Monologue for a Man
(free for students & auditions)
"Dr. Price Explains It All"
From the one act play "Ruling Passion"
By G. L. Horton
copyright © 1982
Dr. Archibald Price is head of the University's history department.
SPEECH OF DR. PRICE to the Alumnae, assembled in protest.
Let's not get hysterical, ladies. Dr. Catherine Engle's ouster
was nothing personal. Personally, I find Catherine quite admirable....
intelligent, handsome, a dedicated teacher.
But be reasonable. How can I, in all conscience, allow my department
to vest authority in a so-called scholar who misapprehends the
nature of the historian's discipline?
Girl Scout troops of grad students spinning the saga of the voiceless
oppressed! What poppycock! There is no hidden history!
History isn't a list of everything that ever happened--it's the
narrative of what matters! If three hundred thousand peasants
perish from pinworm, that fact may fill the annals of epidemiology
- but it's not history! History is deeds. On the walls of the
caves, carved into the pyramids: the proud fierce boasts of men
of extraordinary will. Men who put their underlings in order,
forging their separate wills into a single story, establishing
dominion. And just as armies and empires are forged, so are academic
As for all this blather about diversity, and multiculturalism,
and academic freedom-- Everybody who is anybody knows it's all
nonsense. Juniors are encouraged to criticize their peers for
one reason: To establish a pecking order.To determine who'll be
the next in authority. You don't attack authority itself, or what'll
be the youngster's prize? Authority is the father of freedom!
So you must understand, there is no place for someone like Catherine.
Not in our brotherhood.
Women do have a place, of course: as the Other. As Other, or
Mother, she is ours, nurturer and helpmeet. But she is not to
be allowed to break off and go her own merry way!
Oh, she can. We know she is able to. It is quite possible for
her to snatch the breast from the hungry mouth. That terrible
realization was our first act of intellect, ladies. Everything
since is compensation, a booby prize to ease the pain, the fear
we poor fellows feel knowing the all-giving breast is not really
What could we do? We were needy, we were greedy, but we were
helpless! So we invented a Great One, a King, as huge compared
to the mass of humanity as that giant Mommy is to her puling infant,
and we made that Great One live out our fantasy of glut. The King
eats and sleeps and fucks at will. His very defecation is a sacrament.
His dreams take shape in alabaster. He is not mocked: at his sneeze
the whole earth trembles! Think of the tombs where he lies in
state, surrounded by the multitude slaughtered to serve him: swift
dogs and horses, plump chickens and dancing girls...
Sometimes I think I'm the only one who understands! Fools say
that power grows out of the barrel of a gun, or out of the
economic system, but that's not so. Power is the hierarchical
organization of fantasy! History is its chronicle! The collective
unconscious of the male incarnate!
So you see why history isn't a game for little girls. Even when
they are as smart as Ms. Catherine Engles. Girls play dolls. Girls
play dress up. Nothing that women do merits recording for posterity.
History is a man's business.
So, whatever it is that you ladies think you are doing, In the
final analysis, it can be said not to have happened. What's taking
place here, right now? Nothing! Null and void. Yes, ladies, you
are simply voiding into the void. You see, there's the public
world, and there's what's private. and to do with private parts.
A ladies club is more private than a bedroom! Your vanity is gratified
to see your pictures in the paper, if only on the society page.
But after a while, they vaporize. Vanish without a trace. That's
the glorious joke on womans' lib. Consciousness raising, feminist
networks---They don't exist! None of you exists! Dr. Catherine
Engles doesn't exist!
So you understand now why we can't offer a position to someone
who will vaporize-- it would confuse the undergraduates. Of course,
they are all confused already these days. Many of prime confusers
being the contemporary con artists who call themselves historians.
Idiots! Data grubs! Levelers and cliometricians! They're all around
in this sorry age, I can't even keep them out of my own department!
Still, so far I've kept them in line.
It's not because Catherine shares their foolish notions that
she has to go. It's because she's a dangerous example. Catherine
expects change. She expects to lead a revolution, and win. Herstory,
right? No---wrong! HIS story, MY story, the gift of the forefathers
to the sons. Where will we be if our promising young scholars
listen to your old-wives tales?
That's what you are, ladies. Face it. Old wives. All used up
and good for nothing but gossip, gossip, gossip. Once you were
pretty little co-eds who came to sit at the feet of wisdom, sweet
young things come to drink at the fount of knowledge-- Are we
to renounce such fealty? Never!
We must be strong for sake of the next generation. Redouble our
courage. The brave deserve the fair-- a new crop every September.
Some of us may be sacrificed in this battle. But it is no shame
for the individual to perish, in the service of the Great Ideal.
To live outside the Ideal is mere existence. Enduring as the beasts
of the field endure. Come to that, the amoeba is immortal! Consider
Leviathan, the Great Fish. His brain is superior to homo sapiens.
He is tender, he sings! But he hasn't the tools to make the world
conform to his dream. The whale will soon be extinct, and his
song dies with him.
But what does that matter? Life is cheap! Life's not worth mentioning.
The whole roomful of you here can't equal the potential of one
male emission! Of one insect! Suppose the spider protected and
nourished each of her hatchlings: the world would be spiders crawling
on spiders crawling on spiders. Death is what counts; heroic death,
death when it's deliberate.
You and your messy milky motherhood. Your incessant housekeeping.
Where is it written whether Eve wove or spun, or how many children
she had? But when Cain slew Able, that was history! Check your
bible: begats, and battles. Now, don't give me that airhead St
Joan, waving her flag around-- She's not even in the picture.
A soldier can't model himself on a girl, and a female can't lead
him in battle. Didn't you hear me explain? There's tiny him and
that big breast Taken away unless it is conquered.
What a man needs is a princess, on a glass mountain. And the
right girl can be that. She won't even have to think about it.
That's it! That's the secret. No more thinking. All you have to
do is be! The fruitful earth, the brute creation, woman: all are
under the dominion of Man because man and man alone can be organized,
not by need or instinct, but by a concept, an ideal, a fantasy!
We think it up. Our history. Our dominion. All you have to do
is live in it. But when you resist, you don't exist.