Elderly Girl's Secret Garden of Red Orchids

Written by sylvia kronstadt

Sunday, 16 September 2012


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As Elderly Girl has informed you dear women before, she insists on having her "time of the month," even though she has been post-menopausal for eons.To be honest, it is pretty much always her time of the month, and, to quote the great soul songstress Ella Fitzgerald, "It Ain't Nobody's Business But My Own."

She believes it is her biological prerogative to burst into tears, punch holes in walls, lay up all day with the covers over her head, and walk out on an irritating man, slamming the door behind her (preferably after throwing a drink in his face). Then she screeches off in her yellow convertible Miata. To quote the great blues songstress Billie Holiday, "Ain't Nobody's Business if I Do."

It is your prerogative as well, of course, although most of us have been terrorized from Day One into being "good girls," and most of us stick with the program.

Men get to be "bad boys" without apology. It just makes them sexy. Eventually, they become the Titans of Power, ruling (and ruining) everything with their all-consuming aggression.


And we do mean logical.

Elderly Girl is getting more and more testy (time of the month, you know) about the way in which the physiology of women has been turned into a running joke throughout our culture. By ridiculing women's brains and bodies and temperaments -- as if we were hopeless, helpless slaves to our exasperating biology -- men keep themselves firmly ensconced in the top echelons of everything.


Ladies, we need to write our own narrative here, instead of remaining all tangled up in the tawdry cape that men have cast over us. We need some remarkably visionary woman to step boldly forth and smash those old stereotypes and to plant in her Dear Sisters a new vision of their sparkling magnificence and munificence.

That person, of course (as always, Jesus!), is Elderly Girl. She humbly (and kind of impatiently ) (wake up, ladies!!) asks you to consider this: You are fabulous. The chemistry that makes you a woman is beautiful. It doesn't make you silly, irrational, volatile, helpless or weak, as men -- for their own abominable purposes -- have led you to believe. Your hormones have been used as cheap fodder for every pathetic, desperate standup comedian out there (and your dear menstruality is used to buttress the glass ceiling, which demonstrably still exists), but they are one of the Dear Lord's most awe-inspiring masterpieces. Rejoice in them!


Your uterus is a lushly tropical annex of your mind. Among the wild red orchids, there is a sort of shrine to the bittersweetness of life. This is the fountainhead of gyne-logic.

It is indeed beautiful in its functional simplicity. It is a majestic creation.

Gyne-logic is the part of you that sees the world with gratitude, awe and compassion. It is the part that yearns for peace and justice -- a world that we can, with pride, leave for our children. It perceives the tragic aspects of love and beauty. It aches for the suffering of humankind. It only goes into spasm -- as if a volcano were firing up in there -- and insists that you listen to it, once a month, but it's always there and we always should be there too, in spirit. Crying at least once a day should be considered part of basic physical and spiritual hygiene. So should blowing your stack.


Elderly Girl's urgent mission (in addition to fomenting class warfare -- it's coming along nicely) is to inspire you Undervalued Sweethearts of the world to understand and respect your estrogenic genius.

Yes, genius! We need to stop apologizing for our shimmering ovarian tides and instead rejoice in the vibrant, responsive, resilient, wondrous, ethical, generous, nurturing, intelligent, courageous, competent, sensitive and indomitable beauty that is the unappreciated gift of our hormonal infrastructure. (Take a moment and contrast this with what men's hormonal infrastructure hath wrought.) Any man who makes a snide remark about your biology should be treated just as if he had made a racist, homophobic or anti-Semitic comment. Attack him! Report him! This is a deeply entrenched bias that keeps women down.


There has been some limited progress in the past forty years to diminish the sexism inherent in our culture. Although men still rule pretty much every aspect of the world, at least we girls have a wider range of job options than our grandmothers did.

But because we have neglected to demand equality in the hormonal realm, we continue to allow men's swashbuckling androgens to mold, corrupt, domineer and destroy the planet. We are still mere accessories in A Man's World.

We have utterly failed to understand, much less advocate, our own hormonal imperatives, which are surely as valid as the male ones are.

We need an Estrogen Pride Movement.

Power to the Estrogen!


Testosterone is glorified as some grand and golden elixir that erects, propels, protects and creates. Our hormones are regarded as irritants and impediments.

When we get pissed off by men's screw-ups, they dismiss our righteous anger as PMS. Every time we assert ourselves with true passion and conviction, they blame it on PMS. If we cry -- or are deeply affected by beauty, tragedy, fear or aching love -- they tell their friends, "Oh boy, she's on the rag again."

After we get old enough to throw away all those Tampax (although Elderly Girl keeps several in her purse in case Nature plays a little trick on her -- it wouldn't be the first time), women's moods -- their demands, their priorities, their emotions -- are eye-rollingly explained away as "that change-of life thing."


Elderly Girl exhorts her darling female cohorts to WAGE WAR in defense of our hormonal validity. How can it still be "politically correct" for men to minimize and deprecate us in this very fundamental way?

Let's show the bastards who's boss.

No one ever informed you about your hormonal radiance, did they? The men in your life patted you on the head, but has anyone helped you to understand the grandeur, the lavish depth of understanding, the profound connection to all Creation in which those hormones enfold you? Of course not! As usual, it required Elderly Girl's stampeding vehemence to jolt people out of their languor.

Those supercilious, patronizing Masters of the Universe have succeeded resplendently in brainwashing women to discount their gyne-logic: That which seems o-very true before and during their monthly glory. Yes, glory!


Listen up, sisters: The things that make you cry really are sad. The things that make you angry really are infuriating. It's during the rest of the month, when you hold it all in, that you're diminished. Your hormones are the seat of your special power.

We should regard what she stands for as more powerful than power.

It is astonishing that here we are in the 21st Century, and we remain second-class citizens in the hormonal department. That is totally not fun!

But if fun were the only thing at stake, Elderly Girl wouldn't bother writing this post -- she'd probably be out skateboarding with her adolescent boyfriends ("Flip Mama rules!") or sashaying through a nursing home with her hidden camera, documenting violations of health and safety regulations and human rights.

What is at stake is The Future.


How did it happen that even as women's currency has slowly risen in the world, our hormonal infrastructure is still seen as a handicap, a drawback, a weakness, a flaw and a punchline?

The male hormone, testosterone, on the other hand, is glorified more than ever. "That is what makes us big, bold, brave men," they tell us modestly. Testosterone, it is said, fires up the builder, the leader, the thinker, the strategizer, the visionary dreamer, the artist, the lord and master of our happy homes.

They make it sound so delightful. Just take a look around this ravaged Earth -- death, destruction, pollution, corruption -- and you'll know that it's not.

We must bring to gyne-logic to the table before men blow up the planet.


Ladies: This is a time for grave seriousness about the monumental mess that men have made of EVERYTHING. Our Beautiful Earth is on the verge of being poisoned to death or blown to smithereens, taking the human race with it.

It is time for us to unleash our Hormonal Brilliance and wrest the reins of power from that screaming, stomping, paranoid, power-mad adolescent known as TESTOSTERONE.

It's time for us to say: You've had your turn, dudes. Get out of the way, and let us see if we can clean up this gargantuan disaster you've created. The prospects aren't good, but we are the only hope.

In our country and around the world, men are flailing around, screwing up, hatching nefarious plots, meddling in everybody else's affairs, and showing not even a tiny thread of integrity, intelligent priorities or a love for humankind.

The best we ever get from these "leaders" is petty, adolescent gridlock. Do we ever see sanity, moral leadership, collaboration, decency, generosity or peaceability? HELL NO, because that would be TOO GAY.


Do our leaders ever rally us to join them in creating a country we can be proud of? Dream on, sisters! If ever we have been poised as citizens to plunge in and help turn this sinking ship around, it was after the election of President Barack Obama.

For months, his millions of devoted believers waited for him to call on us to help him enact the sweeping and fundamental changes that we need to survive as a functioning democracy. People were ready to rise up, to back him up, to screw up business as usual -- and start over, with a mindset of equity, peace, honor and enlightenment.


He never called.

He never called -- why not? He knew how much righteousness was out there, committed to his "vision." He knew that we realized it would require effort and sacrifice. He knew we were ready and waiting. He knew we were counting on him to help us save our country and to RECLAIM our country.

He gave birth to a powerful euphoria, and then he let it die from neglect.

Man, you screwed up bad.

He stayed in his office, door closed, with all those Wall Street and Pentagon titans and plotted the path that would keep them fully entrenched as The Powers That Be. He doesn't seem to have very much testosterone himself.

A black man with testosterone would never have been elected. Too scary. He handed over the reins to those who do.

Move over, Rover. We need the men to step aside. They have perverted our society -- our "democratic" institutions, our politics, our environment, our foreign and military policies, our supposed system of economic opportunity and justice, and our pathetic, sophomoric, tawdry, porn-drenched culture.


They have programmed women to be mindless, manic consumers (buying "stuff" has become a neurotic tic -- an obsessive-compulsive disorder that keeps our minds off what is important). They have bought us off simply by dangling all those sparkly "things" in front of us. The Big Guys in China and Russia are doing the same thing, to some extent, and it's working rather well. "Stuff" is the opiate of the masses.

Wouldn't it have been more fun to just have some opium?

Men have also demonically drenched women in profound doubts about their attractiveness, their value as human beings, and their capacities as leaders, thinkers, collaborators and creators. This is not just cruel -- it really is criminal.

Once we've gotten these helplessly misguided, aggressive, ruthless, thrill-seeking, treacherous, hormone engorged creatures out of the way, we can at last bring our special gifts into play.


The first thing we should do is to declare "Low T" -- the pharmaceutical industry's catchy term for testosterone deficiency -- to be an asset.

We should encourage men with "Low T" to brag about it and to look with distaste at those pathetically peacocky guys with all that "High T" (not high tea, though -- that's something we should make into a lovely, restorative interlude every afternoon. It would do us all some good).

Women should regard Low T as advantage when they are seeking male companionship. We should demand to see their "T scores" before getting involved. Those who are running for office or being considered for high positions should be required to disclose their T levels.

It should be illegal to produce drugs that "treat" Low T. We need to fund research on finding an opening in male bodies where we could just drain it out and turn them into really nice guys with humane values and priorities.

We aren't talking about eliminating masculinity. We just want the subjugation to stop, the raging, ruthless ambition, the screamingly joyful blowing up of villages, etc.

Until then, ladies, we're headed straight down the tubes.


One last thing. Elderly Girl is reluctant to attack the Fairer Sex, which has already been so diminished by the Unfair Sex. But you have been horribly derelict in rearing your daughters to become liberated women.

Feel your power and freedom, you dear daughters of ours.

The subjugation of women from time immemorial has been exhaustively documented, and Elderly Girl wishes you would teach your daughters, as only a mother can, about the truth of our predicament.

Instead, hundreds of thousands of you during the past ten years have been forking over $500 (for a daylong seminar plus lunch) so that Elderly Girl can do it for you. (Every penny of these funds has gone to support hospitals in Africa that repair the minds and bodies of women who have endured horrific gang rapes and are left with constantly draining fistulas.)

Doesn't it embarrass you a bit to delegate this responsibility to a complete stranger -- even one who is revered around the world?

What ever happened to the song "Teach Your Children Well"? Are all you mothers -- who ought to be enlightened after what the feminist movement has been through -- spending all your time driving your SUV to the nearest shopping mall, texting as you go?


Or are you headed to the gym, in your sleek workout attire, to sweat a bit and then get a sauna, massage, pedicure, Brazilian wax and a glass of champagne?

You pamper yourselves, and leave Elderly Girl to be your daughters' Fountain of Truth.

Women's development has been thwarted as surely as if their spirits had been bound like little China-girl feet.

Have you forgotten that this narcotic called "consumerism" is part of the script men have written for you to sublimate your innate values and powers? Are you so comfortable in your quasi-free life that you don't want to be reminded what real freedom would entail (responsibilities as well as rights)?

Now you've allowed your adolescent daughters to become completely enthralled by this manic, mindless sickness, and you expect Elderly Girl to create in them an entirely new intellectual foundation in one Saturday.


She is sick of it! She can't do it alone -- it is way too tiring to be America's Enlightened Mother Figure. She didn't have any kids -- that was your idea! After 10 years spent doing your job for you, Elderly Girl is retiring from this seminar business. If you're too busy or too clueless to handle this yourself, give your daughters copies of "The Second Sex," "The Feminine Mystique," "Against Our Will," "Are Men Necessary?," "The Beauty Myth," "A Room of One's Own," and "The Female Eunuch."

If they have any questions, they can call Elderly Girl for a free consultation. She is listed under "Sanitary Protection" in the Yellow Pages.

She is very sanitary! And she's been protecting all of you from yourselves for as long as she can remember.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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