Today’s Lady News: Are Male Novelists Less Macho Now?

  • Controversial women’s issues writer Katie Roiphe penned an essay for Sunday’s New York Times Book Review lamenting what’s happened to male novelists writing about sex. In the ’60s and ’70s, many balked at the ravenous, at times violent, depictions of sexuality in books by writers like Philip Roth, John Updike and Norman Mailer. But the “Great Male Novelists” of today that Roiphe cites—men like Dave Eggers and Jonathan Franzen—write more passively and apologetically about sex. It’s another “let’s blame feminists for everything” type of piece, but it also led me to believe this woman has never heard of Tucker Max. [New York Times Book Review]
  • Legislators in Kansas hope to block $250,000 in federal funds for preventing unwanted pregnancies from going to two Planned Parenthood clinics. Ugh. Please stop being foolish, people! []
  • Grr. Why is it that women who start their own businesses are called “lipstick entrepreneurs”? Can’t we just be regular entrepreneurs like men? [Times of London]

  • Deborah Howell, 68, a former Washington Post editor who was a trailblazer for women in journalism, passed away while in vacation in New Zealand on Saturday. Howell published two Pulitzer Prize-winning projects in her career and eventually worked as a WaPo ombudsman. Time magazine reporter Karen Tumulty memorialized Howell in a blog post: “[Howell] was a source of inspiration, having made her way up in this business at a time when the newsroom was hostile territory for women who didn’t want to spend their careers writing wedding announcements.” [Washington Post]
  • President Obama has appointed Amanda Simpson, a transgender woman, to the Commerce Department. Simpson is the first transgender presidential appointee ever. [Air America]
  • A government proposal in the U.K. would teach mandatory parenting classes to children ages 14 and up. The classes would teach basic child development, parental responsibilities and child-rearing techniques. Critics say the program would de-stigmatize teen parenthood, but supporters point to the U.K.’s high teen pregnancy rate as proof that this program is needed. [Daily Mail UK]