Catherine Specter should work for the Mt. Lebanon School District

This week Catherine Specter starts off strong with a well-phrased dose of withering advice for a woman manipulating her husband with a “did he notice my haircut?” test.  Nicely done.  Could I be wrong about Specter's Carrie Bradshaw ambitions?

Not so much.

In the next letter, a reader asks whether a lack of compliments from a guy indicates a lack of interest.  It takes THREE sentences for Specter to fall back into her superficial obsession with looks, clothes and makeup. 

It's de rigueur to tell your girl how pretty she is, or how nice she looks, but sometimes shyness or inexperience or faulty logic about ego-boosting keeps the words from coming out. Try complimenting him and if the gesture is never reciprocated …

Wait a minute.  Isn't this passive approach sort of the same manipulation she so tartly ripped to shreds in the previous letter?  Why not talk with the guy?  After all, even pretty girls have the ability to speak.  Last time I checked, they don't even have to wait until they are spoken to.  

What's worse is that this is the gussied up version of the mentality whirling through Mt. Lebanon these days — girls are objects who should be evaluated on their external characteristics.  Maybe the PG should just print a family-friendly version of the Mt. Lebanon score card right next to Specter's column. 

Why is being pretty or looking nice the default compliment Specter assumes this reader is seeking?  How about complimenting her intelligence, wit or compassion?  Maybe her work accomplishments?  Or her strength, bravery, resourcefulness, loyalty, etc? 

Because, in her own words:

Cat's Call: Never give a woman time to ruminate.

'nuf said.





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  • Alas, you have discovered the true agenda of the Republican Right: the Hillbilly-ization of America. It is very similar to the policies of backward 3rd world nations.
    1) Make the woman complete property of their man. Remember what Ricky Santorum thinks of a woman's place and you'll have the gist of it. They should be pretty, do the housework, don't complain, and Lordy Lordy never ever think about their own personal pleasure in bed.
    2) Equate Sex with military grunt exercises — get on top, grunt a few times, roll over and go to sleep. Sex is only for a man's pleasure — done deal.
    3) Any extramarital sex, for the man, is ok. It relieves the burden from the woman. Homo sex is only allowed on a “down low” basis.
    4) The rich get richer, the poor get poorer and more stupid. The middle class is to evaporate.

  • Between this column and the feature on the candy shop twins, the PG seems committed to dumbing down their readers and assuming we are all fawning idiots.
    I'm glad someone else sees that Catherine Specter's column isn't “harmless.” The advice she offers lulls women into obliviousness about the unceasing war on our bodies and identities.

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