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Mr. and Mrs. Charles Dudmer reside at 1821 Peavey Street in Montana, where a powder room is available for "impatient men" teaching at the Catholic women's college (Saint Fidgeta and Other Parodies, 74).

Inspiration

Whoever the Dudmers are is irrelevant. "This is just a little dig about how much attention is given to the needs of men by the nuns of a Catholic women's college.[1]"

"The employment of male faculty by Catholic women's colleges was not an utterly new idea in the early 60s, though Saint Teresa's may not have been in the forefront of this movement.  It is probable that they were beginning to see more men around the campuses than they had been used to. The idea that the fictitious college in John's piece is just getting around to providing toilet facilities for its male faculty, and that they are located in a residence at some indeterminate distance from the campus, is not to be taken literally. However, it provides a satiric look at the attitudes of the local matriarchy, and in that sense it probably does represent a genuine reaction on John's part to a genuine lack of empathy on the college's. When Saint Fidgeta was published I remember some of my friends who had attended small Catholic women's colleges found this whole piece to be hilariously on the mark.[2]"

The passage also reminds Myers of an anecdote, though outside Saint Fidgeta's time frame:

"Walsh Hall was my senior residence hall at Notre Dame. When it first went coed in the early '70s it was designated to be a women’s dorm. As part of the conversion process, the urinals in the bathrooms were boarded up but not removed, on the assumption that the presence of women at Notre Dame would just be a passing aberration. In other words, suspicion of the opposite sex at Catholic institutions during that era cut both ways.[1]"

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Correspondence with Alfred Myers.
  2. Correspondence with Charles Bowen.

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