October 1980

Readers Write

How Men See Women, How Women See Men

The other day at the post office, I became aware of how I categorize, men. I instinctively smiled at a white-haired old man wearing a baggy white shirt and an odd-shaped straw hat who held open a door for me. I realized that if he had been young and attractive, I probably would have 1) gazed off cooly into space and brushed past, or 2) smiled back at him self-consciously, lips pressed together. If he had been middle-aged with a prosperous paunch, I might have frowned at him, even insisted that he go through the door first. (I’ve been known to flourish my arm gallantly in those situations, which confuses them considerably.) Age, ethnic differences, socio-economic status and “vibes” affect whether a man seems threatening, kind, annoying or someone I could trust in an emergency.

By Our Readers


Using another as a means of satisfaction and security is not love. Love is never security; love is a state in which there is no desire to be secure; it is a state of vulnerability.

J. Krishnamurti

Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Iowa Diary

I meet so many people here who are “crying”: saying with their bodies that they’re unhappy, sorrowful — and yet, where are the tears?

By Linne Gravestock
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

The Real Work

The Real Work is a classic of enlightened common sense and one of the best books I’ve read in years.

By Gary Snyder
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

No Enemies, Except Ourselves

Book Review

Several years ago, my sister and I confided in one another that neither of us had ever known a feminist we liked. Neither of us could identify with the militancy of the movement, the partial insights passed off as truth, the self-righteous anger, the pseudo-snobbishness towards females who did not pounce on men who addressed them as “ladies,” or, God forbid, girls.

By Elizabeth Campbell

Cartoon By Steven Fisher

The cartoon from the selection is available as a PDF only.

By Steven Fisher