Tag Archives: CBS Sunday Morning

On the table, 7/28

Today I got to volunteer for a couple of hours at the Boys and Girls Club.  It was really awesome!  Those girls totally schooled me on playing pool!  They also, sadly, were out of ping-pong balls, so I’m going to donate some this week.  If you find yourself taking old board games to Goodwill, take them to your local youth club instead.

I have lots of stuff for you this week!  Here it goes:

Read more:

  • Christie Thompson at Ms. Blog argues that the new ads not only condescendingly argue that “strong women douche” (while adding to the tradition that vaginas are dirty), but also essentialize women by using racial stereotypes.
  • At AdWeek, Stan Richards explains Summer’s Eve’s defense: “After listening to thousands of women say they want straight-talk and lighthearted communication on a historically-uncomfortable topic, Summer’s Eve gave us license to be bold, irreverent and celebratory across a multitude of mediums and to different audiences….” [Read the rest of Tim Nudd’s article here.] 
  • Nudd later reported that in light of bad press, the company decided to pull the online videos: “Richards PR executive Stacie Barnett told Adweek that the criticism had begun to overshadow the message and goal of the larger campaign—to educate women about their anatomy and break down taboos in talking about it—and that the online videos had to go….” [Read on]


  • Slut Walks
Slut Walk London

Read more:

  • Raymond Kwan at York Univesity’s student paper Excalibur describes how a Toronto cop told a group of college students women could deter rape by not dressing like a slut.
  • Needless to say, women have responded in droves in the form of Slut Walks – a march to decalre women’s “constitutional right to a freedom of expression and a freedom of assembly,” according to Slut Walk Toronto.com.
  • The movement has even expanded transnationally – making a profound impact in India says Nikita Garia at The Wall Street Journal.
  • Some feminists, however, have responded questionably.  Rebecca Traister at the NY Times makes a great argument: “To object to these ugly characterizations is right and righteous. But to do so while dressed in what look like sexy stewardess Halloween costumes seems less like victory than capitulation (linguistic and sartorial) to what society already expects of its young women. Scantily clad marching seems weirdly blind to the race, class and body-image issues that usually (rightly) obsess young feminists and seems inhospitable to scads of women who, for various reasons, might not feel it logical or comfortable to express their revulsion at victim-blaming by donning bustiers. So while the mission of SlutWalks is crucial, the package is confusing and leaves young feminists open to the very kinds of attacks they are battling….” [Read on]


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a battery of tests and evaluations to go through before it will again allow gay men to donate blood. As midsummer shortages hit the nation’s blood supply, BBJ health care reporter Julie Donnelly writes that the process should proceed expeditiously.  [Read more here.]


See the video here, or read the transcript below.

“Every empire in history has either failed or faltered, but for some reason – be it our arrogance, our hubris, or our nationalism disguised as patriotism – we turn a blind eye to the growing chasm between the have gots and the have nots. One percent of the population owning and controlling more wealth than ninety percent of Americans, is both dangerous and unsustainable.  At the heart of the problem is political cowardice….” [Read on]


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Joan Rivers on Female Comedians and the Women’s Movement

So stop right there – I know what you’re thinking: No one likes Joan Rivers.  She’s old.  She’s not funny.  She’s ugly.

All of those things are pretty harsh after seeing this segment from CBS Sunday Morning.  In fact, her age (77) is probably the coolest thing about her.  In this interview with Richard Schlesinger, Rivers talks about being one of the first female comedians when she began in the 1960s, and how it was NOT hard being a woman:

Schlesinger: Was it hard to be a female comedian back then?

Rivers: No. No, no, and I’m so tired of hearing that.  I’m so tired of people saying, “Well, oh, I’m a woman and so they don’t let” – Let me tell you, if Hitler had six good jokes, they’d be saying, “You know, he’s changed.  He went to Nazi rehab…and he’s fine now.”  If you’re funny you can be anything.

A photo of Rivers when she first began comedy in the 1960s. Click to watch the 9 minute segment. Discussion on gender begins at :45.

Rivers also went to Barnard College, a very prominent women’s college, during the genesis of the Women’s Liberation Movement.  In fact, Rivers passed out questionnaires on gender to her female audience members for her professor Margaret Mead:

River: I would leave on the tables little questionnaires with little pencils and the women could fill out who makes the money in your house, who distri – women’s lib was just coming in.  And I would send them back to Mrs. Mead.

Schlesinger: You did research for Margaret Mead in your comedy club?

Rivers: Yes!

Schlesinger: Well what did you discover?

Rivers: That women were still dominated by men, but just starting to break through.

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