FENNO: More Mysogyny, please.


Fenno was hung over. Or maybe he was still drunk. He wasn’t sure how he’d made it home from Frost Street, and he was especially perplexed by the handcuff locked around his wrist.

The semester was off to a bad start. Fenno didn’t feel like he belonged at HLS anymore. The new website made it clear: three happy looking women (who looked distinctly less happy when they found out they were on the web page) with some poor man barely sneaking into the far corner of the picture. Fenno suspected the administration had gone so far as to lace Hark food with chemical castrators. The manly men were dying – like Bono said, “every man knows he is a sissy compared to Johnny Cash” – and HLS was doing its part to speed things along.

Even with his inhibitions subdued by healthy doses of tequila and Red Bull, Fenno was loathe to discuss the most feminine of changes to the Law School. Rumor held that baskets overflowing with feminine hygiene products had appeared overnight across campus. Of course gentlemen did not discuss such things. Fenno wondered when the men’s room would be blessed with a bounty of condoms, or perhaps something useful like chewing tobacco or X-Box controllers.

Even Fenno’s e-mail seemed determined to undermine Fenno’s confidence in his masculinity. Fenno had nothing to be ashamed about, but the constant messages implying that he was 1-3 inches too short were beginning to wear on him.

Fenno had a plan that would both ease the suffering of his alcohol poisoning and refresh his manly vigor: he would go to Three Aces, get meaty food and lots of water, and curl up at home with The Godfather, Animal House, and The Real Cancun. This was a good plan. Fenno concentrated on putting one foot in front of the other and with some effort made it to the Harkness plaza about which Fenno wrote so wittily last week.

Fenno smelled burgers. Fenno smelled hot dogs. Fenno smelled beer; this last smell was a problem, and Fenno stumbled unsteadily into the bushes. Emerging a moment later, Fenno wiped his mouth and prepared himself for the seasonal tradition of ganking food. Fenno reasoned that this would be good practice for the upcoming firm events, and Jarvis Field was a hell of a lot closer than the Aces.

Had it been a week earlier Fenno could not have passed himself off as a 1L, but this bunch had already received a solid smack from the cynicism stick. As Fenno waited in line for a burger, his brain sought to attract his attention. Something was not right. He looked around and things seemed normal. But as the food line advanced, Fenno’s brain pieced together the situation.

Oh no! Fenno had unwittingly stumbled into a Federalist Society event! Trapped in the middle of the crowd, Fenno closed his eyes and took a deep breath. He could do this. He smiled cheerfully, nodded in a friendly fashion to everyone who caught his eye, and hoped it would be over soon. “Scalia’s jurisprudence is irrefutable, Scalia’s jurisprudence is irrefutable” Fenno mumbled to himself, hoping this mantra would help him blend with the crowd.

Working through a haze of hops residue, Fenno realized that this was not the Federalist Society of his earlier years at HLS. Almost all of these people were sober. Even more shockingly, many were women. Perhaps most surprisingly, many of the Federalist Society’s women were attractive. Fenno began to doubt his sobriety and clawed at his face to remove the beer goggles, but a part of his mind that was relatively clear assured him it was true. What the hell was going on?

“Hi, are you interested in the Federalist Society?” Fenno turned around, a story about his identical twin brother in the 3L class springing to his lips, when he saw the name tag. This woman was the president of the Federalist Society! Fenno mumbled his excuses, grabbed two more burgers and stumbled in the approximate direction of home. Tap water would have to do. The world was too confusing this afternoon.

Even the reactionaries had embraced the Year of the HLS Woman. Legally Blonde had prophesied true, even if the sequel sucked. Fenno just wanted to be done with it and off to the real world, where a man stood a chance of succeeding. Maybe he could never be Dean of Harvard Law School, or President of the Federalist Society, or prominently featured on the HLS web page, but dammit, he could hop into New York’s oppressive patriarchy and get his cut of the loot.

As Fenno lugged himself back across campus, he was comforted by thoughts of the law school’s one last bastion of misogyny. It lay not too far away, just out of sight behind the familiar bulk of Hemenway. Fenno took solace in the knowledge that he could always depend on Gannett House.

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