Dowd on Dowd

By Diogenes (articles ) | Nov 01, 2005

One of the signature slogans of modern-era feminism was "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle." Women's lib meant not just emancipation from masculine values and male-imposed roles, but a radical declaration of independence from men themselves. The 1970s movement feminists must be cringing at Maureen Dowd's latest instance of emotional exhibitionism. The bitterest misogynist couldn't have drawn a crueler portrait of women than Dowd gives of her sisterhood and its 7th grader's craving for attention.

In a 1999 column, Dave Barry wrote, "to judge from the covers of countless women's magazines, the two topics most interesting to women are (1) Why men are all disgusting pigs, and (2) How to attract men." Dowd in a nutshell. I suppose, where pride has closed off the possibility of saying, "We blew it," self-hatred takes the place of good-humored acknowledgment of the constraints of human nature.

It's significant that Dowd sees women as torn between two and only two roles: the truculent professional feminist and the seductress, representing a choice between spinsterhood (with dignity intact) and marriage (with dignity forfeited). It never seems to occur to her that there are other possibilities, including that of Christian chastity. The woman who believes -- and lives her life consonant with the belief -- that sexual relations are the exclusive privilege of married love, may be an endangered species today. But even Dowd should concede that the principled Christian is preserved from the extremes of self-worship and self-abasement, and is in a position to receive from the opposite sex, and from her own, a respect worth having.

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  • Posted by: - Nov. 03, 2005 2:54 PM ET USA

    Sorry, Di, I couldn't read the whole thing. I had to stop at "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle." Obviously she doesn't like women enough to continue the species.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 01, 2005 11:47 AM ET USA

    Ugh, I don't know how you managed to wade through that wailing this what a banshee sounds like? I wonder what the feminists will do when they finally realize how the abortion industry sold them up the river and called it "choice". Not only will they not have a decent man, whatever children that they might have had are now either dead, non-existent or emotionally distant from being farmed out to hired help. As my Italian grandmother used to say : "you make your bed, and you lie in it"

  • Posted by: - Nov. 01, 2005 10:09 AM ET USA

    I suppose Mo SHOULD concede that there is a principled, Christian balance available to her. But her writing reveals her to be bitter about everything that has affected her life, including her Catholic upbringing, that I doubt her willingness to make such a concession. She's a talented writer. It's a shame her energy has been so wasted.