Etiquette of Being a Breast
"You see it is not a matter of doing
what is right or seemly; I can assure you
that I am not concerned with the etiquette
of being a breast."
Philip Roth, The Breast
A funny thing happened
on the way to my breast reduction surgery. I grew fond of my
32DD's. Not that fond, mind you. But fond enough to memorialize
them by parading in pasties for a homemade holiday card: Season's
Greetings from Santa and her Helpers. I have never before sent
out Season's Greeting cards. I have never before worn pasties.
I don't even believe in The Season. But strangelymaybe
because it was during The SeasonI felt that the DD's needed
to be given their due. Strike up the band! My hangdog breasts
were going down in a blaze of glory. They were going to be famous,
find their way onto mantels and refrigerator doors all around
"Bend over. Lift
them up," my photographer directed me in my red pumps and
itchy, royal blue sequined stars that refused to stick to my
nipples (chewed gum works best), red satin panties, and let's
not forget the Santa hat. Never mind that earlier in the day
I had lectured authoritatively on Aristotle's ethics or that
I had handed back exams graded in my no-nonsense, stern-professor
way. Ivory tower be damned, I was going to look and behave like
a freak-show act for thirty minutes of my life! How else is one
to deal with the knowledge that in just twelve hours a relatively
small but significant portion of my God-given body was going
to be carted off in plastic sour cream containers to the incinerator?
That my nipple area would be cut out from the surrounding skin,
downsized, and sewn back (with a possible loss of sensation)?
That by not loving my body as it is, I was committing a feminist
faux pas? That I would soon be free, free, free of the DD's!
How is one to confront the cacophony of excitement, anxiety,
and guilt that results from knowing too much, from feeling too
many different feelings? My solution: be giddy, and when that
runs out, be gaudy. I was going to wear those contradictions
on the surface of my skin and record the moment for posterity.
For the truth was I did not love my body exactly as it was given
to me. And the fact is we do have the technology to change our
bodies. Besides, I have always wanted to wear strappy and strapless
slinky summer dresses.
Why was I only able
to celebrate my breasts by memorializing them? I certainly would
not have been so free and flamboyant with the bad boys, were
they not about to be excised and turned into carbon. On the contrary,
ever since the age of ten, I have done my best to hide them under
oversized sweaters and t-shirts, to corset them with the world's
best bras, to exercise them out of my life. I have done everything
I can to ignore them.
Whether on a date or
just going about my daily business, the DD's made a regular habit
of busting out and taking over. No matter what the venue or situation,
they could not help calling attention to themselves in the tackiest
ways. They were the obnoxious guys in polyester leisure suits,
they were walking disco balls, they were the royal blue sequined
stars screaming, "Hey, over here! Watch out, zaftig woman
in the house! Got milk?"
I will not miss walking
on the beach in a bathing suit four times my normal size. I will
not miss having my breasts referred to as "those bad boys"
by a young and earnest massage therapist charged with treating
my bad-boy induced upper back pain. And I will most certainly
be able to live without the uncomfortable experience of first-time
intimacy during which each new lover unfailingly reacted with
shock and surprise upon the unveiling of the abundance that constituted
my entire upper torso. Imagine, one minute the guy is fondling
my minimizer-clad body, assuming that he is about to feel his
way around an average-proportioned woman, and in the next moment,
out pops the Venus of Willendorf. "Wow," he would cry
or sigh, sounding out whatever particular mixture of delight
and trepidation he felt upon realizing that he was about to have
sex with a fertility figure. Damn, I would think, here they go
again stealing the show, transporting us from a small Midwestern
city to Mesopotamia.
The meaning Freud would
have attached to my knockers! As Freud saw it, when a guy wants
a woman it is because she reminds him in some way of the breast
from which he was weaned too early (for it is always too early).
This means that a man's erotic journey is really a quest to come
home to Mama. Great. But even more frightening to me was Freud's
analysis that before being weaned a baby has ambivalent feelings
towards his mother; for all he knows, that approaching breast
could be nourishing, or it could be poisonous. It's a toss-up,
and he has no way of calculating the odds. So the foghorn-sounding
signal would go off in his head: pleasure, danger, pleasure,
danger! Well, if anything could evoke the fear-fantasy of being
engorged by womanliness, it was sex with me on top. There I would
be, riding my pony, while my breasts flailed about, practically
smothering the man just as he climaxed (when they weren't smacking
against my torso). Pleasure, danger! Shit, if he could just put
things into reverse, get off the ride and have the bra back in
place, the blouse on, then he would not have to revisit the infantile
scenario of loving and loathing his mother. All this Oedipal
crap could have been avoided altogether if he had just stuck
If Freud was right
about the psychic power of breasts, then I was in big trouble.
Of course, my breasts did not really do anything except show
up (and up, and then down, down). No, the problem was the psychic
power of my breasts in a culture that confuses having breasts
with being breasts. But fleshy glandular tissue does not a person
make. Unless, of course, you are David Kepesh, novelist Philip
Roth's protagonist, the poor soul who one day finds himself strung
out on a hammock in a hopital because he has been transformed
into a 155-pound female breast. In Kepesh's case, however, the
confusion between having a breast and being a breast is not a
mistake; as far as the story is concerned, he really is a breast.
Even so, David Kepesh finds his new appearance maddening. For
in addition to all of the medical and technical difficulties
his new bodily form presents, and besides the fact that he is
"no longer the easiest person to buy a present for,"
his life is now marred by the fact that no one can get past his
mammariness and simply see him as a person. No onenot his
analyst, his father, his girlfriend, and certainly not his doctorsno
one now gives a shit about the fact that he was (is?) a professor
of literature, a lover, a son, a friend, a neighbor, a customer,
a client. He is now just a breast.
I could relate to David
Kepesh's frustration. From early adolescence on, I have been
suffering the feeling that despite my preferences, talents, and
annoying qualities, I was being perceived by those outside of
my immediate social circle as one big breast. "Here she
comes, The Body," the boys in summer camp were rumored to
have said about me. Me? The Body? At that age, I was worrying
about algebra, reading like there was no tomorrow, suffering
from migraine headaches (yes, at the age of fourteen), watching
General Hospital, and fighting off the bad hair days that afflicted
my curly mop. What did The Body have to do with me? I had no
idea. To me, I was a persona subject seeing into the world,
not an object of desire. And yet, from the moment I developed
breasts it could have been me, and not David Kepesh, whom his
shrink addresses in the effort to counter incredulity at his
new, uninvited identity. "You are not mad," states
Dr. Klinger, "You are not suffering from a delusionor
certainly haven't been, up till now. You are a breast of sorts."
Dr. Klinger was right. No David Kepesh, no Kafkaesque pretense,
and yet I was yoked into the etiquette of being a breast. Of
When Kepesh announces
to the reader that he is not concerned with the etiquette of
being a breast he is telling us that he is going to fight the
acute case of femininity he is afflicted with and hold onto his
identity as a person. I call his affliction "femininity"
because in the end, and notwithstanding its charms (the best
of which is the license to shop unremittingly for shoes), femininity
is not about whether you wear lipstick or how you dress or whether
you have breasts or a vagina or a uterus. It is not about how
you look on the outside or on the inside. It is about having
your identity usurped by a body part, by an attribute, in such
a way that your dignity is ripped from you as well. Femininity
is metonymic logic gone too far.
In his effort to fight
for his dignity despite the overwhelming pressures of femininity,
David Kepesh reminded me of the character, Saga, in the Swedish
coming-of-age film, My Life as a Dog, who notes with regret
that her budding breasts are beginning to show. "Look, I'm
getting breasts," she says to her new friend Ingemar, the
film's charmingly mischievous young male protagonist. "It's
awful. Jesus, they're really swelling out. Can you see? I'll
be kicked off the team. I know I will." Saga first appears
in the film as she sideswipes Ingemar on the soccer field and
steals the ball. She next appears as a fierce boxer among the
village kids. Along with the viewer, Ingemar is not even initially
aware that Saga is a girl; she is simply a venerable rival. Her
personality, her possibilities, are open. But Saga knows that
once her breasts are "sighted," she will be viewed
not as the star athlete of the all-boys village soccer team but
as a spectacleas the cool teammate who was thought to be
a boy but instead has tits. Saga is acutely aware that her world
is about to shrink, dramatically. In one scene, she is shown
avoiding a ritual public shirt exchange between teams. Shoving
off a boy attempting to take off her shirtfurious and vulnerableshe
refuses to relinquish what she knows she will inevitably lose:
the freedom to be competitive and surly, to showcase her talent
without apology. Once "outed" as a girl, Saga's rigor
and egoistic intensity will count against her. So when she laments
out loud that her burgeoning bosom will radically alter the terms
of her life as she has thus far chosen to live it, the sympathetic
Ingemar suggests she find a way to hide them. They proceed to
bind them with a scarf. "Can you see them?" Saga asks.
"No, they're invisible," Ingemar replies. Saga looks
at herself in the mirror and takes a boxer stance. The problem
is solved, at least temporarily.
When I watched Saga
bind her breasts, I felt that she and I saw things in the same
way. I understood her fear. Watching Saga, I was brought back
to seventh-grade science class and the bizarrely wrathful humor
of John Hassler, the popular naughty boy of our grade. We could
be at the Bunsen burner, learning about the law of thermodynamics
or anxiously awaiting an exam; it did not matter. Everything
reminded him of my tits, and he made these associationsno
matter how far-fetchedloud and clear. John Hassler had
brown straight hair with natural golden highlights that feathered
back perfectly. Aside from appearing a little lanky in his Levi's
and flannel shirts, he was beautiful. At least that is what I
thought every night as I lay in bed fantasizing about that feathered
hair burrowing into my afro, those lanky fingers latched onto
my belt loops as he kissed me on the lips, darting his tongue
right into my braces, not giving a damn. In my dreams, all he
cared about was my forgiving him for wondering out loud in class
about such things as how it would look if my tits were squashed
or stretched or wrapped around my neck. The entire class would
laugh. And then Ifeeling that the only other alternative
was to crywould laugh, too. I didn't know what else to
do. I remember feeling like a mink caught in a trap, betrayed
by everyone and everything in my immediate environment. I remember
feeling my skin crawl in hot humiliation.
At any rate, Saga and
I knew each other. We imagined our sprouting bodies being sucked
into the vortex of femininity, swirling and swirling amid Seventeen
magazines, low-fat foods, bikini line depilatories, pink puffy
bridesmaid dresses, birds of prey. We saw breasts as barriers
to pursuing the fullest range of human possibilities. Breasts
spelled some pending sacrifice or another: of smarts for desirability,
pleasure for respectability, ambition for children, meals for
the little black dress, of breathing space. Saga and I suspected
that once betraying the slightest hint of womanhood, our bodies
(and our souls) might be spun into a galaxy of endless French
gardens featuring grid after topiary grid of tame bush. But we
were not ready to enter into a world uncarved by us, a world
in which too many important decisions had already been made.
We were digging our heels in at the threshold, like ancient women
warriors did long before our time.
such as Herodotus and Plutarch tell of Amazon warriors living
during the Bronze Age near the Black Sea who were legendary for
searing off the right breast to better aim a bow and arrow. Skilled
equestrians, these women could shoot arrows on horseback as easily
and accurately as on foot. If need be, they could spin around
and shoot while riding backwards. They could vault themselves
onto their horses with their spears. They chose and discarded
lovers as they pleased, procreated when they needed to. They
exiled or crippled unruly boys. They were cool and beautiful,
disarmingly so. Lore has it that when the ancient Greek "hero"
Bellerophon bombarded them with arrows and boulders from his
flying horse (a significant advantage, the ancient equivalent
of a B-52 bomber), they resisted him for eight days. When Heracles
attacks Amazonia in order to steal Queen Hippolyte's golden girdle,
they mercilessly slayed many of his soldiers on the beach before
capitulating. And when they found themselves prisoners of war
on a Greek ship, they took it over. So what if they had no seafaring
skills? So resourceful were they that when the ship drifted into
the shores of foreign Scythia, they found the local men, fucked
them, and then ran off with these men (and their inheritances!).
When Theseus showed up in Amazonia, seduced Queen Antiope, and
whisked her away to patriarchal Athens, her sisters threw a fit
and laid siege on Athens for a solid four months. The Amazons
lost, but not without heavy Athenian casualties, not without
honor, and not without the story of this battleso significant
was it to the Greek imagination, as significant as the Persian
Warbeing etched into the Parthenon walls.
Perhaps the most impressive
and saddest story of an Amazon warrior is that of Penthesilea.
In the tenth year of the Trojan war, Penthesilea showed up miraculously
to help Troy. This was Troy's darkest hour, as Hektor had just
been killed by Achilles. Penthesilea was lauded and celebrated
as a savior, and she played the part well. A big talker, she
vowed to drive the Greeks back, to challenge Achilles to single
combat, and to "leave him groveling in his own entrails."
She warmed up by slaying a bunch of Greek soldiers, disemboweling
some, pinning others to the earth with her spear, trampling others
with her horse. She was hell-bent on winning. But Achilles' shield
deflected her blows; he managed to strike her in the breast and
pinned her to her horsethen fell in love with heronce
she was dead. Penthesilea lost (Achilles did, too, in a way),
but she went down as a worthy opponent, not a victim.
The Amazon warrior
was my kind of woman. She knew how to go for what she wanted,
directly, without any manipulative, she-devil crap. She did not
accept loss. There are conflicting versions about how and why
Amazonian society arose. Some say that the original Amazons killed
their husbands for repeatedly raping them and thereafter excluded
men from the fold. Some say that that they took up arms to avenge
the treacherous deaths of their husbands at the hands of enemies.
Others think that they fought off foreign men who tried to move
in when their husbands went off to war and failed to return.
Still others think that the Amazons are pure myth, that they
are a fabrication of the ancient Greek imagination serving two
purposes: to scare Greek women into remaining barefoot and pregnant
and to provide a way for men to get off on outlaw women. But
whether fact or fantasy, and whether a breast was really seared
off or not, the message of the Amazon body is clear: big breasts
get in the way of a good fight. Just look at the statues of the
Amazon patron goddess Artemis. No larger than a B-cup. Now if
Amazon warriors shaped their bodies for the sake of their freedom,
why couldn't I?
My breasts were a part
of my body, a part of me. And yet I felt they betrayed me at
almost every turn. They broke up the unity of my fantasy about
myself. In my mind, I was a compact locus of force dashing around
on horse-back, bow and arrow on hand, fighting off pigs like
Hercules. I was supposed to shield the honor of my warrior-harlot
sisters, defend territory whenever territory needed to be defended.
In the fashion of Penthesilea, I was supposed to be a worthy
opponent, not a victim. I was not supposed to be perceived as
a diabolical temptress like Helen whose loyalty to men more powerful
than she is never certain, nor as the mother Mary whose loyalty
to a man more powerful than she borders, quite frankly, on the
canine. In fact, of all the archetypes available, the suffering
maternal figure is exactly what I want my body to defy. For this
reason, I do not want my relations with men, with anyone for
that matter, to be arbitrated by how emphatically my body announces
its capacity to lactate. Which is why I frown upon breast augmentation.
Not that silicone implants have anything to do with the capacity
to lactate. But they do enhance the announcement of this capacity.
And that announcement invites all sorts of other assumptionssuch
as my innate nurturing, or of all things, my virginity. (Whoever
thought of that winning combination, the virgin-mother, really
should be sued.)
Besides, I am just
not a suckling kind of woman. Other than being slightly persuaded
by the high it is supposed to provide, I can think of little
less appealing than having a babe chomping away at my teat for
months, or years. I know: breastfeeding is natural and beautiful.
It is an all-around organic experience. Well, some of us like
McDonald's French fries and fake fur and all sorts of artificial
stuff. And some of us think that more lip service than honor
is accorded mothers, even in this modern age. When I think about
the fact, for example, that Andrea Yates' history of hallucinations,
postpartum psychoses, and suicide attempts did not deter her
husband from impregnating her a fifth timeagainst their
doctor's recommendationnor from insisting that she home
school their children, I want to let out a thunderous warrior
cry: We are not in Bethlehem! There are no more mangers! Nor
are we in seventeenth-century Amsterdam, the time during which
the tasks of motherhood and home schooling were sealed together
in images of maternal, domestic piety. From art to literature,
images abound of Dutch women sitting by the hearth and not only
suckling their young but also educating them in the ways of virtue
and modesty. It is a wonder that Rusty Yates did not have Andrea
churning butter, frying herring, and trotting around in wooden
shoes. For it is this idealized and sentimentalized model of
motherhood that Rusty Yates pressed upon Andrea, and it was in
the name of this model that a Texas jury thought to demonize
her rather than to question how she was set up to fail miserably
This idealized and
sentimentalized model of motherhood was enough to drive even
someone as sane as author Adrienne Rich to record her feelings
of "murderous alternation" between love and violence
as a young, full-time mother. Which is why I fear breastfeeding.
For no matter how irrational and exaggerated my feelings may
be, this is the sequence of events as I see them: I'll have a
baby. I will breastfeed. The next thing I know I'll be home schooling.
Then I'll find myself understanding the feelings that coursed
through the defeated and demented soul of Andrea Yates, and soon
after I'll be herding the kids into the bathtub. As far as I
can tell, in a society that denies the despair that lurks at
the heart of full-time motherhood, breastfeeding could very well
lead to jail. So until our mainstream vision of motherhoodof
parenting, reallyleaps out of a time warp and into the
twenty-first century, I'll stick with the bow and arrow.
I recognize that the
problem of protruding organs is not limited to women. I ran into
a former lover a few months ago who, upon learning of my breast
reduction surgery, confessed that he was contemplating a penis
reduction because his large member hindered his lap swimming.
"It's like a rudder," he proclaimed. "It steers
me this way, it steers me that way, it slows me down." I
swear this story is true. And I can believe that in certain situations
his penis does act like a rudder propelling him towards all sorts
of odd corners of the universe. Now mind you, this guy is weird.
And truth be told, my primary motivation for sleeping with him
was that he reminded me of Mickey Rourke's rendition of Charles
Bukowski in Barfly. Why I was living out a fantasy of sleeping
with a guy who recalled an aggressive, childish actor portraying
a talented but self-destructive drunk is the subject of yet another
essay. The moral of this story, however, is that, rare as it
may occur, even big dicks can get in the way.
In one way, "Mickey"
and I were in a similar situation. We were both willing to trade
the social clout our physique granted for some personal, physical
freedom. But the similarity ends there. Mickey's grand member
did nothing but open things up for him, so to speak. Getting
a penis reduction would have been like a rich person throwing
away money. My grand mammaries, on the other hand, were like
counterfeit cash in a world of real currency. They got me appreciative
looks, they got me dates (first dates). But once it was discovered
that real, live cognition came with the cleavage (Pleasure! Danger!),
more often than not my play money was handed back, and the aura
of Eros dissipated into thin, thin air. For it turns out that
he wanted to fuck Pamela Anderson while I was planning the seduction
scene by whipping out my dissertation's table of contents. My
experience is that it is a rare man who gets beyond my boobs
and wraps his brain around my mind, the part of my body I find
Whether we like it
or not, and unless we self-consciously use our bodies to question
and resist these stories, they will not escape the dominant narrative
flow. This is because a body houses meanings that predate its
particular existence. Bodies speak. From a historical standpoint.
As Aristotle writes, we are zoon logon echon, life with language.
We reflect ourselves to ourselves through language in a variety
of ways in order to give meaning to our existence. The Odyssey
is such a story. The Book of Genesis is such a story.
Femininity is such story. Our bodies by default repeat these
stories, if only for the reason that these narratives predate
and loom larger than our particular existence. My large breasts,
for example, repeated the story about womanhood that happened
to gain political power and historical prominence: that a woman's
value lay in the capacity to bear children and that this capacity
was not very valuable. My surgery was one way to resist, to reposition
my body so that it became an active interlocutor of, and not
merely a passive vessel for, the grip of femininity, the vise
of compulsory reproduction. This was a drastic move (although
it could have been more drastic; had I persisted in finding a
willing surgeon, and had I thought that I might still have a
chance at getting a date, I would have eliminated them altogether).
It is, however, by no means the only path of resistance. Wearing
baby doll dresses and combat boots is one way. Dressing in drag,
or wearing men's cologne is another. Not giving a shit (if you
really don't give a shit) is yet one more option. The possibilities
for creating new bodily truths are endless.
The artist Orlan understands
well the need for new bodily truths. Since 1987, she has undergone
a series of cosmetic surgery procedures, all of which have been
videotaped or broadcast live, each deliberately staged with a
unique theme and accompanying props. When she alters her face,
it is to resemble mythical beauties; she has sought, for example,
the forehead of the Mona Lisa and the mouth of Boucher's Europa.
She costumes herself, her assistants, her surgeon, and the surgical
team. During the procedure, while under local anesthesia, she
reads philosophical and literary texts, she converses with cohorts
or audience members, she laughs while her surgeon slices open
her lips or removes an ear. At every stage, Orlan is in control.
In Orlan's world, the operating room has become a theatrical
laboratory for testing the boundaries of personal identity. As
she sees it, if used imaginatively and artfully as a way of questioning
and altering the ordinary, cosmetic surgery can move beyond a
force for social control into a powerful form of self-portraiture.
In such a world my decision to have cosmetic surgery need not
be caught at the crossroads between the feminist mandate to love
my body and the mainstream pressure to loathe my body, a crude
dichotomy that leaves little leeway for forging new forms of
identity and beauty.
I have seen a short
clip of Orlan's ninth operation. In this scene, she receives
injections of local anesthesia followed by incisions of the surgeon's
knife into the skin between her left ear and cheekbone. We see
the surgeon's scissors cutting underneath the cheek skin, scraping
vigorously from the inside, poking the skin into the air. We
can hear what is going on; if we close our eyes, it sounds like
hedges being clipped. Orlan hears, too, yet she lies there in
peace. As far as she is concerned, the discomfort felt upon witnessing
her performance is our problem, not hers. The last thing Orlan
does is show us what we want or expect to see. So she takes us
into a medical operating rooma space where technology blurs
the borders between mind, body, artifice, and natureto
get us to confront the fact that a face is fragmented and flayed
before it is reconfigured, that beauty touches the grotesque.
Orlan knows that the border between beauty and monstrosity is
the true source of imagination. By bringing us to this border,
she intends to force our fantasies onto new paths. The experience
of viewing her art is therefore not meant to comfort or entertain.
It is meant to fascinate and disgust.
Orlan's art is warrior-art
because through it, she gives us a worthy opponent dispatched
to challenge norms that no longer make sense to herlike
the mandate not to tamper with our God-given bodies, or the assumption
that this tampering is always aimed at a feminine (and not an
individual woman's) ideal, or the idea that beauty and identity
depend on stasis. Orlan knows that the source of beauty is difference,
and it is for this reason that she positions herself as a self-promoting,
self-mutating monstrosity. Orlan is always changing, in ways
neither we nor she can foresee, always leaping into new territory.
And she asks us to come with her to the frontier. She knows that
her personality, her possibilities, are open, and she wears this
knowledge flamboyantly on her skin. Although small fry compared
to hers, my Season's Greeting stunt was nonetheless a way of
saying that I was not only at the brink of an important transformation,
I was at the helm. For the first time, I was in charge of the
story of my breasts. I chose the setting and the costume. I was
aware of the irony involved in celebrating my breasts just before
they were about to be fragmented, flayed, and reconfigured. I
knew how silly and potentially risky it was for a Jewish philosophy
professor at a Catholic university to pose in a cream-puff picture.
It was a pleasure/danger scenario of my own devising.
When I returned from
surgery, I immediately looked in the mirror and made a major
discovery: I have ribs. Next, I saw my stitched and stapled Raggedy
Ann breasts and thought: freedom. I wanted to find my surgeon
and hug him. I don't know if it was due to my post-anesthetic
haze or not, but during my recovery I frequently entertained
the idea of asking him out on a date, just for the Pygmalion
thrill. Now fully recovered, scars have replaced the staples
and stitches. I balk at the suggestion of having these scars
removed. They are indications that my body has its own complex
history in relation to the larger narratives of gender. Strange
as it may seem, I would feel more comfortable parading naked
among strangers with my smaller, scarred breasts than with the
Better poised to dispense
with the etiquette of being a breast, I can now simply enjoy
having breasts. I can enjoy unfettered, unfloppy, on-top sex
(on the rare occasions that I actually get laid), I am an easier
person to buy a present for, and most important, I can frolic
about without a bra. Whether this thirty-six-year-old, peri-menopausal
body looks good in a halter-top is beside the point. The point
is that I feel good in a halter-top. Wearing strappy and strapless
summer dresses gives me pleasure. It reminds me of when I first
switched my bed sheets from the crisp polyester blend ones to
the soft, t-shirt material ones. When I go braless, I feel the
breezy caress of silk, of worn-washed cotton, of cashmereof
fabric unfurling itself on my skin, over my still sensitive nipples.
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About the Author
Dr. Amy Morgenstern is a writer and a scholar in ancient Greek
philosophy. She has won numerous grants and awards for her creative
and academic writing. She is currently working on a book-length
manuscript called Scholar Girl: A Philosophical Memoir.