March 9, 2007

Friday Double Dose: Carnival of Feminists, The New Frontier in Cosmetic Surgery and Diva Duels

Carnival of the Feminists: The 33rd Carnival of Feminists is up at The Greatest Blog You’ll (Probably) Never Read. Another terrific, don’t-miss mix.

Of Books & Bodies: Before the word “vagina” became an issue, there was “scrotum.” I first read about the controversy over the Newbery Medal-award winning children’s book, “The Higher Power of Lucky,” by Susan Patron, last month, but can still appreciate this spot-on column by David Hawpe, who also identifies what’s really obscene in America.

Speaking Out: Parents are accusing a suburban Chicago high school of “promoting a homosexual agenda by allowing gay students to speak before freshman classes about their personal experiences, cite research and invite questions,” reports the Chicago Tribune. One of several comments by an upset parent that left us gaping: “I don’t think they should be treating [homosexuality] in the same way they treat conditions that are immutable and carry no behavioral implications, like race, sex, ethnicity and disability.”

Designer Vaginas: Referring to cosmetic surgery’s “new frontier,” laser vaginal rejuvenation, Caitlin E. Borgmann asks, “Is this kind of surgery really such a far cry from female genital mutilation?”

Want To Pay $1,200 To Hear A Bunch of Men Pontificate About The Future?: I stole Ann Bartow’s title. Go read what you get for your money. Also check out Alicia Shepard on All Men, All the Time, in News Business.

Three Positive Steps: Jaclyn Friedman’s essay at Women’s eNews outlines three steps to address sexual assault against women, starting with what should be obvious but isn’t: hold boys and men responsible. “[If] we want to raise awareness about the links between drinking and rape,” writes Friedman, “we should start by getting the word out to men that alcohol is likely to impair their ability to respond appropriately if a sexual partner says ‘no.’ When was the last time you read that article in any kind of publication?”

Child-Care Crisis: Washington Post columnist Leslie Morgan Steiner reports on the best and worst states for child care, as identified by a state report card issued by the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (NACCRRA).

Seeking Submissions: Make/Shift, a new magazine produced by an international community of feminist writers, artists, academics and activists, is seeking submissions for its second issue (Fall/Winter ’07).

Enough of the Diva Duels: “‘Who’d win,’ demanded AOL, ‘if Beyonce, Jennifer threw down?’ In the story line of the diva smackdown — AOL’s term — it’s not enough that female stars are feuding; we in the audience have to lay bets and pick sides and flash our own claws,” writes Mary Schmich.


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