Unfair to Men

Medical experts report that some blind people who regain their sight are unable to distinguish between men and women. This would be a serious developmental handicap, which I have never shared. On occasion at a great distance, I can be confused by long hair, a smooth face, and earrings, but, and this should not come as a surprise, women are not shaped like men, they move differently, and smell a lot better.
I have been amused, but never fooled, by Rosalind in Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” or Viola in “Twelfth Night” pretending to be men. Either Orlando and Orsino are real dimwits or they were just playing along to stay near their sweeties. This latter is my theory and a manly thing to do since “men are deceivers ever.” The ability to distinguish male from female is a high-level survival skill. Neither Dustin Hoffman, playing a woman in TOOTSIE or Gwyneth Paltrow, playing a man in SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, fooled me for a minute.
A man who cannot spot the difference is likely to say something improper or even worse to touch something improper and get his face slapped–which hurts. In any case, separating men from women is a fair problem. What is completely unfair is how easily a woman can disguise herself by changing her hair style and makeup, as I have the emotional scars to prove.
Some years back Margaret got a “permanent” (which, of course, is really a “temporary”). Later on when we arrived at the party, I sidled over to several male and female friends and asked them to say to Margaret, “What did you do to your hair? It looks terrible!” By the middle of the party she was feeling quite dejected until she figured out that I had fostered the little hair thing to add sparkle to her evening. I must say she took my prank extremely well. I only received a painful pinch on a sensitive part of my anatomy when no one was looking.
Being unaware of the feminine capacity for revenge, a few weeks later I was calmly enthroned in the smallest room in our house. The focus of my attention was directed to a book by a rival in which I read a page and then tore it out in order that the page might serve a dual purpose. When I was a kid, this fate was the destiny of every old Sears and Roebuck catalog residing in the outhouse.
In the meantime Margaret had covered her glorious auburn tresses with a grey wig, applied lavish and garish lipstick, donned a cape and thick glasses. She hammered loudly on the door to my quiet study, then immediately jerked open the door and shouted, “Who do you think you are?”
Startled out of my wits, I jumped to my feet, trying to decide between fight or flight, to which the apparition responded, “You would be better advised to remain seated.”

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