Let me see if I have this right: Al Gore, who is running for president on the grounds that he is a regular guy who's in touch with the people of this country, has hired feminist author Naomi Wolf to advise him on his campaign. Ms. Wolf, a big-haired cutie, is perhaps best known for her views on sex. She advocates teaching teenagers masturbation, mutual masturbation and oral sex--a subject in which, she brags in her book "Promiscuities," she was rather adroit.
To use Gore's own slogan, there's "A Change That Works for Working Families."
Not to put too fine a point on the recent, um, forthright exchange of positions in the Oval Office, but wouldn't you think any Democrat would go for garlic and a wooden stake if an adviser even mentioned oral sex?
As the father of two teenagers, the last thing in the world I want the schools to teach my children is how to masturbate. Heck, let 'em be self-taught, like their father. (As political performance artist James Carville proclaims, "I must have been a prodigy. I learned it all on my own.")
Of course, I might sing a different tune if I could sign up for remedial adult education. Just out of curiosity, how would one teach a course on masturbation? "In an offhand manner," suggests Don Imus's cohort, Charles McCord.
Wolf says teaching kids sex in this way "is as sensible as teaching kids to drive."
Whoa, dollface! Where were you when I wrote that column?
Before he hooked up with Naomi Wolf, Al Gore's standard campaign speech was about greenhouse gases. I take it that will change.
It has been reported that in an attempt to make Gore appear less like a Doric column, Wolf has relaxed his wardrobe and told him to speak from the heart. It shows how far we've come as a culture that Wolf is an "adviser," because long ago, in a universe far away, women who picked out a man's clothes and told him what to say were called "nags."
Wolf's concern is that Gore is a "beta male," and he has to become more of an "alpha male." (For purposes of identification I am classified as "overnight mail.")
Apparently, it's Wolf's belief that Gore has to get more in touch with his masculinity to win over the electorate. People like Wolf and her fellow babe-ette, writer Susan Faludi, have created an industry based on the conceit that men are horribly conflicted and confused about their masculinity.
Personally, I suffer no such agony. I wear leg warmers because I like the way they feel on my soft, bare skin. You got a problem with that?
Anyway, it's not just famous politicians who have to deal with this masculinity issue. Did you read about the women's rugby team from Ohio State University who took off their shirts on the grounds of the Lincoln Memorial? The Post published a photo of the women from behind, who were apparently responding to the common taunt, "Show us your backs!")
What could be more confusing to men?
1. Rugby is a masculine sport. Why are women playing it?
2. Not only are women playing it, but they're TAKING OFF THEIR TOPS! Talk about psychic whiplash. Am I going to need a V-chip in my set for the next women's gymnastics championship?
I have to say I agree with the U.S. Park Police spokesman who said that while the team's action was legal, "the Lincoln Memorial is not the appropriate place" to bare one's breasts. Okay. How about my office?
I had a masculinity question the other night myself. About 12 of us had gathered at the Palm to celebrate my boss George's good fortune at receiving a very prestigious award here at The Post. We were in a private dining room, separated from another private dining room by a large wooden screen (which, come to think of it, bore an uncanny resemblance to Al Gore).
We couldn't have been there more than 15 minutes when the maitre d' said to me, "There's a man who would like to meet you."
He introduced himself as a gastroenterologist. I wasn't surprised. I've got fans in all the digestive sub-specialties.
I said something incredibly witty, like, "Heavens, is my large intestine hanging out?"
The guy begins to tell me how he's in the room next to ours listening to a lecture with a bunch of other gastroenterologists, but the noise from our room was so loud it drowned out the lecturer, and he had to stop.
First of all, what is he doing going to a lecture in a steak house? That's like holding a wedding at a construction site, and asking the guys using the jackhammers for a little courtesy while the DJ cues up the Wedding March. This is the loudest restaurant in town. You couldn't hear the person next to you if he was blasting for bauxite. Men bring their wives here so they don't have to even pretend to listen to them. We should be quiet so these gasbags can hear a lecture on bile ducts?
Second of all, this is red meat with huge mounds of hash brown potatoes. These guys call themselves physicians? This food'll kill you. Your arteries will clog up like the Beltway after a tanker of Mazola Oil splits open.
"I wanted you to know you were very, very loud," he said.
"What?" I asked, cupping my hand to my ear.
And then it came to me: Al Gore could instantly become an alpha male by stepping out from behind that wooden screen and using those new earth-toned cowboy boots Naomi Wolf picked out to kick some girlie-man gastroenterologist butt.
And then he could take off his blouse and run a victory lap.