Monthly Archives: June 2013

“Make It Fun”

Thank you, Judy, for going to New Guinea and bringing back this amazing story, for us to reflect on. A propos:  I once asked my mother why she thought men used to live so much longer and now they were … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Gender Balance, Political, Sexuality, Social Conventions | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments


James Baldwin wrote a novel, Giovanni’s Room, ostensibly about the coming out of a gay man and how he disappoints the woman in his life.  Baldwin said the book was really about “the crucial lack of sexual authority in the … Continue reading

Posted in Academe, Femininity, Feminism, Gender Balance, Literature, Masculinity, Political, Race, Sexuality | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments


I see two ways to approach “need” and “fulfillment,” the political and the existential.  Re the political: the feminist movement fought to gain full human status for women.  The rationale for denying that status had been that femininity itself was … Continue reading

Posted in Femininity, Philosophy, Political, Social Conventions, The Problematic of Woman | 4 Comments


About tragedy: I think of a Lakota woman I knew. She was descended from a nineteenth-century chief whose name is well known. When she stood or walked, she was straight as a birch tree — the kind of straight you … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Femininity, Race, The Problematic of Woman | 2 Comments

“Positive Feelings”

About making others feel positive feelings, one has to watch that. One time a colleague urged me, “Smile, Abigail!” We were both in the green pea soup. We had both been fired. My answer? “The reason I have a natural … Continue reading

Posted in Femininity, The Problematic of Woman | 1 Comment