Friday, April 27, 2007

Fearless Friday

The enterprising, fearless ladies over at MotherTalk have invited me, along with hundreds of other women, to blog today about a fearless moment in my life, or a moment when I started becoming fearless. So here we go.

My father taught me if not to be fearless, then to die trying. He taught our golden retriever how to swim by throwing her off the pier, and he taught me how not to fear sailing by taking me out in a storm. I learned to love rain after my father dragged me outside to watch the lightning roll in over Lake Michigan and straight into our backyard. Together, we learned not to fear skiing by staying out during a mountain blizzard in Wyoming, yodeling fearlessly at the top of our lungs all the way down.

But none of this prepared me for the courage it took to leave a marriage at age thirty-five. I wanted kids of my own, and I knew that leaving the marriage -- corrupted as it was -- would postpone that dream, if not vanquish it. Up to that point, I had led a comfortable life. Leaving would leave me financially insecure. But I did it. I left. And I didn't die.

With that leave-taking began a new life -- one more thrilling than a sail in a storm, more charged than lightning, more exhilarating than a Wyoming blizzard. Leaving put me in touch with my truest instinct for self-preservation. And life will never be the same again.

Petition to Save Book Reviews

The National Book Critics Circle has started an online petition to protest the Atlanta Journal Constitution's decision to eliminate its book editor job (and with it Teresa Weaver). Oy. We NEED book reviews. This is BAD. But hopeful - forward the link! More commentary can be found here. (Thanks to Daph for sending it around.)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Other Girls with, Um, Pens...

The seminar on blogging last night was FANTASTIC and I learned a ton of shiny new tricks. But man it’s hard to focus when you’ve got your laptop in front of you and you’re online. (How do students do it these days? Oh wait…) So, during the two moments when I wasn’t RIVETED by Sree’s presentation, I checked out who else on the web is a “Girl with Pen” out there….

Imagine my surprise at finding Ladies of the Pen.

Ahem. But back to girls with pens and brains - and not just bods. Check out coverage of the new book on Sassy on NPR yesterday. I love that this kind of feminist material history is seeing the light of day -- and in popular book form, too. Those girls had some serious pens, I tell you.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Stuff on My Cat

Ooh nooo! I'm cat blogging!

Actually, I'm sitting in a blogging seminar (sitting next to Helaine Olen) at Columbia School of Journalism with Sree Sreenivasan (the tech guy on WNBC-TV) testing some new stuff out...Bear with me. And in the meantime, enjoy this shot of Amelia Bedelia, my semi-perma-foster cat.

Full Frontal, Big Boys, and "Mommy Book" Sales

Though I more often ponder the through-lines and continuities, the differences between feminisms of different generations sometimes just kinda hit you over the head. Note the difference in these titles:

There's founder Jessica Valenti's Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman's Guide to Why Feminism Matters. (Be sure to check out Rebecca Traister's interview in Salon this week.)

And there's former 9-5 director Ellen Bravo's new book, Taking on the Big Boys: Why Feminism Is Good for Families, Business, and the Nation.

'Nuf said.

On other fronts, throwing a bone to those of us (ok, us writers) who are obsessed with the question of how other books actually sell, the New York Times reports today on sales figures for a number of recent "mommy books," including Leslie Bennetts'. (thank you, Laura!) Word on the street on how they sell? They don't.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Happy Pay Gap Day - I Mean, Oops, Equal Pay Day

A new study from the American Association of University Women finds that just a year after graduating from college, women earn just 80 percent of what men make. Ten years down the line, women make 69 percent of what men earn.

The finding comes at an interesting moment, given the popular argument that women earn less simply because of their lifestyle choices. Check out Broadsheet's trademark savvy reporting on the study for more.

And while we're on it, a few excerpts from a "pop quiz" I'm developing in conjunction with my book - because I'm always surprised at how often women ourselves overestimate how we, as a sex, are doing. Go on, take the little test. No one's looking. I'll post answers tomorrow.

In 2007, for every dollar a man earns, a woman earns:

A. the same
B. 84 cents
C. 77 cents
D. 56 cents

In 2007, women make up what percent of the U.S. Senate?

A. 3%
B. 14%
C. 33%
D. 50%

In 2007, what percent of women are tenured professors?

A. 7%
B. 16%
C. 20%
D. 50%

In 2007, what percent of Fortune 500 CEOs are women?

A. 8%
B. 15%
C. 26%
D. 50%

(Answers posted tomorrow!)

Monday, April 23, 2007

Courtney Martin, Jessica Valenti, Kara Jesella, and...Bjork

It's a hot week for feminism here in NYC, and particularly for two of my favorite under-30 feminist mentors:

Courtney Martin hits the road with Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: The Frightening New Normalcy of Hating Your Body, while personal hero and a founder of Jessica Valenti goes offline this week with her first book, Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman's Guide to Why Feminism Matters - a book she says she wished she had read as a teenager. Damn. Me too.

Excerpts of each are here:
Courtney on AlterNet
Jessica in The Guardian

For those of you not yet addicted to, some classic, vintage words from Jess -- who gets an undue amount of public flack from conservative detractors and misogynist wackos -- may sway you to check it out:
Where criticisms about my loud, opinionated ways might bother me if I wasn't a feminist, the fact that I am means that I know that there's nothing wrong with me, but only with a world that doesn't want women to speak their minds.

Such words have got to sound familiar to "second-wave" veterans. I'll be eager to see what the response is from an older generation to these new, important voices. Jessica wrote her book because, among other things, she believes that "All women, especially younger women, deserve feminism in their lives - and most don't have access to the university courses or feminist mentors who might introduce them to it."

A third book out this week by another next-generation writer I have yet to meet but already admire: Kara Jesella's How Sassy Changed My Life. Publisher's Weekly calls it "a behind-the-scenes, warts-and-all look at the magazine's office culture, including sections on the glossy's coverage of feminism, celebrity and girl culture....[T]he book—written in a style reminiscent of the magazine itself—is a testament to a publication that changed the face of teen media." Sounds like a fun romp through the recent past at the very least.

And as if these three offerings weren't enough for one week, check out this tidbit from Bjork on feminism (courtesy of

Feminism dead my a**.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Closing out a Sad, Sad Week...

The fabulous journalist James Ridgeway has a really important piece in Mother Jones: "Mass Murderers and Women: What We're Still Not Getting About Virginia Tech."

And to counter all this week's horrible awfulness, the Spring issue of Ms. magazine (on newsstands April 24) has an article by Nikki Ayanna Stewart in their new Women's Studies Department on the uses of a women's studies degree. It's called "Transform the World." Nikki, you bring us hope.

Teach Ins NOT a Thing of the Past!

It may be cliche, but it's true. Gen Xers of a progressive bent are known to wax nostalgic. Born too late, we feel we somehow "missed out" on the good ole days of badass activism -- anti-war teach ins, Civil Rights sit-ins, feminist girlcotts, and the like. But today, when I read about a campus-wide Global Warming Teach In in the Boston Globe, my heart skipped a beat. Check it out - it's taking place at Framingham University, next week.

As the Globe tells it, students in a ceramics course will be developing concept pieces based on their reactions to a global warming film. Government students will discuss the ongoing political debate and ramifications for public policy. Philosophy students will consider the moral and ethical considerations of how humans treat the Earth. Mathematics students will study the statistical rationale supporting global warming. In sociology professor Virginia Rutter's class, students will analyze a recent report by the UN panel showing that impoverished nations, which have contributed the least to global warming, would potentially suffer the most from its consequences. Rutter will be asking students to answer the question, "What are reasonable burdens for people to take on?"

Rutter, one of the Teach In's organizers, tells the Globe:
"We're always looking for opportunities to connect the concepts and theories to things that are happening in the world, things that help people feel the vitality of things we're engaged in....[When it comes to global warming, we] don't have a horse in the race about what policies make sense...But we have an interest in putting it on the table so that as a community we can think about it."

Sorry, Pam, but Virginia Rutter just became my new favorite sociologist.

As a postscript, maybe yesterday's Supreme Court ruling upholding the ban on so-called partial birth abortion -- an UTTER assault on women's reproductive health rights -- will finally be the prompt that wakes us all up? Sit-ins, teach-ins, girlcotts -- bring 'em on. We're in deep shit here. Be sure to check out Lynn Harris' coverage on the ruling Salon.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Happy Launch Day, Courtney! And a mea culpa...

Two quick updates from the reading/s front:

Courtney Martin's Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters goes on sale today! Check out Courtney's report from the front, on her blog. Great review by Holly Brubach in Sunday's Style magazine. Courtney's is one you don't want to miss.

Second, mea culpa - and to my relief. In spite of an effectively provocative but somewhat misleading title (The Feminine Mistake) that SAHMs have taken offense too, perhaps missing the Friedan reference, Leslie Bennetts is very GOOD on structure in numerous places. Check out, for starters, the chapters titled "Opting Out" and "Opting Back In," where she cites my new favorite sociologist, Pamela Stone, among others, extensively. And she incorporates some great structural zingers, like this one, from Sylvia Law: "This line about how women have to pick between having a family and having real work is sexist...When you say to women, and only women, 'You have to pick,' it's a way of keeping women in their place by saying, 'This is the way it is.' The Times likes to tell the story as if the structures are immovable and you have to accept them." Yeah, well, so do a lot of these books claiming to assuage women's angst. But I digress.

The question remains: In an era (and in a blogosphere) in which savvy authors KNOW people have no qualms voicing an opinion without reading the book, is it fair -- or disingenuous -- for us to rail against those who judge our books by their covers when our titles are, for better or worse, intended to provoke?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Fact-y Friday

So I'm doing research for some magazine articles I'm writing about cutting-edge couples in a (supposed) new era of equality and came across the following:

Based on a study of 120 in-depth interviews with young adults conducted between 1998-2003, NYU sociologist Kathleen Gerson reports that 3/4 of women said they plan to build a non-negotiable base of self-reliance and an independent identity in the world of paid work.

And according to other studies, there are fewer households with highly unequal divisions of family labor and more households with equal divisions than ever before -- both in the US and across Europe. Turns out, if egalitarian divisions aren't possible, what a husband wants and what a wife wants are often at odds. According to Gerson, "If a supportive, equal partnership is not possible, most women prefer individual autonomy over becoming dependent on a husband in a traditional marriage. Most men, however, if they can't have an equal balance between work and parenting, fall back on a neo-traditional arrangement that allows them to put their own work prospects first and rely on a partner for most caregiving."

So, um, what might this say about who's really calling shots in those couples featured by Leslie Bennetts where the wives are staying home? Just a thought...

(All info drawn from the special Council on Contemporary Families issue of The American Prospect last month)

Great gawking on Bennetts' recent talk

There's a savvy read of Leslie Bennett's NYPL LIVE event this week on Gawker, by the way, for those who missed it. (Thanks to Rachel Kramer Bussell for hipping me to it.)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Live, from economist Heather Boushey...

I'm taking the liberty of pasting Heather Boushey's comment on my previous post up here, in case folks don't venture into the comments down there. It is as I thought: evidence, not interpretation. Thank you, Heather, for inserting the nuance. Why doesn't this reality seem to get through the din???

Heather Boushey's comment:

Sure, I'll comment ... I've run hundreds of regressions by now trying to sort out whether there is or is not a trend of declining women's employment *because of children.* I haven't found any real evidence that points to women being more likely to leave employment today, compared to 25 years ago or 5 years ago, because they have children at home.

What we know is that employment rates for men and women (moms and non-moms) declined after 2000, and while women's employment rates have almost recovered to their 2000 levels, men's have not.

We also know that women lost more jobs during the recession of 2001 than they had in the prior two recessions. They did not lose more jobs than men, but compared to women in prior recessions, the 2001 recession was hard on women workers. I tend to think of this as women moving closer to equality to men in their vulnerability to the business cycle. (Typically, in prior recessions, men have seen greater employment losses than women during recessions.)

When we isolate the effect of children on women's employment, there is no increase. Does this mean that women are not leaving the workforce? No, but it does mean that we cannot identify children as the cause.

There is some evidence that husband's income may be having a slightly -- very slightly -- larger downward pull on women's employment in recent years. But, that's not about motherhood.

Economists and social scientists, help me out here...

As a researcher whose training is of the lit crit/historical persuasion (I am NOT nor have I ever been a social scientist, though there are times when I really wish I were!), I have a question for my friends of the economist/social scientist persuasion:

For those picking up this thread today, I've been blogging this week about Leslie Bennett's book, The Feminine Mistake, as I read it. Much as I may disagree on certain (key) points, Leslie Bennetts is GOOD. Every time I silently voice an objection, she addresses it on the next page. But I have a more general question about journalists interpreting data when it comes to research on women/girls/families -- and maybe experts from the Council on Contemporary Families crew can help us out here and set it straight.

Bennetts writes that "some feminists have challenged the very existence of a back-to-the-home trend on the grounds that more than two-thirds of all American mothers still participate in the labor force" (7) and that "[o]ther analysts have challenged the idea that we're witnessing a resurgence of stay-at-home motherhood by attacking the news stories describing this phenomenon" (8). She calls analyses like those put forth by Heather Boushey "arguments." I thought they were evidence. She calls them "denials" and invokes (critically, perhaps, but I think not) Linda Hirshman who refers to it all as the "it's not happening" defense.

Which is it? Is it happening? Or not? Is the reading of the early 2000s recession as the reason for women's labor-force dip interpretation -- or fact?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Live from the New York Public...

Last night's host at the New York Public Library event primed the audience for a fight. There was none, just good 'n lively convo. So I settled in and found myself listening to the exchange between Leslie Bennetts and Elissa Schappell with an ear for marketing. (I'm working on talking points for my own book and am obsessed with framing - can you tell?) Leslie Bennetts is a master, a natural -- I say that with genuine admiration.

Some highlights from the sound bite frontlines:

-ES on mommy wars: "It's mom-on-mom violence!"
-LB on SAHMs being left and being unable to reenter the workforce: "It's carnage out there."
-LB laughing at her own poor paraphrasing of an expert she talked to: "He who brings home the bacon controls the bacon."
-LB on structure: "What's keeping women from reentering the workforce is that no one is taking them back in."
-LB going counterintuitive: "Staying at home is high-risk behavior. I wouldn't put my child's welfare at risk that way." "Working women aren't validated as good mothers. No one ever says working women are being good moms, taking care of their kids, by working."
-LB on motive: "I did not think this was a book about mommy wars or feminism. Boy was I dumb." ES: "Dumb, dumb, dumb!"

It's interesting data to learn that many people seem not to be fully understanding "The Feminine Mistake" as a pun on "The Feminine Mystique," and instead think that Bennetts is calling SAHMs mistakes. (Jury's still out over here on that one - still on Chapter 1...)

Be sure to check out Rebecca Mead's New Yorker review of Bennetts. Good stuff, and balanced. (Thanks, Helaine, for that heads up!) Mead is generally laudatory (and man, talk about a gorgeously written review). Based on what I heard last night, I sense I'm going to agree with her critiques:
[Bennetts] is short on answers for women whose budgets do not stretch to hiring a well-chosen private surrogate. And she seems impatient with anyone who has failed to find, as she has, the thrill of work, particularly work that grants a certain degree of child-friendly flexibility.

Mead does a great historical tour of the title and offers a smart compare/contrast with Friedan. When I grow up, I want to be Rebecca Mead. (Don't we all?!).

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Some Good Commentary on Bennetts

I 'fess up: I struggled with the tone in my post below, as my live-in editor Marco, who I made read it twice before I hit "publish" can attest. My ethics dictate that I try (at least) to take issue without trashing, cause really, who needs more trash in this world. On that note, some of the best, aka most balanced, posts and commentaries I've seen so far: Joan Walsh on Salon and Mojo Mom , and an interesting bit about a review Mojo submitted to Amazon which Amazon wouldn't publish.

PS. Leslie, if you are reading, I look forward to meeting you, and to engaging in conversation not only about the issues, but about reception -- an issue that intrigues me, politically and personally and professionally, to no end.

Please, Leslie Bennetts, Tell Me I'm Wrong...

Tonight I'm going to hear Leslie Bennetts interviewed by Elissa Schappell at the New York Public Library. Bennetts is also speaking at a salon I'm a part of, next week. So, to prepare for said events, I excitedly started reading her book, The Feminine Mistake -- how can anyone who has written about Betty Friedan pass up a book with such a title? But the prologue itself gives me pause. Not for the reasons expressed by the "stay at home brigade," as Bennetts calls them in her retort on HuffPost to the barrage of opening critiques she's received from SAHMs, but on behalf of my generation.

Well-intentioned and heartfelt, Bennett's writing nevertheless positions younger women as in need of cautionary tales. Some of us, no doubt, do, and Feminine Mistake is full of important information about what happens when opt-out wives get left. But many others of us clamor instead for tales of workplaces that have realized women (AND men) have families. Where are the cautionary tales aimed at corporations about how bottom lines suffer when they fail to retain their women? Or the cautionary tales aimed at young husbands about how miserable they'll be if they opt out of time at home with the kids?

Thumbing ahead, Bennetts writes about the difficulties of reentering the work force and the penalties women pay for their time out (and the need for crucial changes in the divorce laws). But the tone set early on (and Leslie, please tell me I'm off - I want to be - I'm still in the early chapters) seems to focus on personal decision-making, rather than much-needed structural (aka workplace) change.

Wait - I'm switching to second person, so let's go with it:

Leslie, you completely have me when you wrote that the real issues behind women's work/life predicaments have nothing to do with words like "choice" and "values." But then you write about the "willfully retrograde choice" of women who opt out on the very next page. If you ask me, the "feminine mistake" has been -- to borrow a phrase from my elders -- a focus on the personal at the expense of the political, the structural. I think you and I will both agree that words like "options" are meaningless until we are talking about viable workplace options -- not the "option" to work or not.

A personal postscript: Raised to be my own person and divorced at 35, I have never for a moment expected that a husband would support me for the duration. These young women who keep appearing in print are certainly not the majority. As I thought Heather Boushey of the Center for Economic Policy Research rather convincingly documented, the "opt out" phenomenon named by Lisa Belkin back in 2003 was not hard evidence of a generation bailing on work but rather a dip in women's labor market participation due to a recession. Why do young mothers, instead, keep getting castigated, warned, and blamed? (I'm thinking of other books here...more soon.)

Monday, April 9, 2007

Another forthcoming one: Mama, PhD

Attention heavily degreed women-with-babies: I love this. Caroline Grant, movie columnist for the blog Literary Mama, is coming out with a book called Mama, PhD, about, what else? Mamas with PhDs. Keep an eye out for more about it on MotherTalk.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

NEW! Trainings for Researchers, Scholars, Nonprofits

After a successful pilot with the National Women's Studies Association, Girl w/Pen is hitting the streets with a new training series: "Making It Pop: Translating Your Ideas for Trade."

Here's the why:

Public debate lacks a sensitive discussion of the complex forces shaping the lives of women and girls. Researchers, nonprofit workers, and savvy writers everywhere have the opportunity to frame public debate about these issues. Too often, however, important work fails to reach an audience outside the academic and advocacy worlds. Writing a trade book is one way to join the debate. To sell a book in today’s competitive publishing climate, one must be able to write engaging, accessible prose that will appeal to a wide audience.

 These skills can be learned.

And the what:

Girl w/Pen offers an interactive tele-seminar series designed to help researchers and others cross this bridge by learning about the key elements involved in writing a book for “trade.”

A “trade book”—one written the intelligent, general-interest reader and carried by bookstores—is different from an academic book sold primarily through university presses. Participants will learn from exchanges with New York City-based agents and editors why it’s essential to think about audience and market in a different way, and why you need a book proposal. We’ll explore the differences between popular and academic writing, why a dissertation or a monograph is not a trade book, and how to write an effective book proposal—meaning one that has the best chance of being sold.

Participants will be expected to read assigned material (including sample book proposals and a book, Thinking Like Your Editor: How to Write Great Serious Nonfiction--and Get It Published), engage in an ongoing online exchange, and participate in a weekly session with the full class and instructor at an established time each week.

A tailored on-site version that condenses material covered in the teleseminar. Additional topics for consideration include writing articles for magazines, blogging, and op-eds.


May 5, 2007 - "Taking Research Public," Council on Contemporary Families Annual Conference, University of Chicago

June 2, 2007 - "Making It Pop: Trade Books, Popular Magazines, Blogs," National Council for Research on Women Conference, Spelman College

July 1, 2007 - "Publishing in Women’s Studies: Public Voice," National Women's Studies Association Annual Conference, St. Charles, IL

If you are an academic association or department or a nonprofit organization (or a member of said association, department, organization) and would like further information, please contact me directly at

Friday, April 6, 2007

Sisterhood is...noisy

Just a quick one on this snowy Friday on the Upper West Side: HuffPost has an interesting post by Leslie Bennetts about the reception of her book, The Feminine Mistake, proving once again that sisterhood is noisy whenever one writes about women's choices and predicaments these days. As usual, I hope that Leslie's many important points make it through the din.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Two Forthcoming Books: "Perfect" Girls and "Opt Out" Wives

I've added a list (scroll down, it's on the left) of forthcoming books by savvy feminist scholars to watch out for - and will continue to try to list em as I see em going forth.

Did you catch that front page story in Sunday's New York Times on "amazing girls"? My gal Courtney Martin has a whole book on the topic (and much more) coming out April 17. It's called Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: The Frightening New Normalcy of Hating Your Body. (Courtney and I are teaming up to do some joint speaking this summer about feminism's daughters. Stay tuned...) For a great counterpoint to the article, though, check out Courtney's post on and Patti Binder on What's Good for Girls.

The other book I've listed comes out around Mother's Day and promises to clear up a lot of the annoying myths about "opting out." Penned by sociologist Pamela Stone, it's called Opting Out? Why Women Really Quit Careers and Head Home. Publisher's Weekly writes, "Stone's revealing study adds an important counterpoint to Leslie Bennetts's forthcoming The Feminine Mistake." I'm not sure yet how it's a "counterpoint" (I need to read it!), but I urge people to check it out. It looks at what really happens to women who opt out of the workplace and their careers for the sake of their families and sheds light on new research about the American workplace. (Hint: The dirty little secret of today's work world is that it is not providing work-committed women with the support they need to keep working once they become mothers.)

On a related note, and in case anyone missed it, a special March issue of The American Prospect grew out of an October 2006 work/family research conference sponsored by the Council on Contemporary Families and looks at "Why Can't America Have a Family-Friendly Workplace." The issue includes articles by the creme de la creme on this topic: Joan Williams, Kathleen Gerson, Heather Bousey, Janet Gornick, Scott Coltrane, Tamara Draut, Jodie Levin-Epstein, Ellen Bravo, Ann Friedman. These people are all doing amazing work and, like Pamela Stone, merit increased visibility for their solid and grounded research.

Monday, April 2, 2007

In Response to Memoir Week on Slate...

The other week, Slate hosted “Memoir Week”, assessing the state of the modern memoir and posing the following question to a group of memoir writers:
How do you, as memoirists, choose to alert people who appear in your books that you are writing about them—or do you not alert them at all? If you do, do you discuss the book with family members and friends while the work is in progress? How do you deal with complaints from people who may remember events differently than you?

These are questions I get asked a lot as I travel around talking about our book, Only Child: Writers on the Singular Joys and Solitary Sorrows of Growing Up Solo. When Daphne and I were inviting writers to contribute to our anthology, some told us they wouldn’t be able to write anything about their parents until they were safely 6 feet under. But not me. In fact, the things I wrote about my mother in my essay for the book were things I had already told her. Or rather, wrote to her. I started writing her letters when I was still living under her roof, at age 16. They were love letters with an ultimatum: “If you want to continue to have a relationship with me, pay attention,” they’d generally begin. My mother still has these letters tucked away somewhere in her nightstand drawer.

But still, people who read my essay in Only Child generally to want to know how my mother “took” my essay. And then there’s that other question: “What did your ex-husband think?”

In answer to both: As I finished writing the piece, I decided that ongoing relationships with both Mom and ex were more important to me than any piece of writing. So I made the decision to show them both the draft and give them the opportunity to ask me to make changes before I went to print. Writer friends thought I was nuts to open up my draft to editorial input from the leading characters in my drama. Granted, I was not prepared to completely revise, nor was I willing to let certain details or particular turns of phrases go. But each (Mom and ex) asked for one or two emendations around details that were important to them to mask. I honored their requests.

My mother—like Sean Wilsey’s—agreed that I had the right to tell the truth, and she actually, bravely, agreed with my version of truth when it came to my characterization of her, and of our earlier and often painful dynamic. My ex, for whom wounds were perhaps more fresh, may have told the story a different way, but he, too, told me he saw the veracity in my account. I give these two characters in my drama extreme kudos. They each proved big enough to let me own my experience, my tale. Mom remains my biggest fan (love ya!), and yes, to many people’s surprise, my ex and I wish each other nothing but deep happiness and are still, if at a remove, in touch.

I'd be eager to hear how other contributors to our book have experienced the aftermath of writing about their families -- or how anyone who writes personally has dealt with these particular challenges.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Happy April (and a Belated Women's History Month Post!)

Well, March came and went, but hey, it's never too late for a Women's History Month post, right?

So first, my congrats to the 2007 honorees of National Women's History Month. Very cool, I thought, that the theme was "Generations of Women Moving History Forward," and that Third Wave Foundation's Executive Director Monique Mehta was among the honorees.

And speaking of history, last week I contacted the scholars behind this terrific online resource called "The Second Wave and Beyond." Check it out. It's still under development. Lookin forward to seeing it grow.