As we all get back into gear (or deeper into vacation) after the holiday, the blogosphere mused on whether we should listen to Kirsten Gillibrand and run for office, reached out to our sandwich generation, and watched Jean Arthur school Jimmy Stewart in how patriotism really works.
Our July 4 posts almost included one titled “Celebrate the Fourth. Run for office!” — given the suddenly declining percentages of women in all levels of government. That seemed a little hectoring for a holiday. We didn’t know until this week that WVFC BFF Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand was already on the job, when The New York Times reported on her new campaign Off The Sidelines. At The Real Deal, the blog of the National Council of Research on Women, Sarah York and Ariella Fatelson give us the feminist nitty gritty: “New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand launched a campaign www.offthesidelines.org in order ‘to let women know that their voice matters, to give them the resources to start to get more involved and tell the inspiring stories of women who already are.’ … The Senator fervently believes that ‘an infusion of women into the political system would go a long way toward changing the tone in Congress, a male-dominated world of fiercely clashing egos.'” Then of course, NCRW has suggestions: “The declining numbers of women in politics presents American women with an opportunity to take the challenge, run for office, and increase change in the U.S. government. Many of NCRW’s member centers and network partners are actively engaged in programs that provide women the skills needed to run for office. Check out these examples below.” Click over for the links, including the White House Project and an institute with the cool name of the Center for Women in Government and Civil Society.
Whatever you think of the outcome of the Casey Anthony trial, we suspect WVFC’ers had more class than those who downloaded the Casey Anthony App described by Jeanne Sager at The Stir, with streaming trial footage via iPhone. “America,” Sager pleads, who really needs that level of intimacy. Not that she doesn’t understand the fascination: “I understand that this trial could set legal precedents, and attorneys in particular want to mine it for tricks of the trade if you will. I get that they have an interest that goes beyond prurient curiosity in a child’s death and into the intricacies of the American justice system. I even understand, as a mother, a portion of the fascination. As sickened as I have been by the entire process, I’ve had bursts of interest fueled mostly by some naive hope that I’ll wake up tomorrow and it will all be just a bad dream … who knows, she hasn’t yet been proven guilty, right?” If you want WVFC to say any more about the Case That Rivaled O.J., please let us know. And what sources we should turn to.
We Know Next, the blog for human resource professionals, checks in about the struggles of the sandwich generation raising kids and tending to ailing parents. One woman hit the wall, writes Susan Avello, when her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s: “Barb Brzezicki came to the realization that she could no longer manage on her own and enlisted outside help. ‘I love my mom but I became, “Today we’ve got to do this, and tomorrow we’ve got to do that,” Brzezicki recalled, sitting in the living room of her home in a quiet west-end Toronto neighborhood, steps away from her mother’s house next door. ‘I wasn’t enjoying the relationship of being a daughter. … We totally lost that,’ she added, her voice breaking.” Avello adds that “For those working outside the home, carving out time off to tend to an elder relative may pose an overwhelming challenge. Fifty percent of employees caring for a loved one admit that their job performance is negatively affected due to the challenges of caring for a loved one while trying to maintain a family and work balance,” and provides suggestions about family medical leave and other resources. We suggest she also sends them to WVFC contributor Susan Baida and the revolutionary eCare Diary tool created by Baida and her husband John Mills.
Do you have a list of things you wish would come back into style? Chelsea Davan does, and shares hers at Thought Catalog. Among her list of five, we were particularly struck by her elegy for men’s hats and the current alternatives: “Beret – You’ll look like Johnny Depp – not European, but trying so painfully hard to look the part. Pageboy Cap – Dance, Christian Bale, dance!” Click over for the rest, including her hilarious prescriptions for actual dancing, instead of “flop[ping] around like dying fish, rubbing crotches together to a vague beat while you make out between swigs of Vodka Red Bulls.”
And for one last shoutout to July 4, our fashion maven Stacey Bewkes found the perfect political movie for the week, for her site Quintessence: “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”! “Although political in nature, this is a Frank Capra film after all,” Bewkes points out, “so there is also humor and romance. Jean Arthur is simply wonderful as Stewart’s cynical secretary and eventual love interest.” In the clip below, watch Arthur school the naive Mr. Smith in the arcane ways of Washington, and all the hoops you need to jump through to actually pass a law.
Last week, we called on WVFC contributors to look back on the high (and low) points of 2010. Then we asked them to look ahead to 2011, and what they think is worth our keeping an eye on in the new year.