite or if he is genuinely has an interest in cling-film.

I bring it from the kitchen, all the rolls of it.

‘I have a surprising amount of cling-film,’ I say with a nervous laugh. Roy merely nods. ‘I estimate I must have nearly a kilometre in the kitchen alone.’
‘As much as that?’ He says in surprise. ‘So.’
‘Mind you, people do not realise how much is on each roll.
`I bet that with a single roll alone I could wrap you up entirely.’ Roy Orbison sits impassively like a monochrome Buddha.

My palms are sweaty.

‘I will take that bet,’ says Roy. ‘If you succeed I will give tickets to my new concert. If you fail I will take Jetta, as a lesson to you not to speak boastfully.’ I nod. ‘So then. If you will please, stand.’ Roy stands. ‘Commence.’ I start at the ankles and work up. I am like a spider binding him in my gossamer web. I do it tight with several layers. Soon Roy Orbison stands before me, completely wrapped in cling-film. The pleasure is unexampled. ‘You are completely wrapped in cling-film,’ I say. ‘You win the bet,’ says Roy, muffled. ‘Now unwrap me’ ‘Not for several hours.’ ‘Ah.’ I sit and admire my handiwork for a long time.

So as not to make the ordeal unpleasant for him we make small talk on topical subjects, Roy somewhat muffled. At some point I must leave him to attend to Jetta’s needs. When I return I find he has hopped out of my house, still wrapped in cling-film. The loss leaves me broken and pitiful. He never calls me. He sends no tickets. The police come and reprimand me. Jetta is taken away, although I get her back after a complicated legal process. There is only one thing that can console me. A certain dream, a certain vision… It always starts the same way.

Femme Talk

From “Melanie Speaks!” an audio guide for transsexuals on developing a female voice, by Melanie Anne Phillips.

One of the dead giveaways that you’re masculine is the wrong vocabulary. One word that men use more than women is “want.”

Men want. Women don’t “want” things, they “like” things. They “would like” things. A guy will go up to the little speaker box at a fast food restaurant and say, “I want a Big Mac,” whereas a woman will say, “I’d like a small salad please.” Men have power in our society. They are in control. Women are still generally brought up believing they have less power and control over their own lives. So when a man says he “needs” to do something, he means “I have a goal, a purpose. It is a requirement.” While a man “needs” to do something, a woman feels that she “should” do something. Because a woman has a tendency to feel that she’s not in control of achieving goals. She may not even be able to set the goals in her life, and therefore if she wants something to happen, she “should” do it. It has more of a sense of obligation than a sense of instigation, and that is a very big difference in the mental attitudes of men and women.

Women can have moods, but they can’t have opinions. For example, whereas a man would say, “I’m going to do this,” a woman would say, “I was thinking that I ought to do this,” meaning “I’m inclined to, but if you have any objections I’ll reconsider.”

Now, I know this is anathema to feminism, but this is not about how to break stereotypes, it’s about how to become one. For feminising your voice, stay away from those assertive words and go with the “kinda-sorta” words, and words that don’t have command value to them, and you will find that your voice will be considered a lot more feminine.

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  1. Matt Nippert says:

    A slight improvement. But two genuinely-sourced local items out of three still leaves one ripped from Harper’s Magazine.

    http://www.harpers.org/search?q=%22Melanie+Speaks%21%22&qtype=&type=&from=1850&to=2007&order_by=relevance&btnSubmit=SEARCH

    Is giving credit, or even referencing, so hard?

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