Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Fierce Women Can Raise Millions, Slay Lions and Carry a Baby in a Size 2?: Relevant News Flash (8:4)

Shaking off the slightly sick feeling that I included Paris Hilton in my commentary today. I feel a little dirty frankly. Let's get back to the other news of the day:

  • A prominent pediatrician and author, Dr. Melvin D. Levine, is under a cloud of suspicion as lawsuits have been filed alleging sexual abuse. Dr. Levine has been a pioneer in the field of special education for decades, and was featured on PBS and "The Oprah Winfrey Show," detailing his groundbreaking and acclaimed educational approach. The New York Times delves deeply into this story, and reveals that this isn't the first time this issue has arisen for Dr. Levine.
  • As women break down social and professional barriers, we are learning about those that are also asserting themselves in the world of philanthropy, pooling their efforts and lending a hand to other women across racial, class, cultural and socio-economic divides.
  • When we have such capacity for greatness in us, sometimes the mercenary competitive instincts of women is just so demoralizing. Initially the move to show the pregnant belly gained ground in the celebrity world as a brash rejection of the idea that the pregnant body was somehow misshapen, and so should be covered up in the maternity "tents," ala Lucille Ball. Those early tabloid shots of stars proudly proclaiming their protruding bellies in tiny shirts and snug fitting jeans was a clarion call for women to feel good about their pregnancies. But somewhere along the way, the competitive drive entered the picture, and the belly became the "bump," and the expectation that you carry your bundle of joy, but not change your jean size took hold. This drive has been assigned the odious and exploitative moniker "pregorexia." I agree with the Slate commentator, our obsession with attaching a cute catchphrase, ignores a serious underlying problem putting women and babies at risk.
  • Speaking of trends in pregnancy, technology jobs aren't the only thing being outsourced to India, there are also uteruses for hire in a growing surrogacy market. The AP reports of one such surrogacy case that has gone very awry, where a couple who had hired a surrogate split, leaving a helpless infant in limbo.
  • In the tense immigration debate, sometimes we forget that people still regard America as a"paradise," that represents modest dreams of safety, opportunity, and the ability to eventually live where there are "not too much roach." Meet the compelling Bill Clinton Hadam and his family as they make their way in their new world.
  • These days young gourmets are on the rise, and it's hip! I didn't get too much guidance in my quest to learn how to cook as a child, and resorted to old cookbooks to teach myself. Never one for the mundane, my parents bemusedly sat down to a dinner of Seafood Nuremberg one evening. Many programs now cater to and guide the budding foodie, with aspirations of culinary stardom.
  • To top it all off today, a couple of headlines that bear repeating for laughs. First there is "111-year-old reptile finally becoming a father," which for a minute there I thought we had gone biblical, but no, a rare reptile suddenly feels frisky since he had a growth removed from his area. And, the dramatic, "Woman riding a donkey fights off lion with machete." She was protecting her seven year old niece. Talk about a woman with some moxy points.

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