His expression suggested that he was laboring under some emotion that made him jab his pen on the paper as if he were killing some noxious insect as he wrote, but even when he had killed it that did not satisfy him; he must go on killing it; and even so, some cause for anger and irritation remained.

This description of the narrator’s caricature of Professor X in Chapter 2 highlights how deeply she believes the insecurity of gatekeeping male intellectuals runs. In a desire to protect their own egos they become violent in temper, as evidenced by their continually vocal ridicule of women artists. The violence she sees in Professor X makes him very difficult to understand at first glance because it naturally makes the narrator want to defend herself against him.

Nobody in their senses could fail to detect the dominance of the professor. His was the power and the money and the influence.

The narrator makes this observation in Chapter 2, as she glances at a newspaper during her lunch break. From the way the newspaper articles are written and also what types of subjects are focused on in the paper, she concludes that despite her imagined professor’s anger, he and men like him actually are the intellectual standard for English life. The newspaper makes it abundantly clear that his ideas and theories shape the world around him. Despite the clear privileges he operates under, Professor X still acts as if under siege from women writers.

Possibly when the professor insisted a little too emphatically upon the inferiority of women, he was concerned not with their inferiority, but with his own superiority.

The narrator finally comes to this conclusion in Chapter 2 as she tries to puzzle out why her imagined Professor X seems so angry that his anger makes her feel defensive in turn. She realizes that Professor X’s anger actually has very little to do with women, but with his own desire to hold onto his superiority as the privileged gender. Professor X’s hatred is thus never really about women themselves but his own fear and insecurity.

And we should have the immense pleasure into the bargain of watching Professor X rush for his measuring-rods to prove himself “superior.”

The narrator makes this observation in Chapter 5, when she explains that she thinks it’s valuable to have writing from both sexes because each see the world differently. She briefly imagines a scenario of explorers discovering a new gender of humans in far-away lands, and states that they, too, would bring a new perspective. She then evokes Professor X again, believing that his immediate reaction would be to proclaim this new gender inferior. Once again, Professor X’s hatred of women is not a personal thing, but frantic defensiveness.