Thought this was a great article. Oddly from Slate, which has been posting some non full leftist articles. Is Maureen Dowd Necessary? The Times op-ed columnist adds nothing to the debate between the sexes. Maureen Dowd's penchant for provocative overstatement has found its most recent outlet in a much talked about excerpt of her new book, Are Men Necessary?, in the New York Times Magazine. In it she bemoans a perceived return of 1950s values and courtship rituals and portrays a younger generation of women as grasping, shallow housewife wannabes and "yummy mommies." In the most inflammatory and intriguing passages, she claims that men are put off by women in power, that they prefer the women who serve themmaids, masseuses, and secretariesto their equals. She attributes the fact that she is unmarried to her powerful position as an op-ed columnist at the New York Times. Then she notes her own family history of domestic service and concludes that "being a maid would have enhanced my chances with men." Is this dark view of sexual politics a little extreme? If it is, it shouldn't be surprising. Dowd pushes every statement to its most exaggerated form; her column occupies a space somewhere in between the other columns on the New York Times op-ed page and the political cartoons that sometimes run there. She is, at her best, a brilliant caricaturist of the political scene, turning each presidency into vivid farce. As a caricaturist, she has a fondness for punchy one-liners strung together, and for the one-sentence paragraph: "Survival of the fittest has been replaced by survival of the fakest"; "We had the Belle Epoque. Now we have the Botox Epoch"; and "As a species is it possible that men are ever so last century?" Her style evokes a brainier Candace Bushnell, whose oeuvre she frequently refers to, but it is given extra weightiness by her position at the Times. Like the crude, sexist men she lampoons, Dowd is extremely fond of clever stereotyping. But this strategy is better-suited to satirizing a real person (say, President Bush) ok Slate's influence got in here than it is to offering insights into the already cartoonish "war" between the sexes. In Are Men Necessary? she gravitates toward quotes like this: "Deep down all men want the same thing: a virgin in a gingham dress," or "if there's one thing men fear it's a woman who uses her critical faculties." To support these generalizations, Dowd relies on the faux journalism of women's magazines. She cobbles together anecdotal evidence from people she encounters. The formula is basically this: "Carrie, a 29-year-old publicist, says " And from Carrie's experience she extrapolates to the universal. The problem with this approach is that one could go out and find a 29-year-old publicist who would say the opposite. It would be one thing if Dowd were writing pure, straightforward polemic, ranting against the people she feels the need to rant against. But Dowd is pretending to cover cultural trends with journalistic accuracy, and it is this pretense that gives her arguments a shoddy feel. Much of what Dowd observes in the piece is truethe nostalgic passion for the 1950s, the increasing number of educated women opting to be housewives or change their names when they marry, the success of books like The Rules. .... One of the failures of the feminist movement in the first place was a reliance on easy aphorisms, and the schematic worldview that such aphorisms implied. The famous line, "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle" did not prove to be a constructive or realistic contribution to the feminist cause. Replacing one set of rigid gender stereotypes with another did not allow women the full range of their desires and ended up sabotaging the movement. Dowd herself criticizes the feminists of the 1970s for imagining a sea of identical, sexless women in navy blazers descending on the workplace. Though she appears to be arguing for a new, more rigorous feminism, she is guilty of precisely the same intellectual faultstarting with the catchy, meaningless title of her book, Are Men Necessary?, Dowd's aphorisms, amusing and pithy in the morning paper along with a cup of coffee, are precisely what the conversation about sexual politics does not need. link I found the article very interesting. To me, it clearly and unequivocally showed that dowd is an opportunistic "intellectual." What is more surprising is that this dig came from Slate, though, the author did manage to get her own digs in at times, she nonetheless, held the line and ripped dowd apart. Dowd is an idiot and journalistic slut. IMHO. She will use any and all means to push the envelope simply to get people to read her articles. Sadly, though not surprising, she works for the NY times. Sad, because this is a newspaper with great influence. Not surprising, because we know which side of the fence it leans or rather, falls on. Back to the article, I think the author brings up valid points in crushing dowd.