10/24/13

A Modest Proposal For Tying The Same-Sex Knot. Or not.

same_sex_wedding_topper1-620x412“Same-sex couples rushed to wed early Monday morning, the first day they could legally do so in New Jersey. … Mayors in some places performed ceremonies after the stroke of midnight Sunday for couples looking to tie the knot as soon as possible.”  The Wall Street Journal, October 22

Dear Same-Sex Knot-Tying Devotees,

732-d-001You were with me in spirit those many years ago when I got married at City Hall. You were my anti-establishment role models, giving me tacit permission to show up in black velvet pants and a tweed jacket instead of a cloud of white netting. The Good Ex, my soon-to-be spouse and I waited in vinyl chairs for our number to be called, and when we walked into the nuptial room, the only thing I noticed was the round patch of rug sewn over the carpet at the foot of the ceremonial podium where countless of betrothed had worn it down, standing before a city functionary  declaring their love. Read more . . .

10/17/13

A Traveler’s Guide to The Male Harem

 “The chief thing the traveller carries about with him is himself.”

Freya Stark, Perseus in the Wind, 1948

On the road.

On the road.

As with any expedition, venturing into The Male Harem requires mental preparedness, pluck, and a degree of madness. Also a willingness to throw out the map for the uncharted and open-ended – the weekend in Provence that bids au revoir at the JFK baggage claim, the heightened conversation left dangling until another day.

So why abandon the beaten path that leads to a committed one for the less-traveled road to an unaccountable many? For inspiration, The Sultanette offers Freya Stark, a British explorer who lived to see her one-hundredth birthday. Called by Lawrence Durrell the “poet of travel” she could also be anointed Sultanette on Steroids. Read more . . .

10/10/13

It Depends On What The Meaning Of The Word “It” Is.

Pablo Picasso, Faun uncovering a sleeping woman. British Museum

Pablo Picasso, Faun uncovering a sleeping woman. British Museum.

The Male Harem can’t resist joining in on the hoopla over Robin Thicke’smusic video Blurred Lines, including accusations from the feminist cabal that its antics and lyrics – “I know you want it” – are lecherous and filthy with gestures as crude as they are indecent. Wait! That’s what Le Figaro said about Nijinsky’s Paris debut of Laprès-midi d’un faune (Afternoon of a Faun) at the Ballet Russes on March 29, 1912!

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose? Or has it gotten worse? Nijinsky wasn’t personally attacked – or the entire male race. Just his dancing. Blurred Lines has become a soapbox for everything that makes females victims. What is it about being a woman that makes other people think they know what’s right for you? First it was men, the church, the government. Now it’s other women. Read more . . .

10/3/13

How Does A French Woman Lean In?

Paris stroll.

Paris stroll.

Isn’t it time we gave French women more credit than tying scarves? For those cheeky accents that could make a grocery list sound sexy? The way they can prance down the rue de Rivoli in skinny heels and tight skirts until they’re eighty? How they can come home after working all day at the Galeries Lafayette and cook blanquette de veau for ten without breaking a sweat?

More germane to the subject at hand, The Sultanette credits them for planting the first seeds of The Male Harem, when I moved to Paris as a young bride with first and only husband, the Good Ex. Read more . . .