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I am speechless

March 3rd, 2008     by Zoe Cormier     Comments

A friend - a male friend - sent me this link, an op-ed piece in The Washington Post, commenting: “Leave it to the Washington Post to set feminism back twenty years with one op-ed piece. And, of course, just like Thom Yorke [of Radiohead] said, ‘You do it to yourself…’ Terrible. Just terrible. Like black-on-black crime.”

This op-ed piece really is just breathtaking. I’m speechless.

Here are a few choice extracts: I can’t help it, but reading about such episodes of screaming, gushing and swooning makes me wonder whether women – I should say, “we women,” of course – aren’t the weaker sex after all. Or even the stupid sex, our brains permanently occluded by random emotions, psychosomatic flailings and distraction by the superficial. Women “are only children of a larger growth,” wrote the 18th-century Earl of Chesterfield. Could he have been right?

What is it about us women? Why do we always fall for the hysterical, the superficial and the gooily sentimental?

I swear no man watches “Grey’s Anatomy” unless his girlfriend forces him to. No man bakes cookies for his dog. No man feels blue and takes off work to spend the day in bed with a copy of “The Friday Night Knitting Club.” No man contracts nebulous diseases whose existence is disputed by many if not all doctors, such as Morgellons (where you feel bugs crawling around under your skin). At least no man I know. Of course, not all women do these things, either – although enough do to make one wonder whether there isn’t some genetic aspect of the female brain, something evolutionarily connected to the fact that we live longer than men or go through childbirth, that turns the pre-frontal cortex into Cream of Wheat.

(Note: Plenty of men claim to have Morgellon’s - I’ve interviewed them myself. Click here for a piece on the controversy.)

But, oh, it gets better:

Depressing as it is, several of the supposed misogynist myths about female inferiority have been proven true.

The theory that women are the dumber sex – or at least the sex that gets into more car accidents – is amply supported by neurological and standardized-testing evidence. Men’s and women’s brains not only look different, but men’s brains are bigger than women’s (even adjusting for men’s generally bigger body size).

Um, does this remind anybody of those psuedo-scientific, overtly racist tomes written MORE THAN A HUNDRED YEARS AGO claiming that people of African and Asian descent were “less evolved” than Caucasians? Ye gods.

So how does our feminist hero conclude this piece?

So I don’t understand why more women don’t relax, enjoy the innate abilities most of us possess (as well as the ones fewer of us possess) and revel in the things most important to life at which nearly all of us excel: tenderness toward children and men and the weak and the ability to make a house a home. Then we could shriek and swoon and gossip and read chick lit to our hearts’ content and not mind the fact that way down deep, we are … kind of dim.

… Again, I’m speechless. At a loss for words.

Isn’t it charming that it is acceptable to publish this kind of misogynistic drivel in a major daily paper? I don’t think a man would get away with writing this kind of thing about women - but I certainly have never seen a man write something this vitriolic or intellectually stunted about his own gender.

If any of you have something to say to the author, kindly email her at

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go throw up.

Tags: media savvy

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