Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Linda Hirshman responds to Dowd
(and your blogstress)

From the redoubtable Linda Hirshman, who usually blogs at TPM Cafe, which is today plagued with some technical ailment, comes this response to today's Maureen Dowd column, "An Imperfect Feminist Test," and your blogstress's assertion that, in it, Dowd makes a valid point or two:

Whaddaya know? This morning, as a thought experiment, Maureen Dowd contemplated a woman making a successful run for President. She’d like that, she says. She even hopes the "male reporters" in the media would behave if it ever happened. Presumably she includes herself in that group.

Dowd’s candidate would have an easier time than the real female candidate running, because Dowd’s candidate is not a real person, but one of those women on the internet pornography sites. Maureen’s candidate has no brain, no record, no history, no family, no past statements, no existence except in her overheated imagination.

The internet porn candidate would be perfect, because, having no brain she couldn't be too smart, no record, so she could not have once voted in a way that some critic disagrees with, having no history, people would not simply be able to push a button on their computer to come up with witch lines about her, having no family, she would not remind them of their own sexual "unappetizing compromises, arrangements and dependencies" having no past statements, she would not have talked too much, and having no existence except as a hypothetical, she would never actually win. Anything.

But we could spend forever waiting for her, because we’re not sexist bigots. It's just that no flesh and blood woman could ever satisfy our need for the perfect female. Meanwhile, for women? Good thing we have the internet.

--Linda Hirshman

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