ord of accomplishment. Image, publicnrelations, and enthusiasm, linked withnthe luck of being at the right place at thenright time, seem to be the essence ofnthat transformation. What, if anything,ndoes this leadership recruitment patternntell us about our society? Were thenyouth leaders of the 60’s-70’s perhaps ancopy—or, more accurately, an exaggeration—ofnthe larger leadership elite? Isnthere something defective in a societynthat stresses image, public relations, andnenthusiasm in recruiting its rulers? Is itnunexpected that the finalists in the contestnoften possess the talents of faithnhealers and used-car dealers? Despitentheir loathing of America as bourgeois,ndecadent, and materialistic, it mig^t benargued that these three luminaries atnanother time could have been successMnin legitimate politics. They were asnAmerican as their critics.nViewed from the perspective ofnthe 80’s there are a number of impressionsnconveyed collectively by the twonbooks. One is the sectarianism of thenmovement: the charismatic leaders, thendogmatic clashes, the perennial sense ofnbetrayal, the inevitable liberal-radicalnsplit. One thing emerges most stronglythenvulgarity—the happenings, marches,nslogans, jingles, and unending witnessing.nAnother impression raises severalnissues. How does contemporary “liberated”nSoutheast Asia compare with the de-nAmericanized world sought by thenpeace activists? Is it the world theynpromised in the 60’s and 70’s? What isntheir degree of responsibility for thenlatest tropical gulag? And, domestically,nare we better oflf as a people due to thisncreedal experience? Are our familiesnmore cohesive, our spiritual valuesnmore intact, our lives and propertynmore secure? Did the destabilization ofnour society result in more pluses thannminuses? Few would argue the aifirmative.nThere is an air of sadness that permeatesnthe writings of the ancientnGreeks. Because of their organic-cyclicalnperception of reality, they expectedneven the just society to decline. Tradi­n14nChronicles of Cttlturentionally, such pessimism has beennforeign to Americans because of ournEnlightenment legacy, our progressivenview of history, our resources, and ourngood fortune. We have seldom contemplatednthe end of our world. But ournloss of nerve linked with zero popula­nA Feminist & a FlaneurnMargaret Atwood: Dancing Girls;nSimon & Schuster; New York.nMargaret Atwood: True Stories;nSimon & Schuster; New York.nRobert Walser: Selected Stories;nFarrar, Straus & Giroux; New York.nby Betsy ClarkenNo one familiar with the so-calledn”feminist movement” has foiled to notenits schizophrenia The condition evidentlynappears as a result of feminists’nattempts to seem both potent and oppressednat the same time. For example,nduring the 1982 elections the NationalnOrganization for Women complainednthat Congress had too few womennmembers, and then they promptlyntargeted nearly all of the female candidatesnfor defeat. Because they were sonsuccessful in their mission to elect morenmen to the Senate and House of Representatives,nNOW will be able to lodgenthe same charge of sexism in 1984. Onnthe domestic front, publications such asnMs. heap almost profane adoration onnmen who stay home nurturing childrennwhile needling women providing thensame service to get out of the house andnfinally make something of themselves.nOn the subject of national defense, thenleftist women’s groups seem to view thenAmerican military as both the liberatornof women and the oppressor of humankind,nor whatever we are all being callednMiss Clarke is a frequent contributor tonChronicles.nnntion growth and failure to control immigrationncould mean that the futurenLos Estados Unidos will be vastly differentnfrom the world we have inherited.nThe cardinal concern of the futurenmight be: can and should this trend benreversed? Dnthese days.nThen there is the issue of authors’ portrayalsnof women in books. Oddly, thenvery mind-set that crabs about thendepiction of women as dependent,nhelpless cookie-bakers in children’sntextbooks will, with the next pen stroke,nexecute a “feminist” novel in which thenwomen are suicidal, institutionalized,ndrug-addicted, or otherwise out of controlnof their lives. The misogyny of thenfeminist movement must baffle men, fornwhile male behavior toward womennhas not always been exemplary, it isnwomen who have promoted the mostnbitter attack on members of their sexnand how they have traditionally chosennto live their lives.nIn this regard, Margaret Atwood’sncollection of stories, Dancing Girls, isnstandard fare. Before a backdrop ofnbrooding women and inscrutable mennparade the woman lunatic, the femalencerebral palsy victim, the deceitfijlnwoman, the dull, traditional woman.nThe dancing girls of the title are actuallynprostitutes. All of them contribute tonthat popular feminist theme: woman asngimp.nThough absorbing in many respects,nAtwood’s short fiction analyzes thenfemale with a cold, clinical eye. Clearly,nthe author sees herself as a “breed apart”nfi-om the average, garden-variety woman.nBut why does she hate us so much?nWhatever the motivation for her stories,nthey do not bear any relation to the livesnof most women, nor can they be expectednto. Like most of those prominent innthe feminist movement, MargaretnAtwood has never lived as most womenn