"Lobster feminism? Among homo sapiens it would be called, er, phallocentrism."
I was pretty sure I knew what he meant, but I had to check the dictionary just to be sure. I was disappointed; the definition was less graphic than I'd guessed. "Phallocentric" means, simply, "centered on or emphasizing the masculine point of view."
Hoping to up the ante, I fired off a response:
"Actually, it would be double phallocentrism, since lobsters have two penises."
The male lobster's
anatomy, including its
dual genitalia. This
drawing is included,
along with several
others, in the paperback
edition of THE SECRET
LIFE OF LOBSTERS.
(drawings by Jim Sollers)
"The key here is to recognize, as explained in such wonderful detail in my book, that females control the power in the mating relationship -- they choose their males, which have no say in whether or not they receive courtship overtures. I just want female lobsters to have the best phalluses available for the purposes of actualizing their power."
A few minutes later came the good professor's reply:
Later he admitted that "I understand" was a phrase he never seemed to be able to use without irony.
Isn't that how it always is with academics -- irony, irony, irony? They can never take anything at face value.
Okay, fine, so maybe I am a closet lobster phallocentrist. I miss Bubba.