New York Times

It's a Man's Recovery

The gender skew to the recovery has meant that the decades-long trend of women making up an ever-increasing portion of the workforce has stalled for the first time since the ’50s. In fact, a smaller percentage of women over 20 are working today than at the bottom of the recession. Last month, 54.6 percent of women over the age of 20 had jobs, compared to 67.6 percent of men.

Women ages 20–24 are faring the worst, but you can see from the rest of the charts that women across the board are still lagging men in terms of new jobs in the last three years.

"Dear Abby" Dead at 94

Pauline Phillips, writer of the Dear Abby column syndicated all over the country, and sister of Eppie Lederer, the writer behind “Ann Landers”, died on Wednesday. The New York Times recounts some of the highlights of her life, including several examples of her column’s sparkling wit:

Dear Abby: I have always wanted to have my family history traced, but I can’t afford to spend a lot of money to do it. Have you any suggestions? — M. J. B. in Oakland, Calif.

Dear M. J. B.: Yes. Run for a public office.

The Times fails to mention Phillips’ outspoken feminism, so you should also read this obituary by Ms. Magazine.

"I Reject the Notion That My Virtue Is Located in My Vagina"

Trigger Warning for Rape

An Indian woman who was gang-raped in 1980 attacks a still-prevalent notion:

Rape is horrible. But it is not horrible for all the reasons that have been drilled into the heads of Indian women. It is horrible because you are violated, you are scared, someone else takes control of your body and hurts you in the most intimate way. It is not horrible because you lose your “virtue.” It is not horrible because your father and your brother are dishonored.

I recommend reading the article she wrote at the age of 20, three years after her rape. The link is in the first paragraph.

Via Feministing.

Everything You Need to Know About Steubenville

Trigger Warning for Rape

I failed to cover this story a few weeks ago when it was just becoming widely known, but the rape of a high school girl in Steubenville, OH is now a national story. The Atlantic Wire lists all the known facts and semi-facts of the case, starting with the basics:

Back on the night of August 11, the alleged victim was at an end-of-summer party and had a lot to drink, police said, when Trent Mays and Malik Richmond allegedly approached her: “Richmond was behind her, with his hands between her legs, penetrating her with his fingers, a witness said,” reported the The Times.

(The Times, in this case, is The New York Times, which ran a story on the case in December.)

Alexander Abad-Santos’ coverage for The Atlantic Wire takes quite a bit of time to read, but it portrays rape culture at its finest. This is what we’re up against.

Poor Students Struggle as Class Plays a Greater Role in Success

The New York Times follows three low-income students whose strong academic performance in high school failed to compensate for their other disadvantages when they entered college:

Four years later, their story seems less like a tribute to upward mobility than a study of obstacles in an age of soaring economic inequality. Not one of them has a four-year degree. Only one is still studying full time, and two have crushing debts. Angelica, who left Emory owing more than $60,000, is a clerk in a Galveston furniture store.

Each showed the ability to do college work, even excel at it. But the need to earn money brought one set of strains, campus alienation brought others, and ties to boyfriends not in school added complications. With little guidance from family or school officials, college became a leap that they braved without a safety net.

The demise of the current higher education system can’t come soon enough for me.

Via Blue Milk.

Newspapers Don't Care When Notable Women Die

Big papers’ lists of significant deaths in 2012 overwhelmingly feature men. The Washington Post put 18 women and 48 men on its list. On the other side of the country, the Los Angeles Times listed 36 women and 114 men. And lest you think this is some kind of freak 2012 phenomenon, the New York Times has consistently listed many more men than women over the last five years.

So is the issue that notable women aren’t dying—or that newspapers aren’t reporting it? “We simply choose the most prominent, the most well-known, the most influential, without regard to race, color, sex, creed,” says Bill McDonald, the editor of obituaries at the Times. “It’s a rearview mirror. The people we write about largely shaped the world of the 1950s, ’60s and, increasingly, the ’70s, and those movers and shakers were—no surprise—predominantly white men.”

As the article goes on to point out, that kind of thinking merely shifts the blame to our culture at large—indicating that we have either undervalued the accomplishments of women or prevented them from accomplishing noteworthy things.

Malala Yousafzai Shows Early Signs of Recovery

“She seems able to understand. She’s got motor control. She’s able to write,” Dr. Rosser said, adding that Ms. Yousafzai had been able to give doctors written approval to make details of her condition public. “Whether there’s any subtle intellectual or memory deficits down the line is too early to say,” he said.

Had the bullet that hit her been “a couple of inches more central,” he said, her injury would have been “unsurvivable.”

In related news, HURRAY!!

Andrew Goldman Suspended From New York Times

Goldman had asked actress Tippi Hedren in an interview whether she’d ever considered “sleeping her way to the top.” When criticized for this by Jennifer Weiner, he accused her of wishing she could have slept her way to the top.

Good on the Times for suspending him. Maybe this will send a message to other male journalists that this sort of thing will not be tolerated.

The Myth of Male Decline

Stephanie Coontz, for The New York Times, analyzes how far we’ve come, and how far we have still to go:

Fifty years ago, every male American was entitled to what the sociologist R. W. Connell called a “patriarchal dividend”—a lifelong affirmative-action program for men.

The size of that dividend varied according to race and class, but all men could count on women’s being excluded from the most desirable jobs and promotions in their line of work, so the average male high school graduate earned more than the average female college graduate working the same hours. At home, the patriarchal dividend gave husbands the right to decide where the family would live and to make unilateral financial decisions. Male privilege even trumped female consent to sex, so marital rape was not a crime.

Great read, full of fascinating data points. Too bad she’s not an economist.

Ana Pérez, Cigar Roller

The New York Times profiles a woman who rolls cigars at high-priced parties and events as one of a team of “Cigar Dolls”:

“I have never seen a woman rolling cigars at an event like this,” Joe Genovese, a 49-year-old electrician, said while puffing on one of the five-inch cigars that Ms. Pérez had rolled and cut to size using an assortment of tools.

“Usually, it’s an older, distinguished-looking man rolling my cigar, so this is a pleasant surprise,” Mr. Genovese said between puffs, “and I must say, her cigar has a very good draw to it.”

Kitschy, sexist name aside, it’s nice to see women making strides in a typically male-dominated business.

Via The Jane Dough.