Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Is Maureen Dowd an Idiot or Am I Missing Something?

Check out Maureen Dowd's recent tripe at the New York Times: "Should Hillary Pretend to Be a Flight Attendant?"

In the article she reports on a recent study by economist, Fisman of Columbia in which he ran a speed-dating experiment at a local bar.

His results?:
"We found that men did put significantly more weight on their assessment of a partner’s beauty, when choosing, than women did. We also found that women got more dates when they won high marks for looks."

He continued: "By contrast, intelligence ratings were more than twice as important in predicting women’s choices as men's. It isn’t exactly that smarts were a complete turnoff for men: They preferred women whom they rated as smarter — but only up to a point ... It turns out that men avoided women whom they perceived to be smarter than themselves. The same held true for measures of career ambition — a woman could be ambitious, just not more ambitious than the man considering her for a date.

When women were the ones choosing, the more intelligence and ambition the men had, the better. So, yes, the stereotypes appear to be true: We males are a gender of fragile egos in search of a pretty face and are threatened by brains or success that exceeds our own."

While I love reading about this kind of 'evolutionary biology' in gender roles (mostly because the studies themselves are usually straw men or straw-women, if you'd prefer), I can't stand how Dowd seems to have a personal vendetta against Clinton, offering her whimsy advice from the safety of her job as NYtimes columnist. Check out a great comment by Katha Pollitt on Dowd.

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