Tuesday, July 13, 2010

France to Women in Burquas: We're Liberating You

If the French are trying to reach out to women in the strict Muslim community that requires its women to hide everything, even their faces, they have a funny way of showing it.

The French Assembly just passed a law that if ratified by the Senate will fine women who are out in public in the full-body veil. Um, thank you? I'm sure these French residents feel more liberated already. If by "liberated" you mean staying indoors instead of going out, since the law will force women who wear the full-body veil to stay at home, or risk a fine.

It's hard to argue with a law against these fashion disasters. They should be burned and banned. But by outlawing the clothes, the French are to some extent outlawing the women who are covered up.

Granted, the law would threaten jail and fines for men who force the burqua on their wives. I have a better idea: How about men who force their wives to wear them be forced to wear the face-and-body covers instead? That is a punishment that fits the crime.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Justice, Sort Of.

So the Iranian woman charged with adultery and sentenced to stoning has gotten a reprieve. No stoning. But no word on whether the death sentence has been lifted. A kinder, gentler death in a not very kind country?

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Did I Read That Right?

There is something so wrong with this world when a headline on CNN can read this: "Son pleads for help as mother awaits stoning in Iran."

Monday, July 05, 2010

Clinton and McChrystal

Back in the day, (OK, back before 2008) when a male leader would mess things up (almost always), the eye rolls would begin. A woman could do a better job. Just let her at it. Then we had the chance to elect Hillary Clinton as president, and passed.

Now, things with a man, a historic man, but nonetheless, still a man, look as grim as ever. (See: environmental disaster, two wars, economic woe.) And I can't help but wonder, what would the world look like with Hillary in charge?

The subject came up with the now infamous Rolling Stone article that exposed the sass-mouthed Gen. Stanley McChrystal and his posse going after the president and his. The only person spared? Hillary. In fact, the general and his labyrinth of people praised her. As Michael Crowley writes in his blog Swampland,

"It remains remarkable to me that a woman who in the 1990s was routinely accused of being a radical leftist has emerged as a real national security wonk and shattered durable gender stereotypes along the way."
Not that she gloats. But she must wonder what might have been. I know I do.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Good for Body and Sole

As if I needed another reason to buy another pair of hot shoes -- turns out, not just good for your soul, they're also good for your sex drive.

According to a very scientific study, women who wear high heels have higher sex drive and good lookin' legs. Credit cards out, ladies.

In related news, those sad, plastic excuses called Crocs are going out of business. Coincidence? Look in your soul.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Clinton Clinches Honorary Degree

Arizona State may not think Obama is worthy of an honorary degree. But Yale doesn't have that problem with the Secretary of State. Hillary Clinton just picked up an honorary degree from her alma mater. And while sculpter Richard Serra and writer John McPhee also were on the honorary degree list from Yale, not so Obama. Better luck next year.
The Myth Exists

A biography of Helen Gurley Brown seems to have ignited an interest in the bygone era of Second Wave feminism. The biography of Brown reclaims her as a feminist for the office workers who couldn't go out and "burn a bra." Oops, did I just help perpetuate the stereotype of the bra-burning feminist? If so, it's not my fault: It's The New York Times's. And The New Yorker's. 

Both invoked that image in sloppily trying to come up with a contrasting impression of women of the time. And, I guess in the interest of deadlines, they made one up. The New York Time did so with its Helen Gurley Brown quiz on money. ("Bad Girls, Good Sense.") And Judith Thurman invoked the image of the bra burner in her review of the biography of the Cosmo editor, "Bad Girls Go Everywhere." Beyond being factually incorrect (you can see my article in Alternet for details), the assumption perpetuates falsely that protesters and nothing to lose but their bras. 

In reality, feminists made the lives off office workers (and all working women, for that matter) better. Thanks to feminism, we now have: workplace parity, equality in wages (or at least more equity than before), child care, flexible work time, parental leave, and the list goes on.

So why does the myth of lingerie immolation persist? It's an easy short hand. But it's not the truth.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

What a Way to Make a Living
File this one in the "eureka" category: Workers in a down economy (who have not been downsized, yet) down their hours. It's for work-life balance, natch. And careers are not made on working around the clock any more, when the clocks are in hock and the boss has been laid off. Women, who have been lucky enough to be stuck in "traditionally female" jobs, like nursing and teaching, have found these professions to be recession-proof. Sorry, construction workers. Hedge fund masters, our regrets. But I digress. Not only are women not getting the ax, they're supposedly kicking back with the kids more, too, according to this Forbes story. 

So here's where it's not adding up: More men without jobs, but the women are the ones cutting back the hours? Really? Somehow, the women with the jobs have also been saddled with childcare (er, quality time) while the guys are out job hunting and beer gathering. That's a sequel I guess we won't be reading in Forbes anytime soon.