That Post Where Maureen Dowd Got Ripped a New One

Maureen Dowd has opinions, everybody! And she is gracious enough to share them with us little people.

When she heard about the June 17 campaign to drive that Saudi women are mounting on Facebook, the first thing Dowd did was call up her friend Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, who is “a pillar of modernity in the medieval kingdom.” In fact, that’s exactly how she opens the piece—it’s very important that we know she has connections. And it’s very important that we know just how modern he is:

In his skyscraper office in Riyadh, women in tight jeans and suits rule the roost, working side by side with men, something that is forbidden elsewhere. Government offices in Saudi Arabia are segregated by gender.

The prince made a point of hiring a woman, born in the holy city of Mecca, and training her to be the pilot of his private jet.

For a piece that’s supposed to be about Saudi women’s lack of driving rights, Dowd sure spends a lot of time telling us about her friend, the prince, and his wealth of privileges.

She reflects on the first wave of Saudi women to fight for the right to drive in 1990 and how she interviewed them nine years ago, gives us a brief rundown of Manal Al-Sharif’s arrest, and ends the piece with an excerpt from an obviously satirical piece in The Arab News from Reem al-Faisal (who Dowd mentions is a princess—remember, it’s important!). The Swiftian excerpt suggests Saudi women ride camels instead of attempting to drive cars.

So once again, Dowd mirrors an issue through her privileged lens and bounces it off her privileged sounding boards. Instead of reading her piece, why don’t I sum up the entire article for you in one paragraph?

“Oh, hello there! I was just on the phone with my super-rich Saudi man friend—he’s a prince, you know. Anyway, he was telling me something about how those poor unfortunate women can’t drive over there—terrible, you know—and so one of the princesses suggested they ride camels. Can you imagine? Oh, my, hahaha. Lourdes, I asked for my martini ages ago!”

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  • Jihad Punk

    I HATE Maureen Dowd, and none of her writings ever make sense, either. I’m like “what?” whenever I read her inane articles.


    Wait so in an article supposedly about women she instead focuses on a guy? Dumb de dumb dumb!

  • Sarah F.

    A very witty take on the column! I’ll be honest: I did like Dowd’s take on Weinergate. But with this column, I was wondering what was going on. Apparently, nothing. If anything, then Fatemeh’s paragraph captured it quite well :)

  • clare

    Wasn’t this a scene from Sex & The City 2?


  • Tom

    It’s pretty obvious that you don’t think any Western woman/man has the right to criticize the backwards, sexist laws of Saudi Arabia. In your twisted mind, Dowd’s mocking of Arab culture is actually more evil than the Saudi men who treat Saudi women like second class citizens.

  • Krista

    Yup. That’s exactly it. You totally read Fatemeh’s mind. So glad we have you here to tell us what she’s thinking.