J is for Jangle v. 1. To cause to make a harsh, discordant sound. 2. To grate on or jar (the nerves)
Ethel leaned forward in her chair. She knew it wouldn't make the least difference - there were hundreds of people (mostly women) present to hear the speaker and Ethel was in the back of the auditorium, yet she yearned to hear more clearly. Ms. Greer looked so pulled together in her neat pantsuit and single strand of pearls. She was perfectly feminine but at the same time she refused to be all frilly. Ethel hadn't attained that facility. She fussed and ended up looking like a woman who didn't know her own mind. Oh why was she concerning herself with looks? Wasn't that the whole point - that we, as women, had to stop catering to the standards set by our poor down-trodden, misguided mothers? Eddie, Ethel's husband (long-suffering, he would add) said that Germaine Greer was a harpy - a bitter man-hater and that Ethel was a fool to fall for her rhetoric.
"How can you stand her screechy jangle of a voice. It hurts my ears!"
Eddie had heard Greer in the famous William F. Buckley's Firing Line. She demolished him, Ethel thought. Eddie didn't. He thought she had just out-screeched him.
For once, Ethel ignored Eddie. She'd arranged to come to the talk alone. She didn't want to have to convince any of her friends to come with her - they might spoil the perfect fever of adoration that Ethel felt for this woman. Most of Ethel's friends were happy in their marriages, with their darling children and their bridge games and their financially solvent husbands. Ethel knew she was different than them. But she didn't quite fit into the group that espoused women's lib either. She was neither fish nor fowl and it was terrible to be so in-between.
What was the speaker saying? Ethel leaned even farther forward. "Martin Luther King said that 'history will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.' I ask all you women to raise your voices and stop fearing that you won't be considered nice girls if you demand what you deserve!"
When Ethel got home that evening Eddie was waiting for her. He told her that she was to stop all the nonsense of women's lib and he was not going to put up with her wasting her time with such screeching crows as Germaine Greer. Ethel smiled and said 'I wouldn't dream of making you suffer so," and went to bed. The next morning, before he awoke - she had made a pot of coffee, packed her suitcase, and left - leaving him a note. The note said;
Dear Eddie,I'm leaving you. You don't deserve someone as irritating as me. You might accidentally wake up. What a terrible thing that would be. There are seven casseroles in the freezer. After that you're on your own.most sincerely,Ethel