Table of contents

What Women Want 2

Women’s education & the necessity of lying

Nevertheless, our protagonist is the woman’s in-house contender, whose confidence & popularity go together. He moves with the easy grace of the successful. This may be slavery to mere conventions: A woman calls him a man’s man. Nobody so much as throws a punch. Behold the male at the top of the skyscraper, so to speak. The comedy that mocks him mocks the regime.

America is changing: We hear nothing of earning money, just of spending money. This gives women the upper hand. Maybe women’s rights & prosperity go together. Comedy is also a luxury…

The poetic conceit is this: Our protagonist gains the ability to hear women’s thoughts. When he first tries to prove this to women, they lie, ashamedly. Learning to please women rather than annoy them is a secret: It must be done in secret. He learns to imitate their propriety. His first thought is to destroy his woman competitor. This strikes us as amazingly petty. The poet, undaunted, suggests reading minds is the weapon of victory. Comically, our protagonist is initially disgusted, ashamed to hear what women think. Apparently, men would gladly pay the price for morality…

Briefly recounted, the results of his endeavors are dismal. As a father, he fails to protect or educate his daughter. As a lover, his sexual successes come back to haunt him. As an American, he loses his job. I am pleased to note, the poet may have betrayed him. Ignorance may have been preferable. Learning has cost him his confidence. He is hardly fit to live in society anymore, one may almost say. The clever reader may consider this a serious warning to men, though concealed by comedy. But I am pleased to note that no man needs this warning, nor is likely to seek it.

The comic poet’s subtler touch offers an erotic resolution to a business plot. The man would rather be fired than suffer the shame of getting the woman fired. But they cannot work together. The story ends without a marriage or children, so our protagonist may be the poet showing himself. Anyway, men really are men of action. Advertising & comedy are both tied to democracy & appeal far more to appetite than spirit.

Apparently, the poet knows women better than they know themselves & has won that for which women fight men with very indifferent success. His claim to influence democracy is confirmed by men’s tacit admission that he knows what they do not; he also dares say what they may not. He laughs at himself: The woman embodying the popular opinion resigns herself to erotic rejection by supposing the poet loves men. Perhaps the poet loves what men love, which includes women.