chapter  20
Afterword: Poetics from the Barrel of a Gun?
ByLinda Woodbridge
Pages 14

This afterword presents some closing closing thoughts on the key concepts discussed in the preceding chapters of this book. Like its Jacobean forebear, the Levin controversy mingles thoughtful argumentation and bursts of passion with moments of high farce; and like the earlier controversy, ours is a drama of rather abstract ideas acted against a backdrop of gender conflict in the real world. To many of us, Lepine's paranoia eerily resembled local views-women students are taking places in engineering and chemistry, males being excluded; Women's Studies is draining resources from "real" disciplines; women professors are being hired, costing men jobs; feminists are causing most of our problems. And we were told there was nothing to worry about because Lepine was only a paranoid psychopath with a gun. Levin's attack on a tiny corner of the universe, feminist Shakespeare criticism, seems a ripple in a great tide: the old male-centered society stirring itself to reassert traditional values.