How To Shock the Mayflower Madam

I think the first time I was ever shocked, shocked by another’s table manners, was when I spied someone sitting across from me cut his dinner roll with his knife and fully butter both halves. In fact, it still shocks me. I can overlook someone buttering his bread from the butter server before I can stomach watching someone cut the roll with a knife.

Thus Sydney Biddle Barrows in the spring issue of the Women’s Quarterly. Charlotte Hays, the magazine’s new editor, writes that Barrows “probably doesn’t agree with many of the ideas we espouse here” at the Independent Women’s Forum, the conservative group that publishes the Women’s Quarterly. But Hays is tantalizingly silent about whether the Independent Women’s Forum has any disagreement with Barrows about her former career. Is flesh peddling simply another area where women should learn to value traditions glibly branded “sexist” by contemporary feminists (to parody, slightly, the writings of Hays’ predecessor Danielle Crittenden, author of What Our Mothers Didn’t Tell Us)? Take it away, Katha Pollitt