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R. Scott Cornwell’s #ScaryWhiteFemales is a satyricon of Woke absurdity, with an emphasis on the gender hustle afflicting American life so onerously that we can barely carry on the ceremonies of daily life without an eruption of complaints, lawsuits, and vicious cancellations. Applause for an excellent comedy of our wicked time.

James Howard Kunstler, author of The Long Emergency and other books.



In a bygone decade it was known as political correctness. A 20th Century prophet coined the term newspeak. What is, isn’t; and what isn’t, is. A societal game of make-believe, where participants walk on egg shells, and self-censor in hushed tones for fear of unwittingly acknowledging the obvious. The sine qua non of a new reality. For the sanguine, being in all manner woke makes them feel good about themselves. The more erudite—it sends screaming for cover.  

In the Dark Ages of identity politics, America is divided into too many victim classes to count; but there is a common enemy—The Toxic White Male. In the spirit of H.L. Mencken, comes #ScaryWhiteFemales.  

Sixty-six year old John Smith is a throwback. A lover of women (a dirty old man in his wife’s eyes), and defender of all things male. Reconstructed leftist, EPA lifer, four decades in the bowels of the bureaucracy have taught him that everything emanating from Washington for public consumption is illusion. He dimly remembers the land of the free. Still makes up his own mind. He reads books; the tired ideas of dead white men, according to his wife, Gert. She wants to move forward.

Conspiring with her lifelong mentor, Leslie, Gert arrives at a strategy whereby their every vacation would be planned (by her) with an eye towards John’s continuing reeducation. His Mensa-grade IQ notwithstanding, the two women convinced that “being simple-minded and base in his tastes, his receptors were not keen to subtle manipulation.” 

He is lured to Progress, Oregon—North America’s Progressive Vacation Destination—with the promise of a golf course. An alien land awaits; its economy built around tourism, tolerance, and compost. A gender new frontier; of, by, and for women. With John the unsightly face of the patriarchy; presumed guilty; targeted by a cadre of bra-throwing crazies. But even working in concert with the local constabulary, the pink anti-fascists would find it takes more than a village to bring down this John Smith. 

Alternately side-splitting and incisive, #ScaryWhiteFemales is irreverent to the bone. Nothing escapes mild-mannered John’s critical eye; from corrupt politicians and the military-industrial complex, to smartphone addictions, travel headaches, media talking heads, and TV commercials that addle thought processes still thought to be viable.

But at its core, #ScaryWhiteFemales is an old-fashioned battle of the sexes. Or genders. Featuring the Smiths, John and Gert; quite possibly the funniest couple in the history of fiction. Along the way, John squaring off against an alluring array of frightening females: from a nine-year-old climate activist, to the nudist leader of the Gender Studies workshop, to the 240-pound transgender (or not) Chief of the Progress Justice Force. In the end, our hero left to wonder if we wouldn’t all be happier with a return to our traditional roles as men and women, mothers and fathers, and sons and daughters—rather than being reduced by an out-of-control cognoscenti to inconsequential, non-binary subjects.