Dowd has no class

Now, I didn’t like Maureen Dowd’s NY Times Magazine article for a number of reasons: Dowd’s assumption (once again) that feminism ended in back in the day, the reliance on dubious studies, and–as Amanda points out–Dowd’s seeming penchant to blame everyone and everything but patriarchal norms.
But what really struck me about What’s a Modern Girl to Do? is the extent of Dowd’s elitism. Determining a social trend based completely on the lives of the upper class isn’t exactly new, but I expected a bit more from an article on feminism. (Silly me.)
(Not to mention, Dowd’s insistence on measuring feminism’s success based on men and how women are faring in the romance department completely nullifies any truth there might be in the article. As I’ve said before, feminism isn’t a fucking dating service.)
Dowd’s reporting on the backlash against feminism and the “confusion between the sexes” relies almost exclusively on women within her social circles. Seriously–the people Dowd cites to make her case seem to be a bunch of her friends and acquaintances. (Mostly reporters, producers and a couple of actors.)
Other sources Dowd uses are just as class-based: the debunked New York Times piece on young women at Yale, a “60 Minutes” report that interviews women who went to Harvard Business School, and Sylvia Ann Hewlett’s book that focuses on women who are corporate executives.
Really, is Dowd so egotistical to think that only certain “successful” women determine current gender relations? Perhaps if she expanded her circle of friends–or actually tried to interview the lowly secretaries, assistants, and nannies who are supposedly stealing up all of the men–Dowd would see that the future of feminism goes beyond her backyard.

Echidne’s excellent take on the article.

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