zirconium: me @Niki de St Phalle's Firebird (firebird)
In the New York Times, Jodi Kantor asked Katty Kay about a list that Christine Lagarde carries with her:


KK: She got so fed up of men coming up to her and saying, you know we'd love to have more women at the top of companies, or we'd love to have more women running things, but we just can't find the good candidates. This annoyed her so much that she wrote down a list of 10 really good women, qualified women, and put it in her purse. Every time a man came up to her and said, "It's such a shame we can't find a qualified woman," out would come the list.
zirconium: my hands, sewing a chemo cap liner (care caps hands)
...which were Laura Lee Guhrke's When the Marquess Met His Match (which, incidentally, has some cheeky nods to Pride & Predjudice and Jo Beverley's Seduction in Silk), I've noticed something the plots have in common that pleases me. It is to some degree a spoiler, so I'll put it under a cut:

Read more... )
zirconium: snapshot of cookie cutter star from sorghum marshmallow making (Default)
I've never met a woman who is not strong, but sometimes they don't let it out. Then there's a tragedy, and then all of a sudden that strength comes. My message is let the strength come out before the tragedy.

-- Diane von Furstenberg, in the New York Times Magazine
zirconium: me @Niki de St Phalle's Firebird (firebird)
Eastland StreetFlower arrangement on Eastland Street, last Saturday (on my way to an ice cream parlor)


As it happened, John soon fell in love with a beautiful girl called Joan Furlong (and incidentally, a furlong is a measure of track in horse racing). Joan was an extremely nice girl and John wanted very much to marry her. He knew our parents would be against this, as he hadn't finished school yet. He had no money. She had no money. Hoping to secure their approval, John invented the story that Joan was pregnant and told our parents this. These were the days when abortions were illegal and thus very risky procedures. They often led to health complications, the least of which resulted in an inability to bear children. Much to everyone's surprise, our mother (an ardent Catholic) suggested that Joan should have an abortion to quickly resolve the issue! I have often noticed (and find it ironic) that fervent Christians are very prone to changing their minds on the issue of abortion when members of their family are involved in this type of crisis.

    --Niki de Saint Phalle
zirconium: sunflower core against the sky (sunflower sentinel)
Elizabeth Bear (and commenters): Harassment is not flirting. It's not actually all that complicated.

Mike Ward, a reporter in Texas, has been has been tweeting about the special legislative session. Dewhurst "says 2/3 Rule will not be enforced, meaning simple majority votes will pass bills." Also tweeting from Austin is @texyellowdogdem, whose posts have included this snapshot of messages on wire hangers. Several tweeters have accused the state government of shutting down public wi-fi and electricity access in the area in order to thwart media and pro-choice protesters.

Smiling sisters shot dead for dancing in the rain: Pakistani girls, 15 and 16, killed along with their mother for making video which 'stained the family honour'
zirconium: sunflower core against the sky (sunflower sentinel)
It's been a week where I removed myself from one conversation and unfollowed a half-dozen people because I cannot let myself get snarled into open-ended firefights over sexism if I'm going to meet my next deadline (and the three on its heels), and yet, and yet...

*seethes*

So this leaped out at me when I peeked over at Eileen Tabios's blog, where she talks about reading a collective autobiography whose authors include Lyn Hejinian:


Two of the male poets asked her if she'd read this other author and she'd felt the question to be a "test" .... I get this. I know this. While not proposing acrimony, I am reminded of several conversations with males and male poets, including one with an older, male poet wherein, at one point, I told him, "You do not know more than I do. I simply know different things from what you know."


In happier news: I sold a poem this week (fourth acceptance of the year; first one I'll receive cash for), my publisher sent me a royalty update a few hours ago, and I'm tickled at the company said book is currently keeping over at Amazon (it has been purchased in tandem with books by Neal Stephenson and Merrie Haskell [the latter is currently giving away copies of her new book and pretty bits of goat, by the way], and it is for the moment on a Top 10 list with Janet Wong, Cathy Park Hong, and Maxine Hong Kingston).

Also, it was 68 degrees F when I went hiking this afternoon. The turtles were out in force, and we also spotted a huge wild turkey and tiny little flowers.
zirconium: my hands, sewing a chemo cap liner (care caps hands)
"Did you just send that woman to a church to get help with an abortion?"

"Yes. Yes, I did."

- Darcy Baxter, a Unitarian chaplain, writes about trying to find options for a woman living 500 miles from the nearest abortion provider


In the March 2013 issue of Vogue, Katherine Bernard writes about Saundra Pelletier and WomanCareGlobal, which is taking a "Robin Hood approach" to making contraception available in developing countries. "We make a profit in markets like Ghana and Kenya." A striking detail: "$1,000 can buy 100 women in the developing world one year's worth of contraceptives."
zirconium: my hands, sewing a chemo cap liner (care caps hands)
...in the March 2013 issue of Vogue:


When they do run [for Congress], [women] enjoy the same success rate as men, and when they win, their impact is disproportionate to their numbers. It's because, says a senator, "women don't get elected by putting on a flight suit and swaggering across a flight deck. They get elected by getting things accomplished, and that carries through in how they govern." Congresswomen consistently outperform men on a practical level. When it comes to winning Federal funds and support for the district, it is much better to have a woman fighting on your behalf. Political scientists have calculated that the bonus to constituents in electing a woman legislator runs to about $88 per head in government spending.

- Amanda Foreman, "The Female Factor"


[Claims like these make me long for footnotes...]
zirconium: photo of flask with feathers in and around it (flask with feathers)
From this past Sunday. "PB" from Manlius, NY, commented on women who plan weddings without a prospective groom:


Oh those blasted fairy tales filling little girls' heads with romantic nonsense.

In reality, you can start out as a princess, get married, and end up sitting by the fireplace in rags at the end of a drudge-filled day.

Women, come to your senses: Plan on not getting married, and then see if anyone is good enough to convince you otherwise.


If I were writing a guide for girls, I would want this in there.

That said, there have been three things this week that brought tears to my eyes in a good way. The first was that Budweiser Super Bowl commercial with the foal. The second was a story that pushed my buttons but is eluding my memory at the moment. The third was Rosalie Randomsky's writeup of Rajeev Kaul's proposal to Gitika Ahuja:


Soon after they began dating seriously, Mr. Kaul, who plays guitar and keyboard and a D.J. and producer of electronica and lounge music, was intrigued to learn that Ms. Ahuja's late father had been "really into music, like old Indian music," with one exception -- "What a Wonderful World," as sung by Louis Armstrong.

Mr. Kaul proposed to her in Hawaii last January. She had been there with her family. After her family left, the couple hiked down muddy, slippery trails to Secret Beach, whose proper name is Kauapea Beach, on Kauai.

"It's super-secluded," she said, "very 'From Here to Eternity.' "

Mr. Kaul had brought his guitar and as he tuned it, he told her he had learned a song just for her. When he told her it was "What a Wonderful World," she said, she immediately looked upon it as a thoughtful gesture marking the fourth anniversary of her father's death, which was the next day.

After he finished, he told her he had played the song for a different reason.

"I already got your mom's permission to marry you and I played this to get your dad's permission," he said. He then got on one knee.
zirconium: Unitarian Universalist chalice with pink triangle as base (rainbow chalice)
The annual national convention of the Unitarian Universalist Association was this past weekend.

The business included choosing the denomination's Study/Action issue for 2012-2016. To give you some context, the one for 2008-2012 was Ethical Eating, the one in progress is Immigration as a Moral Issue. These are not the only issues UUs are studying or acting on, of course, but the issues selected for Study/Action receive additional attention and resources -- ministers are encouraged to preach about them, educators are encouraged to offer classes and lead discussions, study guides are created, and so on.

The news from Phoenix is that Reproductive Justice will be the next Study/Action issue. The proposal submitted by the sponsoring congregations is here.

...I happened to spend a sizable chunk of yesterday evening copyediting a study of so-called pro-life judicial activism. And my state legislature continues to embarrass the saner people in Tennessee with its relentless cultivation of ignorance. And the reports from Michigan and elsewhere have me feeling more angry and more weary. So I'm taking comfort in this news of my denomination renewing and expanding its efforts to support "the right of all women to have children, not to have children, and to raise their children in safe and healthy environments."

http://www.uua.org/reproductive/index.shtml
http://www.uua.org/reproductive/action/index.shtml (includes click-to-send-letters links)
https://www.uua.org/reproductive/action/200096.shtml (congregational resources, multiple levels + ages)
zirconium: snapshot of cookie cutter star from sorghum marshmallow making (Default)
I've recently sketched out a couple of poems related to "The Princess and the Pea," which got me curious about other versions out there -- so I borrowed some picture-book retellings from the library.

My favorite, by far, is Lauren Child's take on the matter. Two things stand out for me:

(1) the focus is not only on the prince's search for a "real" princess, but on the princess's curiosity and her appetite for beauty, which leads her out into the night in the first place ("The moonlight shone in such a magical way that she wondered to herself if it could possibly look as beautiful on the other side of the garden wall. . .") And, much later, picking up a teacup:

The princess couldn't help thinking there was something romantic, something dramatic, something...strangely charming about his clumsiness, and she bent down to pick up the cup. A real princess will always pick up your teacup if you drop it -- kindness is practically their middle name -- but this was not the only reason she did so.

There was a light in the prince's dark eyes that reminded her of all the stars in the night sky.


(2) I really like that Child has the princess refrain from admitting she didn't sleep well until the king directly asks her what's wrong. Because this was indeed bothering me about the earlier versions I'd read:


...the queen was forgetting that any real princess has such impeccable manners that it would be impossible for her to tell her host, who had gone to all the effort of making her a bed stacked with twelve feather mattresses, that, in fact, it was the most uncomfortable night that she had ever had, in all her life.


(Mind, I still have issues with the whole specialness-of-royal-bodies conceit, but that's something I'll tangle with some more in the sketchbook. [I've just been reminded that my MA thesis was pretty much on this topic; apparently this bee is doomed to permanent residence in my bonnet.])

There's a review by Joanna Carey at The Guardian that describes more to like about the book, primarily from a visual point of view.

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