It's become a constant challenge to write something critical about a female person without bringing down the wrath of the sisterhood of angry letter writers. Which is really unfair.
For years I've written about male rascals of all sorts: politicians, transom peepers, Wall Street swindlers, disc jockeys and other foul creatures. But not once has a male person said: "Why are you always so unfair to men? Do you hate men?"
But female persons will spot any perceived slight to their sex and fire off a barrage of messages.
Their most recent outburst came in response to a mention I made of the blond female person who decided to tell the world that she had regularly been engaging in sex with Gov. Bill Clinton. I referred to her as a "cheap floozie."
"How dare you?" wrote one member of the angry sisterhood. "Who are you to judge her? The fact that they were lovers does not make her a floozie, nor does it make her cheap."
Another said: "You are typical of most men. You call her a cheap floozie. But you didn't say that Clinton was her stud or lover boy."
And several echoed the female who said: "Why is it always the woman who is held up to public ridicule? The woman is always the slut, the floozie, the bimbo. But what do you call Clinton? Governor, that's what. And a presidential contender. Why should she be called a cheap floozie when he is still 'Gov. Clinton'?"
Or the one who said: "Why not give them equally 'cheap-shot' names. Perhaps Clinton could be called the 'thumper of bimbos.' After all, he may be more guilty than the woman because he was married and she isn't."
Honestly, ladies (calling them ladies makes them mad, too), I gave you credit for more brains than that. The difference should be obvious.
It wasn't Clinton who took a bundle of money from a raucous tabloid to tell a lurid tale of hopping between the sheets.
Nor was it Clinton who appeared at a televised press conference to promote the tabloid's story and hint that there may be more titillating tidbits in future issues.
Clinton has conducted himself like a gentleman. Or at least like a terrified husband. He has denied all. He's even refrained from calling the tattletale a cheap floozie.
It would be a different matter if Clinton gathered the reporters and said: "I would like to announce that for 12 years, that blond tidbit and I bounced from pillar to bedpost, off the floors, the doors, the ceiling, and all points between, and for further lurid details, I refer you to the latest issue of The Star."
Had that been the case, I wouldn't hesitate referring to Clinton as the Arkansas Stud or the hottest spring in Hot Springs.
But he has denied everything. There is no evidence against him, except those recordings of his foolish phone jabber. And unless the woman made secret videotapes (an oversight she probably regrets) it's unlikely that there will be any evidence. Why, she hasn't even said that he has an old hernia scar or a birthmark shaped like a poodle on his backside.
On the other hand, the woman has proclaimed that she was carrying on with a married governor. Is that a ladylike thing to do?
Consider this: What if everyone in America who claimed to have had an illicit affair decided to hold press conferences and announce it all on the same day?
We would have chaos, with people weeping, raging, leaping out of windows, flinging themselves from bridges, shooting, stabbing, pointing fingers, stuffing clothing into suitcases, and the nation's wealth would wind up in the hands of the lawyers.
It would be very unpleasant.
Most decent people, if they do something indecent, have the decency to keep the indecency to themselves.
No, in the words of Ralph Kramden, she had to be a blabbermouth. (Now the angry sisterhood will get on me for that, too.)
So, yes, I called her a floozie. And I stand by my choice of words, since my dictionary says a floozie is a "disreputable woman."
Can the angry sisterhood deny that she is a disreputable woman? What if your darling son walked in and said: "Mom, Dad, I want you to meet my new fiance. You may remember seeing her on TV, shocking the nation with her torrid tale of illicit love with the governor of Arkansas. We're planning a big wedding. Should I call gran and gramps or will you?"
Yes, I'd like to see the look on Mom's face when she poured the bubbly for that celebration.
However, I will withdraw the word "cheap," since the floozie wound up getting a considerable fee for her efforts.
Say, isn't there a word for floozies who turn it into one of those profit deals?