I think it was E.B. White who said something about women being kept in their place and given a couple of Natural Forces to play around with. And being cozened with talk of “Mother Nature.” He wrote, “What about Father Nature? Good ol’ Pop?” etc. He was onto that mystical bamboozlement, even back in 1935:
It is as keeper of the life-tides, according to Old Know-it-all, that woman has a truly great kinship with Nature, far greater than man’s. “Once let a man understand this relationship between woman and Nature, and he will bow before her outbursts and condone them.” Oh, is that so? Well, sir, I have found out that when a woman has burst out at me, it wasn’t because of any kinship with Nature, it was usually because I damn well had it coming to me. Furthermore, if anybody around my house is going to have kinship with Nature, I’ll handle it. That’s understood. I am just as “natural” as any woman, and I’m far naturaler than a lot. I know enough about Nature not to call her Mother, for one thing. I call her Father. Old Father Nature. Good old Pop! I have been out messing around with old Pop Nature when a lot of my fine women friends were safe indoors with their lares, penates, bridge lamps, and old copies of Harper’s.
Manage, manage, manage. The picture I got of Anonymous’s woman, after reading his article, was of a little girl whom he kept out in the kitchen and fed on Ken-L Ration. Once in a while he gave her a couple of life-tides to play with, and some praise to keep her from screaming and annoying the neighbors, and all the time he kept murmuring to himself what a wonderful creature she was (for him to manage)…