New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd loves to crack jokes about gender, but they sometimes get her into trouble. Her columns about Hillary Clinton were criticized as sexist, to which she responded, "I've been twisting gender stereotypes around for 24 years." Such "twisting" has also involved mocking the effeminacy of male Democrats. She once called Al Gore "so feminized and diversified and ecologically correct, he's practically lactating," and did similar numbers on John Kerry and John Edwards. Barack Obama was "Obambi" and a "butterfly" that swooned over French President Nicholas Sarkozy.

But now Dowd, the great critic of all things effete, is worried Obama might be too masculine. Liberals who have long despised Dowd's gender criticism are hitting back.

  • Post-Obambi  Gawker's Alex Pareene slams Dowd's record of calling Obama "Obambi" and "butterfly." "What do you do when you write a million columns unsubtly disparaging a man as feminine, and then it turns out that he talks sports and golfs exclusively with men? If you're Maureen Dowd, you just crank out another column," Pareene writes. "In her column on this important matter, Dowd simply ignores her own lengthy history of interpreting Obama according to her rigid 'Democrats are fags and Republicans are real men' worldview. Instead, he is like presidents of old, who crack 'racy' jokes with male aides."
  • Sad MoDo!  Mediaite's Glynnis MacNicol runs the headline, "Maureen Dowd Is Sad Barack Obama Doesn't Want To Play Golf With Her." MacNicol adds, "Actually, I suspect the only thing Maureen Dowd is sad about is that she didn’t think to launch the ‘President Obama is a sexist golf player’ meme herself, the way she did with Obama protesters are racists."
  • And She's Liberal?  Wonkette's Jim Newell wonders how Dowd got to be called liberal. "The story provided her with at least three columns worth of unclear wordplay about gender and politics and homos. Check out this peculiar bit: 'Besides, if Obama starts using a quota system for recreation, it will give fuel to the Republican campaign to paint him as a hand-wringing, Mom-jeans-wearing girly-boy.' Note the way she fully outsources this superficial 'campaign' to the Republicans, but doesn’t acknowledge the weekly leadership role a liberal female New York Times columnist has been playing in it for the last decade."
  • 'Her Sexist Screed'  New York Post's Andrea Peyser devotes much of her column to attacking Dowd. "Maureen Dowd is having another mid-life crisis," she writes, "in which she -- duh -- essentially begs Obama to hang out with her. This, from a dame who wrote an entire book in which she whined that she was too strong, too successful, too threatening to land a man." Peyser concludes, "Had she labeled a women's group as such, she'd be called obscene. Dowd ended her sexist screed by inviting Obama to play a game of Scrabble, for which she's offering a $10 bet."
  • Get a Boyfriend  The American Spectator's Emmett Tyrrell scoffs at Dowd's "girlish petulance." "So what is Dowd up to? Aside from revealing once again why she has so much difficulty getting a boyfriend, she reveals that she wants to play Scrabble with the President. In her stupendously undignified column she admits it," he writes. "Sometimes one reads about the controversies such women have over the men around them, and one remembers how happy one was to get out of high school all those years ago."
  • 'Beginning to Feel Sorry for Him'  Conservative blogger William A. Jacobson commiserates. "Let Obama play hoops and hit the links with the guys. Exactly which high-powered woman is he supposed to set a pick for, box out, or look the other way when she uses the foot wedge? Hillary? Maureen Dowd? Janet Napolitano?" he asks. "I'm almost beginning to feel sorry for him. Almost."