Hear me roar!

How to become a new columnist without ticking this one off

Amanda

Mahmoudi

If you've been keeping up with the paper this week, you must have noticed that we at The Daily Cougar have a new editor. To add to all the excitement, we are seeking new, innovative and intelligent writers.

For those contemplating the sometimes

insane idea of working here, there are some things you should know about writing columns for this paper.

That a columnist should have a huge ego, an absolute lack of shame, an ability to provoke all goes without saying.

But you need much more than that, my friends. You need to be sneaky and conniving. You need to be strong. Your self-esteem has to be covered by a callous as thick as the asbestos padding that once lined Agnes Arnold Hall.

If you've ever seen the film, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, you have to be as tough as the woman who had the baby which came out sideways.

You have to be all that and more.

This is mostly because your harshest critics (aside from maybe yourself and enraged readers) just happen to be other people on staff.

After reading yesterday's paper, I realized something I had never noticed before: I am the only female columnist on staff.

Ordinarily, such things really wouldn't make a difference. In this case, however, I feel that this has significant importance.

Why are there so many male columnists on staff? Is it because they are more talented or more qualified? Is it because they have more interesting things to say?

No, that's not it at all! It's because females in general are used to seeing males in such positions. Why? Because this is the kind of crap that's been fed to us since the beginning of time.

Think about Tarzan and Jane. Jane never did anything without Tarzan's help. I don't recall her ever swinging from ropes at dangerous heights or hunting wild animals. No, all the exciting stuff - that was Tarzan's job. Jane's job was to seduce Tarzan, which she could achieve by merely turning her head. After that, Tarzan would lose all self-control, yet Jane would be the hussy.

I'm not here to seduce you. I'm not here to influence your thinking. That's not my job. My job is to entertain. If I can get a laugh from every reader or even make them see something from a different perspective, I'm satisfied. In order to achieve such reactions, I don't feel it necessary to bash or complain all the time.

People here choose to write about various topics. I choose to write about my experiences, to which I think a great deal of people can relate. If you can't, that's fine. If you think you can do better, bring it on. I'm waiting.

But don't ever, ever dare to dismiss my voice by calling me "just a vapid, pretty girl."

I am woman, and I am raging. The battle has just begun.

Mahmoudi, a sophomore French/German major, welcomes all courteous responses at

amahmoud@bayou.uh.edu. Ill-bred savages need not reply.

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