Saturday, December 24, 2005

Oy, Maureen Dowd

I have a pet peeve, and her name is Maureen Dowd. Well, I thought her words about feminism and its discontents were interesting, but recently I came to my senses and remembered the persona of the messenger and all of my reservations therein. I read Wonkette's hilarious summary of an interview with Maureen Dowd and a few weeks ago, I caught Dowd's ditzy interview on "The Colbert Report," where I concluded she had very little to say.

I have to add, even though she has is continuously critical of Bush, Cheney, et al., it doesn't appeal to me. What? you gasp. How can Elaine not appreciate a good Bush administration jab? To tell you the truth, I don't like jabs if they just trivialize a situation, as Dowd does. Plus, I'd like to think I'm at least a little discriminating, and I recall in the 1990s Maureen had not one kind word to say about Bill Clinton, but many petty ones. Now, she does the same with George W. Basically, the extent of her commentary is: George W. Bush wanted to go to Iraq to finish his father's work (never mind that Bush Senior has been known to be nonplussed by the Iraq mission), Cheney looks evil (which he does, but it doesn't take a New York Times op-ed writer to notice that), and something about how Bush is afraid of her. As my mom points out, when someone mentions triumphantly that Dowd has written a blistering article about the current administration, it only makes one recall her very similarly-focused articles on Clinton. Maureen Dowd basically has a cushy job at the New York Times where she gets to snipe every week, sans nuance or substance. No more, no less.

I guess the final straw for me was in this Wonkette summary, Dowd is quoted saying:
I think women lost a couple decades where we just kind of wasted time trying to do things exactly like men, thinking that we were supposed to take golf lessons but never talk about babies or shopping.
Uh, wasted time? Every movement has their tactical mistakes, but I believe the decades she's referring to are the mid-60s to mid-80s, probably two of the decades of most rapid advancement of women's rights. We women from "Gen-X" or "Gen-Y" can attribute the advances of women in those decades to why we can choose to go to school to pursue a professional career, or choose to do whatever we want for that matter. But, as is her want, Dowd trivializes all of this from her protected perch.

Closing from the Wonkette summary,
Maureen's interview:
[When asked why she hadn't talked much about these issues in her Op-Ed columns.] I was busy with war and torture.
Wonkette translation:
Friedman was war, Safire was torture.

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