Double Dose, Part 2: Clinton Focuses on Elevating Women; Whole Foods Fight; Our Genders, Our Rights; The Gender Politics of "Mad Men"

By Christine Cupaiuolo — August 18, 2009

Clinton Prioritizes Women’s Rights: “Clinton intends to press governments on abuses of women’s rights and make women more central in U.S. aid programs,” writes Mary Beth Sheridan at the Washington Post. “But her efforts go beyond the marble halls of government and show how she is redefining the role of secretary of state. Her trips are packed with town-hall meetings and visits to micro-credit projects and women’s dinners. Ever the politician, Clinton is using her star power to boost women who could be her allies.”

“It’s just a constant effort to elevate people who, in their societies, may not even be known by their own leaders,” Clinton told WaPo. “My coming gives them a platform, which then gives us the chance to try and change the priorities of the governments.”

Whole Foods Fight: I’ll be posting a more studious healthcare round-up, but for the moment: The New York Times Opinionator blog did a nice job pulling together comments from around the web about the anti-government healthcare reform op-ed written by Whole Foods CEO John Mackey that has some shoppers calling for a boycott.

One commenter recalls a food boycott from years ago that was more win-win: “I *loved* the Domino’s boycott way back when. Pro-choice cred PLUS I don’t have to eat cardboard pizza!”

feminism_and_sexismOur Genders, Our Rights: The summer edition of On The Issues Magazine discusses a topic that the editors describe as “both utterly fundamental and wildly revolutionary: gender norms and gender identity.”

Among the many offerings: “How a Feminist Found Her Sexism,” by Helen Boyd (with image at left by Gavin Rouille); “Trans Health Care Is A Life and Death Matter,” by Eleanor J. Bader; and “Virtual Switching, or Playing Games?” by Georgia Kral.

The Gender Politics of “Mad Men”: Cheers to RH Reality Check for hosting an ongoing “Mad Men” salon. And don’t miss Crystal Merritt’s insider perspective, as an ad woman and feminist.

New Column, Great Advice: Jaclyn Friedman is one of our favorite people for many reasons. She runs the annual Women, Action & Media conference as part of her role at Center for New Words; she co-edited, with Jessica Valenti, “Yes Means Yes: Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape“; and now she’s writing a weekly column for Amplify Your Voice, a project of Advocates for Youth.

Read Friedman’s “Open Letter to Miley Cyrus,” which should be shared with all 16-year-olds.

Ovarian Cancer Surgery and Fertility: According to a new study published in the journal Cancer, five-year survival rates for stage 1 ovarian cancer patients were the same for patients who had both ovaries removed and women who had only the cancerous ovary removed, reports the L.A. Times. Though ovarian cancer occurs most often in postmenopausal women, up to 17% of ovarian cancers occur in women 40 or younger and that rate is believed to be rising.

Plus: Chicago Tribune health columnist Julie Deardoff writes: “One of every 1,000 pregnant women in the U.S. has cancer, a relatively rare but stark convergence of life and death. For these women, treatment is possible. But it comes with a host of terrifying decisions for the family.”  The story focuses on Sarah Joanis, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at age 26.

“Menopause, the Musical”: “This isn’t retro; it’s just old,” Anita Gates writes in The New York Times of the eight-year-old musical that, despite corny songs and stereotypes, has been produced in 14 countries and in more than 200 American cities. “Who calls menopause the change of life? Edith Bunker, maybe, on the 1970s sitcom ‘All in the Family.’ And she would have been in her 80s by now. Women who read ‘Our Bodies, Ourselves’ in their youth don’t use euphemisms.”

The musical is underway at the South Orange Performing Arts Center, and while Gates is clearly not enamored with the premise, she is a fan of the current staging and cast: “And thanks to a shift from self-deprecation to self-actualization (and a few nice costume changes), by the end, against all odds, the show is actually exhilarating.”

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