David Brooks Hates Women!

sandra-bullock-oscarHaving already posted twice* on a rather unexceptional David Brooks article, I’m reluctant to weigh in a third time. But Amanda Marcotte‘s take is such a head scratcher that duty calls:

It’s always been obvious David Brooks has always had a problem with women who succeed, but even I was surprised that his vendetta against famous, successful women became so hysterical this morning that he insinuated that Sandra Bullock should have been at home making a sandwich instead of winning an Oscar, and that would have saved her marriage.

She continues along that vein for several more paragraphs but, er, you get the point.

Brooks is implying nothing of the sort. I’d be shocked if he didn’t have deep empathy for Bullock’s sense of betrayal. Not to mention befuddlement that some tattooed motorcycle mechanic who’s hit the jackpot risked it all to step out with some creepy tattooed woman of whom no one has ever  heard. Or maybe that’s just me.

In any case, Brooks was doing what pundits have been doing since time immemorial: Using a topical event as a hook for a column he otherwise wanted to write.

The juxtaposition of Bullock’s winning the Oscar and the revelation of her husband’s betrayal in such close proximately was striking. But the idea that her husband would have been faithful if only Bulloch had been less powerful in her portrayal of a mother adopting an underprivileged behemoth almost certainly never crossed Brooks’ mind.

That Marcotte would read something so bizarre into such a benign column is just baffling.

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*See Misery Loves . . . More Misery and Marriage and Happiness

FILED UNDER: Gender Issues, Popular Culture, , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. CGHill says:

    Expecting anything from La Marcotte other than “Girls rule, boys drool” is pretty much a waste of time.

  2. Robert Prather says:

    Yeah, she’s consistently like that. I had her site in my RSS reader for a couple of years but couldn’t take it any more.

  3. john personna says:

    Interesting dynamic when a woman with so many choices chooses the bad boy, the “tattooed motorcycle mechanic” no less. Part must be a sense of Alpha Male, but part might be a signal to other women that we can (or she thought) control him.

    Ah well, now as probably in ancient times, that kind of alpha burns bright, and burns out.

  4. Slartibartfast says:

    That Marcotte would read something so bizarre into such a benign column is just baffling.

    You haven’t been reading Marcotte long, right? She can make practically anything into a slight against all women.

  5. Eric Florack says:

    That Marcotte would read something so bizarre into such a benign column is just baffling.

    That’s a polite way of putting it, James, but the fact is it isn’t baffling at all. She simply turning on “the angry feminist”. It’s clear, that everything that she comes up with gets filtered through that rather narrow mindset. Think Andrew Sullivan, the without the accompanying the transition to the far left. She started there.

  6. Dodd says:

    Amanda Marcotte’s take is such a head scratcher

    James, you don’t have time to scratch every such itch. Not even the unemployed have that kind of time.

  7. TangoMan says:

    That Marcotte would read something so bizarre into such a benign column is just baffling.

    As others have already noted, Marcotte really isn’t off her game, this is her schtick. This is the filter through which she sees the world.

  8. Eric Florack says:

    There does seem to be something to the idea that she goes off the deep end like this just about every 28 days or so.

  9. Raoul says:

    Marcotte used a stupid column as a hook just as Brooks used a celebrity divorce as a hook. You should have left it at “Brooks wrote an unexceptional column.”

  10. Steve Verdon says:

    But Amanda Marcotte’s take is such a head scratcher…

    I had to read just that to know the point of this post was about something stupid someone else wrote. Marcotte’s way of thinking is almost singular and fits exactly with Dave Schuler’s line of “when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail…” She’s basically a monomanical nutter.

    But what the heck, sometimes shooting fish in a barrel is fun…just don’t do it too often.

  11. Julian says:

    “So the philosophic question of the day is: Would you take that as a deal? Would you exchange a tremendous professional triumph for a severe personal blow?”

    Those are Mr. Brooks words, which Ms. Marcotte is responding to. Her point here is that this, and other passages from Mr. Brooks column, imply that there was some sort of trade off here; that by getting the Oscar she got the cheating. Really, it isn’t a very difficult reading. Why did he not write, “How much would you enjoy tremendous personal triumphs when faced with a severe personal blow?” or, “Hopefully, her tremendous personal triumph will assuage the pain of such a severe personal blow”, but he didn’t. Instead, he called it a trade. And he wrote this regarding an article arguing that men and women would be much happier is they just accepted traditional marital roles instead of pursuing their careers. Need I point out that such an argument only calls for a change from women, considering that the traditional male marriage role is to pursue a career? I’ve seen profs read much greater implications out of a text than this rather obvious one. Seems to me it is you, not she, that doth protest too much.

    And really, if your argument were so strong, why would you have to rely on the strawman you introduce by getting so specific about Ms. Bullock’s award? Ms. Marcotte’s argument is “Brooks dislikes successful women” not, “Brooks dislikes women who successfully portray yada yada yada”. Her comments regarding Hollywood are, primarily, satirical ones aimed at Mr. Brooks typical opinion of that industry. In other words, her argument is a general one about Mr. Brooks’ character, one which she expands on by discussing his comments regarding Ms. Pelosi as well. Much easier to just call Amanda a crazy woman and dismiss her argument than to actually attempt to engage her comments in legitimate debate, I guess.

  12. Dr. Beef Wellington says:

    “There does seem to be something to the idea that she goes off the deep end like this just about every 28 days or so.”

    Yes, Eric, let’s try to discredit a feminist we don’t agree with by claiming that it has to do with her menstrual cycle. Absolutely brilliant.

  13. Chet says:

    There does seem to be something to the idea that she goes off the deep end like this just about every 28 days or so.

    Uh-huh. Yeah, can’t imagine why Marcotte would see slights against women almost everywhere she looks! Must just be PMS!

    Brooks is implying nothing of the sort.

    Are you sure? How else might we interpret this:

    If you have a successful marriage, it doesn’t matter how many professional setbacks you endure, you will be reasonably happy. If you have an unsuccessful marriage, it doesn’t matter how many career triumphs you record, you will remain significantly unfulfilled.

    It seems pretty clear to me; Brooks is pretty clearly implying that Bollock would have been better served giving up her professional success to make sure her man stayed at home. I think you’re just playing the “not my Nigel!” game, here; you can’t bear to think of a sexist bone in Brooks’ body, ergo you refuse to see pretty blatant sexism on his part.

  14. MikeF says:

    That Marcotte would read something so bizarre into such a benign column is just baffling.

    Even more so, considering the all the drama surrounding her book a couple years ago – you’d think that experience would give her pause when it comes to tossing around accusations about character and intent, but I guess some people are slow learners.

  15. David says:

    Marcotte prefers husbands like John Edwards. Recall: she briefly worked for his campaign, and defended him amidst the charges of adultery and paternity.

    So, no. It should not be baffling in least that Marcotte would be the one to miss the obvious.

  16. Eric Florack says:

    Uh-huh. Yeah, can’t imagine why Marcotte would see slights against women almost everywhere she looks! Must just be PMS!

    I suggest that the kind of stupidity she comes up with so frequently needs ridicule, and possibly the free samples of Midol.

    I suggest further that her coming up with the nonsense that Brooks is sexist, makes about as much sense as the tea parties being racist.. and for the same reasons.But, as with most liberals, it doesn’t have to make sense , it just has to be loud. Try again, Chet.

  17. Snaporaz says:

    Yeah, it makes no sense to call tea baggers shouting nigger at a black congressman racist.

    Try again, Flomax.

  18. Dr. Beef Wellington says:

    Try again, Chet? You’re the one making middle school jokes about women’s periods. Try again, Eric. Try to not sound like a child, and talk about the woman on the merits of her arguments. I don’t agree with her, clearly, but you sound ridiculous.

  19. Eric Florack says:

    That’s just it; Her arguments HAVE no merits. On that basis it seems logical to search for some other cause for their genesis. Or are we to simply let the nonsensical arguments she presents to win in absentia?

    And yes, I sound ridiculous. No argument.

    That’s one of the essences of humor, and of ridicule, after all. Think not? Watch some of the crap that gets tossed my way, simply because I dare to be to the right of some in here.