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Paul Coates

February 28, 2008 |  7:05 pm

Feb. 28, 1958

Paul_coates The following is not to be construed as against womanhood.

Because, in all sincerity, I think women are necessary.

They serve a purpose.

Just like trees and oceans and poison ivy, they're part of the scheme of things.

In fact, they're one of the more attractive parts of the scheme of things. They're nice. I like them. 

But they bother me.

Of all the female species, they're the most sensitive, defensive irrational people I know.

Basically, they're a miserable, unhappy lot.

But suggest to them that they themselves might be partially responsible for their uncomfortable, awkward position in American society, and you'll be attacked by an avalanche.

I did it, last week, indirectly. I ran an interview with a man whose platform was to put the American woman back in the home.

He even intimated that it might be an idea to take the Levi's and motorcycle boots off of her.

This, maybe, is being a little severe.

It's attacking--or at least it sounds like it is--all women for the actions of a few.

1958_0228_ads But the problem comes with the realization that the "few" are growing in number, rather than diminishing.

They have moved into pants, into bars, into cuss-down contests and into the dominant figure in too many American homes. They've invaded the most stenchy corners of the male domain.

Today, there's nothing a man can't do bad that a woman--with a little effort and encouragement--can't do worse.

I, for one, am quite willing to admit that the male is as responsible, if not more responsible, for the evolution.

We botched. We didn't live up to the obligations and duties of our sex.

We allowed the woman to move in and take over our responsibilities, and then we treated her with a crude lack of deference.

Most men are willing to admit this.

The man I interviewed last week was.

But ask a woman?

I'd guess that 90% of the calls and correspondence I received following last week's column was from two women who felt the male was 100% to blame.

There were no maybes, no ifs.

Even women who claimed perfect husbands, perfect homes, perfect adjustment, came to the aid of their less fortunate, more masculine sisters.

It's all man's fault, they told me.

I'm afraid that so long as we men go on playing willing scapegoats for the abnormal behavior of women, they can rationalize their invasion of our responsibilities and vulgarities.

And they can go right on recruiting their sisters.

MIDNIGHT MEMOS: Miyoshi Umeki (you heard me, what I said) opened at Mocambo the other night.

The young Japanese film star, who has won an Academy nomination for her performance in "Sayonara," has all the necessary ingredients for a top nightclub act. She is lovely looking, has a warm, husky voice quality and a charming sense of humor.

If there was any lack on opening night, it was that her selection of numbers was not too well chosen. A little advice on what a good, strong closing song means would help her considerably.

Her costar is baritone Johnny O'Neill, who has been here before, but fared considerably better this time out.

Ringsiders included the Harry Jamesons, Claudette Colbert, Dr. Joel Pressman and the Bill Goetzes. There were others, but it was too dark to see.