Book Review Archives

Second Sluthood: A Manifesto for the Post-Menopausal, Pre-Senilic Matriarch

By: Ruby Pearl Saffire
Reviewed by: Beth Wilder
River City Publishing, 2009
$14.95, Paper

Ruby Pearl Saffire is a true patriot, as evidenced by her bejeweled red, white, and blue name. And like any true patriot (as opposed to the impostor who simply waves or wears a flag— symbolism and substance are two very different things according to Ruby), she has penned a manifesto.

Ruby’s manifesto is not for the faint-of-heart, for it has less to do with politics and sociological theories and more to do with sex (XXX sex, to be exact). Ruby takes plenty of stabs at bone-headed politicians, like one of her many husbands, Hand Job, a prominent Montgomery Democrat who succumbed to a particularly racy scandal involving dueling prostitutes. She also has quite a lot to say about dysfunctional families and religious hypocrites, from her own parents whom she refers to as Bizarro Ozzie and Harriet to the WASPs she loathes (that stands for White Anglo-Saxon S**theads, according to the gospel of Ruby).

But Ruby mostly rants about sex. Even when ranting about politics and religion, sex is always looming in the background. She is, after all, a slut. The author does not use the word slut to necessarily describe a loose woman, but rather as a synonym for “carpe diem, la dolce vida, la vida loca, just plain fun.” She has entered into her post-menopausal years with a yearning to live the honest life she always wanted to live, unencumbered by the societal strains of political correctness. Her manifesto offers plenty of advice on just how to do that.

Ruby outlines twenty-seven Tenants, covering a wide variety of topics from “Thou shalt enjoy sex until the undertaker arrives” to “Thou shalt cut and bait fish.” The first one is self-explanatory. The fish thing is all about reconnecting with your soul. My personal favorite is Tenant Number Six: “Thou shalt not be consumed by dogma, indoctrination, petty judgments, boo-hooing preachers begging forgiveness, nor any of the myriad trappings of organized religion (particularly the fringe nut-jobs).” Take that, WASPs.

In addition to her sound life advice, Ruby charms her readers with poetry. Such works as “Eulogy For A Uterus” and “The Pros and Cons of Thongs” celebrate the very essence of womanhood. “Pit Crew Rendezvous” and “Road Kill Trilogy” are worthy of any Southern poetry anthology.

Second Sluthood is a must-read for any woman of a certain age who is not afraid of racing head-on into mid-life amongst a flurry of four-letter words and straight talk about sex and social mores. Ruby Pearl Saffire’s manifesto is already by my bedside, and will remain there to make me laugh, make me think, and make me enjoy every minute of waning youth. Sept 2010

Beth Wilder is a freelance writer in Birmingham.

Editor’s note: Ruby Pearl Saffire is a nom de plume of Suzanne Hudson.