Passing. It’s a phrase most of us are familiar within context of being acceptable. Are we acceptable? Are we passing? Are we getting away with it or is someone on to our deception? Depending on your gender, sexuality, race religion class etc.. “passing” is a way we describe a visceral almost corporeal sensation of knowing you don’t belong. Questioning your presence within any given status quo indicates you are not a member therefore your worth is depended upon “passing”. In the long run what you learn is that your presence was simply ornamental and you fooled no one but yourself. You thought if you knew all the rules certainly you could play the game. Guess what? You were wrong.
Mareen Dowd is the ultimately fool on the court that thinks she’s passing. That since she plays the game she’s a part of the team. After all she has all the trappings of success. She gets to play the columnist at the New York Times and has a C.V. any man in her profession would envy. Yes Maureen is the American Feminist Dream come true. White wealthy smart and sassy. She even wears lipstick.
Ms. Dowd would have us believe that she knows what it takes to play in a man’s world. Indeed in her limitless men’s world the only thing stopping women is well women. They’re so “one-dementional and emotional”. Take for instance Carrie Mathison the fictional character played by Claire Dane in “Homeland” on Showtime. Mathison’s character come next season will no longer be working at the C.I.A.. This at least for Ms. Dowd and all the real life CIA women is a victory. As she so eloquently and thoughtfully states it’s “Good Riddance” and high time. The “sisterhood” over at the real life cold blooded CIA “can’t wait for her to clean out her desk”. The bitch is dead and gone.
The C.I.A. sisterhood is fed up with the flock of fictional C.I.A. women in movies and on TV who guzzle alcohol as they bed hop and drone drop, acting crazed and emotional, sleeping with terrorists and seducing assets.
In a man’s world vulnerability is a synonym for weakness and weakness is deadly. Weakness is forbidden and a ticket out the door to hell. In short weakness has a zero tolerance policy. It’s a sure sign you’re not passing. Women know if they want to be taken seriously if they want to “pass” in a man’s world tears are forbidden. It’s the first thing we learn sets us apart from the boys. Crying like a little girl and you’re done for. Act like a girl and you can no longer play with the boys at the C.I.A.. Sainthood is a woman’s only opinion in a world made for men. I live in a man’s world like many women not out of choice but burden. It’s my fate and more pressing it’s my reality. Like many women I had no choice. The choice was already made for me. To be born a woman is to be born the opposite of a man. It’s a life to be led in the shadows of men and passing in their world is your destiny.
The legacy of passing in a man’s world that feminists inadvertently helped created is leaving behind most women regardless of color, class, religion, sexuality or political affiliation. Ms. Dowd’s feminism is outdated and mired in sainthood and sainthood has limited space for sinners much less women. Living by men’s rules is not feminism. If anything is anti-feminism and misogynistic. It leaves women undermined and afraid. It’s truly scarring to think of a woman reading this article and learning that the new standard for excellence is “briefing Condoleezza Rice while in labor”. What the fuck? I can imagine it now. Somewhere out there a man is reading Dowd’s piece and thinking well if women can brief the Secretary Of State whilst in labor certainly Brooke can handle a couple of more hours of work before she goes on maternity leave. The sisterhood of the C.I.A know how to handle their mental state like pro’s unlike Carrie that “was so strung out she contemplated drowning her baby.” They go eat sushi. Thanks for bringing attention to the fact that women are already drowning in this man’s world but consider it a victory.