Jesse Kornbluth,
"(You Make Me Feel Like) A Virtual Woman"

Jesse Kornbluth (b. 1946) is a contributing editor at Architectural Digest and writes for other magazines and newspapers, including The New Yorker, Town and Country, and the New York Times. His books include Highly Confident: The Crime and Punishment of Michael Milken (Morrow, 1992), which he has also adapted for the screen, and Airborne: The Triumph and Struggle of Michael Jordan (Simon & Schuster, 1995). This article appeared in 1996 in Virtual City, a magazine (no longer being published) launched by Newsweek for people interested in the Internet.

"(You Make Me Feel Like) A Virtual Woman" text

second thoughts

1. Kornbluth offers or hints at a number of reasons for his online gender experiment. What do you think his primary motivations are? How sincere do you think he is?

2. How would you describe Kornbluth's attitudes toward women, toward other men, and toward gay men and lesbians? What evidence do you find in the text for these attitudes?

3. Kornbluth says early on that he "meant no harm" (¶ 4), and the incident concludes with laughter. What does Kornbluth seem to think is so funny at the end? Who do you think was harmed and/or who benefited, and to what extent, from Kornbluth's social experiment?

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