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Archive for March, 2014

Mean girls are certainly not something new and neither is bullying, but Jennifer Lee’s article today at The Broad Side does provide a cautionary tale about girls, reality TV, and social media.

Emphasis below is mine.

I first heard about the murder of Skylar Neese in January when Shelia Eddy, 17-years-old, was sentenced in court to a life term in prison. I learned that the girls were on social networking sites and utilized Twitter almost daily. Shelia Eddy’s tweets (Rachel Shoaf’s Twitter account has been deleted) reminded me of a report issued by the Girls Scouts of America in 2011 about the positive and negative effects of reality TV shows on girls. Conclusions from the report were disturbing. Girls who watched reality TV expected bullying, “drama” and higher levels of aggression in their lives. They spent more time on their physical appearance than girls who didn’t watch reality TV shows and a majority of the girls studied felt that being mean to others enabled one to get what they wanted.

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It is a chilling story that reads like a concept for a Lifetime movie, but it is no movie.   What amazes me the most is that although I follow the news pretty closely,  this is the first I have heard of this case.  It is interesting that Jennifer has a link in the article to UK coverage.  I have not seen this coverage stateside.

No age is harder for parents and kids to navigate than adolescence.   If we needed additional reminders of the vulnerabilities of the high school years, this case,  so well researched and laid out by Ms. Lee,  should give us pause.   Reality TV is not your mom and dad’s Candid Camera.

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Chelsea Clinton With Marlo Thomas 

Posted: 03/13/2014

I was so thrilled to have Chelsea Clinton, Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation, as our very special 100th Guest on Mondays With Marlo. We discussed everything from her favorite memories of growing up in the White House, to her role in the Clinton Global Initiative University, to the prospect of her following in her parent’s footsteps by one day running for office. Chelsea is such a positive role model for young people everywhere, and I was absolutely charmed by her. Watch our full interview to find out what she had to say!

Read more and see video >>>>

Chelsea Clinton Talks Growing Up in the White House Under “Very Firm” Parents, Says Marriage Is “Incredibly Important

Celebrity News March 17, 2014
Hillary Rodham Clinton, Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton in 1997 Chelsea Clinton shares in a new interview what it was like to grow up in the White House during her teenage years. Here, a throwback photo of Chelsea and parents Bill and Hillary Clinton back in 1997. Credit: Dirck Halstead/Time Life Pictures/Getty

Growing pains in the White House! Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton opened up in a new interview on Monday, March 17, about calling 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue home during her teenage years.

“I was always deeply aware that I was living in history,” Clinton, now 34, told Marlo Thomas in an interview shared by Huffington Post. President Bill Clinton‘s daughter would arrive home from school and walk through the receiving room, which she knew was a special place. “But then I would have dinner with my parents at the kitchen table every night!” she said with a laugh. “There was much about my life that also was normal.”

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Cross-posted at Still 4 Hill.

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It is a pleasure to participate in Women’s History Month by featuring pages from the lovely new book from Viva Editions, SHE  (She Harnesses Everything),  a masterful blend of literary and fine art by coauthors Mary Anne Radmacher and Liz Kalloch.   The edition contains gems of wisdom from hundreds of women in all walks of life interspersed with beautiful illustrations.   Here are a few examples.

SHE pg 38 SHE pg 39 SHE pg 40 SHE pg 41

Here are bios of the authors along with their message to readers.

SHE pg 113 SHE pg 114

The book is available here through Viva Editions.  Celebrate, as the cover states, “the greatness in every woman.”

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Condoleeza Rice requires no introduction from me.  Her resumé accompanies her name.  When I read, last week, that Rutgers faculty voted to disinvite her from speaking at commencement where she is to be bestowed a doctor of laws degree, my first reaction was rather liberal arts.   All sides deserve a hearing.   Why silence this one?

On further reflection, and upon reading reports about this faculty vote, I wondered how,  if  Condi is so “heavily political”,  any politician could ever be invited to speak at any Rutgers event again without the double-standard card coming up.

French professor François Cornilliat criticized Rice’s selection as “heavily political”, asserting that “our students are being manipulated to deliver a political point.”

Mon Dieu!  This sounded  like 1950-something!  As if Alger Hiss had been invited.  (But, then, French departments have a habit of being behind the times.)

What is a liberal arts education if it forbids light to be shed on one side of the spectrum?  Either side?  And how, given this dictum and precedent,  does Rutgers ever host or bestow honors on any politician again?

No stranger to campus politics,  I concluded that the faculty had shot itself in the foot.  Good luck ever getting Hillary Clinton,  I thought.   Y’all just slammed that door closed – and locked it!

Seems I am not the only one who saw this implication.

Memo to Rutgers: Don’t Boycott Condi Now If You Won’t Boycott Hillary Later

When it comes to Iraq, don’t selectively throw shade.

Posted: March 8 2014 1:08 PM

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Condoleezza Rice; Hillary Clinton
FILES/AFP/Getty Images; FILES/AFP/Getty Images

Put me down as a skeptic when it comes to Condoleezza Rice.

Although she’s generally applauded for her barrier-breaking career in public service, as the first African-American woman to serve as secretary of state and national security adviser, “her signature ‘achievement’ in public life,” as I wrote a couple of years ago, “was co-signing Bush’s 2003 invasion of Iraq—one of the worst foreign policy blunders in American history.”

It’s not exactly a great resume item, and it’s probably why she’s faded from view.

And while I wouldn’t put it quite the way they did, I also can’t really argue with the criticism offered earlier this week by the Rutgers University faculty council, who said Rice “played a prominent role in [the Bush] administration’s effort to mislead the American people about the presence of weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq.

It’s why they’re urging their administration to replace Rice, who’s keynoting this year’s Rutgers commencement ceremony—which is their prerogative—and they’ve got every right to feel strongly about the issue. A lot of folks probably agree with them.

Rice, of course, maintains that she made the best judgment she could at the time, acknowledging in retrospect that she and her colleagues “could have done better.”

But whether or not the Rutgers faculty accepts Rice’s version of events, if they’re prepared to snub her at this point, then down the road they might also want to prepare to snub Hillary Clinton, because she, too, co-signed the invasion of Iraq.

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At the time she cast that vote I agreed with her thinking – believing that it was right to accord those powers as she defined them.  I still stand by her words on that vote at that time.  I have never had a problem with that vote as it stood then.

If Condoleeza Rice is too heavily political and thereby should be banned from campus events, who is not?  Who can speak at Rutgers now?  Anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller?

I have another question about all of this. If the chosen speaker had been  Colin Powell, would the opposition have been as formidable?  Or would the boys club in the faculty lounge just have given him the pass?

Danke shön!  Thank you, Rutgers,  for shedding light on the state of faculty mentality.

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Dame Helen Mirren has chosen to portray some strong female characters,  among some of the real-life ones:

In the run-up to the glitz and glamor of Sunday’s Oscars, Dame Helen hosted the annual Women in Film reception celebrating women nominees and made her voice heard on the issue of the gender gap in the film industry.   This year, as far as we know, she dodged the red carpet and was all business.

If the montage shown at the Oscars to illustrate  this year’s theme of “Everyday Heroes” was any indication of the current representation of women in film,  Dame Helen’s focus on inequity is right on target.  Of the 21 clips shown (that I counted), only three were of real-life women heroes:  Norma Rae, Erin Brockovich, and “Maya,” the CIA operative in Zero Dark Thirty.   That is fewer than 15% and deplorable!  Karen Silkwood, Anne Frank, Joan of ArcVeronica Guerin, the Mirabal sisters the machinists of Dagenham, and Barbara Castle were nowhere to be seen in that montage.  The Academy and the industry can and must do much better.

That this comes as we begin Women’s History Month is both appropriate and ironic.

Thank you, Dame Helen!

Helen Mirren Takes on the Gender Gap

Lupita Nyong'o and Helen Mirren at the Women in Film event.Getty Images Lupita Nyong’o and Helen Mirren at the Women in Film event.

WEST HOLLYWOOD –

“Shut up,” said Helen Mirren, “’cause Mama’s in the house.”

“That includes all you guys over there near the bar,” she added, as she waited for the crowd to quiet down at the Women in Film reception on Friday evening. The boys did as the Dame commanded.

Ms. Mirren was out and about on the party circuit on Friday – she’d also made a brief appearance at the British film reception beforehand – and was this year’s co-host of the annual event, held at Fig & Olive restaurant. It spotlights female Oscar nominees – each wears a fragrant white gardenia corsage – and also serves as a booster moment to reverse the continued gender disparity in the industry.

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