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How Gender Turf Wars Tainted the 20th Anniversary of 9/11

As Americans gathered earlier this month to commemorate the tragedy of 9/11, it presented a rare moment of national healing at a time of great polarization. Speaking at the crash site of United Flight 93 in Pennsylvania, George W. Bush asked Americans to transcend division: “On America's day of trial and grief, I saw millions of people instinctively grab their neighbor's hand and rally to the cause of one another. That is the America I know.”  Rather than embrace her fellow American on a day of mourning, Maureen Dowd used the occasion to divide and antagonize. Amidst a moment befitting humility and reflection, Dowd argued in The New York Times that the disaster lies squarely with masculinity and men. “[W]hen I look back at 9/11 and the torrent of tragic, perverse blunders that followed, I think about men seized by a dangerous strain of hyper-masculinity; fake tough-guy stuff; a caricature of strength,” Dowd writes. Throughout her piece “Manning Up, Letting Us Down,” she typecasts men as uniquely war-mongering and ignorant.  Read More

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