Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Dowd In A Feminist Coma

Don't you think that Maureen Dowd has been hit by that large truck which says "feminist anger" on the side and that as a consequence she realized that a different way of mocking Hillary Clinton was called for if the important job of grinding Hillary into little bits under that red Prada heel was to be completed? Too much venom and childish insults didn't work quite as well as Dowd thought, so she put on her feminist hat (with the castrating scissors hanging off the sides), set her tongue in the middle of her mouth and started scribbling:

Many women I talk to, even those who aren't particularly fond of Hillary, feel empathy for her, knowing that any woman in a world dominated by men has to walk a tightrope between femininity and masculinity, strength and vulnerability.

They see double standards they hate — when male reporters described Hillary's laugh as "a cackle" or her voice as "grating," when Rush Limbaugh goes off on her wrinkles or when male pundits seem gleeful to write her political obituary. Several women I know, who argue with their husbands about Hillary, refer with a shudder to the "Kill the Witch" syndrome.

In a webcast, prestidigitator Penn Jillette talks about a joke he has begun telling in his show. He thinks the thunderous reaction it gets from audiences shows that Hillary no longer has a shot.

The joke goes: "Obama is just creaming Hillary. You know, all these primaries, you know. And Hillary says it's not fair, because they're being held in February, and February is Black History Month. And unfortunately for Hillary, there's no White Bitch Month."

Of course, jokes like that — even Jillette admits it's offensive — are exactly what may give Hillary a shot. When the usually invulnerable Hillary seems vulnerable, many women, even ones who don't want her to win, cringe at the idea of seeing her publicly humiliated — again.

That must have been so hard to write, except for the pleasure of putting in that "white bitch" joke (I have seen it several times already).

Indeed, I must tip my own feminist hat (with better and longer castrating scissors as the tassel) to Maureen. I'm not sure if I could write an anti-feminist piece as well, and that would be the comparable assignment for me. Though naturally Maureen has some help from the fact that the point of her column isn't that different from all the earlier "I Hate Hitlery" columns she has penned. It's not to get Hillary elected to anything because she is a horrible monster. Only this time Maureen explains carefully why agreeing with Hillary's monstrosity will not make you a bad feminist at all.

Dowd ends her column by arguing that Hillary's much-anticipated public humiliation will not be a humiliation for all women, just for Hillary, because Hillary is not a woman worthy of feminist support.

What I'd really like to know is this: What would be required of a powerful woman for her to be worthy of the support of one Maureen Dowd?