• "If you happen to be seriously wounded, there is a temptation to hope not to survive, because you cannot afford to be wounded." Italian journalist Francesca Borri elucidates the terrifying realities of freelance war journalism. [Columbia Journalism Review]
In AMC's wildly popular Mad Men, administrative assistants are sexy secretaries in a male-dominated world. Sue in Veep and April in recent seasons of Parks and Recreation portray a slightly more empowering though still-tired trope: the sassy secretary. In real life, the role of administrative assistant is, statistically speaking, woman's work. But at a time when four out of ten recession-era postgrads are working whatever jobs they can, the reality is that assistant work has recently transformed from a job young women approach with ambivalance to a job that feels reliable in an uncertain economy.
I'm sure I don't need to tell you that women have had a significant impact on the history of American labor politics. From the Atlanta Washerwomen Strike in 1881 to Jane Addams' Hull House, women have always kicked ass and taken names in the name of workers' rights. However, this is a pop culture blog and I am a self-proclaimed pop culture addict, so I say we celebrate Labor Day 2010 with an awesome pop cultural representation of women and labor politics: Norma
Although she always claimed her birthday was May 1st--International Worker's Day, Mary Harris "Mother" Jones was born on August 1st, 1837 (although she also claimed to be born years earlier, in part to maintain her grandmotherly public persona).
Last week, I got a message in my inbox: Starbucks is now selling vegan cookies!!!! Vegan revolution OMG!! And my cynical first thought was, "What? And why the hell should I patronize an organization I lovingly refer to as Starfucks?" Maybe I'm an anomaly as a vegan, or maybe I'm just an idealist, but I care about liberation for all, not just the animals. We shouldn't have to sacrifice one set of rights for another.