Well, friends, Happy New Year and all that crap. We’re back home on the High Plains Desert, and it’s sunny and reaching into the 50s and 60s this week. Fun! I will miss feeling like Jaime Sommers running at sea level for the past two weeks, but it’s time to get back into running at 4,713 feet elevation-shape again. While I’m out, here are a few linky-dinkies to keep you amused, if not informed.
- Kyle Smith of the New York Post asks, “Why do feminists reject their ultimate icon, Margaret Thatcher?” Maybe the better question is why isn’t Margaret Thatcher a feminist? “‘I owe nothing to women’s lib,’ Thatcher said, and at another point she remarked, ‘The feminists hate me, don’t they? And I don’t blame them. For I hate feminism. It is poison.’” Duh. I forgot: feminists never do anything right, and everything is always our fault. Women’s careers are never enabled by the work of previous generations of feminists–no, in fact women only profit by heaping scorn on feminism and feminists.
- From the annals of it’s all mom’s fault: this problem has a name, and it’s mom. Yes, 1950s middle-class mothers, in addition to being blamed over the years for causing autism, “smothering” their children, and sending a generation of upper-middle class Easterners into a lifetime of psychotherapy, are now being blamed for Public Health Menace #1: OBESITY! Awesome!!! It’s like there’s nothing that can’t be blamed on a generation of women who were just following orders–doctors’ orders, as the article makes perfectly clear, but I guess “1950s physicians may have triggered obesity epidemic” wouldn’t generate as much interest. Heaping blame on a generation of women who survived the Great Depression in childhood, answered Uncle Sam’s call to labor for the war effort in the 1940s, and then obediently gave up their factory and office jobs to returning servicemen to go home and make babies and participate in consumer society in order to combat the Communist Menace, is not just historically dubious, but it’s also just nasty and aggressive. Someone has a mommy issue, I guess. (Don’t miss the advice she gives about breastfeeding, which of course is the solution to all ills: “Women should breast-feed for at least six months after childbirth or — better yet — take one year off from work and breast-feed.” Talk about re-creating the 1950s all over again! I need a Mother’s Little Helper after just reading this bullcrap.)
- Tenured Radical offers a thoughtful post on “What I learned at my first job,” as she prepares to move to another institution. Congratulations and good luck!
- Here’s a question for all of you historians and grammarians out there: do you say or write “a historian,” or “an historian?” I’ve always thought an historian to be a rather affected (as well as outdated) construction, but I learned recently that a colleague of mine is telling our graduate students that an historian is correct. (Here’s my personal beef: no one ever considers how dumb and distracting this sounds to people named Ann or Anne, for some reason, and there are an awful lot of us who are in the historical profession.) So I say “an historian” no, Historiann yes! (After all–as Eddie Izzard might say, “because there’s a f^(king AITCH in it!”)
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