News for Ladies, Globetrotting Edition

We’re getting ready to go off on an international adventure of our very own in a couple of days, so amuse yourselves with some random snippets of gynocentric news and information, culled from the all-seeing, all-knowing digital panopticon the incredible Interwebz.

Image of the Week:

Screenshot of Hillary Clinton's Twitter profile page on the day it went live, 6/10/13.

Screenshot of Hillary Clinton’s Twitter profile page on the day it went live, 6/10/13.

Question: Are you bothered by the word “wife” in the bio? I am not. I dig the progression from the traditional, stand-by-your-man model of ladyhood that opens the series of nouns Clinton offers to describe herself. The series manages, in the cool, crisp style of the Twitterverse, to remind readers of her decades of public service while cheekily taking on the ridiculous attacks on her appearance, style, and personal life that have dogged her over the years. It ends with a brilliant tease, that coy TBD, inviting readers to stay tuned to see what’s coming next from one of the world’s most fascinating and accomplished women. Is it any wonder that Clinton’s debut caused an immediate sensation? Alyssa Rosenberg in Think Progress declared it a success, comparing the pop-cultural savvy evident in Clinton’s Twitter entree to the flat-footedness of a Republican Game of Thrones parody that made the National Republican Congressional Committee look dumb and out of touch instead of cool and hip. (That’s according to Rosenberg — I do not watch GoT, so don’t expect any jokes or spoilers here. I am out of touch but not dumb.) Clinton’s embrace of the 140-character mode of communication was front-page news in this morning’s Washington Post, which even this loyal pantsuit wearer found a little hard to believe. As I type this, Clinton has more than 375,000 followers on Twitter, which is mighty impressive for a political figure. I mean, an obscure singer like Justin Bieber can rack up 40 million followers before breakfast, but a hardworking pol like NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo can barely muster 84,000.

Yes, I am following Clinton. She hasn’t returned the favor yet, but so far she is only following Bill, Chelsea, and some Clinton Foundation thingies. She also hasn’t posted anything beyond her opening Tweet, a clever shout-out to the creators of the brilliant Texts from Hillary Tumblr that boosted Clinton’s coolness ratings into the stratosphere last spring. Good move, Hillz — We denizens of the Interwebz love nothing better than a hat tip as a way of demonstrating alliance and respect. Dear Hillary: You are clearly getting excellent social media advice, but if you want more, I’m available, 24/7, here at this humble little blog or over on the Twitters. Your devoted admirer, The Madwoman

Speaking of Sheroes Battling Sexism, biologist Anne Fausto-Sterling has been doing it for decades in academia. Read all about it here. And retired Washington Post restaurant critic Phyllis Richman finally answers an incredibly sexist letter she received from a dude at the Harvard graduate school when she applied for admission in 1961. Finally, Yoko Ono has just turned 80 and feels that she is starting a new life. Dog bless you, Yoko.

On the other hand, not all women are perfect. (I know: Sad, but true.) Case in point: This woman, a mom AND a professor of gender studies (!?!) published a tortured piece of hoo-ha in Wa Po the other day about how her daughter, a straight girl, took another girl to the prom because neither of them felt like waiting for boys to ask them to attend. (H/T Julie Enszer.) Mom was rattled, because, well, “If Angel were a lesbian, attending the prom with a girl would have seemed normal. But she’s not, so I kept thinking: ‘Why not attend with a boy instead of a girl?’” Dear Anxious Mom: Please add this book to your summer reading list and send me a new screen for my laptop. I smashed mine while reading your tortured, sentimental affirmation of traditional gender norms. For the record, yep, Angel is a much better feminist than her mother is, but you know what? It ain’t a fricking contest, and if you frame it that way everybody loses. Yours sincerely, The Madwoman

Because it’s summertime, you should read one silly piece of twaddle that will make you giggle about a certain form of Lady Power in the Media, so go read this profile of Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb’s wine- and estrogen-fueled partnership. I hadn’t watched morning television in years until I caught some of the high jinks going on during their daily hour of Today. They really are hilarious. The money quote in the piece is Gifford’s description of how enriching her work and friendship with Kotb have been for her: “It’s like an old man who’s taken a young lover,” she quips. “He’s got a jaunty little step.”

All right, kids, gotta run. If you need me over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be where this woman was in this pretty to look at but not especially good film:

Under_the_tuscan_sun_posterArrivederci, darlings! I hope your summers are off to a sunny, delicious start. I’ll post from the road if I can, but you know how spotty those international Interwebz connections can be, especially when a Madwoman has had a glass or three of nice chianti. Be good and brave, and I’ll catch up with you soon. Peace out!


  1. Have a fabulous time in Tuscany: can’t wait to see the pics, read the stories;-)


  2. I was a little bothered by the “wife, mom” opening of the twitter profile (if it’s chronological, shouldn’t “lawyer” come first?), but not so much that I didn’t enjoy the thing as a whole. Besides, it appears that being Bill Clinton’s wife could be a more-than-full-time job if you let it, which, to her credit, she hasn’t (and I must say he’s done a far better job of staying in the background for the last decade or so than I thought he’d be capable of).

    Enjoy Tuscany!


  3. Echoing bendprof: Tuscany pics!


  4. Will do my best to post pics from the road. It all depends on signal strength/speed. Virtual fingers crossed! Thanks for the good wishes.


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