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Gee willikers 

The XX Files

I like the way CNN.com put it. The headline read: "Southern women breaking up with Bush." After 9/11, Southern women, like much of the country at the time, had a childish crush on someone who seemed like a hero. We were scared. President Bush seemed strong. He'd help us rise from the ashes and fight the evil.

But like all crushes, it was totally unrealistic. Those of us who weren't writing Bush's name in curly script all over our notebooks realized that while he was right to invade Afghanistan, something was fishy about invading Iraq.

Didn't those Southern Republican women learn their lessons about cads in college? How many times did the BMOC have to date rape one of their friends before they stopped swooning over the creep? They continued to be infatuated with Bush throughout 2004, even as the WMD story started falling apart. In fact, the 54 percent of Southern women who voted for Bush in 2004 gave him the needed boost to win a second term. Nationally, women had done less daydreaming and more homework: they went for Kerry, 51-48 percent.

Finally Southern women are in the same chatroom with the rest of us. Sick of the war and worried about the country's direction, they're turning away from Republican leaders. It's so bad, CNN.com reports, that three out of five Southern women say they'll vote Democratic in the mid-terms. Southern women aren't just breaking up with Bush, they may dump the Republican majority in Congress.

There's more going on here than meets the eye. I used to live in Nashville, and I know a thing or two about what makes Southern women happy. Sure, they don't like the lying and the dying. But a far greater evil is afoot: someone took away their sex toys. That's right. Republicans haven't just been ignoring soldiers' armor shortages, slashing housing subsidies (creating more homeless families), and eroding women's earning power.

In several Bible Belt states, they've outlawed vibrators and arrested people like the Texas schoolteacher who hosted a sex-toy party. Last year Alabama's anti-dildo law finally made its way to the Supreme Court, but that boys' club sent it back unexamined.

(Memo to Prudes: this is not a wholesome effort to clean up America's bedroom but rather an attempt to control gays and women. Many women, of course, need a little something extra to achieve orgasms. Notice how the stuff straight men like ---Viagra, nasty porn magazines, and blow-up sex dolls --- is still available in most of these states.)

That alone is enough to make a gal cranky. But this is really stupid: Vice President Dick Cheney recently said on Meet the Press that he'd invade Iraq all over again today. Even with all we know now and with all we've lost --- lives, world opinion, money, and security --- he'd still invade?

But he is a man, after all, and new data shows that, perhaps, he's not only not stupid, he's actually smarter than me. The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Western Ontario and reported in the journal Intelligence, claims men are a few IQ points smarter than women. Using 100,000 SAT scores from men and women, researchers measured general intelligence, or "g factor." Just as I was getting into the whole concept of The Female Brain, it turns out I don't got no g-factor.

As if Bush and Cheney and conservative legislators aren't pushing the pendulum back far enough, we now have to deal with men dangling their slightly engorged IQs in our faces. It's already happening. One of the researchers suggested that the g-factor disparity might help explain the glass ceiling. Riiight.

So ladies, forget Bush, forget stopping the war, and plan on another 20 centuries of being treated as a second-class citizen: no rights in the workplace or at home and no fun in bed.

Okay, so what makes dopey little us happy? Certainly not Bush (at least, not anymore for Southern women).And not regressive bedroom laws. Let's turn to noted feminist and author Fay Weldon. Lucky for us, she happens to have a new book coming out called What Makes Women Happy.

It says, according to media reports, we should fake our orgasms and lavishly praise our lovers and... what the ---? It says what?

"If you are happy and generous-minded," she says, "you will fake it and then leap out of bed and pour him champagne, telling him, 'you are so clever,' or however you express enthusiasm." That can't be right. Let's look elsewhere: "Eighty-percent of women only sometimes --- or never --- experience orgasm.... Deal with it."

Oy. This is confusing and sad. Weldon claims now, in her dotage, that she never intended to be a feminist or even a serious person. Nonetheless, I'd like to see Fay weldin' her mouth shut right about now.

And guys, don't listen to a word that old bird says. Just stop the war and bring back the vibrators. Either that or do something useful with all those so-called brains: use your g factor to find our g-spot.

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