Phyllis Schlafly testifying in front of the Senate Labor Committee on sexual harassment in the work place: "When a women walks across the room, she speaks with a universal body language that most men intuitively understand. Men hardly ever ask sexual favors of women from whom the certain answer is 'No.' Virtuous women are seldom accosted by unwelcome sexual propositions or familiarities, obscene talk or profane language."
I never accept a statement from a Senate witness without first checking it out. So the other day I went to a government agency run by a friend of mine and showed him Schlafly's statement.
"What do you want to do?" he asked.
"I would like to observe the universal body language of your female employes to see if they're saying anything."
"Be my guest," he said.
I went out into a large office and stationed myself near the water cooler.
In a few moments I noticed a woman walk across the room with a folder in her hands. Intuition told me she was trying to tell me something.
When she got to the cooler, I asked, "What were you saying with your body when you were coming over here?"
"I was thirsty and wanted a drink of water."
"There was more to it than that," I challenged her. "I got the feeling you were going to say 'Yes.'"
"Get out of my way, buster, before I kick you in the shins."
"Please don't get upset. I'm just doing a study on sexual harassment in the office, and I felt that because of the way you were swinging your hips as you crossed the room, you were sending me a message."
"What kind of message?"
"Well, if it wasn't clearly a 'yes,' it certainly wasn't a definite 'no.'"
"No as in, 'What kind of a girl do you think I am?'"
"What department in the government did you say you were from?"
"I'm not in any department. You see, Phyllis Schlafly, who is an expert on sexual harassment, testified that you can tell a loose woman from a virtuous women just by the way she walks. There are certain women who men know instinctively are asking for it all the time."
"She sounds sick."
"On the contrary. She's a very distinguished member of the far right, and because of her walk she's never been propositioned in her life."
"Maybe it's her face."
"Oh, no she's a very presentable women. But there is something about her that would keep any man from wanting to accost her. She exudes virtue and has never been pinched once."
"That's because she's never run into Sammy."
"That creep over there. He's got more tentacles than an octopus."
"Maybe he's a student of body language, and he can tell when a woman wants to be harassed and when she doesn't," I suggested. "I'll bet he wouldn't lay a hand on Phyllis Schlafly."
"You don't know Sammy. He doesn't care how women walk as long as ther're wearing a skirt."
"But if what you say is true, that means that Mrs. Schlafly's theory about women is all wet."
"I don't know about that. But if she worked next to Sammy, she'd be black and blue by the end of the day."
"Even if everything about Mrs. Schlafly's body language says, 'No'?"
"Sammy says those are the easiest kind."