Saturday, March 7, 2009

Where do feminists learn to write so badly?

Clicking through from Ann Althouse, I wasn't sure what to think of this Judith Warner column in the New York Times. I wasn't sure what to think because Warner is so damnably foggy as to what it is she wants to say except maybe, "I am a woman. And a mother. And life is sometimes inconvenient. Hear me roar."

I take it that Warner is some kind of feminist, and perhaps the sister-in-law, niece or college roommate of someone very important at The New York Times Co., because I can't imagine why anyone would want to read such useless drivel as this:
. . . I saw this very clearly the other day, in a chance email exchange with my friend D.
She had written me to share some anxieties about the recession. They were very real and very pressing, and in the past, I would have responded with very pertinent examples of how things were much worse for me.
This time, however, tapping into great human reserves of calm and centeredness, I tried instead to lead her into staying with her feelings.
"Hang in there. Things will be O.K.," I wrote. . . .
She gets paid to write that crap. A "chance email exhange"? As opposed to what? A carefully orchestrated email exchange?

Then you notice her thumbnail bio, which tells you that Warner was the author of a 2005 New York Times bestseller. And yet "things are much worse for" her?

At which point, you struggle to resist the hope that she invested her money -- all of it -- with Bernie Madoff. You struggle, but you don't struggle too hard.

UPDATE: A woman whose blog title I greatly admire has some thoughts.


  1. Keep in mind Deborah Harris' book, "You Just Don't Understand". This tome of pseudo goddess-worshipping psychobabble has a point. Men will mention a problem - and expect a solution. Women will report a problem - and expect emotional validation. Women will present relevant examples of similar distress situation to demonstrate they understand the feelings and have shared the experience.

    The example you cite, about a "chance email exchange" is opposed to a message as a response or in a sequence, probably triggered by an unexpected event not affecting Ms. Warner.

    Within the genre of Goddess-induced psychobabble, this style of writing is quite appropriate.

    I just don't read much of it. If they wanted to convey their meaning to someone outside their clique, they would write using King's English..

    For your excerpt I might have written, "My friend D sent an email, worried about the recession. Before the economy tanked like it has, I had agreed that my life sucks, too. This time I tried to reassure her." At least, I think that is about what Ms. Warner related.

    So, please let this writer be. Your interpretation ("writes so badly") makes it look like you are sour about not belonging to their 'club'. When really you just haven't mastered the art of Goddess-induced psychobabble. (BTW, I encountered a site today using the word "goddessing" in a sentence. *shudder*. )

  2. Ha, an Althouse link! Diverse blog reading or shameless link whoring? McCain, have you no decency, Sir?

    (She gets huge traffic, whatever it is!)

  3. Poor writing and feminism go hand-in-hand, as any college student who has taken a Great Literature class can tell you. A couple of decades ago the feminists decided there were too many Dead White Males in the Canon so they threw a bunch out and made room for lackluster tomes distinguished only by the fact they had been penned by women.

    Now that anything can be good as long as a woman writes it - the precedent was set quite a while ago.

  4. McCain, you heartless bastard! Leave the poor feminist idiots alone. You probably hurt the poor little princess's feelings.

    Damn, man you are funny and sadistically sarcastic. Me likee.

    I would love to see you and Ann Coulter in a dueling liberal twit putdown contest.


  5. Dear Mr. McCain,

    Perhaps you meant "writes so poorly".