Jewish World Review Feb. 20, 2003/ 18 Adar I, 5763

Marianne M. Jennings

Marianne M. Jennings
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Diabolical women | You don't generally see that kind of behavior in dentists. They're a little rough around the edges with high-pressure water drills during crown work, but dentists don't run roughshod over others with a Mercedes. However, Clara Harris, dentist, ran over her fellow dentist/husband three times with her Mercedes, thus ending his life and their LLC. She did solve her problem with his adultery, the goal of this upper-class road rage outside a Houston Hilton where Dr. Harris found Dr. Harris with his paramour, their receptionist.

Speaking on behalf of married women everywhere, I am grateful for the most clout we've had since Fatal Attraction. There's not a married man in America who is not looking seven ways for his wife's car when leaving hotel business meetings, even those with Rosie O'Donnell or Ellen.

Yeehaw! Houston is one tough town. It has given us Enron's collapse, Andrea Yates' murder of her five children, and the Clara Harris murder trial, complete with deceased Dr. Harris's parents testifying for Clara. They are either the world's most supportive in-laws or filled with resentment over root canals.

As tempting as it is to place causation with Houston's London Broil climate, bizarre behavior by women is not confined to Southeast Texas. We're into Lizzie Borden territory here.

Women have it all, the feminist goal foisted upon us by Betty Friedan, including a diabolical desperation among "career gals," who walk the edges of national-news-type implosion. Cherie Blair, wife of Britain's prime minister, and herself a renowned barrister, relies on a spiritualist who showers with her at #10 Downing Street so that Mrs. Blair can get the toxins scrubbed from her body. London breeches falling down.

A new novel, I Don't Know How She Does It, features Kate Reddy, mother, hedge-fund manager, and, daft. Kate, a having-it-all role model, handles international currency exchange rates and micromanage her children's diet: no chicken in restaurants because the chickens from whence it came might have been given antibiotics. But, Kate is downright evil at work. To punish a fellow fund manager who has, feminists, avert your eyes, posted va-voom pictures on his computer, Ms. Reddy and her female colleagues hatch an elaborate plot to have him buy a worthless company, thereby costing him his job and his clients their funds. Nice babes!

Feminists have embraced and hailed this book, referring to its author, Allison Pearson, as the "Jane Austen of working women." They adore this fictional witch's retaliation and whining.

There's a feminist arm around Clara Harris, too. The brilliant PR strategy of Clara's handlers has been to portray the now-departed Dr. Harris as a boorish oaf who demanded that the lead-footed Clara lose some weight because she was "too big," while the airhead receptionist had a "perfect body." Poor Clara had put down a $5,000 deposit for breast enlargement and liposuction. A feminist enduring these surgeries is akin to an environmentalist driving an SUV. The Texas jury didn't buy this claptrap on a husband who was part of the vast slender hip conspiracy and deserved to die. Clara got 20 years.

In their drive for success on all fronts, women snap. Pressure does strange things to all genders. Manslaughter is the original crime of passion, created to allow lesser punishment for murders committed when a man found his wife in bed with another man. Finding one's husband coming out of the Hilton elevator, hand-in-hand with your employee, is fairly close to the classic crime. But running over the unfaithful spouse 3 times is brutality writ large. 50 mph thrice times over is not part of the exemption.

There are more nasty working women than nice. If I asked for a show of hands from readers who had trouble working for a female boss, the rustle raised hands against newspaper kicks up would generate a Kilowatt hour or two. Women under pressure have a mean streak that could make Attila the Hun blush.

In a new book on Carly Fiorina, the CEO of Hewlett-Packard, George Anders documents outgoing CEO Lew Platt's frustration with her, "She doesn't want to take any advice." Ms. Fiorina referred to Hewlett-Packard and Compaq, during secret merger discussions, as Heloise (HP) and Abelard (Compaq), lovers from French medieval literature. Abelard was castrated.

Having it all brings out the worst in women. Under pressure, they murder, plot, destruct, diabolically revenge, and bathe with spiritualists. Having it all is not all it's cracked up to be, so to speak. Interestingly, Kate quits hedging and moves to a home in the country for some time with the kids, a little peace and quite, and a husband free from the perils of burning rubber. A little less achievement could be the release valve for the post-feminist pressure-cooker. Having it all is driving women crazy.

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JWR contributor Marianne M. Jennings is a professor of legal and ethical studies at Arizona State University. Send your comments by clicking here.


02/14/03: Deadhead poets and society
02/07/03: Misguided compassionate conservative
01/31/03: The Wisk "fix it!" mentality
01/24/03: There are only two types of people in the U.S.: Trial lawyers and their clients and those who have had to pay trial lawyers and their clients
01/16/03: "My ex is a minority, so I deserve special treatment"
01/07/03: Why libs will never have a Rush Limbaugh
01/02/03: The year that was
12/26/02: Capital offenses, power and Harry Potter
12/20/02: Mundane superlatives cause trouble
12/09/02: Let the sacking begin
12/05/02: Amazing Grace that saved me from my CO2 emissions
11/27/02: Free speech, Harvard, and First Amendment looneys
11/25/02: Eminem culture
11/14/02: Hollywood trash
11/04/02: Patron Kennedy Saints
10/28/02: What the snipers and Moose taught
10/22/02: Nobel Prizes and other ventriloquist acts
10/17/02: The window on the liberal mind and war
10/14/02: Leaders don't change; followers do
10/07/02: Do it yourself
09/27/02: Hosers rise again
09/20/02: Girly gridiron
09/13/02: Erudite buffoons
09/11/02: One year later, crass demands, greed, and litigation are back --- but rights are diminished
09/06/02: Public schools: An unqualified success
08/30/02: The Shakespearean tragedy of affirmative action
08/23/02: Hollywood Joe's admission
08/15/02: Cheapskates
08/08/02: Ode to a coal miner
08/02/02: Sarah Brady's gun gift
07/26/02: Don't do it, Tiger
07/18/02: Reality Muppets
07/09/02: We're all going to die, live with it
07/02/02: From the eye of the storm
06/27/02: Nick not right
06/20/02: Behind the music
06/14/02: The sum of all fears in vouchers
06/06/02: Where was Agent Rowley when the FBI needed her?
05/30/02: Of big hair and sanity
05/24/02: Should I embrace liberalism?
05/20/02: Some passion about Israel
05/09/02: A mother who cares enough
05/02/02: Go ahead, pass judgment
04/29/02: The irritation of the modern wedding
04/18/02: Claire's life
04/15/02: Harvard takes off its pants one leg at a time
04/09/02: The Clinton legacy: Politics of personal destruction
03/31/02: Oscars' subtle bigotry was embarrassing
03/22/02: Blame Oprah, Rosie, Sally, Ted, David
03/14/02: The costs of women's feeble choices
03/08/02: Botoxic faces
02/28/02: The dangers of organized philanthropy
02/25/02: Don't take the gold
02/14/02: Ease up on the brothers and sisters
02/11/02: Because I was courted
02/05/02: Fat fault
01/24/02: Tolerance does not mean stupidity
01/17/02: Too old too soon
01/10/02: Ethically challenged firms
01/03/02: The year that was
12/27/01: The Twelve Days of inconsistency
12/20/01: Free Speech and the political spectrum
12/13/01: Curbing brats
12/06/01: Power to influence
11/29/01: The disappearing art of grading
11/21/01: The Big Two-Five
11/13/01: You can never find a lib when you need one
11/01/01: Unlucky in sports
10/26/01: An epidemic of counselitis
10/16/01: A touch of class
10/12/01: Of human nature and monsters
10/05/01: Sensitive man
10/01/01: Post-September 11 security
09/20/01: No tinhorn terrorists can frighten us
09/06/01: If there is no honor in youth sports, it is because of the adults
08/27/01: The draw of Condit
08/23/01: Lowering expectations and flying high
08/17/01: Thoreau, Walden and stems cells
08/13/01: Our masters: The animals
07/30/01: When principle hits too close to home
07/13/01: Rage born of sublimation
07/06/01: Patient's rights and the Valley of Death
06/29/01: There is no excuse
06/21/01: I want an eternal soulmate, but the marriage thing is another issue
06/14/01: Which way maverick McCain? An Arizonan's perspective
06/07/01: No stroke of genius
05/30/01: The lesson of the Mr. Green Jeans senator: 'Moderate' is a classy term for wishy-washy
05/25/01: Baseball has not been so good to me
05/18/01: Clothes make the woman
05/11/01: Selective precaution
05/04/01: Grades: Equality of students, by students, for the students
04/27/01: The Horowitz revelations as seen by a college professor
04/20/01: First, let's kill all the tests
04/13/01: The continuing mistake of underpricing electricity
04/06/01: That pill, Julia Roberts
03/29/01: If it weren't for the parents, we might accomplish something
03/23/01: The melt down of the academy
03/15/01: Columbine redux: Moral infants
03/09/01: The lessons of Tom and Nicole
03/01/01: Pardon the temporary outrage
02/23/01: In defense of homework
02/20/01: A Message for faith-based organizations: Don't take the money, just run
02/06/01: Enough already with the Clintoons
01/26/01: The challenge to be better than we have been
01/19/01: Where have you gone Frieda Pushnik?
12/29/00: The year that was
12/23/00: Litigation: It's the American way
12/15/00: In defense of rhetoric
12/06/00: The company we keep: Lawyers and elections
12/01/00: Liberals' art of trashing of women
11/20/00: Put me out of my misery
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11/13/00: When it's broke, fixing it wouldn't offend the Framers
11/08/00: ELECTION 2000: I SURRENDER
10/27/00: Al in the package? Memo to women: Choosing presidents and husbands
10/20/00: Ten things the gay community should understand
10/13/00: "You Have a Lump."
10/06/00: The government as the pharmacy: Don't
09/29/00: The capacity for truth
09/22/00: Charity with strings and an agenda
09/15/00: The taming of the shrew: Gloria Steinem takes a husband
09/09/00: Why rich folk don't bother me none
08/28/00: Survival of the not-so-fit but conniving
08/25/00: Conventions: A study in contrasts
08/18/00: Resenting the accusations of racial prejudice
08/04/00: Women: Their own worst enemy
07/21/00: Hillary: Our longshoreman First Lady
07/21/00: SUVs: The root of all evil
07/14/00: The basketball gene and white men not jumping so well
07/07/00: I wanna be around
06/23/00: The liberal conversion
06/14/00: Sex and the City: The shallow but vulgar female
06/08/00: No excuses schools
06/02/00: Oh, Canada: Our Nutty Neighbors to the North
05/23/00: The new mollycoddling coach
05/16/00: On adultery and leadership
05/12/00: Taking your lumps
05/02/00: Elian: There's never a liberal around when you need one
04/25/00: Life's circle and tenderness
04/18/00: Womyn who want it both ways
04/11/00: The monsters we're raising with the ergo proposition
04/05/00: Endowing the Hooters Chair for Literature Appreciation
03/28/00: Dr. Laura: The passive/aggressive kid's mom
03/21/00: Dough and campaigns
03/14/00: The volunteerism of conscription and pomp
03/07/00: Hope and pray that religion remains a force in politics
02/29/00: Ditzes in TV Land
02/22/00: Cranky nitpickers make writing a [sic] experience
02/15/00: Those chameleon 60s activists
02/08/00: McCandidate McCain: Flirting with principles
02/01/00: The demise of marriage
01/25/00: Stroke of the pen, law of the land: Clinton's Camelot
01/18/00: Off the Rocker Rorschach Test
01/11/00: Oprah's lemmings
01/04/00: Struggling mightily amidst the comfort
12/23/99: Confused fathers
12/14/99: Drop-kicking the homeless
12/07/99: Turtles and teamsters, side-by-side in Seattle
11/29/99: When conservatives behave badly
11/22/99: Compassionate conservative: Timing and targets
11/18/99: The elusive human spirit and accountability
11/11/99: Succumbing to the intellectual child within with the help of crackpots and screwballs
10/28/99: Live by litigation, die by litigation
10/22/99: Jesse, Warren, Cybill, Donald and Oprah
10/14/99: Inequality and injustice: It's the big one
10/05/99: Dan Quayle, morals and schoolyard bullies
09/30/99: The monsters of epidermal parenting
09/21/99: The Diversity Hoax
09/15/99: Waco Wackos
09/09/99: Selective censorship
09/01/99: The village, the children, judicial imperialism and abortion
08/24/99: Naughty Newt?
08/17/99: In defense of Boy Scouts and judgment
08/10/99: Ruining the finest health care system in the world
08/03/99: Nihilism and politics: ethics on the lam
07/26/99: Of women, soccer and removed jerseys
07/23/99: Not in despair, a mere mortal doing just fine
07/20/99: "Why me?" How about "Why us?"
07/13/99: Bunk, junk & juries
07/06/99: An Amish woman in a Victoria's Secret store
06/30/99: That intellectually embarrassing Second Amendment
06/24/99: Patricia Ireland eat your heart out --- but check out the recipe in 'women's mags' first
06/22/99: Dems and the Creator coup
06/17/99: True courage is more than just admitting troubles

© 2002, Marianne M. Jennings