Archives for 2011

In 2012, Go Forth and Mentor!

By Donna Brazile My mom, Jean, was the strongest and the most amazing woman I’ve ever known. And I’ve known a lot of strong and amazing women: Bella Abzug, Coretta Scott King, Shirley Chisholm, Geraldine Ferraro, Barbara Jordan, Eleanor Holmes Norton. Each in her way has been a mentor of mine. My life has been […]

Stoning, Hanging, Prison, Freedom? Sakineh Ashtiani’s Uncertain Fate

International concern was sparked early this week when an Iranian prosecutor indicated that Sakineh Ashtiani’s execution for adultery could be imminent. Ashtiani is currently serving 10 years in prison after being convicted as an accessory to her husband’s 2005 murder. In a separate trial, she was found guilty of adultery and sentenced to stoning, but the Iranian […]

Ha Jin Revisits Nanjing’s Rape

“Doing what can’t be done is the glory of living.” When American missionary Minnie Vautrin cites this old Quaker saying to an admirer in Ha Jin’s Nanjing Requiem, she means to be humble, explaining her work helping Chinese refugees in wartime as merely her Christian duty. But the quote underscores that what Vautrin accomplished was heroic to […]

As Newsrooms Downsize, Is Diversity Doomed?

By Susan McHenry Amy Alexander has amassed the credentials to be called, in the parlance of 21st century digital media, “an award-winning content producer,” as she’s described on the cover of this slim, somewhat elegiac and not quite triumphant book. But she is more invested in her roots in traditional media and in her role as […]

Fragmented By Abuse, But Not Broken

By Nada L. Stotland On a very bad day, every one of us has wished we were somewhere else or someone else. Some unfortunate children have many more, and much worse, bad days; they are physically, psychologically and/or sexually abused. How do they survive? In her opening chapters, Olga Trujillo describes the almost unimaginable physical […]

David Fincher’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Comes to Life

I dreaded seeing David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. In particular, I dreaded sitting through another graphic rape scene like the one in Swedish director Niels Arden Oplev‘s 2009 version of the film–a scene I described in my review as disquieting, intense and vicious. Hollywood being Hollywood, I expected the American version  to take the disturbing material to a […]

Sex, Doves and the Divine Feminine: Alice Hoffman’s The Dovekeepers

By Jessica Stites The Fall of Masada is one of the most incredible real-life David-and-Goliath stories ever recorded. After the Roman sacking of Jerusalem in the year 70, about 900 Jews took refuge in the Masada, a fortress on an isolated desert plateau. There they held off a Roman legion of 10,000 before committing mass suicide. […]

Perp Walk for the Pope?

By Bill Frogameni Barbara Blaine wants the pope to be accountable. In September, the indefatigable founder and president of the Survivor’s Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) teamed with a leading human rights organization in order to persuade the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague to investigate the Vatican and Pope Benedict XVI […]

Women–And Men–Aren’t “Born” Teachers

When I was younger, I asked my mom why she decided to become a teacher. Aside from the obvious factors–she liked working with kids, she wanted to help students learn, she had a passion for teaching–she also said that in her day there were more or less two professional options for college-educated women: nurse or […]

Abstinence-Only: It’s Baaack

Reproductive-health experts breathed a sigh of relief in 2009 when President Barack Obama did away with over a decade of funding for abstinence-only funding under previous administrations (which had added up to more than $1.5 billion over ten years). But now, abstinence-only looks to be back on the conservative agenda. Under Bush, ab-only had become the norm […]