Fleming_05-1995
Perspective

What Do Women Want?

Was wollen die Frauen? Freud's questions are always better than his answers, and even his questions usually betray the diseased mind which poisoned this century with its sexual obsessions. In a healthier age, the question of what women wanted would not have been asked, but as we look out across the wreckage of human social life—the singles' ads in the newspapers, the sex videos advertised so prominently in the New York Times book section, the sex hardware hawked in Harper's, the strange phenomenon of middle-class women preferring shackups to marriage and going out of their way to bear bastards, the bone-tired mothers who reluctantly put their children in daycare in order to spend eight hours a day in a job they do not particularly like and come home to cook and clean for a husband who will not lift a finger to help them—Freud's question echoes in our ears like the sound of wild dogs barking in a ghost town.

Our friend Professor Kopff has been after us to bestow an annual Was Wollen die Frauen award on the woman with the least excusable husband. In the past few years since he first made the suggestion, we have had our choice of any number of women in the public eye. Hillary Rodham might head a Democrat's list. Even conceding that she is exactly what Newt Gingrich's mother said she was, Mrs. Clinton was not born with her mouth turned down in a dyspeptic scowl. Imagine what...

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