Friday, November 16, 2007

HuffPo Huffing and Puffing

Not one, but two Huffington Post bloggers took on Maureen Dowd's dating lament.

Christine Whelan observes:

Single women are quaking in their trendy boots today -- all because of yet another screed by Maureen Dowd. According to today's New York Times column, men are intimidated by smart women. To win the American male vote, Hillary Clinton should dumb herself down. Oh, and successful women won't ever find love.
Her advice:
Stop reading Maureen Dowd's column. Smart young women must reject the myth that men are intimidated by them. There's a high cost to this conventional wisdom -- and it could be a self-fulfilling prophecy for you if you have a bad attitude toward dating.
Of course, it helps that she has a book to plug that you should read instead.

Melissa Kirsch doesn't so much disagree with the content of the column as with the delivery:
I've been complaining about Maureen for a long time because she has a powerful pulpit whose potential impact she often squanders. She asks to be taken seriously as a feminist (Or does she? I can never tell) and then publishes some infuriated screed in which she complains that young women have squandered the wages of feminism, tarring all women of my generation with the same (unfair) brush. Then she retreats into her cutesy pun-laden columns whose point is typically obscured by the need to hit a nonsensical punchline at the kicker.

Her usual slapsticky style detracts from the moments (like today) when her columns are actually interesting and insightful. She doesn't need to incarnate some distaff version Krugman or Kristof, but regardless of gender, she should strive for relevance over performance.
And here is where we at Dowd Report have to agree to disagree. The bad puns, silly nicknames and non-sequitor punchlines are the best part of a Dowd column. Without them, she would just be another bitter post-feminist that goes on tiresome tirades, and who would want to read that?

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