The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Fred Reed Encounters Maureen Dowd; Demolition Ensues

Posted on | December 21, 2013 | 27 Comments

by Smitty

Reed mostly predates the blogging phenomenon. While this is not National Offend a Feminist Week, I think Stacy will permit our loyal readers a little taste of a first-rate spleen dump (emphasis mine):

Listen, Corn Flower. Let’s think over this business of obsolete men. Reflect. You live in New York, in which every building was designed and built by men. You perhaps use the subway, designed, built, and maintained by men. You travel at in a car, invented, designed, and built by men—a vehicle that you don’t understand (what is a cam lobe?) and couldn’t maintain (have you ever changed a tire? Could you even find the tires?), and you do this on roads designed, built, and maintained by men. You fly in aircraft designed, built, and maintained by men, which you do not understand (what, Moon Pie, is a high-bypass turbofan?)

In short, as you run from convention to convention, peeing on hydrants, you depend utterly on men to keep you fed (via tractors designed by men, guided by GPS invented, designed, and launched by men, on farms run by men), and comfy (air conditioning invented…but need I repeat myself?)

I do not want to be unjust. It is not in my nature. While men may be obsolete (unless you want to eat) I cannot say, Apple Cheeks, that feminists are obsolete. They are not. Obsoleteness implies having passed through a period of usefulness.

I do get tired of your hissing and fizzing about the noble sex to which I belong. Mercy, I cry. It is not my fault that Michael Douglas didn’t marry you. He didn’t marry me either, but I don’t hate men because of it. (In fact I am grateful to him, and doubtless he to me).

Read the whole righteous thing.

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  • M. Thompson


  • Evi L. Bloggerlady

    You almost feel sorry for Dowd.


  • Steve Skubinna

    Dowd’s issues, as is common to her class, are all self inflicted.

    She interacts with very few men in her professional life so she knows very little of them. A Carhartt wearing metrosexual is the nearest she gets. Do you think she ever interacts with a male plumber or electrician or auto mechanic? They don’t even exist in her world, she has people to do all the icky dealings with that sort. As for linemen, cowboys, farmers, loggers, mariners, stevedores, soldiers, they exist as caricatures and stereotypes in her universe.

    So she’s like one of the hominid apes in 2001 staring at the monolith. She doesn’t even have the frame of reference to describe what she’s seeing, let alone understand it. Funny thing is, lesbian feminist Camille Paglia understands and appreciates men in a way that Dowd cannot comprehend.

    That’s the difference between being intelligent and being educated (although Paglia is certainly educated as well).

  • gahrie

    I’m certainly glad he didn’t decide to get rude……

  • MattRoss

    And the winner of the internets is….Reed by technical annihilation!

  • Adjoran

    Camile Paglia is a very intelligent woman. So there is a big difference between her and Dowd.

    The only potentially memorable columns by Dowd were the very “snarky” ones. She’s a sophomoric smartass who happened to fit the criteria at the time the Times needed a female op-ed writer, and back then she wasn’t so bad looking, either.

    Now she is reduced to being the aging party girl parked on the corner stool at the local bar in midafternoon, rasping her unfunny quips at the salesmen who duck in for a late day drink.

  • orbitup

    Has this woman ever taken her car to a mechanic shop, or had landscaping done, or had her A/C repaired? I’m willing to bet she has, and she was the only woman involved.

    Just like any other liberal, ignoring facts.

  • Yesiamapirate

    Now that there was a weapons grade smackdown. Poor MoDo. What she needs is an intro to a real biker. A real one, not a metrosexual on a Vespa.

  • richard mcenroe

    To be fair, I’ve met in Texas, and I’m sure Reed has met in Alabama, women who could change the oil if they had to. And who are perfectly fine with letting the menfolk do it.

  • JackOkie

    Yet her column “The Best Possible Life”, on Mike Kelly’s death, shows what might have been had she used her talent rather than pissing it away.

  • missred

    That is the finest comeback I have ever read! Oh, and have we now started to manufacture artificial sperm, Maureen? No? I didn’t think so. So men are still needed to procreate.

  • bobbymike34

    Of course the feminist response to the list of inventions by men is that women invented them until men came and stole the idea and then ruthlessly oppressed them because patriarchy and sexism.

  • Art Deco

    Dowd is one of the few purveyors of topical commentary on the portside worth reading now and again. Not often, but now and again. Remember, her predecessor was Anna Quindlen. Dowd was a step up for The Times.

  • Ken Mitchell

    If this was the “finest comeback” you’ve ever read, the you REALLY need to subscribe to his sort-of-weekly emails. Go to and there’s a list of all of his columns, and a place to sign up. Fred is an old obnoxious curmudgeon, and an excellent writer. I guarantee that if you go back through his old columns, you’ll find some to thrill you, some to enlighten you, and some to enrage you.He pulls no punches, and does not suffer fools gladly.

    PS: Smitty, darn you, you’ve crashed Fred’s server!

  • Steve Skubinna

    We white men are pretty crafty that way. Notice how we stole democracy so thoroughly from Africa that we left not a trace of its existence there?