Writing in the London Review of Books, Linda Colley, a professor of history at Princeton University, discusses two books about Sen. Hillary Clinton — “A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton,” by Carl Bernstein, and “Hillary Clinton: Her Way: The Biography,” by Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta. Colley also looks at Clinton’s power in the context of other women leaders.

“[I]f Hillary Rodham Clinton becomes president of the United States in
2008,” she writes, “this will -– in terms of women’s place in American politics — be
a significant political milestone. In global terms, and in historical
terms, however, her elevation would be less innovatory. Of the women who have been elected heads of state since the Second World War, a substantial proportion have been closely related to men who have themselves previously held high political office.”

“Now that women have solidly earned their place in the work force,
many find themselves still yearning for something men often have:
wives,” writes Shira Boss in The New York Times.
It’s a very good story about how statistically marriage appears to
bolster a man’s career. Here’s an excerpt:

According to 2006 survey data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics,
one in five men engages in some kind of housework on an average day,
while more than half of women do.

“The real challenge is, companies expect you to perform as if someone
is at home taking care of everything for you,” said Kim Gandy,
president of the National Organization for Women. “Some men are better
positioned to deal with these corporate demands, because they do have
someone at home. Most women don’t.”

Working women have noticed, correctly, that their male colleagues with
wife support — whether or not those wives are themselves working
outside the home — get further at work than the women who are fettered
by marriage and children. Women occupy 50.6 percent of managerial and
professional positions, according to the research organization
Catalyst, but make up only 15.6 percent of Fortune 500 corporate

Married men and women, on average, earn more than those who are
unmarried, with part of that possibly attributed to career and wage
advancement as workers mature (and are more likely to be married). But
the gap is significantly larger for men than for women. Married women
make an average 17 percent more than unmarried women, according to 2005
B.L.S. data on the median earnings of full-time workers, while married
men make 42 percent more than unmarried men.

As to what happens when children are added to the mix, Boss writes:

It is not as clear what effect marriage has on women’s careers and earnings, but having children is, over all, an impediment. “There’s a well-documented motherhood penalty: women with children are paid less than women without children,” controlling for other factors, said Mary Blair-Loy, a sociologist and author of “Competing Devotions,” a study of executive women who kept working versus ones who discontinued their careers.

Fathers, however, are not similarly disadvantaged and might even benefit at the workplace from being parents, according to more than one study, including one published in March in The American Journal of Sociology.

Continue reading here.

“Ann Taylor wants to grow up,” reports The New York Times. “The
clothing chain, known for its prim clothing for career women in their
30s and 40s, is developing a new casual apparel chain for the older,
baby-boomer generation, according to people briefed on the matter.” The
new chain is set to open in late 2008.

Thirty percent of the nation’s 77 million baby boomers are single,
according to the AARP, and 70 percent of single boomers date regularly.
“They’re not necessarily looking for a soul mate or to get married,” said Lori Miller
of the online dating service Lavalife, which recently launched
LavalifePRIME.com for single boomers. Citing more AARP numbers, Miller
said that only 14 percent of women and 21 percent of men in this
demographic are interested in marriage or living with someone. “This is
a very empowered group of women, very independent, socially active,
traveling, playing tennis,” she added.

Something to ponder for Monday: The Myth, the Math, the Sex


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