In this week’s Wednesday 5, we highlight advice on the conversation openers NOT to use with your adult children; examine Janet Wallach’s new book, The Richest Woman in America; share the data (although we already knew) on the lack of women speaking on women’s issues in the media; applaud a Lebanese-Egyptian artist for redefining the power of the word “no”; and give a shout-out to our Roz Warren for being honest about uncomfortable, yet fashionable, shoes.



Six Things You Shouldn’t Say to Your Adult Child

“There are just certain things that parents should never say to their grown children,” writes Linda Bernstein in an article about the parent who is “in the wrong — overstepping parental bounds and sticking [his/her] nose where it did not belong.” Why put together this list of “6 Things You Shouldn’t Say to Your Adult Child” (although we’re sure there are more than six)? Bernstein, a parent herself who admits that she’s been guilty of most of what she’s advising parents not to do, says that “Parents often say ridiculous and sometimes hurtful things. We forget that we’re speaking to mature people.” Read the list, and remember, do not start a conversation with your adult children with “How can you live like this?”

The Richest Woman in America: Hetty Green

Apparently there was a time when a woman who stated that she was unabashedly interested in making money was deemed a “Witch of Wall Street.” Can you imagine  Fortune  magazine’s calling its current list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business “Witches of ______”? So happy we’ve evolved. Nevertheless, in her review of the new book The Richest Woman in America: Hetty Green in the Gilded Age, Wendy Smith of The Daily Beast writes that author Janet Wallach doesn’t even mention the name-calling, and instead lauds Hetty Green “as a groundbreaking woman in a financial world full of men she loved to outsmart.”


Invisible Women—the Data Speaks

Where are the women? That’s precisely what Tara Moss is wondering. She cites data from, which analyzed who was quoted (and how often) in print, TV broadcast, and radio media outlets about the contraception, abortion, and women’s rights from 11/1/11 to 5/1/12. One of the study’s findings: From November 2011 to May 2012, 81% of statements about abortion across media covering the 2012 U.S. election were made by men. “The U.S. election coverage has shone a light on a problem . . . ” says Tara, “the lack of women’s voices in public debate.” She goes on to cite data and show the absence of women in other industries such as publishing, film, television, and art. Most of us already know (and live) the absence of women in these fields, but read on at Tara Moss to learn the more in-depth story about invisibility, documented through the actual data.


The Power of Saying “No”

Lebanese-Egyptian artist and art historian Bahia Shehab has an intimate relationship with the word “no.” She hears it quite often as “as an artist, a woman, an Arab, or a human being living in the world,” she says in a recent TED Talk. When in 2011 Egyptians started celebrating what they considered a successful revolution, Shehab quickly saw that the revolution might only be ushering in military rule. In response, she took to the streets of Cairo, spraying messages of “no”—to a new Pharaoh, to violence, to killing, to burning books, to stripping women in public, and to barrier walls—all real events playing out in real time in her city. And in those simple, singular no’s, Shehab was a thousand times more profound. She shares, in the TED Talk, that “in Arabic, to say “no,” we say “no, and a thousand times no.”

“I love fashion, as long as I don’t actually have to wear it.” – Roz Warren

“A beautiful shoe is a work of art. I get that. I enjoy leafing through the latest Vogue as much as the next woman. I love fashion, as long as I don’t actually have to wear it. Because beautiful shoes hurt. “

The above excerpt is from our regular contributor Roz Warren (see a collection of her articles here) in her piece for The New York Times, “If the Shoe Fits, Don’t Wear It Unless It’s Comfortable.”  We expect nothing short of candor mixed with humor from our Roz. But there is a serious side to her article—the battle many women face when it comes to shoes: comfort or fashion?  Roz speculates about a middle ground, a compromise of sorts, between the two: “What if, to save wear and tear on millions of female feet, the government paid designers to refrain from making stunning yet crippling footwear? It could work like farm subsidies.” Check out Roz’s article for more clever and humorous compromises. 

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