or the past four years, I have chosen to celebrate Aug. 26, the anniversary of women's suffrage, by fondly acknowledging those Americans who have done the most to up hold Jimmy Carter's campaign pledge to the women of America: Life Isn't Fair.
How was I to know that it would take Ronald Reagan to finally fulfill the promise of his predecessor. In the past months, with a golly- gee-whiz and a gosh, he has gallantly put women and children first: First through the holes in the safety net.
So out of all fairness I must dedicate The Fifth Annual Life Isn't Fair Awards to the president of the United States. In the spirit of the Reagan times then, may I call for: The Envelopes, please.
The first prize, The Woman (Far) Behind the Man Award, goes through the laws of nepotism to Nancy Reagan, whose wifely duties know no bounds. When it's bedtime for Bonzo, and Nancy has the midnight munchies, she rejects the noisy apple in favor of the quiet banana. This particular award is a gold-plated box of Snappo-crackers. There's one hubby who needs to be woken up.
The Wicked Warlock of the East Award goes to the senator by the same name. This spring Sen. John P. East (R-N.C.) interrupted his hearings on a bill to "protect human life from the moment of conception" in order to support the controversial sale of infant formula for Third World children. To Sen. East, we send an embossed Oath of Hypocrite.
The Little Prince Award, named for a short aviator of other planets, goes this year to Our Guy Charles. He and Lady Di proved their egalitarian love story by scratching "obey" from the marriage ceremony. But as the stamp photos show, 5'10" Charlie still wants 5'9" Di to look up to him. To Charles goes an elevator crown. To Lady Di go the glass slippers, flats of course.
The Pig-male-ion of the Year Award goes for the first time in recent memory to a man of the arts, violinist Yehudi Menuhin, for his thoughts on the different creative urges of men and women. Woman, he said, is "compelled to plough and till over and over again the same plot of earth, from time to time attracting a male to ensure fertility." Play it again, Yehudi?
The Sex and the Simple Man Prize this year is awarded jointly to Sens. Jeremiah Denton (R-Ala.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who co-sponsored the so-called Chastity Bill. This bill, as originally written, proposed research to discover "the causes of adolescent pregnancy." To the senators we offer a fully paid high-school- level primer on The Birds and the Bees.
The Designer Genes Prize, a full set of single-sex blues, goes to all those who have struggled this year to revive the notion of biological male superiority. One special mention goes to the founding father, Lionel Tiger, who told an eager public about the male fish which would only mate when the female fish expressed awe. How, asked feminist Andrea Dworkin, did he measure awe in a fish?
The Subtlety in Advertising Award, complete with sledgehammer, is being sent immediately to the people who produced the James Bond movie ads. The photo was a long view of Bond aiming his weapon between the legs of a woman. Got it?
The Old Boys Will Be Old Boys Prize, much coveted and competed for coast to coast, this year goes to all the guests who have attended Richard Nixon's cozy little male soirees in Manhattan. To each will be sent immediately a tutu straight from a production of the Bohemian Club.
The Superwoman of the Year Prize goes to the much-married Evangeline Gouletas, current bride of New York Gov. Hugh Carey. Says our Supergal: "When I take a shower, I listen to tapes and learn French. When I'm having my hair done at the beauty salon, I'm also conducting business by phone. I'm so organized you can walk into my closet with your eyes closed and get dressed. I'm never without a briefcase." To Evangeline, a cape; to Hugh, our sympathies.
And finally, last but not least, The Sweet heart of the Gosh-We-Wish-They-Were-Silent Majority Pin goes, as it does every year, to that virtuous hawk, Phyllis Schlafly. "When a woman walks across the room," she told a Senate committee on sexual harassment, "she speaks with a universal body language." This pin is to be used to prick nonsense.