Latest Washington Post column: The underrepresentation of women in science and technology. The piece had to be cut significantly for space; I’ll be posting a longer version here on Tumblr later today. (Image of girl scientist Janie Gibbs from ‘Harriet the Spy’. Illustration by author Louise Fitzhugh.)
My latest Washington Post column: Betty Ford and the lack of personal freedoms for First Ladies. (Photo of Michelle Obama via Pete Souza; Souza, the official White House photographer, just put up a gallery of new photos of the Obama family here. I particularly love this and this.)
Via White House correspondent Mark Knoller comes news that President Obama will be meeting with American hero Ruby Bridges Hall tomorrow. In November of 1960, Bridges, then 6, became the first African-American to desegregate New Orleans’ William Frantz Elementary School. Her journey - literally and figuratively - was honored by painter Norman Rockwell in his 1963 work “The Problem We All Live With”. The painting, at Obama’s request, is currently on loan and hanging in the White House; it will be on display there until later this year.
Baby otter + kitten + Scottish accents = Bliss. (Hat tip: Megan Carpentier.)
My friends Jessie and Jake with their daughter June. They’re the subject of my latest Washington Post column.
Michelle hands crying baby to Barack. Baby stops crying. (Hat tip: Erica Kennedy.)
Look at what Al Gore was accused of doing. He wanted a hand job, he called for a masseuse. If Tipper wanted a hand job, she’d have just given herself one.The awesome Katha Pollitt, in a quote that got cut from my WaPo story on female infidelity.
Latest Washington Post column: When, and why, female infidelity feels radical. (Love this Lichtenstein-esque film still of Ingrid Bergman.)
Another outtake from my WaPo story on female Freedom Riders. Below, Catherine Burks Brooks expands on her conversation with notorious racist and Birmingham Public Safety Commissioner Eugene “Bull” Connor as he drove her and six other Riders to the Tennessee state line in the middle of the night of May 18. As Catherine explains, after the Riders were dropped off on a dark road and told to find their way back to Nashville, she told Connor, “We’ll see you back in Birmingham by high noon.” (She says she’d been watching a lot of cowboy movies at the time.)
You just didn’t do that, you understand. Bull wouldn’t have had a conversation with [a black person] for that long; it would have been hostile. But it was not. I supposed he had that type of conversation with me because I was a woman; I don’t think he would have had that type of conversation with one of the fellas in the car.
The author of The Children [the late David Halberstam] asked me how I could talk to Bull the way I talked to him. I had no real answer for him; it was just me. It was just natural. But later I thought about it — and I should have called him — [and realized] I had no fear of Bull. That’s why I could talk to him.
Catherine takes issue with Halberstam’s portrayal of her conversation with Bull as having “slight overtones of flirtation.”
Of course I was not flirting with him. No way between here and Timbuktu would I have been flirting with Bull Connor.