Shut Up, Katie Roiphe

Katie Roiphe, one of the leading sex-opinion-havers of American letters, is the upper crust version of crazy cat woman Andrea Peyser. While Andrea only broadcasts her psychologically-fraught Victorian sexual shame to tabloid readers, Katie Roiphe gets to publish hers in all the favorite news outlets of East Coast Ivy Leaguers. She calls male novelists fey pussies in the NYT Book Review! She told women how to do divorce right in the pages of New York magazine! She pooh-poohed the notion of date rape all over the place! And now, she's taken to Slate—the Gawker of bored academics—to reveal how jokey children's book "Go The Fuck to Sleep" reveals that "yuppie" parents (unlike Katie Roiphe) are doing sex wrong.

The book, in all its cleverness and artfulness and ingenuity, raises certain other questions: Are they having sex, these slouchy rageful parents? Not enough, perhaps. When the father turns back to the waking child's bedroom, we look out at the comfy, sexless, vaguely depressive scene of his wife sprawled asleep on the couch under an ugly old blanket. No wonder the slouchy dad is full of rage. No wonder all those slouchy dads and moms who just want to watch a movie and eat some microwave popcorn find this book so funny, so transporting; no wonder it makes them feel, as the publicity materials suggest, "less alone." But if those sweet-faced children, so gorgeously drawn by Ricardo Cortés, could talk back would they say: "Put on a fucking dress. Have a fucking drink. Stop hovering over us. Live your own goddamned life."

Ha, yes. Perhaps what Katie Roiphe needs is a profane children's book that speaks to her.

Shut the Fuck Up

We all still live in high school
Life's just like the 10th grade
The loudest sex-talkers are secretly sexless
The quiet ones are getting laid.

With every essay, harsh and strident
Purporting to know what's what
About the sex lives of others? Really?
Katie Roiphe, shut the fuck up.

Your mother was a feminist
You did your time at Brearley
And while you were there, a lesbian
Must have broken your heart, clearly.

I don't know you, Katie
So if my analysis seems nuts
Say to yourself, "Oh, I see how that feels."
And then shut the fuck up.

A Harvard and a Princeton grad
Employed by NYU
Should've learned how to talk about
Things besides how people screw.

But we'll forgive you, Katie
Save the odious tut-tuts
And refrain from spitting out your name
If you'll please just shut the fuck up.

[Photo via]