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I now consider this blog to be my Juvenelia. Have fun perusing the archives, and find me at my new haunt, here.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Why Maureen Dowd Is Dead To Me

Maureen, you may be tough, but you ain't no feminist role model for me. I used to admire you, now I disown you.

Mo Do has managed to cleerly insert herself into the public discourse again by baiting mogul and Obama-maniac David Geffen into launching an attack on the Clintons, Mo's favorite target of old. While the Clinton camp reaction was overblown and Obama is doing the right thing by firing back and otherwise ignoring the fray, I'd like to call my small but loyal readership's attention to the person I believe the culprit in the middle of all this.

What business does Dowd, a political commentator, have airing what amounts to an essentially personal dispute between DG and the Clinton's? It's because Dowd is never content to just discuss news, she has to constantly thrust herself in the center of it. Her nasty nicknames ("poppy"-- that's hilarious! not) and unceasing puns are a diversion from the facts that she rarely has anything of real journalistic merit to say, and also a way to cannibalize whatever she is reporting on and make it her own.

Despite her obsession with her barrier-breaking career, Dowd allows herself to fit snugly into, nay, define the stereotype of the female as snarky, substance-less, gossipy and self-obsessed. And some of her biggest fans are men; I question whether they like her because she's a "Strong woman" or because she's really not that strong at all, but rather an "hilariously biting gossip who could use a good screw." Just look at the picture she willingly posed for in her own magazine!

Yes the way Dowd writes about, and discusses men, also shows me that even at her age, she's still looking for a real power-broker type to take her out on the town, not an equal partnership. She audaciously opened her Rolling Stone story on Stewart and Colbert by wondering whether they'd be intimidated by her.

Dowd claims to be greatly interested in the advancement of the fairer sex. But her 2005 column about how more women should be columnists seemed to me to be a "why can't more women be like me? Gosh, isn't it too bad!" kind of statement. And her great feminist pretensions are undermined by the fact that her number one persona non grata is Hilary Clinton, one of the strongest (if admittedly extremely flawed) women in politics. Is Dowd that insecure (yes, she is, another reason men like her. I think her insecurity is patently obvious)?

As an aspiring columnist (someday, fingers crossed) myself, I hope that I can emulate some of the more positive aspects of her column, her sense of humor and wit. But I also hope I can avoid some of the pitfalls that she's fallen into.

If she wants to be a diva, she needs another stage. And I need another strong female role model, cause Paul Krugman doesn't quite cut it in that sense.

2 comments:

  1. Ann M.7:56 PM

    Have to agree there. MoDo seems to like being a token female presence, (which involves killing any other queen bees) -- hard to fill those size fourteen red pumps, I guess.

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  2. Anonymous5:24 PM

    Maureen Dowd can be such an intelligent, insightful writer, but I avoid her columns most days because her smugness and cutesiness are too unpleasant to digest. Her snarky, mean-spirited comments even make me feel bad for George Bush on rare occasions -- which most people who know me would find impossible. When there are such important issues out there, why must she focus on personal grudges?

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