Photo: Krissy Mayhew

 This week’s blog clips are kind of newsy: an update on the Wal-Mart v. Dukes plaintiffs, Jane Fonda confronting critics of her past, and the new Pew survey about  when we earn the title “old.”


  • Most people interested in Jane Fonda’s blog go there for its photo galleries, family stories, gossip and details about her coming projects, like her book Prime Time: Love, Health, Sex, Fitness, Friendship, Spirit — Making the Most of All of Your Life. But last week, Jane took the brave step of confronting the myths that have grown around one particular moment, in a post titled The Truth About My Trip to Hanoi. Click over to hear the story of a young actress, married to a French director, who found herself drawn into antiwar work by talking to soldiers; about how on that trip “I brought …  a thick package of letters from families of POWs. … I took the letters to the POWs and brought a packet of letters from them back to their families”; and her heartfelt recounting of, and apology for “that photo of me on the gun site.”
  • Sleeping naked after 40? Not our idea, necessarily; but Mary Cunningham at WOOF (Women Only Over Fifty) checked in with a woman whose book bears that title. “Feeling fat and frazzled, I entered a Fab After Fifty contest,” writes Cunningham, for a 30-minute phone session with author Rosie Battista. “I wasn’t sure what to expect, but her website was fun and loaded with information. After filling out a form with my deepest, darkest secrets, i.e., my relationship with food (love!), biggest food challenge (snacking), worst body feature (tummy), best body feature (feet – seriously!) and how many diets I’ve been on (dozens), I was prepared to be motivated toward a healthier lifestyle.” Click over to see how it came out.

  • Wondering how to beat that statistic about women lagging behind men in promotions? Lisa Quast at the Forbes blog Career Chic decided to ask an expert: Susan T. Spencer, chief executive of Allied Steaks. “Women must negotiate their salaries and other benefits from the first day and every raise thereafter,” Spencer notes. “Women start out their first job taking whatever they are offered without negotiating their salary (or any other terms as well) or making sure it is at least equal to males in similar jobs. So from job 1 they never start on equal footing with men.” Women absolutely can change that, Spencer tells Quast, since we possess the following briefcase essentials: “Persistence, Perceptive Communication, a willingness to ask for help, the ability to improvise and come up with innovative solutions to problems, resourcefulness, empathy, being knowledgeable about details, and an ability to network and build teamwork. ” Quast does ask how we can catch up, and Spencer has some practical ideas.
  • “People under 30 say old age begins at 60. And half of them think old age actually begins before people hit their 60th birthday,” moans San Diego writer Laurie Edwards-Tate in Who Are You Calling Old?, at the blog Communities. Tate is dissecting a study from Pew Research, which unsurprisingly found that people’s estimate of the start of old age rises depending on how old you are. “Nearly every single person in the survey agreed that people 75 and up could be considered old. But when the Pew Researchers asked them, two-thirds of the people in the survey 75 and older said, “No, I don’t feel old at all!” Betty White would likely agree.
  • It’s now been about six weeks since the Supreme Court’s decision in Wal-Mart v. Dukes. At Jezebel,  Iris Carmon catches up with the Wal-Mart plaintiffs, including the first in their new state-based cases. Carmon also worries that the broad nature of Scalia’s opinion might scuttle the similar if smaller suit against Goldman Sachs:  The Wall Street giants, she writes, recently “filed papers in a Manhattan U.S. district court saying that the Wal-Mart case ‘has powerful relevance here.’ Of one of the women alleging that Goldman Sachs underpaid and underpromoted women, they said, ‘The charge does not mention or allege any class-wide problem common to any “similarly-situated women” plaintiff Chen-Oster seeks to represent. It does not set forth even one factual contention supposedly common to her and anyone else.’ In a post-Dukes world, [Goldman] just might get their way.” We do hope that Justice Elena Kagan‘s recent fierceness means she’s just warming up.

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