Dowd on Dowdy
This is one of the dumber paragraphs I've read this week, and, big surprise, it comes from Maureen Dowd. Lamenting media coverage of Elena Kagan, Dowd dissects the difference between "single" and "unmarried" and writes of the double standard women endure:
But if you have a bit of a weight problem, a bad haircut, a schlumpy wardrobe, the assumption is that you’re undesirable, unwanted — and unmarried.
Not only is this not a double standard—since it applies to men, too—but it seems the very definition of undesirable in our culture: fat and dowdy.
Dowd's real complaint is that a male version of Kagan—successful, outgoing, but no George Clooney—would still be seen as a sexual being, but this is because of a different double standard: the premium women place on male success. The problem, if you even want to view it as a problem, is yours, Maureen.
The whole column is an embarrassment. I don't doubt news coverage of Kagan has been awful, but Dowd's corrective is no corrective.