Another In My Ongoing Series of Open Letters to Kleinheider

Dear Mr. Kleinheider,

Regarding your post, Guard Your Carnal Treasure, I write to inform you that the 1950s are over.  As this is the case, the definition of "virtue" has returned to "moral excellence or righteousness; goodness" and "Treasure" is just "stored wealth" or "valuable or precious possessions of any kind."  We no longer use "treasure" to refer to a woman’s hymen.  Trying to preserve one’s hymen, even if one refrains from having sex, would mean a lot of laying around–no running, riding bikes, falling off things, doing strenuous exercises, using tampons, or merely, in some cases, just growing up.

Perhaps you aren’t using "treasure" to mean a woman’s hymen.  Perhaps her carnal treasure is merely her current state of disempenisedness (assuming all of your readers are reading while not also engaging in sex; happily, we cannot assume the same about my readers).  I am concerned, Mr. Kleinheider, that you may be discombobulated by the thought of all those empenised vaginas out there, carnal treasures besmirched by… well, by penises, obviously.

Now, I am willing to come sit on your couch and do nothing while you check every half an hour or so to make sure that no wayward penises have made their way into my vagina, but you’ll have to check and make sure that your boss is okay with you working at home for the duration.  Women in my family tend to live into their late eighties, early nineties, so you’ll need to be prepared for a good fifty or sixty more years of vagina tending.  Considering that you wouldn’t even go to lunch with me on my birthday, I think we both know that the chances of you volunteering to sit around and protect my "carnal treasure" are slim to none.

Too bad, really.

If I had fifty or sixty years alone with you in a small room, I could teach you a thing or two about women.

Here is the first thing I would teach you: We like sex too.

The whole "you take us to dinner or to the movies or to the local Pat Buchanan lecture in order to bribe us into letting you fuck us" is a social construct.  We only acted that way because we didn’t want you to think we were whores.

But, now that we know that you think we are?

However, most women are not straight up whores. You cannot simply offer cash or gifts for sex. You can’t state it like that. So, you take them to interesting and/or exciting places. You wine them and dine them.

You create a pleasing atmosphere and experience so when the time comes to take what you want the woman will give it up. A lot of women will never respond to this ruse and a lot of women will straight up take the cash for sex but most are somewhere in between.

[Shorter Kleinheider: We’ve established you’re a whore.  Now we’re just negotiating.]

Well, fuck it.

Take your pants off, Carter.  I’ll pretend to be "giving it up," if you pretend to not care that I like it.

Naughtily yours,

Aunt B.


p.s.  I know one lesson a day is probably more than enough, but I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that, at the core of your world-view is the idea that you are yucky.  That you are so yucky that a woman wouldn’t willingly have sex with you; she has to be bribed into it with things.  That you are so yucky that, if your penis touches a woman, it contaminates her with your filth.

Kleinheider, obviously, I’m teasing about most everything else.  I am not teasing about this: your fucked up notions of gender hurt you.  And that breaks my heart.  I know you think people are, in general, vile.  Fine.  We’re vile.  We all suck the suck of an eternity of suckiness.

But we’re sometimes better than that.  Sometimes, we can be deeply compassionate, deeply joyful, and deeply loving.  I’ll admit, those times can be rare.  But if you never prepare a place in your own self for goodness and hope to live, no one else’s good stuff can ever come into your heart to visit.

It’s not my business how you live, but I still wish you thought better of yourself.

Things Y’all Make Me Think of

1.  I was reminded that y’all haven’t lived until you’ve sat at lunch with Huck and watched him talk about how much he loves cooters.  His eyes light up; he gets this grin on his face.  I’m just saying.  It’s nice.  You should go for it. 

2.  I never did tell you how the oils ended up.  Let’s just say, if I’d known how it would work, I would have been less flip about it and leave it at that. R-E-S-P-E-C-T from here on out.

3.  Smiley, thankfully, does not have syphilis, which is surprising when you consider the folks who were in that orgy with us last week.

I kid.  Do I even have to say that?  I guess I do.

4.  Someone should write a book that is a map to all the different kinds of orgasms women have.  There’s a piece in the Vagina Monologues that I saw Tracy Gershon perform all about the orgasms different women have, which was pretty funny and delightful.  But each woman was given only one type of orgasm, when really, one woman has many types.  Can there be a landscape of sensation?  If so, that’s what I would like to map out.

5.  I am overwhelmed by the urge to buy Tiny the Wonder Fetus a shirt that says “My Mom Can Beat Up Your Mom” that it can wear to the Legal Eagle’s family get-togethers.  Is that wrong?  I just think it would be hilarious to encourage Tiny to pick fights for the Shill.

6.  I sent the Shill a Snakes on the Plane email with Samuel L. Jackson telling her to go see it.  I wanted to send it to The Butcher, but Samuel claimed to not know either of our real names.  Mine, okay, maybe.  But the Butcher’s name is in the Bible.  I thought having things in the Bible made them irrefutably real. 

Mrs. Wigglebottom, Defeated

As we were coming back up the hill, Mrs. Wigglebottom found a piece of bamboo someone had thrown along the side of the road.  It was a good six feet long, so you know she immediately tried to pick it up and shake it around and run off with it.  Her favorite game is, of course, “Chase me around and pretend you want this gross thing I have in my mouth!”

Well, I’ll give it up for her.  I kind of did want to at least check out the big stalk of bamboo mysteriously laying by the side of the road.

But bless her heart, the stalk was long enough and rigid enough that it actually gave me good leverage and I was able to walk down the road holding one end of the stick, easily dragging the poor, shocked dog off to my left.  The trick is that, in order to keep the stick away from you, or to win at tug of war, or whatever, Mrs. Wigglebottom gets a good grip and then shakes whatever she has so ferociously that it yanks it out of your hand.

In order to win under those circumstances, you have to time your yank just right so that you pull it away from her just as she’s trying to get a good grip and she will regrip often.

But a big long bamboo pole?

I just had to hold onto my end and she, from her end, could not exert enough force on the pole to actually move it.  She tried to give it a good shake, but physics were just not on her side.

Eventually, she let go of the pole and I declared myself the winner.

I think she took it okay.

Miss Sharon Cobb sent me a link to a story about how they’re rounding up and killing all the “pit bulls” in Kansas City, Kansas.  Miss Sharon Cobb apparently likes to ruin my breakfast.

I was thinking about this tactic–rounding up all the dogs you don’t like and killing them off–as I was walking Mrs. Wigglebottom.

Y’all, can we just talk honestly here for a second?  I think pit bull bans are, at the least, sexist and classist.  I’m suspicious they’re racist.  I think it’s about displacing our fears of young, poor men, many of whom are non-white, onto their dogs.

Otherwise, why don’t the laws address the real problems?  If a dog is used in the course of a crime–pit fighting, drug guarding, etc.–it could be confiscated and euthanized without any complaint from me.  If a dog has a history of unprovoked biting, it could be confiscated and euthanized without any complaint from me.  If a dog has been so neglected that its temperament makes it a danger to place in a new family, again, no complaints.

But this is about rounding up dogs that haven’t done anything wrong and killing them on the off-chance that they might.


I think it’s to punish their owners for being “scary” and “out of control” and “violent.”  If some of us who own the dogs don’t happen to be poor young men, tough shit for us.  This is about making sure that the “bad” elements of society know who’s in charge.

I would bet, dollars to donuts, that if you looked at the cities that have enacted “pit bull” bans, you would find that there’s a lot of tension in those cities about race.  I know you could say that about every city in America, but I mean, I think you’d find “pit bull” bans enacted in cities where the demographics are changing rapidly.  Look at the ban on “pit bulls” at the Nashville dog parks.

Why was that enacted?  Because people were taking their “pit bulls” to the Shelby dog park.  Why is that a problem?  Because East Nashville’s demographic is changing rapidly and froo froo middle class white folks don’t expect to go to the dog park and see a bunch of poor young black or Latino men testing out just how manly they are via their dogs and cars and so on.  Those elements must be controlled, and since you can’t round up every poor boy at 16 and ship him off to a camp until he’s 25 (though to look at our prisons, you might think we’re trying), we try to show them we have control over them in other ways.

Taking and killing their dogs is just the one that most regularly catches my attention, because it also affects me.





Also, I’m sorry, but where are the motherfucking kennel clubs on this?  I want some dog shows to write to places like Denver and Kansas City, Kansas, and say “Our events bring x number of dollars into the communities that host our shows.  Due to your ignorance, we’d be unable to assure our law-abiding members that their dogs would be safe in your community.  We will no longer consider your cities for our shows.”

Los Angeles

So, it looks like I’ll be going to Los Angeles in October.  Tell me, wise and knowledgeable readers, since I have never been there, is it really so terrible to drive there?  I’m kind of nervous.  Is that the most hick question you’ve ever been asked?

I wonder if all this upcoming travel means I should finally break down and buy a laptop.

“You’re Not Like Anyone Else I Know”

I was wearing the purple batik dress my Aunt B. bought me in Chicago for my sixteenth birthday, with blue kitten heel shoes.  I had short hair, shaved very close on the back and sides, longer on top.  I probably wasn’t wearing much, if any, make-up.

The whole lot of us had come down to the school to register and sign up for classes and my dad wanted us to dress nicely to make a good impression.

We hadn’t moved yet, but this was the place we were coming.  It was right before school let out for the summer.  At my old school, no one would have noticed if anyone walked in the front door.  At this school, everyone did.

That dress made some kind of impression.  Before I even started school, everyone had pegged me as the artsy free spirit.  Truth is, the closest I came to artsy free spirit was typical teenage suicidal angst. I have never, in my whole life, had a free spirit, though I hope for one and work towards it.

The Professor and I talk often about how hard it is to get a good idea of what you’re like, how other people see you.  I, for instance, think that I’m horribly ordinary.  I’m terrified that, if you guys knew me, you’d find me horribly ordinary, too.  I just assume everyone is like me and the Butcher, except that I write it down.

I believe this even in the face of being told my whole life that I’m not like other people.

I can’t decide which is true–that I’m terribly ordinary or that I’m not.  I guess it doesn’t matter.

Still, I was thinking, if I could go back and tell my younger self anything, I would tell myself not to wait to have sex.  If I was going to be the slutty weirdo, I should have been the slutty weirdo.  I was miserable trying to be “good” in the face of a reputation for slutty weirdness and I think it’s made me fucked up about expressing my own desires and fucked up about how I go about getting them met.

Heh, what terrible advice!  “Just say yes to teenage premarital sex!”  I’m never going to be surgeon general with that attitude, I tell you what.

Plus, what the fuck?  Who was I going to have sex with?  The guy who stalked me was beating up folks who looked at me funny.

That’s the advice I should go back and give myself–“When your friend doesn’t have the courage to go to the hospital to visit the guy she liked when he was sick, do not offer to go with her.  Also, your parents don’t know what they’re doing when it comes to raising teenagers.  Just ignore them.”

At feminist indoctrination camp, the girls wrote letters to their younger selves.  I think that’s such a good idea.  The hardest thing, and the best thing, I think, is to learn to regularly make peace with yourself.  It’s good to practice that early.

The playwright has been telling me that she thinks there’s important work to be done in term of inward feminism, which I guess is feminism similar to what we talk about here all the time.  How are you going to come to terms with how you are fucked up in ways that continue to hurt you and the people surrounding you and when are you going to stop being so fucked up?  What’s it going to take for you to know your own worth?

I don’t have answers to those questions, obviously.  But I do believe they are answers worth seeking.  Even if you aren’t a feminist… gentlemen.