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How to scare and confound men

By Mark Christensen - posted Monday, 27 February 2006


Women and their questions can be a frightening experience. Sitting there with TV remote in hand, defenceless, when suddenly you cop a “Don’t you love me, honey?”

Later, you may react slowly to news that a friend has breast cancer. A major inquiry follows to ascertain if you can in fact feel anything.

Women are intuitive - can’t they figure these things out themselves!

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New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd is in Australia this week to further scare and confound. She has a new book posing the quintessential query for the sexes: Are Men Necessary?

This is one sassy woman. George W. Bush refers to her as the Cobra. She’s attractive well before you glimpse her photo on the ’net. Though single, she wreaks of a femininity that’s unaffected by the kind of frankness typical of more embittered types.

Maureen Dowd also believes feminism a hoax, lasting a measly nanosecond while the reprisals linger on 40 years later.

Interestingly, there’s a response to this which men often overlook. They presume feminism is really concerned with women. We are too gun shy to ask if women’s "lib" is actually all about us.

If this were true, of course, women would never admit to it because it would only deepen their dilemma. Why fess up that it’s actually to do with us when what women wish to remedy is that glorious self-centredness hard-wired into every male psyche?

The cool Ms Dowd is true to form. She clearly believes men have a vital and unique role to play for her and other females, yet she clinically chastises us for believing as much.

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She feigns girlish bewilderment, with the dustcover of her book announcing she is “as baffled as the next woman” when it comes to men. Yet the perky prose within ably accounts for the “flighty, spendthrift and emotionally liable” state of Western manhood.

Her girlfriends rant that men just want a partner to steer them from the edge of the earth. Obligingly, she tries to guide men to the radical idea that feminism is just another of life’s ironies - accepting equality between the sexes is the only way to capitalise on our fundamental differences.

Alas, all this is too subtle for us blokes. We debate the merit of her claims rather than reform ourselves. Some sad bloke has even created www.idisagreewithmaureendowd.com!

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About the Author

Mark is a social and political commentator, with a background in economics. He also has an abiding interest in philosophy and theology, and is trying to write a book on the nature of reality. He blogs here.

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Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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