Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Qu'est-ce que c'est?

Sam Tanenhaus wrote a if blundering article in the NYT (truly our dependence on the NYT is the most disgusting aspect of this blog) about the cultural implications of Harvard PhD biologist Amy Bishop's senseless murder of her colleagues. The article is most interesting for its disturbing insight that "Dr. Bishop... provides an index to the evolved status of women in 21st-century America", that is, the fact that sexual victimization and gender-based discrimination are no longer necessarily the most likely reasons that a woman might become a pyschopathic killer. Now, thanks to the advancement of women in the workplace and universities, women have the privilege of potentially becoming psychopaths for the same reasons as any normal (male), potential psychopath: social alienation, economic marginalization, prolonged work-related stress, professional failure, and a dash of neurological imbalance. Tanenhaus astutely points out the way that the macho bias of our collective imagination (and crime fiction in particular) has foreclosed our ability to imagine this insidious development of (particularly middle-class) female emancipation. However, if all Tanenhaus' demand for equal representation for "normal" female psychopaths amounts to inscribing this new development into "ancient figure[s]" of the "mother lioness" protecting her cubs, as Tanenhaus approvingly quotes crime writer Chelsea Cain, then it seems we've made no progress at all. Dr. Bishops achievements will prove for naught.

1 comment:

  1. I had my doubts in the beginning, but by the time I finished I knew it was true. So after my wife came home from her job I locked her in a closet in the basement, and that's where she'll remain until all men know they are safe from the New Woman.

    Thank you PH, you're my "mother lioness"