By Guest Blogger, Mary Schmidt, Marketing Troubleshooter
Maureen Dowd, Making Ignorance Chic
"In the ’50s, Marilyn made it chic to be smart. Now Sarah makes it chic to be ignorant."
I was going to do a riff on Susan Faludi's article in Harper's, American Electra, Feminism's Ritual Matricide. The "old" feminists grump about the youngsters only wanting to sit and blog (about, among other topics, getting drunk and getting laid by guys they just met in the bar). The younger women fume about the patronizing treatment by the old ("Third waver Merria Lisa Johnson casts feminism as 'a strict teacher who just needs to get laid.'") Gee, those NOW conferences sound like fun and so productive. Good going, "girls" - y'all keep fighting over sex, skin-tight skirts, stilettos and fishnets. Meanwhile the rest of the (still male-dominated) world rolls their eyes at your cat fights, if they're paying any attention at all. Both sides have valid points, but...it's supposed to be National Organization FOR Women, not National Organization of petty high school cliques.
However, the article is long, and my post ran the risk of turning into pages (as you can infer from this "short" introduction). Then, Ms. Dowd's Ignorance column neatly encapsulated my fundamental issue with the female political candidates, the Mama Grizzlies, Dowd's "Mean Girls of the GOP" and much of the so-called "new feminism."
Aside from a disturbing lack of sense of humor or perspective...
All - in some form or fashion - promote conflict and blithely encourage ignoring reality (Sorry, but if you "dress for sex" for a presentation to 50+-year-old males - you're going to have work way harder to be taken seriously). And - in the case of Palin and her like - act as if ignorance is a virtue. Tee-hee, aren't I cute as I flub that question? (Kudos to Mr. Coons for not beating his forehead on the table during his "debate" with cutey-pie Christine O'Donnell.)
We've come all this way...so women can take pride in being drunken sluts...and mean-spirited political candidates with neither experience nor insight? As Ms. Dowd ends her column,
In Marilyn’s America, there were aspirations. The studios tackled literary novels rather than one-liners like “He’s Just Not That Into You” and navel-gazing drivel like “Eat Pray Love.” Walt Disney’s “Fantasia” paired cartoon characters with famous composers. Even Bugs Bunny did Wagner.
But in Sarah’s America, we’ve refudiated all that.
As I've noted in various Facebook comments and posts - I have no problem with other women having different views from liberal/progressive/humanist/Unitarian me. But, being proud of one's stupidity is very different from having an (informed) point-of-view.
Bona fide conservative Kathleen Parker, responded to Dowd's column with Mean Girls? The GOP women's bad rap.
"It is a testament to feminism that we have so many female candidates. That we may dislike or disagree with some -- or find them foolish -- is as the world turns.
Sisterhood means letting women be just as dumb -- and mean -- as men."
I can (somewhat) agree with (at least see) her point re feminism. I'm in pretty much violent disagreement with her definition of sisterhood. We should strive to be better, and help our fellow women do the same. It's not a "right" to be proud of your stupidity. It's a very sad, self-limiting failure.
Ignorance is not a virtue. And drunken sluts are still drunken sluts, regardless if they're wearing a jock or a thong.