I still haven’t read the now-infamous article in which the entity known as "MoDo" liltingly (and if you ask me, lengthily) unveils her controversial "findings" that feminism has failed and that "the modern girl" should put The Art of Creative Swooning on her Christmas list and slip into a "Weener Coozy" T-shirt. But for those who have read the article–i.e. everyone but me–here is a piece in Women’s eNews calling Dowd out for lame-ass research and "irritating fluff."
One fun part is where authors Caryl Rivers and Rosalind Chait Barnett point out that when Dowd refers to a British study about men "not liking smart women," she unwittingly alludes to data collected from octogenarians. According to Rivers and Barnett, these data suggest that, among those Brits born in 1921, the higher a woman’s IQ, the slimmer her chances of getting hitched. In 1946.
The Dowd-is-a-dope angle is funny, all right, but couple of things niggle me about the authors’ leitmotifs. Such as the fountains of pathos that emanate from the bizarro yet persistent belief that men "like" women at all.
This belief is a romantic disease.
In our blighted patriarchy, fundamental inequalities require a pretty loose definition of the word like when applied to describe relationships between the oppressor and members of his sex class.
When men "like" women enough to marry them–because the woman has big-baby-eyes and oozes estrogen by the gallon?–the reward for her girlish appeal is domestic drudgery, sex service, pregnancy, child-rearing, and eventually getting dumped when Mr. Dude decides he’d rather be boning his assistant. In plenty of cases, poverty attends divorce, and physical violence often obtains in addition to these indignities.
Rivers and Barnett, however, opine that a reduction in the likelihood of their eventual matrimony ought to be "really bad news for bright women." By way of lighting the end of the tunnel, they point to another study showing that gals with advanced degrees are "just as likely to be successfully married as other working women." To which I say, too bad.
Why any woman, particularly one who has her own dough, and especially one with enough education to grasp the political consequences of such a regressive, patriarchy-affirming act, would want to get married (particularly to a man) remains one of the greatest and most poignant mysteries with which I’ve ever been vexed to grapple in all my middlin-long and pointless life.