The British newspaper The Independent announced yesterday that it would no longer be reviewing any book that was specifically marketed at one gender. While their announcement certainly did its job – garnering a wave of free publicity for the newspaper and allowing them to slap their own backs quite forcefully – it’s not helping the young men and women they claim to be looking out for or the authors whose books will be measured by these new standards.
Most authors have little to no say in how the books they write are marketed. Those decisions are made by highers-up at publishing companies, with the actual writer just hoping that their book will manage to somehow stand out from the pack of new releases. Choosing to boycott a book based on to whom it’s being marketed is kind of like boycotting a band based on who goes to their concerts – there is not much that the actual creator of the work can do. Keep reading »
When you’re laid up with a winter cold, sinus infection or (aaack) the flu, the last thing on your mind is looking beautiful. But some beauty products will actually help you feel better, no matter how bad your symptoms might be. Stock up on a few of these goodies—– some of which cost just a few bucks — and you’ll be ready to tackle flu season. Or at least shuffle to the nearest CVS to restock your Puffs.
I’ve known for most of my life that I didn’t want to have kids, although I didn’t know or use the word “childfree” until I was in my 20s. For a while, it was easy to be childfree. My peers were also young, single, career-focused, and not worried about meeting The One, let alone procreating with The One.
Then I turned 30. Now that my friends are partnering off and starting to have kids, the way that I configure my childfree identity has changed. I still firmly believe that I don’t want children and am actively planning not to have any. But the way I talk about my choice with other people has definitely changed. Being childfree is definitely different in your 30s than it is in your 20s. Keep reading »
Why say “single” like it’s a bad thing? One of the great perks of being unattached is the free time — time that can be spent catching up on all the great reading you’ve been meaning to do for the last five years. Here’s a list of the best choices for those blissfully quiet summer evenings. Keep reading »
We all know the trope: a young college student leaves the country for the first time and then returns home acting the part of a world-weary jetsetting dilettante.
We all also know that that person is annoying.
While there’s nothing wrong with going on an awesome vacation and coming back feeling relaxed and happy, there’s a fine line between wanting to tell your friends how cool it was to deep sea dive in the Indian Ocean and being a humblebragger. Here are some tips to make sure you don’t cross that line. Keep reading »
A few weeks into my relationship with “Ben,” I left town for about two months. The week after we moved in together, I left again. Every couple comes into a relationship with baggage, but mine was a little more literal. I’m a travel writer, and my job sends me on the road regularly. As much as it’s awesome to go to Mexico City or Copenhagen to report stories, my on-and-off travel schedule has made it hard to build relationships. And when it came to building a relationship with a dude I wanted to spend the rest of my life with, I had to learn how to make it work – even when “it” was an ocean away.
In some ways, our relationship is just like any other long-distance relationship. We chat on Skype, keep in touch on IM, and make a point of checking in just to talk about normal stuff like what kind of mischief the cat has been up to. But it’s hard to get rid of the guilt I feel when I’m sitting on a beach or in an outdoor café when I know that Ben is chained to his computer at the office or going to boring meetings. Keep reading »
Janet Jackson, who is known for keeping her private life private, recently admitted that she had married her third husband, Qatari billionaire Wissam Al-Mana. Though she hasn’t confirmed or denied it, there are lots of rumors that Janet converted to Islam before the wedding. Considering that religious conversions for marriage happen all the time – and that Janet’s brother Jermaine publicly converted to Islam some years ago – this story should be a non-issue.
Alas, there are a lot of people out there who think it’s their right to see Janet Jackson’s hot body in skimpy clothes and think that a conversion to Islam will foil their plans. Keep reading »
Spoiler alert! This post contains spoilers about the movie “Spring Breakers.”
When I heard that Selena Gomez had been cast in a Harmony Korine movie, my brain kind of exploded. Korine is known for his dark, sexualized films (like “Kids,” which made Chloe Sevigny a star), while Gomez is a Disneyfied, baby-faced princess who until recently was dating Justin Bieber. The trailer and promo pics for “Spring Breakers” showed Gomez and her castmates – “High School Musical” alum Vanessa Hudgens, “Pretty Little Liars” star Ashley Benson, and the director’s wife Rachel Korine – wearing bikinis and little else as they drank, smoked, got arrested, and did drugs. Was this movie going to be Gomez’s “Can’t Be Tamed“/”I’m a Slave 4 U” moment?
Not quite. Keep reading »
If you go to to the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism, you might see men singing loudly and dancing in circles. What you might not notice right away are the women, who are quietly murmuring and praying. The men’s side looks way more fun – plenty of my male friends have stories about that time they hung out at the wall with a Jewish celebrity. My boyfriend danced the hora there with Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner. The total disparity in the fun department isn’t a personal preference – it’s actually Israeli law.
But a group of brave female activists, The Women of the Wall, are working to change that. Keep reading »
Call me a humorless feminist, but I’ve always thought certain subjects were beyond the realm of comedy: Helen Keller, rape, the Holocaust. But then last week I caught a clip of Joan Rivers’ E! show “Fashion Police.” While critiquing a photo of Heidi Klum wearing this dress, Rivers quipped, “The last time a German looked this hot was when they were pushing Jews into the ovens.” And then something odd happened. I laughed.
I’m Jewish. So is Joan Rivers. Does being in “the club” mean that it’s okay to laugh at jokes about our own people? One of the reasons I don’t think Holocaust jokes are funny is that they poke fun at people who are victims, and it’s much funnier to laugh at the bullies. Did I laugh because Rivers was making fun of a German person in relation to the Holocaust, instead of a Jewish one? Keep reading »