Reader S.M. who identifies herself as in the military, urges that we supplement our monthly MoDo watch with a “watch” on Maureen Dowd’s new soul-sister on the New York Times editorial page, Barbara Ehrenreich. E-mails S.M.:

“In addition to MoDo, you need a column called ‘BarbErhian.’ This lady is an honorary chair for the Democratic Socialists of America, and is speaking at commencements to thousands of impressionable young Americans! I have to defend (literally) her right to do so, but that doesn’t mean I don’t also have the right to reveal her to others in all her leftist glory.

“I am a military member and supervisor, and it makes me laugh that B.E. thinks depravity is a gender-specific concept. ‘Feminist naivete,’ my left foot! Women can be as evil as men. However, we take away those people and we have thousands upon thousands upon thousands of women (not to mention the men!) who are doing their job, doing it well, and making us proud….

“Poor little Abu Ghraib people–they forget in their victimization what Hollywood illustrated so well in ‘A Few Good Men’–that military men and women are not trained to be mindless robots, but to obey legal orders. The courage of the men and/or women who informed the chain of command that these acts were happening should get more press time–they are the heroes of Abu Ghraib. There are 300,000-plus troops involved in the war on terror (of which the war on Iraq is part)–the focus should be on them….Please continue to support them and their families however you can!”

Good for you, S.M.! The Other Charlotte and I have often hooted at the feminist argument (bought by ninnies like Ehrenreich until Abu Ghraib) that  women are too nice to torture people. We’ve also argued, as you do, that Abu Ghraib was an aberation, not the norm. We support and respect our nation’s military. And we love the title “BarbEhrian” for a Barb Watch column!

Reader M.B.H. e-mails:

“I was just wondering if you read this article in the New York Times magazine on Sunday. It was about having a ‘pregnancy reduction,’ that is, destroying two of three embryos, to avoid having triplets. I support (limited) legal abortions, but the tone of this article was so chilling. Very creepy. It conveys to me the worst aspect of the pro-abortion folks. Ending a life gets reduced to choice and convenience; they seem quite callous about extinguishing a life.”

The IWF has no official position on abortion, and we welcome both pro-life and pro-choice women (like M.B.H.) among our supporters. But whatever you think about abortion, you’re likely to agree with M.B.H. that the NYT magazine article, by Amy Richards as told to Amy Barrett, was pretty appalling, trivializing a daunting and difficult situation. Amy Richards says:

“When I found out about the triplets, I felt like: …[N]ow I’m going to have to move to Staten Island. I’ll never leave my house because I’ll have to care for these children. I’ll have to start shopping only at Costco and buying big jars of mayonnaise.”

Eeeww! Moving from chic Manhattan to one of those dullsville outer boroughs! No more clubbing! Shopping at Costco with the little people!

It figures that Amy Richards is co-author (with Jennifer Baumgardner) of Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism and the Future. The book argues that although you might think that radical feminism is as old-hat as Betty Friedan, it’s actually alive and well among young women, or as least among the likes of Amy Richards, now 34, and Jennifer Baumgardner. The signs of life the pair see: women’s soccer (although that, on the professional level, died last year), the Lilith Festival, and mags like Bust, Sassy, and Jane. Oh.

Like most rad-fems, Amy Richards claims to speak for all women as sisters in oppression, but her NYT article, “One Is Enough,” makes it clear that she, like most rad-fems, actually speaks for a small slice of the elite: the gals who wouldn’t be caught dead shopping at Costco or setting up housekeeping in a dowdy middle-class neighborhood like Staten Island. Of course, however, we wish the best for her and the one baby she did decide to keep.