To The Honorable State. Sen. Martin Golden, of The Venerable 22nd District:
Sir, it has been brought to my attention that you intend to hold a taxpayer-funded career-development workshop in which you will instruct the fairer sex in the feminine arts.
Specifically, as has been reported by City & State, the goal is to teach would-be business women ladylike behaviour: “posture, deportment and the feminine presence” such as how to “sit, stand and walk like a model,” “walk up and down a stair elegantly;” and “differences in American and Continental rules governing handshakes and introductions.”
I, for one, cannot emphasize how necessary this is: as I was churning butter this morning and dipping the day’s candles, I came to realize that today’s young women are simply too spirited to succeed in the business world — they don’t pay enough deference to the rules of polite society rightfully established by their fathers, brothers, and clergymen.
Instead, they expect to get by with their education and experience.
Thankfully, you have recognized that this idea is as untenable as it is impracticable.
Indeed, how could a woman possibly be expected to excel as an entrepreneur or in a career — if she had such silly goals, of course — without carrying herself like a mannequin? What is she going to do: offer a superior product or service?
Surely, no men are going to take her seriously for her “skills” or “ideas” — but she might be able to trick them into listening if she sits, stands, and navigates stairs with utmost elegance and humility, as you have admirably suggested.
And if she does dare extend her hand to a potential suitor — my sincerest apologies, “client” — your instructions on proper handshake technique will surely keep her from committing the gravest of faux pas, such as removing her glove before their eventual betrothal.
All told, sir, I do feel that this workshop, scheduled for later this month, can only prove beneficial to the ladies of Brooklyn.
Also, please do excuse my brashness, but I was so intrigued by the course that I called upon your office to ask questions — and perhaps enroll — without waiting for my father’s kind permission.
I very much look forward to hearing your response.
With utmost respect,
Miss Victoria Bekiempis
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 3, 2012