Her Archie-Enemy

Below the Beltway
(Eric Shansby)
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By Gene Weingarten
Sunday, September 20, 2009

When the epic news broke that Archie was going to marry Veronica, I knew I'd soon be hearing from Gina Barreca, and I was right. I also knew exactly what Gina, the feminist scholar, was going to say.

Gene: You are outraged at Archie's choice because Betty is sweet and kind and middle class, and Veronica is selfish, scheming and rich. You see this as a validation of your belief that men are shallow and easily manipulated and, above all, that they are always wrong.

Gina: Wrong.

Gene: Naturally!

Gina: I am glad Archie chose Veronica because, unlike Betty, Veronica is not blond.

Gene: You're kidding.

Gina: Not in the least. I am black-haired. Because of my ethnic type, I never had an option to become a blonde -- I'd look more natural with fur, a snout and a dorsal fin. So, like many dark-haired girls, I grew up with a deep-seated if infantile resentment of blondes, for whom life, we believed, is easier. I am delighted Archie chose Veronica.

Gene: Okay, now please explain how this prejudice does not invalidate and repudiate the entirety of your life's work.

Gina: Gladly.


Gina: I'm thinking.

Gene: Okay.

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