BITSY BEEKMAN cont'd.
As the episode begins, Bitsy
Is setting forth on a feminist
speaking tour. Poteet Canyon,
Steve's adoring ward, Is accompanying her as a reporter. Enter
a dark, mysterious stranger who is
aupposedly handsome. (Purity of
feature is difficult to discern in
Caniff s strips. His men all look
alike to me.)
Tailgatlng Bitsy's tour, this
connoisseur of male chauvinist
cliches devastates each of Bitsy's
speaking engagements with oblique
one-liners. "Women control most of
the wealth in this country." "Mrs.
Stanton helped finance John Brown's
raid on Harper's Ferry WHICH STARTED THE CIVIL WAR." "How is it
that Switzerland which has never
entered a major war has the world's
most docile and contented women?"
He exited each time to the thunderous applause of the men present.
At one meeting he enJoint the
women to go home and be glad that
their supper will not be cold because their husbands are out attending a male equality rights
meeting. (One is amazed that he
has not suffered the ignominious
death of drowning in his own gall.)
Our champion, Bitsy,is reduced
to whining. "I can't deny him the
floor." "Poteet, do something."
"It's that same heckler again."
No matter that the hall is rented
by the women's movement and that
the publicity is paid for by them.
. Of no consequence that his attacks
contain no shred of coherence, logic, or truth. One can only charitably assume that Bitsy's brain
is boggled by these crass inanities,
She never thinks to suggest
that women make only 59% of the
wages earned by men, that 40% of
the women over 14 have no personal
income at all, that they own less
stocks, bonds, mortgages, and insurance than men. Single causation theories of historical events
leave Bitsy not only speechless
but apparently convinced. It never occurs to her to retreat into
the marvelous Intellectual fortress
of multiple causation.
If docility and contentment
are measurable, one would think a
spokeswoman for women's liberation
would call into question the dubious connection between female personality and national foreign policy, especially in Switzerland,
where women do not have suffrage
in federal elections. One would
suppose, at the very least, that
even a stunned feminist would rise
in righteous wrath when a male implies that women have their evening meals regularly prepared by
Caniff obviously has no plans
for Bitsy, or any other female, to
exhibit intelligence. Bitsy, no
doubt, will be conquered not by
the strange disrupter's intelligence but by his sexuality.(She is
already considering giving up her
blue Jeans in favor of a dress.
He is handsome.) America will, I
suspect, watch the reformation of
Bitsy, no doubt, will exit
hand-in-hand with the hero, flicking her newly-acquired false eyelashes and praying for fertility.
This, In all likelihood, will be
soon. Caniff has to get back to
the war in Vietnam. Those strips
are admittedly as offensive. The
Vietnamese, however, will not have
them delivered to their doorsteps