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X-ing out Dowd

By Bernard Chapin
web posted March 21, 2005

Once again, just when I thought I was out of the Dowd critiquing business, the overpaid, maligno-verbal columnist at The New York Lies brought me back with yesterday's blather entitled "X-celling Over Men." This may be her bitterest offering to date, but configuring a bitterness quotient for Maureen is about as effective as separating out which home runs hit in 1998 were strictly a product of steroid usage.

Dowd's first lines showcase her ubiquitous astringency:

Men are always telling me not to generalize about them. But a startling new study shows that science is backing me up here. Research published last week in the journal Nature reveals that women are genetically more complex than scientists ever imagined, while men remain the simple creatures they appear.

It's hard to believe that anything like this would appear in a major newspaper even one that is the American version of the Frankfort School for Political Correctness. Such a paragraph is hate speech and little else. If a man wrote or said something like that about women he would be fired from The Times or any other newspaper. With the likes of Maureen out there in the mainstream media, it is more appropriate to talk about a glass floor than a glass ceiling (although I have yet to read another columnist of either sex who is as obtuse as Dowd).

The message she delivers today is not unusual as Dowd holds nothing but contempt for men. She makes mention of recent evidence suggesting that the Y chromosome is simpler than the X chromosome, and states that this causes women have more abundant expression of their genes than men. She concludes that this is why they are the more complex sex and that, "[t]he discovery about women's superior gene expression may answer the age-old question about why men have trouble expressing themselves: because their genes do."

As if the concluding lines are not ugly enough, she then reveals post-chromosomal rage by taking several gratuitous digs at men. Dowd facetiously states that "men could disappear, taking Maxim magazine, March Madness and cold pizza in the morning with them." She further adds that the Y chromosome,

"…has inspired cartoon gene maps that show the belching gene, the inability -to-remember-birthdays-and-anniversaries gene, the fascination-with-spiders -and-reptiles gene, the selective-hearing-loss-‘Huh' gene, the inability-to- express-affection-on-the-phone gene."

I'm sure that many a reader dismisses all of this twaddle with "it's meant to be cute, relax" or "she's so dumb who cares" or "let her wallow in her own depression and agitation. Really Bernard, how would you like to have a personality like that, let it go," but, sadly, I cannot.

I suppose that I should be grateful not to be sharing her skin, but, honestly, her base position hinges on such an obvious non-sequitur that it's surprising it got past the editor. Even if women express more genes than men it hardly matters as the amount of genes expressed are not reflective of superiority. We know this to be true because rice (yes, that's right, the plant) may well have more genes than human beings. It seems that in regards to this topic, as opposed to Dowd's broken elevator fantasies, size does not actually matter. She made a blatantly fallacious position the centerpiece of yet another rant deriding half of our species.

Besides, even if men were more simple than women, it hardly would be an insult. Synonyms for simple include, "straightforward, uncluttered, absolute, austere, classic, homey, humble, inelaborate, unadorned, unadulterated, unaffected," and "rustic." With my unpretentious tongue, I will gladly plead guilty to all charges.

Besides, does anyone really believe that women are more complicated than men? The evidence contradicts such an assumption. Writers like Eugene O'Neill, Dostoevsky, Kafka, Proust, Joyce, and Faulkner were all men and "simple" would not be any way to describe them. The same could be said regarding Van Gogh, Gauguin, David or Jackson Pollack. To pretend that males are a primitive horde of channel flippers is absurd and it also ignores the gender of the person who invented the television–and practically everything else for that matter. Only a person who is completely detached from the world would maintain that women have a monopoly on complexity.

I've been reading Dowd's columns for the last three years and it strikes me that she is not merely a spoiled upper class flake. Oh she is that, but she also is representative of the one hundred percent fantasist approach to behavioral interpretation. This mindset is best encapsulated in the phrase, "[t]here cannot be anything wrong with me so, if you differ, then you must change." There is always a right and a wrong with these people and the wrong is exclusively found within those who are not like them. Here the hypocrisy of the diversity brigade is self-evident. There are few better illustrations of this belief system than in Dowd's obsession with men. She attempts to undermine us constantly due to the fact that we deviate from the female ideal.

Many of her pieces are usually just one long whine about why men have to be the way we are. A more complex persona would have the sophistication to accept that men and women are different and we might as well accept it. The whole "you change" outlook is completely anathema to any reasonable approach of analyzing "the other," which, in this case, is the opposite sex. Such a stance is repugnant to living a productive life. Men will never be women and women will never be men, and that is the way it should, and must, be. Just move on, Maureen. If you do, you can begin to make sense of the world around you.

Whimpering that other people just don't get it, is merely a form of outrageous conceit, which Maureen has in abundance. I have developed an austere measure of how best to spend one's waking moments and call it "The Celebrity Test." It is composed of a single question:

"What is so interesting about me that I must waste time fixating upon my person everyday?"

If your answer to the question is "not very much" then chances are you are a lucid human being with a healthy approach towards life. If your answer was "everything," then you should send in an application to The New York Times and make a career out of cajoling others to adapt to your neediness and feelings of rejection and failure.

Bernard Chapin is a writer living in Chicago. He can be reached at bchapafl@hotmail.com.


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