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From My Corpus Callosum

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August 18, 2001: Miracles happen, even when you don't believe in "Dr" Gray's "healing" workshops! I finally posted From Gender Vertigo to Gender Peace, a state of the couple report on egalitarian-leaning heterosexual relationships. After I published Those Martian Women! on Thanksgiving 1999, I got deluged with interruptions, both negative and positive. A ski accident, two major job changes, homeowners' issues, a trip to Argentina and Brazil, a visit with Susan Hamson in Philadelphia, an invitation to critique the MMWV TV show . . . it seemed like everything was conspiring to keep me from finishing my essay.

But persistence paid off and I'm delighted to post my latest essay in between the anniversaries of two major north American feminist milestones: The 153rd anniversary of the world's first women's rights conference (July 20, 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York) and the 81st anniversary of passage of the "women's suffrage" amendment to the U.S. Constitution (August 26, 1920). Feminist determination through the centuries, not "Dr" Gray's "healing" seminars, inspired me to keep on keeping on, especially when Nikki Craft honored me with the Little Miss Naughty award for my web activism. Without all those bad grrrrrrrrls around the world, we'd never know you don't have to settle for Mars&Venus. And the John Grays of the planet would always have the last word.

But the failure of the MMWV TV show proves once again that patriarchy doesn't always prevail. True, it didn't happen because of mass feminist enlightenment, but the tube has a way of magnifying flaws and Mars&Venus has more than its share. If the culture could just see the light on The Surrendered Wife, which John Gray endorsed and which I will comment on during the next installment of From My Corpus Callosum.

As usual, this page contains the most interesting commentary on Out of the Cave: Exploring Gray's Anatomy. Thank you for your accolades, your support, and your challenges. Due to your queries, I have updated the FAQ. Please take a moment to check it out.

And now, let's enjoy the newest batch of stimulating letters:

P.S. I am building archives of past From My Corpus Callosum entries. For starters, check out:

Are Mars&Venus Books Appropriate Therapy for Sex Offenders?

Subject: is that book appropriate therapy for sex offenders in court ordered counseling?
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2000

I was amused recently to learn that a "counseling" corporation (Mountain Valley Counseling) that has a contract with the State of Arizona to rehabilitate sex offenders requires their "patients" to read Men are From Mars Women Are From Venus as an integral part of their therapy. They also require the patients to watch an episode of the Jerry Springer talk show with uncredentialed guests discussing sexual abuse. Assuming (as I do) that sex offenders are not sophisticated about sexual matters, do you think MMWV is an appropriate counseling instrument?

Thanks in advance for reading this. I know it sounds ridiculous.


This is appalling, Sara. It shows why we desperately need a feminist "Nader's Raiders" organization for the relationships and therapy industry. If I had the money and organizational skills, I'd start it. But I'm a writer at heart. Sara, I urge you to either try to start this group or look for someone with the right talents. I'd be very willing to write articles for the organization's newletter and journal. ;-)

It is VERY dangerous to use John Gray's books on sex offenders, especially since he thinks men have a divine right to the patriarchal version of intercourse NOW. Just read Mars and Venus in the Bedroom, Annie Potts review of it, my Feminista! article, As Long As Men Like Mr. Mars&Venus Exist, and Susan Hamson's commentary on his infamous Yahoo interview, which is now off the web. There is nothing amusing about giving John Gray books to sex offenders. Actually, it's frightening.

Here we go again! Mr. Mars&Venus is showing me why we need "outrageous" feminists like Dworkin, Barry, MacKinnon, and Frye. He doesn't really believe women have a right to say no.

"Dr" Gray and "President" Bush

Subject: Back Again
Date: Sun, 3 Dec 2000


I searched your site and discovered John Gray has no valid academic degrees whatsoever. I have to laugh. But then, doesn't the dominant society honor a scam, just like George Bush is honored, not just for his sense of greed and entitlement, but because without any political education he won the presidency.

Gray and Bush are soul mates. The question is, why are they so popular in the dominant society? Dominant society has to self-congradulate itself every ten or so years for how it's succeeded in staying on top of the power hierarchy and for doubling its wealth. Clinton and hard work and rebuilding the economy had to be followed by a Bush greed fest. The deminse of feminism had to be celebrated by a Gray love fest. If society moves a step forward towards an awakening, that must be followed by moving two steps back into the cave (with Plato). Those are the laws of dominance.

Thanks for your ideas,
Bill Kidd

Bill, you broke the code. Yes, society will give you unearned authority if you are white, male, wealthy, and heterosexual. Talk about handouts! But seriously, if you want more enlightenment on these interconnected issues, read Peggy McIntosh's classic essays about "The Invisible Knapsack of White and Male Privilege", Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickeled and Dimed and Allan G. Johnson's Privilege, Power, and Difference.

How Can I Understand the Opposite Gender?

Subject: insight
Date: Wed, 15 Nov 2000


Hello. I picked up one of John Gray's books some time ago, but hadn't gotten around to reading it. I was having a conversation with a friend of mine (with a psychology background) about Gray and she expressed her utter disgust for him. I had heard he wasn't a "real" doctor, but I didn't care. If the advice was good, credentials shouldn't be an issue. I decided her concerns were valid, and a background check was warranted. Eventually it brought me here. After reading several articles bashing Gray, I find myself in the same position as when I started. I'm looking for a book to help me understand and communicate with the opposite gender. As you may or may not have discerned I am a man. I find a lot of space written specifically for women, but I'm having a little trouble finding what I really need: understanding. After reading your essays, I find your insight pertinent and valuable. Can you recommend a book or two for me read, by someone more qualified than "Dr." Gray? Thank you for your time.

Steve Greer

Steve, you sound very sincere. However, those who try to understand "the opposite gender" are going to land right smack back in Mars&Venus land. They won't get the gender peace they desire. Since you like my work, you're more than ready to read:

  • Allan G. Johnson, The Gender Knot: Unraveling Our Patriarchal Legacy and Power, Privilege, and Difference
  • Pepper Schwartz, Love Between Equals: How Peer Marriage Really Works
  • Barbara Risman, Gender Vertigo: American Families in Transition
  • Nina Atwood, Be Your Own Dating Service. Atwood's work has the usual liberal feminist limitations, which I discussed in Those Martian Women!, but she gives good advice to women and men who want to escape Mars&Venus dating patterns.

Best wishes.

Thank You, Nikki, for the Little Miss Naughty Award

Date: Sun, 13 May 2001
Subject: Little Miss Naughty Award

Dear Ms. Trigiani,

Congratulations! You are the recipient of our Little Miss Naughty Award!

Little Miss Naughty is the embodiment of the gleeful troublemaker. A trouble maker who knows what she is doing, has a political reason for doing it, and can take joy in the doing. This, you can bet, makes almost everyone uncomfortable...and you could say that this is where the glee comes in. Upsetting the status quo is serious business, but one should never lose the ability to take joy from seeing them squirm.

Little Miss Naughties are obstreperous. They are loudly resisting control and management. Little Miss Naughties are in-your-face, feisty, difficult, obstinate, contrary, noisy, clamorous, boisterous, vociferous, sassy, stubborn, un-compromising, confronting, uppity, mad and unruly. They may be called-- "uptight", "humourless", "anti-male", "bulldaggers", " ball breakers", "bolsheis", "too-big-for-her-boots", "frigid" usually-accompanied-by "bitch", "witch", "slag", "female supremacist", "unfeminine", "extremist", "castrator", "man-hater", "nag", "neurotic", "hysterical", "insane", know-it-all "invert", and many, many, many, many, many more.

Those who have received this award, and the ones who will in the future, have at one time or another earned this award by using their radical feminist politic to take on the status quo, make them squirm and even taken satisfaction in doing so...Ahhh the joy of it. Keep up the good work, you make us proud.

Thanks for your efforts and keep up your good work!

Nikki Craft

Nikki, I'm so flattered I can barely speak. Without feminists like you, most of us "nice girls" would have never become Little Miss Naughties and realized how much fun it can be. I want to take this opportunity to show my audience a slice of your own awesome web activism:

Nikki, your legacy is incredible. You've been in the front lines of almost every social justice cause in north America. My deah, after all these years, how do you keep up your energy? Oh Nikki, how I'd lovvvvvvvvvve to get you in a room with "Dr" Gray. ;-)

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Copyright 2001 Kathleen Trigiani. All rights reserved.