Lieutenant, you would do me an enormous favor if you stopped calling me sir.

Wednesday, October 17, 201816 likes1 comment

How Did You Respond To Learning That Andrea Dworkin's Widower Was Managing Editor Of The AARP Magazine For Eight Years?

Where were you when you found this out? Was it right now? For me, it was yesterday. Yesterday morning, had you said to me, “Do you think your maternal grandmother has ever subscribed to a magazine edited by Andrea Dworkin’s life partner?” I would have, taking the fact that almost anything is possible into account, have laughed a jolly, whole-throated laugh rooted in health and certainty and told you, “No. Between my maternal grandmother and the work of Andrea Dworkin there are at least nineteen degrees of separation.” By evening I was a broken man, weighed down with terrible, glittering knowledge.

I was reading his eulogy at her funeral (if I’m honest, it was background research for a nascent idea of finding some connection between her work and Johnny Bravo, and if I’m even more honest, I knew it was never really going to come together) when I came across the final line:

Her life partner, John Stoltenberg, who wrote Refusing to Be a Man and The End of Manhood, is managing editor of AARP The Magazine.

And, you know, maybe you all knew this already! Maybe everyone already knew this, and maybe during Stoltenberg’s tenure at AARP there were little references to Right-Wing Women tucked away between recommendations of overnight train trips and financial advice about IRAs (“It’s the most widely circulated magazine in the United States!” –Grace), and maybe this is a widely-known fact that everyone talks about sometimes and I just never noticed. But I didn’t know, and I’m not quite sure how to proceed with my day, or my life. It’s – it’s something, and it certainly means that I’m going to spend more of my thirties than I expected going through back issues of AARP The Magazine, probably on my next trip to my grandmother’s house, looking for clues.

Lieutenant, you would do me an enormous favor if you stopped calling me sir.