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08 November 2005 @ 07:05 pm
Maureen Dowd's new book  
Maureen Dowd caused quite a stir with her new book asking the question "Are Men Necessary?" What I find interesting is the focus in a Salon article and elsewhere about why she hasn't found one for herself and settled down. Are we still so backwards that we can't help but speculate and psychoanalyze when we enounter a straight woman who isn't married and has never been? I notice this issue came up with Harriet Miers too. Surely this is the least significant fact one could fixate on in both cases. Is this 1950 or 2005?

Why do we ask such questions of (straight) women and not men? It still smacks of the attitude that a woman is only complete if appended to a man.

It seems like our culture is really preoccupied with romantic love as the be-all and end-all of life. All other relationships take a back seat, and no matter how successful one is at maintaining friendships and other loving relationships, the only one that seems to matter--gay or straight--is the primary romantic partnership. Americans romanticize romance so much that no real relationship can live up to the hype. Does this have something to do with our divorce rate? If it didn't work with partner A, maybe partner B was the right one all along, the soulmate and one true love.

Then there's the other extreme--staying in a relationship to validate you if you think you can't get another mate. Do you think less women would stay in violent relationships if they felt just as complete and successful without that male symbol of their relationship success--however illusory?

Maureen is said to be too independent and intimidating for men to feel comfortable with. If my husband is any indication, that's simply not true. Perhaps the real story is that she is enjoying her life so much that she hasn't found the man that would make her willing to limit her independence. Isn't that an equally valid choice?