This week’s roundup from the blogosphere runs the gamut:  personal reflections, media criticism, and a salute to the pioneering woman behind Social Security.

  • Most people know the Social Security Act came about while FDR was in office. Many might even know that the 75th anniversary of the Act was last Saturday, August 14th. What people might not know, however, is that the Act would have never come to be if it hadn’t been for Frances Perkins, the first woman to hold a Cabinet position. While Social Security aids everyone, it is women in particular who benefit highly from it; in these times, some women see it as their saving grace, notes Joan Entmacher of Momsrising. While the pain of recessional unemployment has spanned nearly all socioeconomic backgrounds,  she adds,  single mothers and women of color are hit especially hard. Entmacher introduced this fact as one of the numerous reasons Social Security is extremely important for women, especially at a time when people are out of work.
  • Is the  weekend box office really a “cinematic tug of war between the sexes,” as promoted by the media? From Truthdig.com  comes a reflection on this question following the simultaneous release of Eat Pray Love and Sylvester Stallone’s macho-men-of-a-certain-age extravaganza, The Expendables. While The Expendables came out on top in weekend grosses (so to speak), the interest here is in what this says about the culture of movie-goers. And don’t miss the snarky video.
  • What generates true happiness? Love? Money? Inner peace? Or is it simply self-employment? Penelope Trunk asks economist David Blanchflower, and both nominate the latter.  Trunk follows up with seven steps for starting your own business. While self-employment might not be in the cards for everyone,  these brainstorming and planning tips could be useful for other start-up situations as well.
  • The constant trials of the world these days has left all of us a bit beaten down and feeling defensive. So when Thick and Thin posted about sheer camaraderie, we saw it as a breath of fresh air.  “This year marks our neighborhood’s 50th anniversary,” writes blog author Francy. “Hmmmm, at least something’s older than me!!” She continues by praising what sounds like a remarkable community.  The message of her post? Love thy neighbor – literally.
  • And Salon’s Mary Elizabeth Williams offers a parting salute to Cathy Guisewite,” about to  go into retirement after her ‘Cathy’ anchored the ‘funny pages’ for over three decades. “She was never wry like ‘The Boondocks’ and ‘Calvin and Hobbes,’ or political like ‘Doonesbury,'” writes Williams. ” Yet her mere existence, as the star of the first nationally syndicated strip by a woman, as a lady in the funny pages, is political in itself.” With her strips filled with dry wit and unfortunate situations that just about any woman can relate to, this cartoon comedienne will be missed. Williams also notes that though her humor tends to be peppered with pessimism and self-deprecation, ‘Cathy’ has touched on equality issues since the beginning.

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