Inky readers’ creative juices spout like Yellowstone geysers when it comes to dreaming up nicknames for rad-fem and Karl Marx fan Barbara Ehrenreich, the New York Times’s new July columnist who’s joined NYT regular Maureen (MoDo) Dowd to help turn summer into the silly season on West 42nd Street. Last week, reader S.M. coined the monicker “BarbEhrian” for Barbara. (See Mailbag: Barbara the BarbEhrian and Manifesta Feminista Amy Richards, July 20.) Fellow blogger Cassandra (of I Love Jet Noise) has yet another nickname: “Ms. EhrenReich,” perhaps in honor of Barb’s famous belief that someone out there should be forcing men to do more housework. Writes Cassandra:
“I read your July 20th piece on the BarbEhrian with amusement. As Paul Krugman isn’t nearly prolific enough to provide my readers with a steady stream of amusement, we are always looking for new Times writers to vilify. In that regard, Ms. EhrenReich seems almost too good to be true.
Cassandra also offers this link to a “compendium of BarbEhric quotes” on the TimesWatch site. Here’s Cassandra’s favorite:
“Today’s right-wing women, the spiritual descendants of the Women’s KKK, are far more overtly hostile to feminists than to any racial or ethnic ‘others.'”
Could Barb by chance have been referring to the IWF? But here’s my own favorite:
“The Communist Manifesto is well worth the $12 that Verso is asking. Despite the hype, its message is a timeless one that bears repeating every century or so: The meek shall triumph and the mighty shall fall; the hungry and exhausted will get restless and someday–someday!–rise up against their oppressors. The prophet Isaiah said something like this, and so, a little more recently, did Jesus.’
At least we know where Barbara stands on the ideological spectrum.
Reader M.J. takes note of Barb’s commencement speech this June at Barnard College, in which Barb seemed shocked, shocked, that women soldiers joined in the prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib–women are supposed to be too nice for that! M.J. e-mails:
“It’s not available online, but the Dallas Morning News reprinted part of Barbara Ehrenreich’s speech to Barnard College graduates about Abu Ghraib, and then got several prominent feminists to chime in, including Gloria Steinem.”
Actually, we intrepid Inkies found Barb’s speech on the web–although not Gloria’s reaction–and here it is. M.J. continues:
“Feminism, in some incarnations, has been guilty of believing the old party line that women are better in some way than men. It’s just reverse logic, really–turning the tables on a patriarchy that believed that men were better than women. Steinem tried to deny it in her reaction to Ehrenreich, but it really blew up in her face at the end: ‘So it’s important to have a critical mass of women and non-dominant men making decisions everywhere, especially in this nuclear age. But as long as there is one gentle man, the problem is not men – it’s masculinity.'”
Oh, gee, just what I’d love to have around: a non-masculine man! No wonder radical feminism isn’t going anywhere.
And K. S. writes to remind us that Tammy “Stand By Your Man” Wynette is dead and thus can’t deliver Hillary Clinton a plate of chocolate-chip cookies–Suzanne Fields’ humorous idea of a consolation prize to Hillary for agreeing not to upstage John F. Kerry at the upcoming Democratic convention. (See Ms. Wynette Should Be Pleased As Punch, July 22.) K.S. writes:
“I think Ms. Fields meant that Hillary Clinton–not Tammy Wynette–should take a plate of her chocolate chip cookies. Tammy Wynette died in 1998, you know.”
Well, maybe. But poor Hillary probably feels as though she’s eating crow, not cookies, since the Clinton-freaked Dems have refused to let her speak, except to introduce the man she’s standing by, hubster Bill.