This week, our blogospheric offerings include more on the media’s pale-male bias, a plea for solidarity among never-married women, and Dominique Browning enjoying the poetry of bookstores and tattoos.

  • Sick of New Years’ resolutions? Try the game plan offered by feminist icon Gloria Feldt, author of No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think about Power. So how do we “Stop following our dreams and start leading them?” Using her book’s core principles, Feldt offers nine parallel starter steps. A sample:  “Take a fresh look at our personal assets. What we need is there if we have the wisdom to see it and the courage to use it,” “Carpe the chaos: seize the opportunity chaos brings.”  “Embrace controversy. Don’t think of it as conflict but as a teacher and an essential characteristic of a vibrant society.” ” Use movement building principles to make the changes we want at work and at home.”
  • At Sex, Lies and Dating, a guest post from Jill Brown (also known as The Duchess) speaks on behalf of adult single women after a session at the OB-GYN office surrounded by mothers. “I actually love pregnant women, I think they’re about the cutest things ever,” she writes. “With a pregnant sister and a pregnant sister-in-law I could be the patron Duchess of proximity to pregnancy. I even want kids of my own some day. But what’s the rush? Why are single women made to feel like lepers amongst the chosen ones waiting in the OB/GYN lobby? I was the only one of my kind in there and could’ve greatly used some back up from another single sister.” We’re thinking on introducing her to WVFC’s own Eleanore Wells and her piece “Child-free… or Just Free?”
  • As the national vigils continue after the Arizona shooting of  Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Pundit Mom asks us to contemplate the implication of The Language of Violence. Citing former senate candidate Sharron Angle’s talk of “Second Amendment remedies” and the gun wielded by talk show host Tammy Bruce, PunditMom asks: “One has to ask, at what point do people — especially those with a high profile or a media megaphone — become responsible for the actions of those who’ve taken their hyperbole to heart?  You don’t need to be the one with a loaded gun in your hand to bear some measure of moral, if not legal, responsibility for the actions of those whose anger and desperation you’ve stoked for your own political gain.”
  • Poetry editor Laura Baudo Sillerman’s contemplation of last week’s call for a New Yorker boycott was on our mind when we read “New York Times Book Review Excludes Black, Latino Critics,” from Randy Shaw at BeyondChron. Shaw, the author of The Activist’s Handbook, blames ideological bias for the Book Review‘s pale male demographics: “I do not know whether the editors considered including the perspectives of an African-American or Latino critic, or consciously excluded such landmark critics as W.E. B Dubois from its back page white male pantheon. But it is clear from reading the Times Book Review that progressive views are only infrequently found . . . [which] helps ensure that prominent African-American and Latino voices are bypassed, with editors likely fearing that including unrepresentative voices – the Thomas Sowell’s or Richard Rodriquez’s – will raise charges of tokenism.” We’re not sure we agree with the whole piece, but it is inspiring us to take a considered look at the entire Book Review masthead, rather than sipping it in pieces on the weekend.
  • Do you have a tattoo? What might lead you to consider it? Our friend Dominique Browning found her inspiration in a brick-and-mortar bookstore, she  muses in her Slow Love Life blog post, The Body of Bookstores. “Nothing will ever replace the experience of wandering haphazardly through a great bookstore, no matter how many algorithms are developed to find matches for our tastes,” she writes, adding that no recommendation from Amazon et al. can rival browsing through stores like  Manhattan’s Book Culture and Derby Books in Salem, Massachusetts. Just before a train trip to San Francisco, Browning procures a copy of  The Word Made Flesh: Literary Tattoos from Bookworms Worldwide, and she shows us some of the literary-inspired tattoo designs. The photos and comments make the post especially worth a click.

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