*Women to Watch
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**Sisters Spin Talk
on Hip-hop
Two feminists who came of age with the music and the culture take a long, hard look at its impact--for better and worse--on young women, and reassess its importance in their lives. > by Tara Roberts and Eisa Nefertari Ulen

**The Mommy Wars**
How the media pits one group of mothers against another. It all boils down to the Haves versus the Have-Nots. > by Susan Douglas and Meredith Michaels
**Going Underground**
One woman's moving account of the painful decision to give up family, friends, and identity, and flee with her daughter to a safer life > by Anonymous Plus: Information about hiding in plain sight > by Hagar Scher

*Road Scholar: Women in Academia
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Columns > by Patricia Smith and Gloria Steinem

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**Turning the Tables on "Science"**
When Natalie Angier wrote Woman: An Intimate Geography, she took on accepted truths about women, poked holes in them, and offered an exciting revisionist view of our bodies. Oh boy, did she ruffle some feathers! > by Marilyn Milloy

*Ten Laws That Will Make Your Blood Boil
*Epithets Deleted: French Women Demand Respect
*Women in the House
*Free Kosovar Albanian Activist-Poet Flora Brovina
*Madrid's Back Alleys
Newsmaker: Dawn Riley *Reviving the ERA
*Opinion: Count Me In
*Amazon Bookstore Update: Beware the Lesbians!
*Pakistan's Turning Point
*A New Law for Unmarried Couples in France
*Recognition for African Women Farmers



Wanted: Child Care
A poll conducted by the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund indicates that 69% of voters want to spend more federal money to support child care. But government officials don't seem to get it, so Lifetime Television and NOWLDEF have a solution: baby-sit the politicians. The two groups have launched the Adopt a Politician campaign, asking concerned adults to nurture the mayor, governor, congressperson, or presidential candidate of their choice. Each "baby-sitter" will encourage cognitive development with frequent e-mails, letters, holiday cards, and photos in support of subsidized child care. Baby-sit a politician by calling (800) 522-0925 or visiting

Sweet Valley Geeks
Gender disparity in Silicon Valley is so staggering that women looking for a husband flock there. (American Singles held its 1999 convention in Palo Alto, California, because the city now outpaces Anchorage, Alaska, in its number of unattached men.) But what about women looking for jobs?
The first online empowerment community for young women interested in high-tech careers is trying to change things. GirlGeeks ( provides online training and chat events with women in the field, but most impressive is their unique Mentor Match technology, which connects hundreds of aspiring girls with well-established technology-savvy women. "We don't want mentoring to be like eating spinach. We try to make it fun," says Kristine Hanna, cofounder and coexecutive producer of the site. Maybe American Singles should rethink its goals.

Science Project
In the first-ever study to positively link sports participation to adolescent girls' success in science, Sandra Hanson, a professor of sociology at the Catholic University in Washington, D.C., uncovered a fascinating distinction: while white women who lace up are much more likely to become doctors, engineers, and scientists than those who don't, African American women do as well or better in science, regardless of sports involvement. Hanson says that interviews with study participants indicate that black women gain confidence elsewhere, particularly from strong women role models in the family. "To be a good mother in the black community is to be a good provider," she says. "Historically, black women have never had the luxury of not working. African American girls have a different idea of femininity, and that comes straight from the nontraditional messages coming to them."

Flower Power
In nearly every part of the U.S., if you're a poor woman facing sexual harassment at work--as an estimated 60% to 85% of all working women do--there's no place to turn for free legal representation. But in New York City, things are different. The New York Legal Assistance Group recently created LILAC, the Low-Income Legal Assistance Coalition, which matches low-income women who are being sexually harassed with qualified pro bono attorneys. Maybe other programs will bloom around the country thanks to LILAC's example. Contact LILAC at (212) 223-0174.

Copyright Ms. Magazine 2009