Sunday, October 30, 2005

Dowd weighs in

Maureen Dowd has really pretty hair and shoes. This in no way takes away from the seriousness of her arguments about feminism. It merely means that upon seeing her piece in the Magazine my first thought was, I should really redo the red. (I had reddish hair way back when, but it has since grown out/faded). It also makes me think I should, you know, write more articles. So she's a role model on many levels, even if I disagree with nearly everything she writes. But her article made me think (as, presumably, was the case for many readers, what with it being the most-emailed article and all).

It seems the whole Kass, etc., debate is really about this: young women are not planning for the future. Reasonably attractive college-age women have endless options, from abstinence to promiscuity, but older women either have a spouse or they don't. Too much emphasis on pleasure among young women will lead to a fun 20s but a lonely 50s. Men can be convinced that their college girlfriends won't put out until getting a ring, but they cannot be convinced that older women are as desirable as young. It's not that young women don't enjoy casual sex and multiple partners--everyone not in a committed relationship or with other specific objections wants these things--but that, once they get older, their options go from endless to extremely limited. By "catching" a man while young, women limit their own options and their own possibilities for ultimate pleasure, but are not forced to look for a spouse when they are middle-aged. This is all most unfair and upsetting, but as long as older men have more options than older women, it's unclear how this particular dilemma could be solved. Lesbianism might work, but is not a viable option for women who aren't attracted to other women. The relevant point here is that women's supposedly natural distaste for promiscuity is the outcome of so many other factors, but has nothing to do with a straight woman not wanting to sleep with as many attractive men as might offer.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dowd's argument is pretty self serving. "Men don't like me because I'm a highly successful and highly intelligent woman".