Double Dose: Remembering Wendy Wasserstein, Online Abuse Directed at Women, Must-See Fat Rant and More

By Christine Cupaiuolo — April 6, 2007

‘The Heidi Chronicles’:: One year after playwright Wendy Wassertein died of lymphoma, her friend Tazewell Thompson is directing “The Heidi Chronicles” at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. (April 6 – May 13). The Washington Post has a story about Wasserstein and the production.

Web-only content at the theater website includes an extended version of Dramaturg Michelle T. Hall’s program notes on “The Heidi Chronicles” and a 15-minute audio interview with Thompson, line producer David Dower, and Ellen Karas, who plays Heidi Holland.

Studies Look at Pregnancy Weight, Stress: A study in the April issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology looks at the connection between recommended pregnancy weight and the risk of having an overweight toddler. The Washington Post has the story.

Plus, according to this press release, a study published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity shows that women who report high levels of stress and low social support during pregnancy are more likely to have increased immune system activity, which can trigger inflammatory responses and put them at risk for premature labor and preeclampsia.

Manhood and Medicine: Teenage boys who hold some traditional beliefs about what it means to be a “real man” can undermine their sexual health and good preventive care in general, according to research published in the April issue of Pediatrics journal.

“Many illnesses in young men, such as sexually transmitted infections, can be prevented through timely intervention by a doctor or a nurse,” said lead author Arik Marcell, M.D., M.P.H., a pediatrician and adolescent medicine specialist at the John Hopkins Children’s Center. “However, stereotypes about masculinity suggest that for boys, seeking care is a sign of weakness, and our analysis shows that such beliefs can be considered a health risk factor in and of itself.”

How the Web Became a Sexists’ Paradise: Jessica Valenti of Feministing has a story in The Guardian about online harassment: “While no one could deny that men experience abuse online, the sheer vitriol directed at women has become impossible to ignore. Extreme instances of stalking, death threats and hate speech are now prevalent, as well as all the everyday harassment that women have traditionally faced in the outside world – cat-calls, for instance, or being ‘rated’ on our looks. It’s all very far from the utopian ideals that greeted the dawn of the web – the idea of it as a new, egalitarian public space, where men and women from all races, and of all sexualities, could mix without prejudice.”

Egeria and the Holy Week Liturgies: “Given the sacrosanct nature of worship services this time of year,” writes Chloe Bryer at Slate, “it is worth remembering that, far from being handed down directly from God, much of the Easter and Holy Week liturgies come to us by way of a little-known, naturally inquisitive fourth–century Spanish nun named Egeria.”

Best. Rant. Ever.: Stay Free! points to a new ad for Metamucil and discusses the intended audience. “Now, I’m not the gambling type but if P&G isn’t targeting anorexics, bulimics, and other weight-obsessed women with this campaign, you can have my house,” writes Carrie McLaren. Meanwhile, Gapers Block, a Chicago-based online publication, covers the latest weight-loss trends suggested by some of its regular contributors, including Wendy McClure, author of “I’m Not the New Me.”

Once you’re done with the parody, check out A Fat Rant, by Joy Nash (see below). Hat tip: Ampersand, who also points to this term paper Nash wrote several years ago on the subject of fat and oppression — the bibliography, notes Nash, may be useful for anyone seeking more information about statistics and studies mentioned in the video.

One response to “Double Dose: Remembering Wendy Wasserstein, Online Abuse Directed at Women, Must-See Fat Rant and More”

  1. Thank you for that fant rant! That was so empowering! Really.
    Women are always told to apologize for their size, and finally we hear someone who says “so what, I’m fat! There’s more to life, than being fat.”

    Again, thanks so much for posting that. I will definitly be passing it on.

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