That is the question.
CHICK HAMLETS RULE!
Let’s break it down.
“How can you be both tough and cowardly?” you ask.
Simple. I’m fierce when it comes to that which is unimportant. When it comes to that which really counts in my life, I’m an invertebrate. (But not of the horrific brain-eating variety.)
An example of my unimportant ferocity:
A trucker once followed me down upper Lexington Avenue, driving at the pace of my gait and catcalling at me from behind the wheel. In broad daylight. I ignored him, until he turned left on East 103rd Street as I crossed it and stopped short, deliberately blocking my path. Enraged, I walloped the hood of his truck with my hardcover-book-laden tote bag, screaming:
I’M FUCKING LATE! I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THIS SHIT!!!
He drove away in both shock and a dented truck. (Yes, I know that was a crime.)
Seriously, do not fuck with me. Never mistake me for vulnerable just because I’m small. There was a schmuck who grabbed me around the waist from behind on the street in Bed-Stuy in 2001 (also in broad daylight). He got the wind knocked out of him by a hard Stacy elbow to the gut.
An example of my spinelessness:
I am scared shitless of my own screenplay.
(Yes, I wrote one.)
“Why do you insist upon the term ACTOR in lieu of ACTRESS?” you ask.
Also simple. The term “actress” is just as degrading as the term “Jewess.”
If I had an M.D. (like an old-school LeVine), I wouldn’t be a “doctress.” If I were an attorney instead of a legal secretary, I wouldn’t be a “lawyeress.” If I taught at a university, I wouldn’t be a “professoress.” Hillary Clinton was not the junior “senatress” from New York.
The original “Juliet” was a dude. Cate Blanchett played Bob Dylan. The work is the work. It does not give a shit about your chromosomes. Thus, neither should the language.
Need I go on?
Tune in for next Friday’s commentary on the pros and cons of life sans cars, Musing #15: Walk Quickly, and Carry a Big Purse (or CARS, Part I).
Until then, “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”