Recent news from the Women’s Media Center

The Sexes and the Media They Focus On
NY Times
: In the latest survey of multitasking, a startling disparity between the sexes arose. Young women are more than twice as likely as young men to report that they give a magazine their undivided attention “on an average day.” The situation is the opposite for television.

Courts, public opinion chipping away at ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’
Christian Science Monitor: In two cases, federal judges have ruled against the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ law banning openly gay men and women from serving in the US military. Most Americans favor repeal of the law, but it’s a tough fight in Congress.

A Path to Financial Equality in Malaysia
NY Times
: But while some women in more conservative corners of the Islamic world are still fighting for the right to work outside the home in the booming Islamic finance sector, the number of female faces is multiplying.

Times Two: Jill Abramson, The Times’ first heiress apparent
New York Magazine
: Abramson is the first woman to hold a managing-editor post at the Times, long a heavily male-dominated institution. It is a role she knows carries historic importance, and even if she has mixed feelings about it, she has made the paper’s gender balance a part of her mission.

Jill Johnston, Critic Who Wrote ‘Lesbian Nation,’ Dies at 81
NY Times: Jill Johnston, a longtime cultural critic for The Village Voice whose daring, experimental prose style mirrored the avant-garde art she covered and whose book “Lesbian Nation: The Feminist Solution”spearheaded the lesbian separatist movement of the early 1970s, died in Hartford on Saturday. She was 81 and lived in Sharon, Conn.

Hillary Clinton: A quiet brand of statecraft
Christian Science Monitor: Hillary Clinton has been loyal to President Obama, her one-time rival. Now she’s seeking to redefine U.S. foreign policy for a new century, even as the latest mideast peace talks test her skills as a negotiator.

GOP Hopefuls in California, Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina, on Different Paths
NY Times: But beyond those surface similarities, the Republican candidates for California governor and United States senator, Meg Whitmanand Carly Fiorina, are charging into the general election with very different political personas and campaign strategies.

Justice Kagan faces first Supreme Court test Monday
USA Today
: Today, she joins her new colleagues for the first time in an arguably more hallowed space: the justices’ private, oak-paneled conference room. It is where, with no law clerks or secretaries present, they decide which cases to take up and, later, how they should be resolved.

March 22, 1998: Why Feminists Support Clinton (40th Anniv Reprint)
NY Times
If all the sexual allegations now swirling around the White House turn out to be true, President Clinton may be a candidate for sex addiction therapy. But feminists will still have been right to resist pressure by the right wing and the news media to call for his resignation or impeachment. The pressure came from another case of the double standard.

Why Women Get a Raw Deal on Retirement
SmartMoney: This is how the battle of the sexes plays out in the complex world of retirement planning — and all too often, women come out on the losing end. To a surprising degree, many women are unprepared for retirement: A recent survey by financial-services company MassMutual found that women’s retirement accounts were, on average, just two-thirds the size of men’s.

Unhold Us, Senators
NY Times
: Congress is staggering toward recess. I’m going to go way out on a limb and guess that they’re not going to accomplish anything major before they leave. But as long as they’re still in town, taking up space, the least they could do is approve the National Women’s HistoryMuseum bill.

China’s one-child policy–success or failure?
BBC News: After three decades, the drawbacks of the one-child policy are more and more apparent.

Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi ‘on voters’ list’
BBC News: Burma’s detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi is on a voters’ list for the first general election in 20 years, eyewitnesses have told the BBC.

Woman in Priestly Garb Sounds ‘a Great Echo’ in Italy
NY Times: There are fewer than 300 practicing Old Catholics in Italy, according to Fritz-René Müller, the Switzerland-based bishop who ordained her. But for Italians unaccustomed to seeing women in priestly garb, Mother Vittoria’s ordination “had a great echo; it was a small earthquake,” he said.

Afghan Equality and Law, but With Strings Attached
NY Times: It was an engaging idea. Hundreds of children would gather on the iconic Nader Khan Hill in the capital, Kabul, on a gorgeous Friday in September and fly kites emblazoned with slogans lauding the rule of law and equality for women.

Afghan Boys Are Prized, So Girls Live the Part
NY Times: There are no statistics about how many Afghan girls masquerade as boys. But when asked, Afghans of several generations can often tell a story of a female relative, friend, neighbor or co-worker who grew up disguised as a boy.

Big Pharma Tries to Make Bank off of Women’s Sexual Fears
: With the new conditions called “Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder,” and “Female Sexual Dysfunction” the drug companies are in some cases actually helping to construct the basic scientific building blocks. The aim is to build the market for the so called ‘pink’ Viagra.

Snickers Greet Premier of ‘The Black Tulip,’ a Film Shot in Afghanistan
NY Times: Afghans proved a tough audience for the world premiere of “The Black Tulip” at the Ariana Cinema on Thursday afternoon (an evening showing was deemed too dangerous). It was meant to be a serious film about Afghanistan, by an Afghan-born director, set in present-day Kabul and even filmed on location here, but many of the Afghans who saw it said they did not recognize the society they knew.

Ines Sainz Bashes Association for Women In Sports Media
Huffington Post
: Ines Sainz, the female sports reporter who was allegedly harassed in the New York Jets locker room earlier in September, slammed the Association for Women in Sports Media in a column titled “My September 11th in New York.”

Women writers who count

Congratulations to two Northeast Ohio women who won Lantern Awards.

  • Thrity Umrigar, former Akron Beacon Journal reporter, won for her memoir, First Darling of the Morning. She is an associate professor of English at Case Western Reserve University.
  • Joanna Connors, Plain Dealer reporter, won in the journalism category for her brave and thorough account, “Beyond Rape,” which appeared in the PD on May 4, 2008. The 16-page section told the story of Connors’ 1984 rape and its after effects. The Lantern was not the first award for Connor. She won the Distinguished Writing Award for Nondeadline Writing from the American Society of Newspaper Editors last year.

Joanna Connors

The Lantern Awards will be given every two years. They cover poetry, fiction, memoir, nonfiction, journalism, performance and blog. Nominating work for each finalist covered May 2008 to May 31, 2010.

If we name sexist language, we can change it

Sexist language is on the rise, according to a Sept. 3 article in The Guardian, but now there is a new way to fight back. Read more. Then take a look at the U.S. website the article is about,

Third wavers are “Generation Misunderstood”

Far from self involvement, far from apathy, WMC Progressive Women’s Voices alumna Courtney Martin sees the promise of new forms of activism developing from her generation. She tells us about it in her new book published this week.

Read “Generation Misunderstood,” by Martin, an exclusive on the Women’s Media Center website.