the fall and rise of Alpha females

One Democratic image maker admiringly predicts that our two most relentless blondes will outlast everyone: “When the world ends, there will be left only a few cockroaches, Cher, Hillary and Martha.”
So ends Maureen Dowd’s column “Alpha Gals Can Prosper as Victims” in my local newspaper today, a column that begins with:
Every culture has its own way of tamping down female power, be it sexual, political or financial. Americans like to see women who wear the pants be beaten up and humiliated. Afterward, in a gratifying redemption ritual, people like to see the battered women rewarded.
Unless, of course, you’re a version of Condi Rice, who, Dowd suggests
does not need to play the victim to make people feel better about her power because she was never seen as a termagant, pushing people around and bending them to her will. She always seemed subservient to President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, a willing handmaiden and spokesman for their bellicose bidding.
When men fall from grace, it’s almost impossible for them to regain any kind of stature (except if you’re someone like Rush Limbaugh with a neo-conservative base that’s expert in denial, or if you’re one of the good ‘ol boys and your buddies keep you afloat in the background). When women fall from grace, it’s a different story — as Dowd goes on to explain:
Obviously, many men are uncomfortable with successful women, so when these women are brushed back, alpha men can take comfort in knowing alphettes are not threateningly all-powerful and they had better soften those sharp edges.
The double standard is alive and unwell.

1 thought on “the fall and rise of Alpha females

  1. “In my defense or, more accurately, as way of explanation:
    I used that quote from the Awakened Woman Newsletter because
    — while most men are not violent, most of the violence that is committed in this world is commited by men
    — while I’m sure that there are women who kidnap children and women and use them for sexual slavery, most of the people taking the lead in engaging in this kind of activity are male; that goes for hard core porno website creation and use as well
    — while we women have come a long way since the seventies (and I was certainly a radical feminist at the time), in general, we still don’t earn as much as men do the same kind of work and we don’t share political decision- making power
    — and, still, among men married to working mothers, there are still all too few who truly share family raising and household responsibilities
    While I might look at the gender equality glass as half-empty and others see it as half-full, the truth of the matter it’s still just half a glass.
    If we American women have come a long way, we’ve come that far because some vocal, energetic, and unwavering women refuse to give up the campaign.
    So, while we celebrate how far we’ve come, let’s not lose sight of just how far away we are from where we’d like to be.
    And, just think about who, what, and where the major obstacles still are to our getting there.”
    I so terribly much agree with what you said over at Ronni’s site – in your reply to all our “comments.” I would dearly love us all to “meet in the middle” as I had quoted Clinebell. But I do know that what you say is true, true, true.
    Thank you for that.

Leave a Reply