It’s a shame I didn’t run into Scarlett Johansson during her recent visit to Africa. I might have given her some useful tips about our native gels and lotions. Trekking around the jungle in hotpants is all very well, but it does make a woman with milky-white flesh an obvious target for the mosquitoes. Her legs must have stood out like bananas in a green salad. Had I known she was coming, I would have sent her a natural ointment to rub on her thighs after her morning shower.
Be that as it may, I have no doubt that Scarlett’s visit was a tremendous morale boost for the local women. For far too long, they have occupied a servile position under the prevailing “Big Man” culture. The sight of a gorgeous young actress surrounded by an entourage of fawning male flunkies would have conveyed a powerful message. Scarlett, indeed, was quick to express solidarity with her bullied and harassed black sisters.
“I’ve always found that women have power in numbers,” she remarked. “We draw strength from the support of other women.”
Tell me about it! When I was in the circus, I soon realised that advancing my interests depended on establishing close bonds with the all-girl acrobat team. So I engineered what biologists call “a symbiosis” and political scientists call “an alliance”. I curried their favour by performing chores such as carrying baggage and apprehending peeping toms. They, in return, let me borrow their grooming products, which are frankly far more useful to a gorilla than any number of human females.
We also backed each other up at staff meetings. When the ringmaster ludicrously suggested that I dress up in a genie costume for Christmas, all I had to do was grunt disdainfully for the girls to vigorously pooh-pooh his proposal. No motion was ever carried without the support of what became known as the “Bananas and Cream Consortium”.
This political education served me well when I returned to the jungle and acquired a harem. Female gorillas are not technically women, but they are sisters under the fur and the similarities outweigh the differences. The way to handle them is as follows: first, guess what they want to do; then, order them to do it. This puts them in a quandary, as they cannot defy my commands without abandoning their own plans. Hence they usually do as I direct, while gesturing obscenely as a way of demonstrating their independence. I laugh it off as a show of high-spirits from within the ranks.
Sadly, African men are not as adept as managing their females as we silverbacks. They lack a little something called finesse. That’s why my friend Kola Boof, the self-styled womanist, believes that nothing short of a full-blown matriarchy will suffice. As well as being a wily political agitator, she has written many poems eulogising the indomitable spirit of the jungle queen who wields a deadly machete and proudly exposes her breasts. This is surely the kind of philosophy that Scarlett should seek to promote if she is serious in her desire to empower her sex. I must send her one of Kola’s books for Christmas.
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