America's Most Critical Journal (since 1999)
Into the Chappaqua Woods: or a Spaceship from a Feminist Planet Lands on Trump’s White House Lawn
By Marleen S. Barr
15 March 2017
Movie poster from 'Independence Day.' Credit: 20th Century Fox
Professor Sondra Lear, a feminist science fiction scholar par excellence, was sobbing in her State University of New York at Greenwich Village office. The fact that Trump was really the President of the United States devastated her. Although she had experienced the deaths of loved ones and illnesses, she felt that President Trump was not a typical vicissitude. Having your country’s national character become gone with the wind during one election night is not normal. While walking to the subway on the morning after the election, Sondra felt like a funeral procession participant. The usual hurried insensitive New York throngs were ashen faced and dazed. Sondra, knowing that she could not survive living in Trump’s racist and misogynist America, was primed to use all of her resources to cope.
As the wife of the metrosexual French Canadian art historian Pepe Le Pew, if she showed up at the border, the Canadians would have to let her in. “I want to move to Canada,” Sondra announced to Pepe.
“Non. Jamais. I moved here thirty years ago and I am too old to go back and freeze my ass off.”
“Because you’re not American, you don’t understand how I feel about Trump.”
“Be that as it may, I refuse to move to Canada.”
Seeing that going to Canada was a no go, Sondra focused on a new destination: Chappaqua. Lacking the clout to make an appointment to speak with Hillary, after hearing that Hillary was spotted walking in the Chappaqua woods, Sondra decided to use the woods as a viable Hillary meeting place. Even though urban Sondra did not know the woods, as an English professor, she was aware that the Shakespearean green world is a magical place which functions outside society’s confines.
Sondra boarded Metro North, disembarked at the Chappaqua station, walked into the woods, and began to search for Hillary. She soon found a discarded lipstick and a white Ralph Lauren pantsuit jacket. Hot on the Hillary trail, Sondra knew that her quarry was in the vicinity. And then she saw her. Makeup-less Hillary attired in a fleece, sweatpants, and sneakers was standing in front of a large tree.
“Hello Secretary Clinton. I hope that I am not disturbing you. I’m S.U.N.Y. Professor Sondra Lear. Quick question: How can you cope with being so qualified to be President and losing your chance to a—I have no words to describe him.”
Hillary pointed to a door embedded in the tree trunk. A sign on the door read “President Dumkopf Drumpf—Escape Hatch.” Hillary opened the door and beckoned toward Sondra to follow. A white rabbit carrying a copy of The Female Eunuch scampered in front of them. Sondra walked through the door and began slowly to fall down a hole. She passed shelves filled with cut up bras, nonfat dressing sodden salads, worn Birkenstocks, and pictures of Gloria Steinem, Bella Abzug, and Betty Friedan. Sondra landed with a thud next to Hillary. They were both standing near a tall authoritative woman wearing a gold jumpsuit and thigh high boots—and a small, away team spaceship. Hillary and Sondra were located in an extraterrestrial garage.
“Don’t panic,” said the alien. “I’m Kyra and I’m a feminist planet denizen. Our Motherboard Executive Council has been monitoring Earth with the intention of making first contact with feminist Earthlings. When Board members discerned that Trump was the President of the United States, their heads exploded. Really. Luckily, we can all regenerate new heads. But that’s another story. The Board instructed me to build a Trump resistance movement by engaging with appropriate American women. I chose Hillary and a feminist science fiction expert. I am a harmless feminist extraterrestrial envoy who wishes to counter Trump’s adverse impact upon Earthling women.”
“I’m perfectly calm,” said Sondra. “I’ve spent my professional life studying feminist aliens and, hence, I am used to them. Kyra don’t feel badly that I am more excited about meeting Hillary than closely encountering you. Yes, finding myself in a spaceship launch pad located at the bottom of a tree hole is highly unusual—even for me. I love you, Hillary. What will become of us under Trump? I’m good with the tree hole, the spaceship, and the extraterrestrial. But I can’t deal with President Trump.”
“I appreciate your concern. I think we should listen to Kyra,” Hillary calmly stated.
“I am going to show you the future,” Kyra said as one of the garage walls turned into a large viewing screen. Watch Trump’s first State of the Union Address.”
The on screen Trump was fatter and more haggard than the inauguration day Trump. “My fellow citizens of the United States of Trump,” the image said. “God bless America—and that, as you are aware, due to my new title, means me. I didn’t get enough attention as a mere president. I had to live in the White House and follow all of those goddamn rules and protocols; I especially hated those daily intelligence briefings. Luckily Bannon figured out how to con you all into elevating me to God of the United States. It is great, really great to have my picture on our currency which now reads “In Trump We Trust.” I did a deal to buy the Manhattan Olympic Tower Building from the Onassis Foundation. I renamed it Trump Mount Olympus Tower. See, I know a lot of words. Its penthouse is a much more fitting home for a god than the White House public housing project. Okay, although there is never enough about me, this thing is called the State of The Union Address. So, as we are all aware, everyone except white Christians have been successfully removed from the homeland. It was tough to accomplish but ya gotta do what ya gotta do. There’s just one more group which needs to be removed: ugly women. We can’t have lower than tens who look like that fat pig Rosie O’Donnell running loose. We need free access to pussy groping. I decree that when all American females turn fifteen, they will be stripped naked and made to appear before judging panels composed of male rust belt factory workers. Because only three factories exist, the panels will be small. And small has nothing to do with me. All of the unattractive females will serve as human sacrifices to your god—i.e. me. Each judge will have the chance to grope one attractive pussy. If the owner of said pussy protests or even flinches—even if she is a ten—she will be sacrificed too. Tens are a dime a dozen. Like the Presidential Thanksgiving turkey pardon tradition, I will make an exception for two fat girls. And only because we need them to play the lead and the understudy in Hairspray. All the surviving women will be placed into one of two categories: Hills or Melons. The Hills, like Hillary, will be brilliant women who can never achieve goals men achieve. No matter how hard—a word which does apply to me, I haven’t mentioned me in the last five seconds—they try, they will face fruitless uphill battles. The Melons, named in honor of my fourth wife Melonia—my third wife Melania, too old to be a ten—was sacrificed and replaced with a twenty-one year old. The Melons, who have great rounded tits and asses, do nothing but shop, perform sex acts, and give birth. To provide men with unimpeded pussy groping access, both the Hills and the Melons are required to place a hole in their clothes where the fabric meets their crotch. Did I make the United States great again for white men or what? No wonder you guys worship me. Our union is strong. And so my fellow Christian white males, ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for Trump. God, that is to say me, bless the United States of Trump.” The screen went blank against the audience’s chants of “U.S.T., U.S.T” and “Hail Trump.”
Trying to keep from fainting, Hillary and Sondra told Kyra that they would do anything to prevent this future vision from becoming a real historical fact.
“Anything?” asked Kyra.
“Yes, anything,” Hillary and Sondra said in unison.
“Would you enter a spaceship and go to another planet?”
“Absolutely.” Sondra chimed in to add a proviso: “On our way to the planet, can we please stop off to pick up my husband? He refused to go back to Canada because it is cold there. Is your planet cold?”
“Absolutely not. It’s a tropical paradise replete with feminist theorists who write science fiction.”
“Sounds like Sondra heaven. My husband likes to make me happy. He will be on board with boarding your spaceship.”
“Ditto for Bill,” Hillary added.
“Step into my shuttle craft and fasten your seat belts,” Kyra instructed.
Hillary and Sondra did as they were told. Kyra started her countdown: “Ten, nine, eight, seven.”
“Wait. Stop the countdown,” shouted Sondra. “I have a question. How are you going to get the shuttle craft out of the tree?”
“Our matter alteration method is beyond your comprehension. Just trust me and think of it as a baby exiting a pussy.”
“Maybe I have been an English professor for too long and Trump’s edict that political correctness is also punishable by death aside, I must say that ‘vagina’ is the more appropriate word,” intoned Sondra.
“I never heard of ‘vagina’ perhaps because I have only been listening to Trump and his henchmen and they say ‘pussy.’ I will be sure to add ‘vagina’ to my vocabulary.”
Without further ado, the shuttle craft flew upward, left the tree door in its wake, and landed on the White House lawn. Kyra opened the hatch, exited, walked toward a security guard and said “Take me to your leader.”
A tall fat orange haired man who could be described by multitudinous unflattering adjectives appeared on the south portico. “You’re so smokin’ hot. You’re even hotter than Ivanka. If she weren’t my daughter…. But you’re not my daughter. Do you wanna be the next Melonia?” said Trump as he reached out to grope Kyra’s pussy. Heat rays emanated from Kyra’s eyes. Adjusting the temperature to cause the sexual predator to feel pain rather than to inflict permanent damage, Kyra aimed the rays at Trump’s left hand. Trump used his right hand to pull a gun from inside his oversized suit jacket. He aimed at Kyra’s chest and fired. The bullet bounced off.
“Wow. Great tits,” said Trump. “Such a shame that you’re an alien, an immigrant. I’m deporting you. Go back to where you came from.”
“You lack the power and ability to deport me to where I came from. I am a denizen of Kryptonia. The red sun in our sister solar system in relation to Krypton never exploded. All Kryptoniaians have super powers on Earth. I have more power in my little finger than you have in your entire military industrial complex. Imagine being attacked by an army of super powered women from a feminist separatist planet. And you had difficulty with Rosie O’Donnell and Megyn Kelly. On another subject, Professor Lear would say that like “pussy,” “tits” is an improper locution to emanate from a President’s mouth. What is the proper word, Sondra?”
“I would say ‘bosom’ or ‘breast,’” Sondra suggested.
“‘Breast’” sounds like it applies to chickens,” mused Kyra.
“English is a difficult language. But your reference to poultry gives me an idea of what we can do with Trump. What I am suggesting applies to a less huge bird than a chicken. I’m talking turkey—as in presidential turkey pardon. Let’s pardon Trump. When they go low, we go high,” suggested Sondra.
“As you wish,” said Kyra. “I will spare Trump’s life, and bring about regime change immediately.” Kyra snapped her fingers. A resounding rendition of “Hail to the Chief” permeated the White House lawn as Trump was whisked away to prison. Hillary walked into the White House to assume her rightful place as President of the United States.
Hillary and Bill and Sondra and Pepe did take a trip on Kyra’s spaceship. After President Hillary Clinton appointed Sondra to be ambassador to Kryptonia, the foursome journeyed there together. The Clintons attended Sondra’s induction ceremony before returning to the White House. Sondra and her husband enjoyed the Kryptoniaian climate until they were called home upon the election of Hillary’s successor President Elizabeth Warren.
The magical Chappaqua woods green world is a real alternative fact. Under the auspices of Presidents Clinton and Warren, leaders who believed climate change to be true facts, the green world flourished. Social integrity blossoms when alternative feminist science fiction power fantasies for women become real facts.
Marleen S. Barr is known for her pioneering work in feminist science fiction and teaches English at the City University of New York. She has won the Science Fiction Research Association Pilgrim Award for lifetime achievement in science fiction criticism. Barr is the author of Alien to Femininity: Speculative Fiction and Feminist Theory, Lost in Space: Probing Feminist Science Fiction and Beyond, Feminist Fabulation: Space/Postmodern Fiction, and Genre Fission: A New Discourse Practice for Cultural Studies. Barr has edited many anthologies and co-edited the science fiction issue of PMLA.
She is the author of the novels Oy Pioneer! and Oy Feminist Planets: A Fake Memoir.