Is the place of women in the literary world still an urgent issue?
"Watching the outpouring of grief and reflection over the death of Adrienne Rich last week, I admit, to my shame, that I was surprised. Surprised not because of any judgment about Rich’s poetry, which I barely know, but because I had thought of her as an icon of another era. That era, of course, was the era of the women’s movement, of which Rich was a brash troubadour, asserting the value and distinctiveness of women’s experience and lamenting their—our—submission to patriarchy. But when I came of age intellectually, in the 1990s, this mode of expression had fallen out of fashion. In my undergraduate and graduate studies, I was mentored by male and female professors alike who encouraged me to take my place as a student of the literary canon. But I was never directed to read a poem by Adrienne Rich."
- Ruth Franklin, Why the Literary Landscape Continues to Disadvantage Women
Photo courtesy of The New York Times
What’s behind the increasingly disturbing war against women’s rights?
"Taken individually, these incidents all seem like isolated events. Taken together, they start to look like a disturbing trend. Increasingly, what we are seeing from the right when it comes to women’s issues is not conservatism but radicalism: a bid to roll back the gains and freedoms that feminism has managed to earn for women."
—The Editors, “The Increasingly Disturbing War Against Women’s Rights”
Is this the end of Herman Cain's campaign?
At least two female employees complained to colleagues and senior officials about inappropriate behavior by Herman Cain during his tenure as head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, according to POLITICO. The women, both of whom ultimately left their jobs at the trade group, received separation packages that were in the five-figure range.
On the details of Cain’s alleged inappropriate behavior, POLITICO has a half-dozen sources shedding light on different aspects of the complaints.
Courtesy of politico.com.
On Monday, the world reacted to King Abdullah’s announcement that women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to participate in municipal elections.
“ At a glance, it certainly sounded like terrific news—what, after all, is a more direct emblem of the march of progress than the right to vote? But while the announcement may represent some very marginal progress, Saudi Arabia remains one of the worst places on earth to be a woman. Because the country’s ruling regime is, nominally at least, an American ally, the plight of Saudi women doesn’t receive nearly as much attention in Washington as it should. But it is truly one of the human rights catastrophes of our time.”
-The Editors, The New Republic. “Saudi Women Can Now Vote. But Their Plight Remains a Calamity.”
But this seems to me to be the definition of sexual freedom—the fact that women have come to regard sex more in the way that men do, as an elemental part of life, no less essential than eating or breathing, and thus no more in need of cheerleading. Masturbation, for men of Woody Allen’s generation, isn’t an act of empowerment; it’s just “sex with someone you love.” Likewise, sex for women today—in all its forms—is just something that we do, not something for which we need special permission or forgiveness afterward.