I almost don’t want to give the New York Times the pageviews it was obviously courting in publishing Ross Douthat’s stunningly underthought and journalistically sloppy column “Liberated and Unhappy.” But those of you who’ve read Beth Skwarecki’s article “Mad Science: Deconstructing Bunk Reporting in 5 Easy Steps” will immediately recognize the tricks Douthat uses in his “analysis” of the supposed link between the gains of feminism and the sad, benighted women it’s left in its wake.
The 2007 study on which Douthat hangs today's column is called “The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness,” and was authored by two economists from The Wharton School of Business; reading it, it seems fair to say that, like many an interesting study, it makes a sweeping hypothesis — “By many objective measures the lives of women in the United States have improved over the past 35 years, yet we show that measures of subjective well-being indicate that women’s declining relative happiness has declined both absolutely and relative to men” — and then spends much of the following 44 pages explaining that it’s not actually that simple, and exploring the many variables that may contribute to this decline. For instance, the social pressure on women of the 1960s and ‘70s to put on a happy face (even one that was chemically induced) is very likely a factor in the study’s self-reporting; so is the probability that, as revealed in a study by another economist published around the same time as “The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness,” men have over the past several decades cut back on activities they don’t like and, as a result, have more true leisure time; women —whose leisure time, particularly if they have families, is not their own—have less.
Last week, at a panel session during the Seventh Circuit Bar Association in Indianapolis, a couple of judges aired a grievance regarding women in the courtroom. Their complaint? Lady lawyers are dressing too damn sexy!
Discussion of this all-important issue included the thought by Chief Judge Michael McCluskey that some women come to court wearing "skirts so short that there's no way they can sit down and blouses so short there's no way the judges wouldn't look," and Bankruptcy Judge Benjamin Goldgar's belief that female lawyers' clothing is "a huge problem." He said sometimes he wishes he could tell the female lawyer before him, "I'd really like to pay attention to your argument." But he can't, you know, because her boobs are too distracting.
What's next? Keeping women out of the courtroom entirely because some of the male judges can't handle their pretty hair or nice eyes? More of a discussion (if you randy readers can handle it!) after the jump.
That journalist Sheila Weller's NYT Bestseller, "Girls Like Us" also features Carole King and Carly Simon is a nice extra, of course. I haven't even finished this book yet, but I just have to gush about it. It's music history, it's women's history, it's American pop culture history...what's not to love?
France's Centre Pompidou houses the largest collection of modern and contemporary art in Europe, so the banishment of male artists for an entire year is quite an expression of solidarity with women in the art world.
Those of you who spend a fair amount of time on the internet (and I include myself in this group) have hopefully had the good fortune to visit the wonderful world of I Can Has Cheezburger, the ultimate source for LOLz on the world wide webs. (If you haven't been there yet, you should really check it out.)
Anyway, we here at Bitch lovez ourselvez some LOLz, and we thought it would be fun to start a weekly blog feature highlighting LOLz that have a touch of feminist politics to them (and the usual adorable hilarity, of course). We made these ones, but what we really want is for YOU (that's right, we're talking to you) to send us your own feminist LOLz so that we can feature them on the blog each week. Just go to the LOL builder and send your creations to us via the blog tips page. We know you've got some adorable animal pics floating around that are just begging for a feminist caption! Some examples:
Awww, who could resist passing gay marriage legislation after seeing this photo?
And this puppy is just stating what we've all been thinking, isn't she?
Do you think that the person who came up with the "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle" slogan ever consulted the fish about it?
Have a great weekend, and send us your LOLz so we can post them here next week!