Maureen Dowd: Fire starter

An excerpt from her new book "Are Men Necessary?" riles up the blogosphere.

Topics: Broadsheet, The New York Times, Love and Sex,

It’s been such a crazy news day that I haven’t even touched on one of the more talked-about stories of the weekend, the excerpt of Maureen Dowd’s “Are Men Necessary?” that ran in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine. The piece, a choppily edited series of takes from Dowd’s book, read like some kind of post-feminist dating manual, and remained at the top of the Times’ most-e-mailed list all weekend. Reaction among feminist bloggers has been swift, strong and mostly aghast. Catnip writes that Dowd is just contributing to the “if you’re a woman with a career you’re going to end up childless and alone” publishing genre. Bumblebee Sweet Potato calls the essay “somewhat depressing,” while Brutal Women describes it as feeling “like it’s been written by a sixteen year old sitting at the front of the math class chewing her nails because ‘boys only notice the blond chicks.’” Echidne of the Snakes says Dowd’s piece is marked by “mindblowing stupidity,” and My Amusement Park headlines her item “Moron Dowd.”

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As I said, I thought the Times excerpt was oddly edited, and not a great advertisement for “Are Men Necessary?” which I’m almost done reading, and which I’m finding fascinating. I hope to have a feature about the book and the backlash up by the end of the week. In the meantime, MoDo fans and foes should read Ariel Levy’s amazing profile of Dowd in this week’s New York magazine.

Rebecca Traister
Rebecca Traister writes for Salon. She is the author of "Big Girls Don't Cry: The Election that Changed Everything for American Women" (Free Press). Follow @rtraister on Twitter.

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