Hey all, since I transitioned into busier jobs, I’m posting here a lot less. You can check out my work at ThinkProgress here.
New York Times looks down its nose:
But if she is an expert, Olivia treats even the finest wine as if it were a can of beer. She habitually grabs goblets by the bulb rather than the stem, as a wine lover would. She never swirls and sniffs, the ritual that non-wine drinkers alternately find amusing, affected or annoying. She guzzles rather than sips.
To which I say, these women are my role models.
h/t Juana Summers
TPM keeps me really busy, but sometimes I get a minute to write, like I did today.
A debate broke out on Twitter among three male journalists — New York Times’ Nick Confessore, Politico’s Alex Burns, and MSNBC’s Benjy Sarlin — on Thursday afternoon: Does Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), whose anonymous colleagues she said told her she was “porky,” “chubby,” and “fat” during the months just after she had a baby, have a responsibility to name her harassers? Confessore and Burns say yes, Sarlin says no.
At the risk of being a woman to weigh in on this debate, it seems that the argument here is asking the wrong question. Don’t those men who said those things have a responsibility to step forward, admit what they did, and apologize?
A sociologist looked into it:
The federal government has made marriage promotion among single mothers a key part of its continuing effort to fight poverty.
But that approach has missed the mark because marriage doesn’t provide the same benefits to poor, single mothers as it does for others, according to Kristi Williams, associate professor of sociology at The Ohio State University.
“If the goal of marriage promotion efforts was truly to lower poverty rates and improve the well-being of unmarried parents and their children, then it is time to take a different approach,” Williams said.
From a paper written for the Council on Contemporary Families (the illustrious Stephanie Coontz’s organization) and released on 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty.
Thanks to Jessica Wakeman for encouraging me to write my thoughts about why I find engagement rings — diamond ones particularly, but really any of them — problematic:
I am a woman who is engaged to be married. But unlike lots of your friends who are busy posting photographs of their diamond engagement rings on Facebook, you wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at my left hand.
This is because I told my fiancée many times before we got engaged that I wasn’t interested in getting an engagement ring at all, diamonds or no. There are a lot of reasons I feel this way, including my particular indifference to jewelry. “Honestly, I’d rather have an iPad,” I told him.
Read the rest, and enjoy/debate/whatever.
Inside Higher Ed looks at a problem with economics PhDs:
Marriage, the research finds, benefits men and hurts women – if one judges by salary. Men who are married at the time they earn their doctorates see a 15 percent salary boost during the first five years of employment, compared to single men. And men who get married during that period see a 25 percent boost.
The picture is different for women. For them, getting married is associated with a 23 percent penalty in salary growth, compared to single women. The paper speculates that this reflects “compromises incurred in a two-career search.”
Marriage: good for men, bad for women, part 890,283,453.
Nearly a week after Megyn Kelly made her original claim that kids shouldn’t worry because santa is actually white, why, exactly, are we still talking about this? Part of it is, of course, the obvious bid for traffic and ratings in a somewhat slow news month. But the other part — the part about why Fox News got fired up about it enough to “correct” a rather silly suggestion to replace “old white man” Santa with a cartoon penguin — is much deeper.
Not to go all freshman cultural studies on you, but this is straight up about cultural hegemony. Many, including Fox News scholar Bill O’Reilly, have pointed out that historical depictions of Santa tend to be white, mainly because the myth of Santa originated in the home of my own ancestors, northwestern Europe. But it’s clear that Christmas and Santa have been adopted by a wider swath of people known as “Americans” and “the world,” lots of whom aren’t white. As a result, cultural traditions like Christmas are adapted to incorporate cultural plurality. Santa starts to look like your family rather than like the cultural depictions of ye olde St. Nicholas.
Look, I don’t think it’s an accident that we’re having this “debate” at a time when there’s already a lot of anxiety about America becoming less white (though obviously the definition of “white” is something of a moving goalpost), a time when America is debating whether we should offer a path to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally, and a time when the voting population is becoming more and more diverse.
Fox News sees this as a creeping assault on white culture. Santa has to be white because if he isn’t, then that suddenly means that white culture isn’t the dominant one in America anymore. (White people, doesn’t it just suck when other races appropriate your culture?) That to me seems why it’s so important for Fox News to assert and re-assert that Santa (and Jesus) is white. Otherwise they’re allowing white culture to be accepted as just one of many, rather than the dominant norm.
But I say, why fight it? Culture is meant to evolve and change over time. The more your protest, the likelier you are to lose. I mean, really, if we can have an African-American Annie, why on earth can’t we have an African-American Santa? Or a penguin, I guess.