Where my alter ego likes to hang out.
October 31, 2005 in Interesting
Please read this article/book excerpt from Maureen Dowd (NY Times)…
What’s a Modern Girl to Do?
Copyright (c) 2005 Jamoker. All rights reserved.
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October 31, 2005 at 7:15 pm
Many thoughts. Very few of them have to do with the donut-around-the-manthing trick, but that thought is, “Oh, puh-lease. Spare me!”
I love Maureen. She is one of my favorite women.
I appreciate a woman’s right to equal pay for equal work, and her right to work as she so desires and advance according to her merit. I also believe it is a grave disservice to children to throw them into daycare or leave them to be raised by nannies.
That’s just scratching the surface, of course.
October 31, 2005 at 7:37 pm
While I am definitely a fan of Maureen Dowd’s column in the Times (well, before it cost money to read), I’m not particularly impressed by this column.
I think she is frustrated and her emotions outweigh her reasons.
I think she paints the dating and marriage world with broad strokes that obscure anyone who doesn’t fit the cliched mold of “men” and “women”… Which the majority of people do not.
“Men” do not all feel the same way about what they want from women. Sure, a lot go “hunting” for women on the weekends, but eventually they grow up and stop trying to impress their friends with the notches on their belt. And I would venture that even the biggest bar-flys that date three girls a week could be tamed by the right girl.
“Women” are not all looking for the same things, either. Just like the guys, they are just looking for the right person.
Sure, Cosmo might be the biggest seller on college campuses, but that is an audience that is just beginning to discover their adulthood and their sexuality. Dating and even sex is more of a game than a life ambition at that point. But five or six years later, both sexes realize that if a guy wears the “right shirt” to the bar, as suggested by Maxim (button-up, bold pattern, bright colors) indicates no more depth of his personality than his ability to dress himself. When I was a college guy, those girls at the club looked mature, well-dressed, and hot. Now they look drunk and slutty, and uncomfortable in their expensive shoes. It’s just a learning experience.
As for her observation that women are beginning to dress more feminine, in contrast to the looks of the feminist movement of yester-year, I’d like to point out that BOTH sexes are trying to look pretty. The cliched “metrosexual” look for guys is everywhere, and it’s here to stay. Tanning beds. Day spas. Hair products. Eyebrow waxing. Chest-shaving. Couture fashion. Even the magazines… Maxim & its many clones all have fashion sections and dating tips just like the girly versions.
I don’t think she should confuse fashion with broad social change. In the 80’s, Ted Danson was a “hot guy”, wearing jeans and a flannel shirt. Every guy wanted to be Rocky III. Now every guy wants to be Ricky Martin. It won’t last forever. And even if little girls are dressing like hootchie mamas these days, teen pregnacy is staying pretty much the same, if not declining. It’s just fashion. What was better? The “hippie” look of the 60’s? The “disco” look of the 70’s? The “punk” look of the 80’s? The “grunge” look of the 90’s? Even her imaginary 1930’s women dancing in white hotel suites were shocking their mothers.
Her personal observations of a woman’s place in the world begin in the 1950’s, which was an artificially created post-war concept. After World War II, all the GI’s returned home and needed to work. The whole idea of the pie-baking daisy picking stay-home mom was a P.R. campaign to get women to turn their jobs over to the men… Remember, women had been a huge chunk of the work force for a couple of years. But life wasn’t peachy before the war… Even her own mother tried to tell her that life wasn’t as glamorous as she imagined it to be.
Her observations seem to be only of an elite circle of cut-throat Harvard business-types, which is a very thin slice of the U.S. population. Why would a man NOT want to marry a Harvard grad? I don’t think most men could comprehend this on any deeper level than an episode of Sex In The City. Sure, those guys are out there. You can read about them on Opinionista. But how many do you actually know?
But while the women in that world are just as deluded as the men, Ms. Dowd doesn’t seem to place any blame on them. So a female Harvard grad has trouble finding a man because she’s a Harvard grad? I’m guessing she is as big of a snob as the guy who rejects her.
People tend to lust after people that are slightly out of reach, no matter how rich or poor or educated or ignorant they are. And they also have a tendency to find faulty character traits in those that reject them. Think about it: If someone rejects you, the least painful thing to tell yourself is that they are just stuck up.
This comment is a little disjointed, and has no real point, which leads me to my conclusion: I don’t like the piece because it, too, is disjointed and without any real point. She’s just reminiscing, and daydreaming, and complaining, and regurgitating anecdotes from friends.
She is a much better political writer, in my view.
October 31, 2005 at 7:41 pm
Yeah, I’m with ‘Zilla on the donut thing.
This is one place I don’t particularly want a donut.
But since it’s been brought up:
Q: Who’s the most popular guy at the nudist colony?
A: The one who can carry two cups of coffee AND a dozen donuts!
November 1, 2005 at 4:08 am
“People tend to lust after people that are slightly out of reach, no matter how rich or poor or educated or ignorant they are.”
I really have to agree with Segue on this. Case in point: me. Any dateless Saturday night of my high school years my mother would carefully explain that guys were too intimidated by my beauty, intelligence and general wonderfulness to ask me out. Then I would explain to my mother that the real reason I was home was that I was sexually aloof (I refused to put out).
The best thing to do when your mother is feeding you a line of BS to make you feel better is to repay her with a line of BS.
Dangit, now I have to lug my laptop to SF so I can read WM’s comment to this thread.
November 1, 2005 at 4:00 pm
“I think she is frustrated and her emotions outweigh her reasons.”
Agreed. She has also left out, as Zilla notes, discussion on the welfare of children, which is more important a topic to me for Modern Women (and men) than “Why do men trade in for newer models?” I am convinced that if this happens to me, I will be the world’s most celebrated male basher…but right now, I have more important things to worry about.
Speaking of those worries, it has taken me all day to put down that much. I have so many thoughts on this subject, but I would contradict my points if while jotting them all down, I ignored the kids–who are cracked out on post-Halloween Candy today, and totally unable to be left alone five minutes. It’s been a Moliere comedy around here…put one child to bed, the other wakes up, one gets fed, the other spills something…I don’t have Effing time to debate anything Dowd said…Which might be the effing problem in a nutshell for Modern People. Too busy, we have to trust what others tell us is true just to keep up, even if it goes against our core.
I shall revist this topic of “What the F is a Modern Woman, Anyway???” after the kids have collapsed.
‘Zilla–I hope your flight went well!!
November 1, 2005 at 5:08 pm
a comment that long should reside on your own blog. it isn’t right that it be locked into a comment “well” here on mine. you own that thought…you should keep it.
all that being said, thanks…I VERY much appreciate the insight and opinion.
November 1, 2005 at 7:48 pm
I misread your reply at first… I thought you were saying I shouldn’t have written so much, and that I should reserve that sort of thing for my own blog. (and I am hoping my second-guess was the correct one).
I told you in an e-mail why I like your blog. A lot of your posts are open-ended and conversation-provoking. That’s why I keep coming back, with a big mouth to boot.
thanks for writing!
November 1, 2005 at 7:54 pm
Truth be told, I was worried that my incendiary comment about one of the great female editorial writers of our time would invite a little more backlash by your other female readers (one of which admittedly is a fan of Ms. Dowd).
So far, I’m batting 2 for 2, with my long-ass-rambling being quoted by the two female readers that read it. I think the limb I’m on got a little more comfortable since I clicked “Login and Publish”.
Thanks Z and WM, for not hating me for being honest.
November 2, 2005 at 6:29 am
your 2nd guess was right. I was wishing that more people could see what YOU wrote…amd bummed that it was buried in the comments.
November 2, 2005 at 1:04 pm
Well, what do YOU think about the article?
November 3, 2005 at 11:30 am
There is an interesting review of Maureen Dowd’s article at slate.com
I see I’m not the only one giving the piece bad reviews, albeit for much better-defined reasons.
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