ADVENTURES IN FEMINISM….Over at The Corner, John Podhoretz says that today’s Maureen Dowd column is the “worst op-ed column ever written.” Why? He’s apparently unhappy that Dowd decided to take advantage of the summer doldrums by exploring the feminist-inspired question of how married couples decide what name to take. But even though I’m not a Dowd fan, I didn’t think the column was bad at all. And I even learned something. Did you know that Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s name is actually an invented combination of Villar (his birth name) and Raigosa (his wife’s name)? How about that?
In any case, it’s ironic that Podhoretz should nominate Dowd’s column since, in fact, a few hours earlier his colleague Kathryn Jean Lopez had inadvertantly linked (approvingly, of course) to the real winner of this week’s worst op-ed award. In this column, Alicia Colon writes about grandmaster Susan Polgar’s “demolishment of gender barriers” in the chess world over the past 25 years. It’s a worthy subject, to be sure. But her framing for the column ? and you’re just going to have to click the link if you don’t believe me about this ? is blistering outrage over the fact that Polgar is nowhere to be found on the website of the National Organization for Women. “Alas,” she says, “Ms. Polgar’s achievements are in the male dominated world of chess ? that great game of cerebral excellence and strategy ? not politically correct issues.”
And that’s the difference between me and the agitprop pros: If I were writing a column about Susan Polgar, it would never occur to me that I could invent an anti-NOW angle by searching their website to see if they had ever mentioned her. Obviously I have much to learn.