January 12, 2007

Friday Double Dose: Ugly Betty, The L Word, Funny Women (Really!) and More

I (Heart) America Ferrera: The star of “Ugly Betty” is on the February cover of Cosmo Girl. Yes, it’s frustrating to see the teaser “How America Ferrera is Making Ugly the New Pretty” followed by “GET HOTTER LEGS, ABS & BUTT NOW!” but Ferrera is terrific. Check out this interview excerpt.

One “L” of a Show: Have fans forgivenThe L Word” creators for killing off Dana and breaking up Bette and Tina? Time will tell. But besides this year’s new season, in which Bette’s sister, Kit (Pam Grier), has already given us great TV by going off on a “pregnancy crisis center,” there’s now OurChart.

Plus: Bravo ends “Queer Eye” after five seasons. From E! News:

Over their four years and soon-to-be five seasons onair, the fivesome have lent their expertise to more than just straight New York men. Kressley & Co. have filmed episodes in Texas, Las Vegas, Florida and England and have expanded their makeover repertoire to include a female-to-male transgender, gay men and several members of the Boston Red Sox.

The show’s run also included an ill-fated and very short-lived spinoff, Queer Eye for the Straight Girl, which was canceled after just three months on the air in May 2005.

The Girls Aren’t Laughing WITH You: In her knockdown of Christopher Hitchens, Faith Childs points to Gene Weingarten’s responses from women who don’t find Hitchens — or his “Why Women Aren’t Funny piece in Vanity Fair — all that amusing.

The Books that Read Women: Los Angeles Times op-ed columnist Meghan Daum on “woman-centered punditry”:

According to this literary genre, contemporary American women are conflicted, confused, vain and bitter, not to mention (choose one; we’re all about choice) undersexed or oversexed, underemployed or overworked, man-hating or desperate for a man. We are also apparently even more obsessed with dirty socks than were our Stepford forebears.

This is not the kind of stuff you brag about on your resume or in an online personal ad. So why have so many women — cultural critics, novelists and self-help gurus alike — built their careers on this humiliating form of advertising copy?

Life Support for Feminist Health Care: In part II of her post on feminist health care, Amie Newman asks the questions: “[H]ow far must the ‘feminist lens’ bend to refocus on the survival of feminist health centers? Is the foundation on which feminist health centers are built outdated? More urgently, will the remaining 15 feminist health centers in this country be able to weather the challenges set before them before it’s too late?” As previously noted, Newman is the communications director at Aradia Women’s Health Center in Seattle, which is closing its doors next month. Read part I of her series here.

Kaiser Launches New Report: The Kaiser Family Foundation this week announced the launch of a news summary report — the Kaiser Health Disparities Report: A Weekly Look at Race, Ethnicity and Health. From the release: “Following the model of three other popular Kaiser news summary reports on health policy, HIV/AIDS and women’s health policy, this new report summarizes and synthesizes news coverage of minority health issues from hundreds of print and broadcast news sources, including outlets serving racial and ethnic communities. The report will also highlight studies, initiatives and journal articles that don’t receive mainstream news coverage, and provide a calendar of upcoming events on health disparities.”

Also from Kaiser: A transcript, webcast and podcast is available of the recent “Ask the Experts” discussion concerning the implementation of the new vaccine against human papillomavirus (HPV).

Plus: The Washington Post today reports on the “nationwide effort to encourage or even require adolescent girls to receive the new cervical cancer vaccine.” Pulling from recent comments at OBOB about the vaccine, Lucinda Marshall raised questions about its safety, and Kiki Zeldes pointed to this article by Maryann Napoli of the Center for Medical Consumers about why the vaccine should not be mandatory.

Vaginal Delivery Less Stress on Newborn: “Newborns who are delivered via planned cesarean section are more likely to be transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit and to experience lung disorders compared with those delivered via planned vaginal delivery, according to findings published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology,” reports Reuters.

From the Keroack Files: Why go a week without referencing the appointment of Eric Keroack, head the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Population Affairs? Particularly when author Sara Paretsky has such a good take on the absurdity that is Bush World.


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