"Whenever I go into a restaurant, I order both a chicken and an egg to see which comes first"

Friday, March 22, 2024

Feminism At Its Bloody Best - The Political Rise Of A Very Pushy Woman

Brandi Lowell had never expected to come this far, a rising star in Washington, an influencer, champion of women's causes and the particular interests of her state.  She stood up for women and brought home the bacon.  She was a leading member of all important women's caucuses, on the board of directors of Fortune 500 companies, selected to assure women's prominence and their rise to the top of the corporate ladder, and a frequent guest on CNN and MSNBC.  In other words she was a woman's woman. 

Her rise to the top had been ugly, but politics has never been a pretty affair, and women quickly learned the man's game - a dirty, brawling, nasty, sharp-elbowed survival of the fittest - and Brandi bested men on their own field again and again.  Nothing was beneath her, nothing too petty - no insult spared, no ad hominem, personal attack held back.  She was a political harridan, a succubus of the first order, a street fighter par excellence.  Women had for far too long languished in men's shadows, changed diapers, and suffered quietly.  It was not only time for a change, but time for payback, retribution, and vengeance.


It was not enough to beat men at their own game, but to neuter and humiliate them.  Hers would be a Sherman's march to the sea leaving cindered male remains along her path to victory.

She had no patience for most women, most of whom were still toadying little housewives doing men's bidding or at best coming in a sorry second.  Delicate little pansies, sweet little frowning things without a sensible thought in their heads.  Brandi swept them away without a second glance, tossed them over the side, keel-hauled them until they were gasping for air, then left them to the sharks. 

Oh, she was a terror all right, and her rise to power and prominence gave lie to the popular American meme of good fellowship and camaraderie, compromise, and the cult of the good guy.  She was a post-apocalyptic character, a savage beast of a woman.  She rose through fear, threat, and intimidation. 

Of course she was the model of rectitude and charm before the cameras and gave not a scintilla of evidence of her virulence and misandry. She was always respectful, polite, and demurring to both men and women.  To women outside Washington she was a hero; to men a worthy political rival; but those in the Capital Hill corridors moved aside when she passed by and took shelter.  

'She will have her comeuppance', said one member of Congress who had had the temerity to speak out against her, but it was he who soon after was outed for obscenity, child abuse, and graft. 'This', she told the press as she pointed to an image of a contrite, bowed, defeated man, 'is what happens if you're not careful', an innocuous enough, judicious statement; but to insiders only a measure of what the woman was capable.  If you were not careful, Brandi Lowell would come after you with a carving knife. 

Now, one might expect that Brandi was a product of an abusive father; but nothing could be further from the truth.  Harrison Lowell was a model father, a good husband, and an irreproachable man of business.  It was Billy Hastings, her delayed orthodonture, and untamable red hair that sent her on her fevered, hateful march.  'Little bucky...hook-and-ladder' taunts first heard in the second grade filled her reservoir with hatred and resentment.  One day Billy would pay and so would everyone like him. 

Of course she was too young to have an institutionalized hatred of boys.  Billy was just a jerk, a twisted, ugly product of uglier, nastier parents, the leader of a pack which included the likes of Sarah Nilsson and Harriet Frond, little empty-headed bitches from the South End. The male-hatred would come later.

'Sweetheart', said her father when he heard one of her hateful rants, 'that's no way to act'; but by this time her mind had been settled and her way clear.  Never again would she ever put up with anyone's ignorance. 

Social psychologists have written often about peer group influence in child development, discounting parental sway.  'Bad company', one wrote, 'is a thing to watch'; but little did he understand about how hate, not attraction to bad company was a determining factor in emotional development. How such virulent hatred could have formed so early on was a perplexity to him. 

The War Between The Sexes is as old as the hills, and if there is anything that best describes the affairs of men and women, it is the permanent, insistent, nasty, bloody battle between them.  Poets, playwrights, and novelists have all tried to make sense out of women's profound ability for mayhem.  

Clytemnestra, a protagonist in Aeschylus' Oresteia, is the prototype for the ambitious, destructive women.  She hates her husband and with her lover plots to kill him.  She exiles her son and imprisons her daughter and lives well with her lover as regent pro-tempore in the palace at Argos.  Orestes kills her but she has no remorse for what she did. 


Hedda Gabler, the main character in Ibsen's play of the same name, is a latter day Clytemnestra, a woman of indomitable Nietzschean will who unmans her husband and engineers the death of a former lover.   Ibsen's other women are no different.  Rebekka West and Hilde Wangel dominate the men in their lives completely and lead them to their deaths.  Eugene O'Neill whose character of Christine Mannon (Mourning Becomes Electra) is actually fashioned after Clytemnestra, holds nothing in reserve as he writes of this vixenish, hateful woman. 


Brandi Lowell, however, was one of a kind.  She channeled these woman along with Shakespeare's Tamora, Goneril and Regan, Lady Macbeth, and Dionyza, and went many steps further.  She unlike them would have no comeuppance, would never come a-cropper, would prevail in the bloodiest battle, and would best men always and forever.  

It might be nice to think of her gradual evolution to a kinder, gentler woman - one who thanks to the ideals of mercy, compassion, and love that were also part of her life might become less hostile, vengeful, and demanding.  However to assume this would be to ignore the very nature of the woman.  This animus, this fevered hatred, this indomitably destructive force was who she was - it was not simply a questionable attribute, but a persona.  She could no sooner change her personality than the color of her eyes. 

So the Washington corridors of power and halls of influence were littered with the dead bodies of her enemies, too numerous to count.  A trail of victory.  She was a modern day Genghis Khan and retired to her mountaintop home a happy woman.  A visitor might be surprised at the spartan surroundings.  There were no plaques, certificates, or medals.  No photographs of famous men.  Nothing to recall her storied past. 


Then again, anyone expecting such trifles would never have known her, and understood that her devastatingly hateful career was a given, an ineluctable gift from her Creator. 

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