Maureen Dowd thinks she’s pretty hot.
And she is on politics.
But face it, not most women from Dowd and my generation, was a daughter of the policeman in charge of the Senate, and had several older brothers, who could pick up a phone, and get us a job or show us how to be more like a guy. That’s Dowd’s background.
Dowd was brought up to be ballsy. Yet even she had a hard time when she first became an op-ed columnist.
I have a younger sister, and was her role model. Our dad was a CPA who wanted us to experience everything but also wanted to protect us from everything. I was brought up in strict lady mode as were many women of our generation.
In this past Sunday’s New York Times column, she talked about how the paper couldn’t find another woman with the balls to be an op-ed columnist. Can’t dish it out and take the flack.
I have long believed that she’s an elitist who has lost any touch with real people.
There’s a whole new world right here where women are willing to take on politics and people. It’s called blogging, and some of us aren’t just smart good writers, but are willing to fight for our beliefs.
I joined Bring it on! not because I want to hide under a male, but because I write other things and want this blog to be about my other work.
When Dowd writes about politics, she’s obviously done her homework. When she writes about women she writes from the top of her head. That pisses me off. If she really wanted to help women move up in the world, she could teach at a J school, or publicly mentor a woman. She doesn’t.
I think that this shows a basic lack of respect for women. No, I’m wrong. She loves famous women. Guess they’re the only women smart enough for her. Me thinks she doesn’t look further than her celebrity filled life can see.
Many members of my generation were brought up to go to college to get a teaching degree and find a husband. Many of us lacked the confidence when we were young to try and get reporters jobs. Like I said without older brothers, we didn’t grow up learning to act like like a boy, but look like a girly girl.
Some of us, baby boomers, were sent mixed messages by our parents, teachers and other people. Personally it took me many years to decipher the messages, and too understand that we could have, should have, would have traveled other roads had we stopped analyzing our lives for a hot minute, or stopped doubting our abilities.
It took me many years until I could get to a place where I could accept personal criticism. Could always accept it on a job; could always advocate for others. But for myself, never.
I no longer doubt my abilities, or analyze my every step. But I’ll never be an Op-Ed reporter at The Times or any other big paper.
I was born in the early 1950’s. There are two generations of grown women behind me with the cojones to state their views, research the facts and can write well. Many have chosen alternative media routes because women are more readily accepted. Others have chosen the glam professions–and they’ll get a chance at being Dowd’s friend–but not equal in the Op-Ed world.
I didn’t write a letter to The Times Why bother?
As long as Dowd is around to tell women that they can’t do it, she’ll keep her place at the top until she becomes too old, and then I guess will morph into Helen Thomas.
It’s nice to know that one woman thinks so highly of herself.
It’s not nice to know how little she thinks of other women.
Look around, Maureen, there are some bloggers who could take your writing and put it in the dust bin.
One more thing. Dowd works under the shield of The New York Times She might get threatening e-mails, calls, and letters, but she has much protection.
I haven’t achieved Dowd’s career success or status, but consider it my obligation as a woman who has achieved much to help other women. Not because I’m nice. Heaven forbid that, but because I want to see younger women make it.
I know many teenage girls who love science. But as soon as they reach puberty somehow it becomes difficult. I’m not going to go into the myriad of reasons for that.
However many young girls just lose confidence when they become teenagers. Could they still be receiving mixed messages? Could not having older brothers or male role models help them lose it? There are so many reasons; this would be a book if I tried explaining.
Other young women are totally over confident; just like the obnoxious boys, everybody hated working with, including other men. While this might help the individual woman achieve success and status, how is it helping their cohorts?
Or is life really all about survival of not the fittest, but the most brazen? The two don’t always go together. I think it’s horrible if we diss and downplay the analytical features that make many women unsure of themselves.
These features also serve to make women compassionate, helpful, able to work in groups, able to motivate others–including their male subordinates or equals to do better work.
But it’s Maureen Dowd’s world, and the rest of us, just play in it.
Before you fall into the trap of believing that Dowd is the only woman or one of the few women capable of taking the heat that an Op-Ed columnist gets, think about how shielded she is from the public.
Then look at women bloggers who are one degree of separation away from people who might not only want to call them names, distort their work and thinking, but might want to physically harm them if given a chance.
A blogger and her audience are artificially close. This can breed hatred by people with opposing views, or people with an axe to grind.
No matter how much male bloggers, friends, lovers, husbands, and the rest might want to protect us they can’t. We’re in the first line of fire. But none of us are anywhere near Maureen Dowd when it comes to dishing it out and taking it.
I’m angry and I sound it. I’m angry because it’s okay for me to be attacked without the type of back up Dowd has, but she can be so cavalier when she talks about women.
Yes her presence at The Times is one strike for womankind. Yes her presence is one strike backwards also because she should have been mentoring women to be an Op-Ed columnist. If she had mentored three or four women the odds are great that one of them would have made it.
But it’s Maureen’s world, and there’s only room for her.