Modo’s Keep – The Sterile Castle

Modo’s Keep – The Sterile Castle January 13, 2005

The more I read Maureen Dowd the more I’ve come to believe the woman is staggeringly ill-equipped to deal with life.

In today’s rant – the poor thing can do nothing unless ranting is involved – she is going after men, all men. An entire gender has ticked her off.


They don’t want to date her, or to marry her.


Because she’s a strong woman who wants to be treated as an equal! She actually implies that she is the equivalent of Katharine Hepburn, in my beloved old movies of 50 or 70 years ago, and that modern men cannot deal with the likes of la Dowd, or Carrie Fisher.

In Maureen Dowd’s world, all men want their mommies – or worse…they want women of the “service” class to be their mommies!

Okay, all you secretaries, administrative assistants, nurses, personal assistants, housekeepers, nannies and event planners, listen up, because Dowd is going after you, too: You may have fallen for the pretty idea that there is such a thing as “sisterhood” out there, you may have been naive enough to believe that the career choices you make are YOUR choices, and therefore completely worthy of respect, but don’t be fooled. Maureen and her ilk are the strong women in non-traditional, non-nurturing, masculine-scented professions, and (pay attention to this, because it is very important you understand it) sisterhood be damned, they are your betters!

Got that? If you have chosen some namby-pamby, girly profession – if you are a florist who owns a small business, for example – you’re simply not on the same tier as Dowd and her rarified Miss Lonely Hearts. Oh, you might have a “career” but everyone knows you’d give it up in a heartbeat to (shudder) breed, or to move if your better-employed, more powerful husband’s job decrees relocation. So, you know…your little flower shop, your little bakery, your little assistant’s desk, while very nice, are in the end simply irrelevant. Like you, they exist only as a means to an end.

Oh, I’m sorry, did I call you a “means to an end?” Forgive me, but these are not my sentiments, they are Ms. Dowd’s. She may not have used those exact words, “a means to an end,” but make no mistake, Dowd has reduced you to that cold, pragmatic category in order to make her point that men only want women they can depend upon, look to for support, companionship, advice and yes, nurturing (because healthy and strong relationships require that both partners be able to nurture each other.) You people are a means to an end, you get men what they want and need so they can keep going on being…you know…(wrinkle the nose)…men!

That’s the problem, you know. The nurturing. You “little” women are too soft, too willing to nurture.

You’re too interested in looking outside of yourself and actually considering your partnership with a man as something larger than both of you.

You see what fools you are? You’re too stupidly willing to be giving up some portion of yourself to the man! And the man is only going to exploit that and make you his mommie. You’re not supposed to be giving up anything! If any giving-up-of-oneself is to be done, it had better damned well be the man who is doing it, otherwise the relationship you are in is not a “good” one. It is not politically correct. It is not affirming. It is not the feminist ideal.

Until you get the testicles into the mayonnaise jar and stored properly out of sight in some cobwebby cupboard, your “relationship” is a grand delusion, and you’re just mommying the man.

Listen to Maureen – she knows! She’s been writing about the problem of those rotten men since before Christmas. In Maureen Dowd’s impovished and bitter world, men and women really don’t understand each other, and don’t want to understand each other. They are warring entities who circle around each other but who never quite pierce each other’s core to come to the place of grace.

It’s very sad, really. Terribly sad. Apparently women who are in Ms. Dowd’s position, whose identities are completely wrapped up in what they do, cannot let their guards down, cannot let anyone in – really in – because they are afraid (oh so very, very afraid) that if they let someone in…they might be exploited, that the inborn gift of nurturing that is so much a gift of what Pope John Paul II calls “the feminine genius” might be coaxed out of them…and then trampled upon.

Nothing great comes easy. And being trampled on is a risk you take when you’re out to gain something great.

Really, how sad. How bleak. It seems there is a castle and a Keep, but it is not a romantic castle housing a princess eagerly awaiting the arrival of her prince, with airy rooms and open-access. Rather it is a cold and dank castle, its walls un-scaleble, with drawbridge drawn and crocs in the moat, a prison of choice, a separate and protective keep. Should a prince approach, he will have to woo the princess from a distance, as she gazes down upon him with narrowed eyes and inquires as to whether he completely understands the primacy of her title; she warns that he’d better know right now exactly what-up-with-which-she-will-not-put.

And he’d better be happy with steel wool and scouring powder, because that’s basically all she’s going to bring to the party, until she knows with some certainty that her consort understands his place and will not usurp, will not harbor expectations, will not ask for anything he cannot get on his own.

Horrible. Unhopefully bleak. I read this and look at this sterile castle and my heart just breaks for this woman and all the things she simply does not get, and all the gifts and pleasures she will never have, as she wanders through her empty Keep.

There is some comfort, of course, in noting that this does seem to be one issue on which she cannot blame George W. Bush. Yet.

Maureen Dowd wrote the wrong book
Mo Dowd Needs to Consider Her Uterus
In the Spirit of Christmas, a letter to Mo Dowd

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