Ted was distressed. What he had heard being discussed in the restaurant earlier that night had deeply troubled him. He turned on the TV to help take his mind off of his worried thoughts. The news was on.

            “…new statistics show,” Katie Couric was saying, “that since the founding of the Femarchy the gender wage gap has not only closed, but reversed. Before the revolution women earned 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. Now that figure looks considerably different, with women out-earning men in comparable employment by between five and ten percent…”

            Ted changed the channel to another news program. “And in political news today,” Candy Crowley’s voice announced over video of a room full of women dressed in suits, “Madam Leader Goddess Marquesa, founder of our Femarchy, met with Her cabinet today to discuss plans for reforming M.A.P.S., the Male Abuser Penal System. Debate was intense over whether inmates should be segregated between violent offenders and verbal harassers, as is currently the practice, or whether the common pathology among both groups required that they be rehabilitated together…

            Ted changed the channel again, this time to a talk show. Gwen Ifill was seated across from Franklin Graham. “…but critics would say,” Gwen was in the middle of noting, “that the Femarchy has preserved all the religious freedoms of the old patriarchal regime. Everyone is free to practice whatever religion they want, no matter how misogynistic its precepts…”

            “Yes, but Gwen…” Graham rejoined, “this new regime is un-Christian. ‘Goddess’ Marquesa? Please…”

            “The Goddess agreed to be addressed as ‘Madam Leader’ in deference to the religious sensibilities of the citizenry. And you can’t blame Her for the temples that have sprang up in which She is worshiped. That was a spontaneous practice that She never encouraged…”

            Ted turned off the TV. There was no escape from what was pressing on his mind. He knew what he had to do. Picking up the phone, he dialed….


“This just in. Breaking news…Madam Leader Goddess Marquesa is safe and well after an assassination attempt by armed male terrorists. We take you now live to Christiane Amanpour, who is on the scene….”

            Christiane Amanpour stood next to a woman in black judicial robes. Behind them were a group of men in black jumpsuits, kneeling in a row on the marble floors of an official building, their hands behind their backs. Women in pressed green uniforms, armed with M-16s, stood guard over the kneeling men.

            “Chief Justice Sotomayor,” said Christiane, “you were on the scene?”

            “Yes,” said the Chief Justice.

            “Can you tell us what happened?”

            “The Madam Leader had come to confer with me about how the Court’s decision to legalize marriage equality nationally should be enforced. She seemed to know that these men were coming, because she pulled me into a side chamber just before they burst through the door and began shooting helter-skelter. When they realized that the room was empty and paused, the Madam Leader reentered the room and began talking to them. At that point my memory becomes a bit hazy, because I became very relaxed. The next thing I knew we were out here in the corridor and the terrorists were in custody.”

            At that moment an imposing blonde figure walked by, followed by a long entourage. Christiane’s attention was immediately diverted from the Chief Justice. “Madam Leader…a moment for questions,” she pleaded.

            “Goddess!” cried out one of the men on the floor. “Forgive me! Goddess! I don’t know what I was thinking…” The other men on the floor took up the cry, straining against their shackles to draw closer to the blond woman surveying them with a look of mixed disinterest and pity….


            “She’s ready for you…” said the young staffer.

            Ted rose from where he had been waiting in the anteroom and entered the Oval Office. He was nervous, but he still had the presence of mind to take in a few details. The large oaken desk, where once presidents had sat. The round rug in the center of the floor, formerly embroidered with the eagle of the old patriarchy, now bearing the Lioness insignia of the Femarchy.

            The room had a small crowd of officials and reporters, but all made way for Ted as he entered. Goddess Marquesa stood awaiting him in front of Her desk; Her hands held out in welcome.

            “Ted…” She said. “Your nation owes you its gratitude. Without the tip that you provided I might not have gotten the jump on those male supremacist thugs.”

            Goddess Marquesa extended Her hand and Ted shook it, trembling.

            “How did you do it, Ted?” asked a reporter from the side of the room.

            “I….I…” Ted stuttered, trying to gain his composure. He looked in the direction of the question, and finally said, “I was waiting tables at the steak house and was assigned to serve a private party. When I heard those men planning to hurt the Madam Leader, I couldn’t let it happen.”

            “Why not?” asked another voice. 

            Ted lowered his head, abashed. He swallowed hard, finding it difficult to summon the words. Finally, he looked up directly into Goddess Marquesa’s green eyes. “When I first saw You on TV when I was a young boy…when You had just launched the revolution…I fell in love with You…I’ve loved You ever since…”

            Goddess Marquesa smiled warmly. “Of course. I understand. Now as to your reward, Ted, you can have virtually anything you ask for. Are you sure this is what you want?”

            “Yes, please.”

            Goddess Marquesa nodded. Cameras flashed as Ted turned, dropped his pants and bent over. “One!” intoned Goddess Marquesa, spanking Ted’s ass with Her open hand.

            “Thank You, Goddess,” said Ted, his tone worshipful. Tears of joy and gratitude rolled down his cheeks.

            “Two!” continued Goddess Marquesa…

            “This is Andrea Mitchell, reporting live from the White House, as a patriotic hero receives his reward…”