Dark Bilious Vapors

But how could I deny that I possess these hands and this body, and withal escape being classed with persons in a state of insanity, whose brains are so disordered and clouded by dark bilious vapors....
--Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy: Meditation I

Home » Archives » March 2005 » The "Ick" Factor

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03/23/2005: The "Ick" Factor

Michael Kinsley (LA Times) has this interesting op-ed piece, Girl Problems in Op-Ed Land about the redevelopment of the "Op-Ed style" by Maureen Dowd (NY Times).

"...So the question is: Did it have to be a girl? Or could a boy have built an Op-Ed career out of feelings and motives and all that ick? The question is pressing because of the current controversy over the number of women's bylines on newspaper opinion pages...

...In the Op-Ed controversy, by contrast, talk of innate differences between men and women is not merely permissible: It is the very justification offered by some women (and deeply resented by others) for demanding more women's bylines. Dowd declares a girlish reluctance to be mean, which she says she overcame, and she urges her sisters to play the boys' game with the boys. The linguist Deborah Tannen pretty much shares Dowd's analysis, but wants the mountain to come to Muhammad: Women shouldn't have to adapt to the peacocky political culture created by men; the culture should learn from and adapt to women.

Meanwhile Dahlia Lithwick, writing in Slate, observes that this discussion has been all-girls so far and demands that the boys strip off their girlie coyness and jump right in. This is a terrifying invitation. Even the most testosteronic male commentator might be excused for deciding that developments in Uzbekistan really require his insights this week..."

So...Who Wants to "Play Like a Girl" now?

My husband and I are always commenting about how "Ick" or that's "Icky" is such a "girl word" to say -- boys never say "Icky".

But to my mind, I enjoy the fact of having that very "feminine nature" while being able to "dish it" with the guys -- the "Ick Factor" nothwithstanding. Like Maureen, I think we get the best of both worlds in using our "Native Intelligence" and our "Womanish Ways."

Karen on 03.23.05 @ 06:59 AM CST

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