Caught in a Political Generation Gap: “So in the middle of the wrangling between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, the heated conversation about race and gender, there is a subtler dialogue about generations,” writes Ellen Goodman.

Many women who came of age when Clinton delivered her Wellesley commencement speech often see her trajectory, her successes and obstacles as similar to their own. Sexism, slurs, and struggles wore grooves down their memory lanes. While lightened by success, many are also attuned to slights and signs of a stalled movement. They wince when a Facebook group titled “Hillary Clinton: Stop Running for President and Make Me a Sandwich” racks up more than 43,000 “friends.”

Their daughters on the other hand, who grew up with greater choices and fewer hurdles, are more willing to say goodbye to all that. Those who support Obama often tell one another – and their mothers – that
they are free to choose the person not the gender. Having a lower boiling point or a lower consciousness, they say a woman in the White House is fine but not this woman. She’s old politics caught in a time
warp.

Tennis Legend Billie Jean King’s Journey: Cokie Roberts, writing at USA Weekend magazine, interviews Billie Jean King as part of the American Icon series:

Although the term “shero” is in King’s vocabulary, “retirement” isn’t. Instead, the 64-year-old stays busy in what she calls her “transition.” She has signed endorsement deals with Merrill Lynch and NutriSystem and is on the presidential campaign trail supporting Hillary Clinton. King’s latest book (written with Christine Brennan), to be published in August, is called “Pressure is a Privilege.” And May marks the opening of the Sports Museum of America in New York, where the Billie Jean King International Women’s Sports Center will be the nation’s first permanent women’s sports hall of fame and exhibit.

Clinton Campaign Focusing on Women: In a lengthy Chicago Tribune story published today about gender and politics, former Colorado Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder gets the most memorable lines:

Schroeder, who has endorsed Clinton, said there still is no blueprint for how a woman should act when running for the White House, particularly when the odds grow long.

“For a man, if you need him to be more powerful, you put on a blue blazer, a white shirt and a red tie,” she said. “If you need him to be more accessible and down to earth, you lose the jacket and loosen the tie or throw on a casual shirt with rolled-up sleeves.

“For women,” Schroeder said, “there is still no formula for how to appear as a credible political candidate. They usually either look like a Vogue model or an unmade bed.”

Play Aims to Change Stereotypes of Older Women: “Working with internationally acclaimed playwright Judith Thompson and a national cast of 12 ‘real’ Canadian women between the ages of 45 and 78, Dove has created a play to celebrate the diverse beauty of mature women,” reports InsideToronto.com. “According to the company’s research, 90 percent of women aged 50 to 64 believe it’s time to change the way society views appearance and aging. Dove’s new stage production aims to do just that.”

Dove sought women’s stories through a national casting call that asked women to write a letter to their bodies. Brooklyn, N.Y. native Gloria Schmed-Scott, 63, wrote:

“My
Dearest Body, my goodness has it really been 63 years? It seems only
yesterday that we were 12 and the mean lil’ boy yelled out ‘What are
those two things hanging down from your dress?!?’

And weren’t we mortified?

Especially when we realized that he was talking about our skinny brown legs! Well,
those skinny brown legs carried us as we ran from police dogs and water
hoses; our bony arms grew long as they carried signs of affirmation and
change; while our full lips shouted out: ‘Say it loud! I’m Black and
I’m proud!,” she wrote in her letter.

“Everyone has a story,” she said.

“Body and Soul” opens at Toronto’s Young Centre for the Performing Arts on May 10.

Re-Learning the Facts of Life: As part of a series on aging and HIV, Barbara Hesselgrave talks with Jane Fowler, a retired journalist and now a HIV/AIDS prevention educator who founded the national HIV Wisdom for Older Women.

Fowler, a vibrant and active senior, has a personal commitment to HIV awareness for women over 50: She was diagnosed HIV positive in the mid-80s, having been exposed to the virus from an unprotected, heterosexual contact following her divorce.

“I am very concerned about women who, like me years ago, may be re-entering the dating scene after an absence of several decades,” she said.

Plus: “AIDS Project New Haven has launched a group called Wise Women Win to deal with the growing numbers of post-menopausal women contracting AIDS through unprotected sex,” reports the New Haven Register. The agency has partnered with Yale University’s Center for Interdisciplinary Studies on AIDS.

Related: Read “Romance and Responsibility: Discussing Safe Sex Isn’t Easy, But it is Necessary,” by Agnes Krup.

WVFC Shout-Out: Women’s Voices for Change is mentioned in Liz Smith’s Sunday New York Post column. Smith reveals the poems Meryl Streep, Katie Couric, Jonathan Demme and others read at the recent Academy of American Poets “Poetry & The Creative Mind” fundraiser and notes the support of WVFC co-founder Laura Sillerman.

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