December 27, 2013

Maureen Dowd

Maureen Dowd

It seems to me that you gals are like African Bushmen, but without their dignity. A Bushman looks at a television (invented by men: IBM) in astonishment, and says, “€œWah! Bad juju! Spirits inside!”€ He knows he doesn”€™t understand it and does not presume. His degree of understanding, I suspect, is exactly yours.

But I suppose the shrewery are so busy honking and blowing about socially constructed this and gender-roles that and patriarchal the-other-thing that you don”€™t understand that there is anything to understand. Is it not so? When you sit at your computer spewing bile like a legged gallbladder, are you aware of 2,500 years of mathematics, chemistry, solid-state physics, engineering, information theory”€”all invented by men, the bastards”€”that go into the blinking screen? Your vituperative ingratitude, Sugar Britches, is undignified.

But perhaps you might say I am being ungentlemanly”€”though I would hardly know how. Perhaps, as we said in Alabama, you ain”€™t got the sense God give a crabapple.

Maybe, Petunia, you and your frothing friends could profitably come to terms with reality. Women make perfectly good dentists, surgeons, reporters, lawyers, musicians, editors, and all sorts of things. They can do some things better than men can (dentistry: smaller hands, better fine-muscle control). In Latin countries they do these things civilly. (Consult your dictionary.) And I applaud anyone making headway in this world on his, her, or its merits.

Yet as a matter of observable fact (a category apparently having no place in feminism), we men”€”patriarchal, capitalistic, macho, immature, savage, testosterone-poisoned, et cetera”€”seem to come up with everything important that comes up. (I won”€™t touch that one with a pole.) (Wait, I meant….) For example: The transistor, William Shockley and his group. Microsoft, Bill Gates. Intel, Gordon Moore and Robert Noyce. Apple, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. Dell Computer, Michael Dell. Public-key encryption, James Ellis, Clifford Cookis, and Malcolm Williamson at GCHQ in England and later Rivest, Shamir, and Adleman of RSA Security. The World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, a Brit at CERN. Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Yahoo, Jerry Yang and David Filo. Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg. The list could go on for another yard or so.

It will stay that way, Lotus Blossom, for the same reason that women will never be offensive linemen in the NFL. They can”€™t. If they could, they would have. If you disagree, I suggest you apply to the Redskins. They need any talent they can get.

Now, if I were left alone, I would say none of this, having no desire to make women feel bad. But you and yours will not leave me alone, Maureen. I am perfectly happy in a world of female doctors and techs and what have you. When women act like what used to be called “€œladies,”€ I act like what used to be called “€œa gentleman.”€ It used to be that if at the airport I saw a woman struggling with her suitcase, I would say, “€œMay I give you a hand?”€ and put the suitcase where it needed to be. The woman would say, “€œThanks,”€ to which I would respond, “€œHappy to help.”€ And that would be that. It would have nothing to do with machismo and much to do with a suitcase. These days, I”€™m not sure I would do it.

OK, I”€™m bluffing. I would do it. But, Sweet Pea, I hope you have mastered parthenogenesis. It is your only hope.


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