Author: T

The Handmaid’s Tale

All those women having jobs: hard to imagine, now, but thousands of them had jobs, millions. It was considered the normal thing. Now it’s like remembering the paper money, when they still had that. My mother kept some of it, pasted into her scrapbook along with the early photos. It was obsolete by then, you couldn’t buy anything with it. Pieces of paper, thickish, greasy to the touch, green-colored, with pictures on each side, some old man in a wig and on the other side a pyramid with an eye above it. It said In God We Trust. My...

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The Descent Of Man

Men, sit down for your rights! One aspect of a more pluralistic masculinity that old-school men might struggle with is choice. Old-school masculinity often seems to offer none. As a guide, I would like to try to offer a few pointers. It is possible to write the goals of feminism on a postcard. I have struggled to fit a future manifesto for men in the same space, but here goes: Men’s rights The right to be vulnerable The right to be weak The right to be wrong The right to be intuitive The right not to know The right...

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Homesick For Another World

“Dear Principal Kishka,” I wrote. “Thank you for letting me teach at your school. Please throw away the sleeping bag in the cardboard box in the back of my classroom. I have to resign for personal reasons. Just so you know, I’ve been fudging the state exams. Thanks again. Thank you, thank you, thank you.” There was a church attached to the back of the school — a cathedral with great big mosaics of people holding up a finger as though to say, Be quiet. I thought I’d go in there and leave my letter of resignation with one...

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Love In The Time Of Cholera

The years of immobilized waiting, of hoping for good luck, were behind him, but on the horizon he could see nothing more than the unfathomable sea of imaginary illnesses, the drop-by-drop urinations of sleepless nights, the daily death at twilight. He thought that all the moments in the day, which had once been his allies and sworn accomplices, were beginning to conspire against him.

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A Short Walk In The Hindu Kush

The river was quite shallow but running very fast. We decided to cross it. It was a hazardous operation. The water was only thigh deep but the current was immensely strong and the bottom was formed of stones the size of footballs slippery with weeds. Halfway across we were forced to abandon the attempt; if a man slipped in such a place he would be gone for good. We should have known better than to attempt a short cut. We splashed back through the meadow by the way we had come and ascended the side of the hill where...

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