First, we had to swear off “The View” when we found out that Kate Gosselin and Meghan McCain would be sitting down at the table with Joy, Whoopi, et al. Now, “The Today Show” is gonna be off limits, too. Guess who they’ve hired to be a special correspondent, reporting a story per month? Jenna Bush. Yep, the Bush twin who made underage drinking an artform and who consistently drove her secret service detail batty. Here’s what Jenna, who also managed to squeeze a book deal out of the whole being-a-former-president’s-daughter thing, had to say about her new gig. “It wasn’t something I’d always dreamed to do. But I think one of the most important things in life is to be open-minded and to be open-minded for change.” Uh, Jenna? Your puppy didn’t just die—you just got the ultimate cushy gig hosting on one of the most popular shows on television. If you’re not feeling it, I could find you, uh, thousands of broadcast journalism majors who’d be down. [People] Keep reading »
In the West African country of Gabon, Rose Francine Rogombe has been in power since June, when President Omar Bongo Ondimba died. And this weekend, there’s an election that will determine whether she stays at the helm of the country. Guess what some Gabonese men are willing to do if a man defeats her in the election? “Sleep with their clothes on.” That’s right girls … they’re going on a sex strike. Why? Because the leader of the Gabonese Liberation Movement, Samuel Ntoutoume Ndzeng, says the men will strike because “the power must remain with women.” I am totally pumping my fist right now—I don’t care who laughs at me. [AFP]
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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has nominated three women to serve in his cabinet. This sounds amazing on the first read, but don’t get too excited—many people believe this move is totally self-serving. Ahmadinejad is likely trying to take support away from his rival, relatively liberal and pro-women candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, who most likely actually won the contested June election that spawned many violent protests. Although the nominations may make Ahmadinejad seem more moderate and less like a holdover from the Stone Age, female activists say the appointments will hurt, not help, their cause and think that the three women Ahmadinejad picked will basically serve as his puppets. Keep reading »
It’s easy to remember Edward Kennedy for the soap opera that was his life: His two brothers were assassinated five years apart; he survived a plane crash in 1964; he lost two beloved nephews in rapid succession in the 1990s; and rumors of alcoholism constantly followed him. And when I say the words “Ted Kennedy” and “women” in the same sentence, only one probably comes to mind: Mary Jo Kopechne, the 28-year-old campaign aide he was probably trying to sleep with, who was sitting in the passenger seat of his Oldsmobile when it careened into a river on Martha’s Vineyard in 1969. Kennedy escaped from the car and left Mary Jo behind, not calling the police until after her body had been discovered. (Required reading: Joyce Carol Oates’ Black Water, which tells the story, fictionalized of course, from her perspective.) To say it wasn’t his best moment is a gross understatement.
Yes, these are the details about Ted Kennedy that are titillating to talk about. But since the announcement of his death this morning, I’ve found myself thinking about the not-so-salacious details: his record over his 46 years in the Senate. For a dude, Ted did a heck of a lot for us ladies. Keep reading »
In a controversial move, the Michigan Supreme Court has ruled that judges can force Muslim women to take off their headscarves in court. The law says they can exercise “reasonable control over the appearance of parties and witnesses” so that the “demeanor of such persons may be observed and assessed by the fact-finder and ensure the accurate identification.” Translation of the legal mumbo jumbo: they have to take off their headscarves so the judge can be sure they’re actually who they say they are. Keep reading »
Senator Edward Kennedy passed away yesterday evening at the age of 77, after a battle with brain cancer. [NY Times] Keep reading »
If you missed The New York Times Magazine‘s excellent “Saving the World’s Women” edition focusing on the issues facing women in the developing world, don’t fret! You can still read it online. I enjoyed the piece on how women’s rights are the cause of our time, the interview with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and the piece about Afghan schoolgirls.
The piece in “Saving The World’s Women” that really stuck out, however, is the interview with the female president of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. The 67-year-old is Africa’s first woman elected to office and a lifelong activist who has been imprisoned and charged with treason for fighting against Liberia’s past oppressive government. When Liberians elected President Sirleaf to their highest office, the event was, as the Times put it, “a kind of feminist fantasy come true.”
But President Sirleaf’s interview dealt with another issue which I happen to think is a total fantasy—the notion that if women ran the world, we wouldn’t have any wars anymore. Keep reading »
Sarah Palin has some crafty supporters. Now that she’s out of the governor’s mansion, Palin is required to disclose a list of any gifts she received since December 1, 2008, worth more than $250. Some of the highlights:
- A gun case with her name embroidered on it from a woman in Tennessee.
- A painted plate of Sarah’s noggin from a stoneware studio in Kansas.
- Two handmade army flags from a woman in New Jersey.
- A glass elephant pendant from a woman in California.
- A blanket with the words “The Special Child” cross-stitched into it from a woman in Texas.
- A handmade Bible with a goatskin case.
Uh, is it just me, or does none of this stuff sound like it could possibly be valued at more than $20? [CNN Political Ticker] Keep reading »
It’s about time someone started focusing on women’s rights, at home and abroad, and it looks like Hillary Clinton is just the woman for the job. On her 11-day trip to Africa, Hill first gave the smackdown to a guy who oddly asked her what Bill thought of something. Then, according to the Washington Post, she went to oodles of women’s dinners and mentioned women a ton of times in each of her speeches. Clinton is different than other Secretaries of State because she wants to “elevate people who, in their societies, may not even be known by their own leaders.” And she proved that she’s not just talking the talk—in fact, she spent twice as long in a housing project in South Africa as she did with the country’s president. Keep reading »
Here’s something I can give Sarah Palin credit for: She is not a poseur. When she stepped down as governor of Alaska, she kindly relinquished her Twitter handle, @AKGovSarahPalin. Her final tweet read, “Last state twitter. Thank you Alaska! I love you. God bless Alaska. God bless the U.S.A.” Then, silence.
Since, Sarah has taken to long-form writing on her Facebook page, going on and on in footnoted posts about how Obama’s proposed health-care plan would have babies like Trig face “death panels.” (Huh?) But let’s face it. Even Sarah’s fans don’t want more than 140 characters of her musings. So, thank goodness Sarah has set up a new Twitter feed: @SarahPalinUSA. She has yet to tweet a single character, but here are our predictions as to what she’ll tweet. Keep reading »