Many books on the market discuss the differing nature of the sexes. Conventional wisdom indicates that a adult male asked how to acquire someplace that he will give waies laced with compass points. ten percents of stat mis. and street names. The same conventional wisdom indicates that a adult female. asked for the same information. will give waies that contain landmarks. normally followed by the warning that “if you see [ fill in the space ] so you’ve gone excessively far. ” I chose Dowd’s book due to her attack to this antique issue.
She discusses this duality utilizing crisp humor. which seemed appealing. Her work leaves many readers express joying at her observations. many of which were wide plenty to be perceived as lampoons. Her wit. nevertheless. has an border to it. This paper will analyze Dowd’s usage of wit in the text and how that wit retains the reader’s involvement in what she has written. The Nature of Humor Something is humourous if it is perceived as being amusing. Something is ‘funny’ if it is found to be diverting. something that might do the mean individual laugh.
Humor is frequently used to convey an intended audience together. Maureen Dowd brings her readers together by leting them to portion in the absurdness of what she has written. When she writes about powerful adult females “los [ ing ] height at Oxygen” and acquiring “evicted from Barbie’s dream house” ( 104 ) she brings with these unfavorable judgments with easy understood images with the power to do the reader smiling. Togetherness? Dowd inquiries the Cinderella complex apparently shared by work forces and adult females. If adult females apparently wish to be rescued. Dowd points out. so so excessively do work forces wish to deliver them.
She observes this phenomenon through the context of films. she observes that work forces tend to deliver adult females in subservient functions. peculiarly those with whom they can non pass on: the Mexican amah in Spanglish. the Dutch amah in Girl with the Pearl Earring. and the Portuguese amah in Love Actually. Are the same work forces who are drawn to these adult females and this function of savior the same work forces that enjoy watching “Kelly Ripa in the forenoon with the sound off? ” she ponders ( 44 ) . The reader laughs at this observation. so stops to believe. What point has Dowd merely made. the reader might inquire. What more might she has to state?
By maintaining the reader amused. Dowd disarms them in the mode of a good standup comedian. turn overing on to another gag before the reader realizes that he or she has been offended or before the reader can place the serious point that she is doing. But if humor draws people together. are they truly being drawn together by this text? Dowd besides seems to seek to split by her words. While seemingly critical of the “alpha mom” married to an “alpha man” with “alpha children” that she drives about in an “alpha SUV. ” she is less sort in her unfavorable judgment of work forces. Work force. seemingly. busy a sort of oblivion in which the women’s rightist motion has non occurred.
They are still attracted to. and take advantage of. women’s exposure. And yet Dowd is non wholly sort to adult females. either. She inquiries whether adult females have regressed from the power drama of the Sexual Revolution to the power-through-sex from the “big flops of the Plastic Revolution” ( 10 ) . If adult females are regressing. she seems to state. composing something that can bring forth laughter will merely look like wit to those that don’t want to see. while possibly egging on those adult females who recognize themselves in these painful. absurd anecdotes into some signifier of action.
Is there a Solution? If a solution exist to Dowd’s concerns. it seems that she is non eager to bring forth it. It seems adequate for her to maintain her readers reading through short. aggressive anecdotes. She seems to delight in the skewed universe that exists between the sexes ; the reader is left with Maureen Dowd have oning a wry smiling while a adult male squirms uncomfortably during a conversation of which he has limited apprehension. This inclination becomes readily evident in her anecdote about the “male-dominated conserves of the FBI and the CIA” ( 86 ) .
Rather than explicate the differences that exist in the logical thinking processes of work forces and adult females. Dowd jeeringly says that work forces will neglect to work together. “clawing each other’s eyes out–no affair what colour qui vive we’re have oning this fall” ( 86 ) . She has the chance to discourse a existent issue ; nevertheless. she settles for reasoning semantic stereotypes. Dowd seemingly laughs at the feeling of “pride” that she experiences over the manner that “women have taken control of the two preeminent male conserves of America–politics and sports–and ruined them” ( 76 ) .
They are no longer sole countries of male excellence. Dowd explains ; instead. they have been “Oprah-ized. ” touched by the alpha adult female. and work forces must go more feminized in order to win. The tabular arraies of power are turning and yet Dowd is ill-defined on whether she feels that this alteration is a positive 1. Better so merely to laugh at it. instead than explicate why this feminisation is. in her eyes. a negative signifier of ruination. With her illustration. Dowd might be express joying and the reader might be express joying. but that laughter comes with the acknowledgment of a state of affairs that has no feasible decision.
Dowd’s laughter has a touch of jeer with which the reader may or may non place based upon his or her gender. Decision As stated earlier. something is humourous if it is amusing or diverting. However. amusement is sometimes bantering. missing intent. Regardless of the statements that Dowd makes throughout. that deficiency of intent is what the reader is left with. For all of her willingness to indicate out the division between the sexes. Dowd makes no attempt to propose a manner to mend the rift. This deficiency of attempt renders all of her intelligent and humorous–albeit pointed–observations virtually