Sure, it's hard to live in the spotlight, even if it's a local spotlight, like the one we shine on mayors. I can't think of many other jobs as thankless as being mayor, because the people who fancy themselves watchdogs are really, really into it and there's not much that escapes public scrutiny, even if "public" is limited to fewer than 500,000 folks. The current mayor of Washington, DC, Adrian Fenty, was raked over the coals of the local media for keeping his personal garage unlocked while his daughters' bikes were stolen. Of course he should know to lock the garage, but sheesh. I haven't heard that many disparaging radio show callers since Rush Limbaugh promised to move to Costa Rica if the health care bill passed. (Note to Rush: We're still waiting.)
Most Bitch readers buy the magazine off the magazine rack, at a bookstore, a grocery store, or a boutique. This is called newsstand distribution, and it's a system that is built on and rewards waste and inefficiency.
Maybe the summer only seems quiet, free from the stresses of the holiday season, the doldrums of mid-winter, and the frantic fervor of spring. Maybe this is when we're lulled into complicity and we acquiesce into a false sense of comfort. Because fall is just around the corner, and it's not just any fall this year: it's the 2010 Midterm Elections. The world is ending, and so far, nobody cares.
We're rounding up some of the most interesting things we read this week in another installment of On Our Radar!
On Salon, Madeline Holler writes on the downsides of radical homemaking.
Amanda Hess of The Sexist breaks down the creepy manipulation of television personality Olivia Munn during her Playboy photo shoot. Munn writes in her memoir about the photographer and stylists' attempts to coerce her into posing nude.
In the wake of the election of women heads-of-state in Finland and Australia last week, Haley Cohen offers up a neat little round-up of the world's female leaders.
Over at Womanist Musings, Renee Martin makes an excellent case for why the public, black women in particular, shouldn't forgive singer and domestic abuser Chris Brown.
On Shakesville Melissa McEwan starts a discussion thread on the new Bravo TV show, Work of Art. The most recent episode saw the artists creating "controversial" works.
Nisha Chittal expands on The Awl's post on the differences between men and women's writing pitches on Feministe.
Find something that piqued your interest this week? Leave it in the comments section!
This week marks the first From the Bitch Library post that examines the history of female librarianship as well as the relationship between feminism and libraries.
Image: Melvil Dewey
Melvil Dewey, creator of the Dewey Decimal System, is oftentimes praised for having created a new job field for women in the US. In 1883, Dewey was hired as the head librarian at Columbia College (which later turned into Columbia University), and he soon convinced the trustees to let him open a library school. At the time, Columbia College only allowed women into a special women's college, so Dewey's plans to invite women to join the library school were controversial. His first class was comprised of 20 people, 17 of whom were women. While many have focused on Dewey's success in educating and opening up jobs for women, attention is rarely paid to why he felt women would make great librarians. Spoiler alert: he held some pretty sexist beliefs.
The most boring exhibit I ever saw in any of the Washington, DC Smithsonian museums was, without a doubt, the gowns of the First Ladies. Oh, how I could not have cared less. But my mother preened over them like she'd just found some rare bird egg sitting under her window. Helen Taft? Grace Coolidge? Elizabeth Monroe? I didn't care about their dresses, and I certainly didn't know who they were as women. On top of that, weren't First Ladies just... housewives in a really nice house?