More on Quindlen

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on April 15, 2002

I missed this last week when I read Newsweek columnist Anna Quindlen the riot act over her anti-man-all-women-are-victims-and-men-should-just-go-away-forever essay, but Stanley Kurtz wrote a great essay taking Quindlen and the New York Times' Maureen Dowd to task and suggesting a new holiday.

Here, I think, we have the germ of an idea for a simply spectacular feminist holiday � one that can succeed in wiping out "gender" in a way that Take Our Daughters to Work Day cannot. Feminists need to turn April 25 into Women Date Down Day � a day on which successful women everywhere are encouraged to ask less successful men out on dates (naturally, the women should do the asking). Participation may be limited in the early years, but the eventual success of Women Date Down Day promises to work a change in gender roles in a way that Take Our Daughters to Work Day never will.

Women Date Down Day has several advantages over Take Our Daughters to Work Day. For one thing, both men and women can participate. This should silence the complaints of those who worry about boys being left behind on Take Our Daughters to Work Day. Second, Women Date Down Day can fill the vacuum left by the old Sadie Hawkins Day, which is no longer observed. Of course, Sadie Hawkins Day was about women chasing after men for a date, but in the feminist version, the rules will be changed. Women will still chase men, but they have to be less successful men.

Kurtz addressed a recent column by Maureen Dowd called "The Baby Bust" in which Dowd recounted an encounter with a man at a dinner party.

At the opening of "The Sweet Smell of Success" last month, a successful New York guy I know took me aside for a lecture that was anything but sweet.

He said he had wanted to ask me out on a date when he was between marriages, but nixed the idea because my job made me too intimidating.

Men, he told me, prefer women who seem malleable and overawed. He said I would never find a mate, because if there's one thing men fear, it's a woman who uses her critical faculties. Will she be critical of absolutely everything?

My first thought at reading this was that this guy was an insecure wimp, and if that is how he feels about the women he dates, it's no wonder that the guy was "between marriages." I'm going to make a prediction, this guy's new marriage won't last either, unless he makes some serious attitude adjustments. Successful women don't intimidate me. Assertive, opinionated women are attractive, at least to me. Dowd's problem isn't with men in general, but rather with the type of men she encounters in her social life.

I'm willing to date a more successful woman, mainly because journalists are really near the bottom of the food chain. One of the jokes in journalism school was if you want to make a lot of money -- marry rich. I'm still looking for someone to support my journalism habit.

So, any brave women out there, I encourage you to participate in "Women Date Down Day!" You can change the world.


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April 2002



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