Forget women with guns: just give us power tools. Most of the photos in the brochures for "Nontraditional Employment for Women" programs show young women just out of high school. But at Women Build, a training program run by Habitat for Humanity, it’s midlife women who decide to take matters (and hammers) into their own hands:

Instructor Denny Grove said he likes the enthusiasm that the women bring to the classes. Some have little or no experience in the use of hand or power tools, but are eager to learn, he said. Grove said the women in the last class were the "backbone" of the Women Build group. Most were in their early 40s and older.

"The women were so happy with their accomplishments," Grove said. All the classes are different, [he added], though education on tool use and safety always are a component. "We will be learning how to build from the foundation up."

Tell all the truth but tell it slant:
That was what poet Emily Dickinson pledged to do every week, with a career both private and sneakily public. Unpacking Dickinson’s correspondence with others might have daunted most biographers. But Columbia University professor Brenda Wineapple comes particularly well equipped to do so, after multiple Guggenheim and National Endowment for the
Humanities fellowships and years as the Washington Irving Professor of Modern
Literary and Historical Studies at Union College in Schenectady, New

This week, reviewers lauded Wineapple’s new book White Heat: The Friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson. The New York Times
noted: "Scant though Higginson’s side of the correspondence with
Dickinson is (much was destroyed), Wineapple employs the little that
survives to great effect." And Judith Thurman at the New Yorker calls Wineapple the perfect person for the job: "

Wineapple is an astute literary biographer with a feisty prose style
and a relish for unsettling received ideas. Social history—the taproot
of character—is her forte, although one might also say that she has
specialized in repatriating fugitive Americans: Janet Flanner, Gertrude
and Leo Stein, and, most recently, Nathaniel Hawthorne. (He fits the
mold if one agrees with Dickinson in defining the intellect as a
patriot’s “Native Land.”)

Better late than never.
When President Bush announced on Monday the recipients of the 2007 National Medal of Science, one of the winners was a University of Pennsylvania physicist who had ignored the field’s glass ceiling from the day she was hired in 1973. Of course, as Peggy at Women in Science points out, that doesn’t mean the ceiling didn’t exist:

    When Fay Ajzenberg-Selove began her days as a Penn Physics professor in 1973, some of her male colleagues were less than thrilled to be working alongside her. "They made remarks to me, they tried to put me down in all sorts of ways," she said of some of the men in her department.

    After all, her complaints of Penn’s gender discrimination had resulted in a state-sponsored investigation into gender equity at the University — which found a case of discrimination and eventually led to Ajzenberg-Selove’s appointment as a full professor. As she describes it, part of the problem was men who are insecure working with women.

    Ajzenberg-Selove said that in her department, many of the elder male faculty members took the competition of a female physicist as an assault on their masculinity. "It’s the old boys network," she said.

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