Fifty years ago, President Lyndon Johnson declared a War on Poverty, a government response to a national poverty rate around 19%. Back then, the face of poverty in the States was those living in inner-city projects or Appalachian shacks. Today the face of poverty is women.
According to Maria Shriver (on the Atlantic), of the more 100 million Americans living close to or under the poverty line, nearly 70% are women and children. Forget having it all; these women just want to be able to feed their kids and pay their electric bill.
I remember how excited I was to discover Rosabeth Moss Kanter in the early 1980’s. She was one of the few females writing about leadership and organizational change management. I hungrily devoured The Change Masters as a relatively new nonprofit CEO navigating roiling changes in the healthcare and political landscape while learning to lead a complex organization toward continued growth.
The first thing I thought when I read this article in Monday's New York Times was "How cool! All these women are scientists?!" What immediately followed was the thought "Too bad." Too bad I never knew that Winnie from the Wonder Years loves math. Too bad I never found out that Blossom totally digs science. Too bad I had no idea that Queen Amidala was a super science nerd in high school, or I might have found the Star Wars prequels more interesting.
Much to the dismay of a number of Jewish organizations, the Senate neglected to vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act last month, effectively shelving it for the foreseeable future. The bill, which would have augmented current civil rights law to protect against sex-based pay discrimination, had received broad support from civil rights and women’s rights groups but faced opposition from business organizations, whose members said it would be both difficult and expensive to enforce.
Can a woman perform a bris? Jewish scholars, even the most Orthodox, answer with a tentative “why not?” for there is no halachic (Jewish law) prohibition against mohelot – female mohels. While Jewish law states that it’s preferable for a Jewish male to perform the brit milah (circumcision) if one is present, it is not mandatory. The symbolism of a woman circumcising a man is inherently provocative, touching on questions of spirituality, nurturing mothers, and emasculation. Many men, when polled on the subject, reflexively cross their legs.
I got my copy of Ms. Magazine yesterday and in it, and was excited to see an article called “Girls Love Robots, Too,” about a group of girls in San Diego who started their own robotics team and have won honors in national robotics competitions. It talks about how it’s a big thing for girls to have their own team, since men outnumber women in engineering 73 to 27, and emphasizes that the girls are defying the stereotype that only boys like science and math.
It’s hard not to get excited about the nomination of Elena Kagan to replace Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court. If seated, she would bring the number of women on the Supreme Court to three, the number of Jewish women to two, and the total number of Jews on the bench to three. On paper, Kagan’s a great choice. An Upper West Side girl who went to public school and then off to Princeton and Harvard Law School, where she became the first woman to be named the Dean of the Law School. And then she became the first woman to serve as Solicitor General of the United States.
Last week in The Sisterhood, Elana Sztokman weighed in on the struggle to balance work and motherhood. Her piece was written partly in response to an earlier Sisterhood post by Deborah Kolben, who wondered if choosing to stay home with her new baby made her a "bad feminist." Below is an excerpt from Elana Szotkman's piece.