"Five Funny Faces," by Gráinne O'Reilly (Flickr)

As summer’s end approaches, bloggers worried about the lack of women in Washington budget talks,  but blogland stayed mostly steamy, with Jane Fonda’s sex guide and thought-provoking memories of the film Dirty Dancing.

  • “Here’s the math: Women are 50.7 percent of our population, only 17 percent of Congress, and an appallingly low 8 percent of the Super Committee,” writes Kristin Rowe-Finklebeiner at Moms Rising, referring to the legislative action team appointed after the recent debt-ceiling crisis in Washington. That is true, she adds, even though women will be disproportionately affected by proposed budget cuts. Rowe points out that inclusion of women is demonstrably essential to a good outcome, citing “A 19-year Pepperdine University survey of Fortune 500 companies [that] showed that those with the best record of promoting women outperformed the competition by anywhere from 41 to 116 percent. Our economy needs every bit of entrepreneurship possible, and disproportionately leaving out women hampers our nation’s success.”  Godspeed to that one woman, Sen. Patty Murray of Washington: we have your back, and hope you have ours.
  • We mentioned Jane Fonda’s new book Prime Time a few weeks ago, but Ceri Roberts at AOL Lifestyle points out something that should delight WVFCers: frank sex talk from the former Barbarella. “I have never found a book that talks about everything from the psyche and sprit and wisdom to penile implants,” Fonda told Time magazine recently. “So I decided that I’d write about as much of the research as I possibly could — everything I wanted to know as a woman who is 73 years old and still sexually active.” We’d love to have Fonda in our next Sex Talk series, and see if our sex expert Dr. Hilda Hutcherson and our racy publisher could shock her.
  • What would you do if you suddenly found yourself unemployed? At Successful Blog guest writer Molly, a co-founder of Women Who Drive Foundation, experienced that exactly a year ago, and describes what the year has been like — a year that included getting her foundation started. “I believe wholeheartedly that we are never presented with anything too big for us to handle,” she writes. “If we have the ability to recognize the challenge, then we have the capacity to overcome it. Our responsibility lies with identifying the skill required within ourselves that we have allowed to remain dormant or underdeveloped necessary to overcome the challenge at hand.” Now that’s the kind of reinvention we love.
  • Quickly: what do you remember about the 1987 film Dirty Dancing — the dancing, the sex or the politics? Even a politics junkie like your editor has to confess mostly remembering the bodies, whether writhing clothed on the dance floor or the half-clothed young Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze. But as Sarah at Feministe points out, recent talk of a remake has prompted a wave of feminist effort to reclaim the film from the ugly-duckling storyline used in its marketing — including this from Atlantic writer Alyssa Rosenberg and a Jezebel.com-sponsored benefit including screenwriter/co-producer Eleanor Bergstein, whose memories prompted the film. Irin Carmon at Jezebel even declares it “The Greatest Movie of All Time.”  We wouldn’t go quite that far, but streaming the film via Netflix after reading it all, we saw anew the protagonist Bergstein created: “Told her whole life that she could do anything and change the world, she’s faced with the hypocrisy of a long-shunned minority enacting its own unexamined exclusion, this time on class grounds. The guests at [the resort hotel] look comfortable, but they were raised in the Depression and traumatized by World War II. She can contrast the welcome her family received at the resort with the chilly, dismissive one Johnny and his working class dance crew gets. She can dance with the owner’s son and thaw a little when she learns he’s going freedom riding with the bus boys…” If you’re still not sold, then read the links. But first, here’s the reason most people remember the film:

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