Mo Mocks Purse-Holding Husbands - With One Exception
What does Maureen Dowd want? Her column of today is the latest evidence of a woman torn between the imperatives of modern feminism and a not-so-secret longing for more traditional domestic arrangements.
The topic of Ring-a-Ding-Bling [subscription required] is marriages in which the husband plays a decided second fiddle to the wife. You might think that Dowd-the-feminist would celebrate marriages in which women play the leading role. But, with one notable exception, she expresses little but scorn for husbands whose wives have the upper hand.
Mo's Exhibit A is the Britney Spears/Kevin Federline couple. Dowd begins by professing that "to make fun of Mr. Spears [would be] too easy — shooting tuna fish in a can, as they say." By referring to Federline as "Mr. Spears" Mo has of course mocked him already. Then, utterly ignoring her own precept, she proceeds to ruthlessly ridicule him, describing his recent attempt at rap music as "even more deliciously atrocious than anticipated," also letting us know that "the hip-hop community reacted with amused disdain."
Though presumably not privy to the inner workings of the Spears/Federline marriage, Down dismisses K-Fed, as she calls him, as a "blissful and unself-conscious marital moocher." Dowd also writes of 'Hilary Swank sydnrome' a reference to the failed marriage of the two-time Oscar winner to Chad Lowe - minor actor and brother of Rob.
And what does it say about the state of modern feminism when Maureen Dowd helpfully passes along save-your-marriage tips from . . . a Cosmopolitan magazine editor? “He’s got to feel like he carries the weight in the relationship somehow,’’ Kate White wants us to know.
But was all of this gossipy mockery in the service of a grander electoral scheme on Dowd's part? She concludes her column by informing us that:
"Besides K-Fed, there is one other guy who seems perfectly content to play backup dancer in his superstar wife’s national tour: B-Clint. 'Now the choreography is reversed, and it is Hillary’s time to take the lead,’ Karen Tumulty writes in this week’s Time.
"Other men in that spot might struggle with emasculation issues, as Geena Davis’s husband did in 'Commander in Chief.' But somehow you know that, as First Lad, Bill would have the time of his life in the time of his wife."
Does Dowd really want to hold up Bill and Hillary as a model for the modern marriage?