mardi 25 janvier 2011

Modest proposals

Since I became a university student again, I have gotten tons of "proposals", most of them blocked by my spam filter. None of them have anything to do with marriage, which is probably a good thing because I am already married, and happily so, and polygamy is illegal. The "proposals" in question all concern making extra money as a student. They generally involve telemarketing and stuff.

The subjects of email proposals and polygamy are just pretexts to mention that my friend and waitress extraordinaire Nicole Hardy managed to get published in the NY Times and find an agent while I was away in France. I saw her just before I left, so I knew about the NY Times gig. The agent and the article by Nicole Brodeur of the Seattle Times came about while I was away.

Nicole (Hardy, not Brodeur) wrote a short autobiographical piece about the experience of being a practicing Mormon woman who wants love and marriage but not children and about the resulting experience of finding herself a virgin at 36. Now an agent wants her to write the rest of her story. Personally, my favorite part of Nicole's essay was the part about Planned Parenthood -- the disconnect between what she had learned to think of PP and how she felt being taken into care by PP. It was really poignant and made my eyes well up with tears.

I just now read Brodeur's article and started to read the 178 comments it generated. But I had to stop fairly quickly, because the religious nuts seem to have taken over the comments section. How boring. One comment really pissed me off. Here it is:

It's bad enought that Hardy sinned. That she disclosed it, even bragged about it is despicable. The she profited from it is evil.


The sin? I suppose for the commenter, it was losing her virginity outside of marriage.
She did indeed disclose it, in an indirect way. Her essay does not describe her "deflowering" or name names.
Bragged about it? Well, if she did not really talk about it, then how can she be accused of bragging about it?
Profited from it? By getting an agent? Are you kidding me? She's a writer with two published books of poetry to her credit.

Whatever. She's a hard-working and talented writer, a generous human being and a wonderful waitress. She wears great t-shirts, like the one that says "talk nerdy to me" on it. Words like despicable and evil are out of place. She did not start World War Three or gun down innocent bystanders. See for yourselves. Just click on the title and it will take you to her essay for Modern Love, which appeared on January 9, 2011 in the NY Times. She bared her soul and got $300 bucks for it.