We all have our icons. Gloria Steinem was never one of mine.
Feminism as a school of thought -- as a movement with its standard-bearers, factions, and political priorities -- was something I didn't encounter until college. Perhaps because I also had an interest in religion, the feminist thinkers who interested me were women such as the radical feminist Mary Daly and theologian Katherine Wheeler. It began to seem as if you couldn't be a real feminist unless you were also a lesbian, which presented a problem for me personally. I was only vaguely aware of Gloria Steinem.
Then I met her. And Steinem ended up being the feminist who probably had the biggest impact on my thinking. And my life.
For some, Valentine’s Day is all about the flowers, chocolate, a gift certificate to the spa and/or expensive jewelry. Fair enough. But as you might have guessed, I’m into words. What makes me really happy is a note -- a few words jotted down on a piece of paper that’s been tucked into my computer bag before I head out to work, or sent via text when I least expect it.
What to say to the special people in your life? If “I love you,” “I appreciate you,” or “I’m so glad you’re part of my life” don’t seem to cover it, consider some of the most romantic sentiments shared in popular movies over the past 75 years. Maybe they’re schmaltzy, maybe they’re silly. But on Valentine’s Day, you can get away with it.
“Love is too weak a word for what I feel -- I lurve you, you know, I loave you, I luff you, two F’s, yes I have to invent, of course I do, don’t you think I do?” -- Annie Hall
“Maybe it is our imperfections which make us so perfect for one another.” -- Emma
“I’m scared of walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my whole life the way I feel when I’m with you.” -- Dirty Dancing
As someone who reads a lot of books, thanks to a lengthy commute, it was mildly disconcerting to look over the 2011 New York Times list of the 100 most notable books of the year and realize I hadn’t read a single one.
But when the 2012 list came out and I found myself perusing a list of books I had hardly even heard of -- once again -- I realized that I’m just looking at the wrong list.
So, like last year, I put out the call to friends and asked for their recommendations of the best books they actually took the time to read in the past year, and enjoyed. Here are the results: a handful of reads, including a few young adult novels that grownups might like, too, that crazy busy people found worth their time. And guess what? A few of them are actually on that other list.
Happy wife, happy life.
I used to think that was just one of those old chauvinistic sayings that wasn't applicable in the modern world.
New research from Germany takes a look at happiness levels of various family members, and most importantly, at whose happiness affects whom.
The researchers found that kids' happiness levels are very strongly affected by that of their parents, even aside from inherited tendencies to be happy (or not). If the parents are happy, there's a greater chance the kids will be happy, even after they move out of the house. If the parents have habits that contribute to happiness, chances are the kids will pick up some of those, too.
But here's the weird thing: Mom's happiness is much more important to the family than Dad's. Whether or not Dad is happy matters chiefly because his unhappiness might make Mom bummed out –- and that's not great for the kids.
With any luck, you’ll be able to enjoy a holiday on Jan. 21 in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.
You may know a bit about Dr. King. He led the modern American Civil Rights Movement for 13 years, from December 1955 until his assassination on April 4, 1968. But did you know he is the only non-President to have a national U.S. holiday dedicated in his honor? Or that he was one of the youngest people to win the Nobel Peace Prize, which he received at the age of 35?
His words are worth remembering any day of the year. But in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we wanted to share some of his wisdom that we think is particularly inspiring.
"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal. I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today."
-- From his I Have A Dream speech, delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. during the Aug. 28, 1963, March on Washington and 100 years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.