Saturday, December 29, 2012

Can a Work Out be Anti-feminist?

I'm not sure if these workouts are anti-feminist, or if they just piss me off so much!

The Pole Dancing workout is so 2011. Perhaps you'd like to try the Stiletto Workout featured in the New York Times this Thursday?

Nothing could go wrong here! Who wouldn't want to get her sweat on "in a sexy way" jumping around in foot-deforming stilt-shoes?
Creator Nicole Damaris claims to have come up with the stiletto workout while watching New York women wobbling down the city streets in tottering heels. Girls, she's just trying to help us all walk pretty! We should be super-grateful.
Even if I lived in New York, I think I'd have to give that one a miss. Clearly, though, the Stiletto Workout is a minor, local phenomenon. Very few women are going to drop $25 a class to risk a broken ankle.

What really pisses me off is making women feel like worthless blobs for not looking like an emaciated celebrity, and then selling them a workout to get them to this unreasonable goal. Take the latest "health" product foisted upon us by Gwyneth Paltrow, her own trainer Tracy Anderson's Metamorphosis program, profiled last week in the New York Times.
Look, I have no idea whether this workout is effective. It probably is - if you move around, you get thinner. What drives me crazy is that Anderson is an active participant in slamming new mothers for gaining weight, while trying to peddle videos to get them "Teeny Tiny."
Moreover, Anderson's workouts are based on total gobbledygook.
I’m completely focused on how can I get forces to travel from opposing directions and end up creating a contraction in a muscle that’s going to then pull in. . . . And then as we lose the fat the muscular structure will be vibrating so well that it will have the connective tissues pull the skin back to it.
Yes, these are all words. Good job, TA!
Gary Diffee, a professor of kinesiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who examined some of her claims, said, “Like many things of this type, the science seems to be a mixture of true, kind of true, true but irrelevant to the point she is trying to make, and wrong.”  
No, she doesn't have a degree in exercise science, "I am so hard on myself with not deviating the amount of time that I have for research and development of the method.”

But she is endorsed by Gwyneth and Madonna, so we should all click right through and order those videos immediately. Even better, let's all book the $4,300 Hawaii Detox Week so we can work out and enjoy vegan smoothies with Tracy Anderson (diarrhea included, no extra charge)!

If you live in America, you know the shitstorm of criticism celebrity Jessica Simpson endured because of her pregnancy weight gain. First we were supposed to buy the magazine.

Then we should sign up with Weight Watchers, which gave her an endorsement deal for losing the baby weight immediately, like a good girl should.


Ladies, this game sucks, and we don't have to play it! We have to stop handing our credit cards over to people who just want to make a buck off of making us feel like crap.

For years I have exercised with Orthodox Jewish women, many of whom have several children. These ladies are not in there sweating week in and week out because they want to look like they've never had kids. They work out to take care of themselves and be healthy. We are grown women - we shouldn't think less of ourselves for not looking like teenagers. And we sure as hell shouldn't get manipulated into buying junk-science from a woman who thinks the best thing a mother can do is look like she isn't one.

Today's $5 is for the Women's Sports Foundation, which promotes sports for girls not so they can look "hot," but so they can be healthy for the rest of their lives.

And one more thing: If Gwyneth's doctor tells her to combat anemia and vitamin D deficiency by eating "no dairy, no eggs, no sugar, no shellfish, no deep-water fish, no wheat, no meat, no soy," then they're both full of crap! So don't buy her book.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Create Your Own Facts at Hobby Lobby

Isn't this the cutest baby ever?

Don't you feel the need to rush right out to Hobby Lobby for tiny needles to knit a wee pair of booties?

Yeah, me neither. Probably because this is not a baby. Or maybe because you're getting the distinct impression that Hobby Lobby is notsomuch with the Feminism.

The conservative family which owns Hobby Lobby and the Mardel chain of Christian bookstores is suing to block provisions of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) which require health insurance plans to cover emergency contraception. They claim that a fertilized egg is a baby, and drugs which block implantation of a fertilized egg in the uterus cause abortion.

They also claim that Rubber Stamping is a craft, so consider the source.

Yesterday, mean ladyjudge Justice Sonya Sotomayor refused to stop the government from forcing Hobby Lobby to comply with this provision during its court case. She left intact a lower court's ruling that the owner's religious fervor did not make the company a religious institution which would be exempt from the contraceptive requirement.

More used to selling crap to ladies than taking orders from them, Hobby Lobby has stated its intention not to comply with the Court's order. Through the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, Hobby Lobby's lawyer posted,
To remain true to their faith, it is not their intention, as a company, to pay for abortion-inducing drugs. 
Could there be a stronger argument in favor of the Affordable Care Act than these twenty words? A man worth $4.5 billion will tell his 13,000 low-wage employees which medications they will be able to access through their health-care plan. And he will make these decisions based on his own religious principles, not medical science.

Let's not forget that IUDs, one of the most popular forms of birth control, also work by preventing implantation of a fertilized egg. So, forgive my skepticism when Hobby Lobby says the only birth control it objects to is Plan B because it "causes abortions."

Failure to comply with the contraceptive requirements of the Affordable Care Act could subject Hobby Lobby to fines of more than $1 million per day. Cry me a river.

Today's $5 goes to the Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. Because employees' healthcare should not depend on employers' religion.

Monday, December 24, 2012

I'm a horndog, you're fired

Intellectually, I know that things are getting better for women in this country. But sometimes . . .

Friday, the Iowa Supreme Court held that a male dentist could fire his female assistant for being too attractive.


Dr. James Knight hired Melissa Nelson in 1999 when she was just 20 years old, and everyone agrees that Nelson was a good employee for ten years. Yes, her boss occasionally asked her to put on a lab coat because, "I don’t think it’s good for me to see her wearing things that accentuate her body." And there was that time when he said that she would know her clothes were too tight if his pants were bulging. But they had a good working relationship despite Knight's membership in the Iowa Taliban minor eccentricities, and the two often exchanged friendly texts.

Until Dr. Knight's wife discovered these texts and hauled her horndog husband into a meeting with the pastor. Luckily, the pastor set the good doctor straight and told him to put the blame where it belonged - on Melissa Nelson! Apparently, it's ridiculous to ask a middle-aged professional man to control himself around a pretty woman. So, Dr. Knight and his pastor called Ms. Nelson into the office, Knight read a prepared speech saying that their relationship was hurting his marriage, handed her envelope with one month's pay in cash, and fired her. Yes, humiliated, fired, and one crappy month's severance pay after ten years of employment - you stay classy, Doc!

So many things puzzle me about this story. Did Mrs. Knight spend weeks trying to get her husband to put the professional back in his professional relationship with Mrs. Nelson, or did she just insist that Nelson be terminated immediately? Is it common practice in Iowa to bring human resources decisions to your clergyman rather than, say, an employment lawyer? How much laughing gas did Dr. Knight consume before he told Mrs. Nelson's husband (in the presence of the pastor) that, "he feared he would try to have an affair with her down the road if he did not fire her?" Did these people not understand they were about to end up on in every news outlet in the country?

And the court found . . . for Dr. Knight. I know! WTF?

Here's the thing. I get how the court's decision fits within the rigid definition of the law. Nelson didn't sue for sexual harassment, since she loved her job and didn't consider it the "hostile work environment," the legal standard for harassment. She sued for wrongful termination, saying that she wouldn't have been fired "but for" the fact that she was a woman. Since all of the Dr. Knight's employees were women, and Nelson was replaced by a woman, this argument failed. Also, there is a lot of caselaw (legal precedent) that employees can be fired for having personal relationships with their employers or even, specifically, because the boss's wife is jealous of her husband's attractive employee. As the court pointed out,
Title VII [the federal Civil Rights Act] and the Iowa Civil Rights Act are not general fairness laws, and an employer does not violate them by treating an employee unfairly so long as the employer does not engage in discrimination based upon the employee’s protected status [as a member of a class which has traditionally suffered from discrimination].

Okay, fine. The Courts are not fairness police. But I think it's worth quoting the Iowa Court's summary of Nelson's three arguments in response to this, even in legalese.
First, she does not necessarily agree with Tenge [the precedential case with the most similar fact pattern]. She argues that any termination because of a boss’s physical interest in a subordinate amounts to sex discrimination: "Plaintiff’s sex is implicated by the very nature of the reason for termination." Second, she suggests that without some kind of employee misconduct requirement, Dr. Knight’s position becomes simply a way of enforcing stereotypes and permitting pretexts: The employer can justify a series of adverse employment actions against persons of one gender by claiming, "My spouse thought I was attracted to them." Third, she argues that if Dr. Knight would have been liable to Nelson for sexually harassing her, he should not be able to avoid liability for terminating her out of fear that he was going to harass her.
To summarize these arguments, of course it's discrimination for a boss to fire an employee because he's attracted to her. And of course allowing bosses to do that just permits an end-run around anti-discrimination laws: You're not getting canned for being a woman, you're getting canned because my wife is jealous of you, as a woman. And, if you can't get away with sexually harrassing women, you can't use fear of your own potential to harrass them as a legal basis to fire them.

The court admitted as much when it agreed that the doctor couldn't just use this reasoning to fire all his female employees.
Nelson raises a legitimate concern about a slippery slope. What if Dr. Knight had fired several female employees because he was concerned about being attracted to them? Or what if Ms. Knight demanded out of jealousy that her spouse terminate the employment of several women? The short answer is that those would be different cases. If an employer repeatedly took adverse employment actions against persons of a particular gender because of alleged personal relationship issues, it might well be possible to infer that gender and not the relationship was a motivating factor.
Kinda looks like this all-male court gave the doctor a freebie, no? Since they agreed he couldn't use his jealous wife as a justification to fire all the ladies in his employ, but just this once . . .

You know who else argues that women should dress modestly because men can't control their own desires? And you know who else says women should cover up or leave the workplace? And you know who else blames women when men use their uncontrollable desires to justify sexually harrassing, raping, firing or excluding women from the workplace?
This guy. The religious leader of Iran, the one who believes that women should be legally required to wear a head scarf.

Nice job, Iowa Supreme Court.

Today's $5 goes to the Iowa Women's Foundation, which makes grants to improve the lives of women and girls in Iowa. Because this . . . is bullshit.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

We are not ashamed

I'm not "pro-abortion" in the same way that I am "pro-vaccination." It's not like I think everyone should have an abortion. But I do think that we have to start making the positive case for abortion and re-characterizing it as part of women's healthcare. This excerpt is from a speech by Amy Hagstrom Miller, an abortion provider in Texas, given at a dinner for the Lilith Fund, a Texas charity which promotes abortion access. Please forgive the lengthy quote.
I EXPERIENCE stigma all the time in my work; the hospital will not give privileges to our physicians, we can’t secure local back up doctors, we can’t get anyone to provide us with bottled water or replace our tile floors or replace our roof or resurface our parking lot. 
I HEAR stigma everywhere:
“Abortion should be rare”
“Abortion is a tragedy”
“Abortion is only 3% of our budget”
“I am pro-choice but I’d never have an abortion”
“I am not like those other women”
“I don’t believe in abortion as birth control”

You may have heard these statements. You may have said these words yourselves. You may have thought these thoughts.

The reality is, however, that without us there is no choice. Without providers, the right to abortion is just an idea – it is just something on paper that means nothing to women in actuality.

So, what does it take to keep 47 million women and their loved ones silent? You have to spend millions of dollars to shame them – to tell them they are murderers over and over until they believe it themselves. And you must threaten and intimidate and ultimately murder those who provide them this care. For over 35 years abortion providers have been the buffer between the anti-abortion movement and the women who have abortions. We have tried to protect women and shield them from the hostility of the antis as well as provide them with impeccable medical care. This is not working.

To me, eradicating stigma is the single most important thing we can do for abortion rights in this country and it is my life’s work.
Wow! That is exactly right. One in three American women has had an abortion, and yet we're allowing people who are radically opposed to the procedure to define it as something shameful. They make women feel horrible for choosing to have an abortion, then they turn around and claim that abortions make women feel horrible. So we don't talk about it. We treat it as a dirty secret, because the only ones talking tell us that it is so. There is no one saying, "You were right to choose to have a bright future for yourself over a bleak one for you and a child together."

If I had made that choice, I would tell you now. I can only tell you about taking a friend to have an abortion when we were in high school. She was sweet and insecure, with a lot of life lessons to learn before she could be a good parent. Her boyfriend was a lowlife who hit her and mercifully disappeared around the time she got pregnant. To save money, she chose the non-anaesthetic option, emerging pale and shaky, then throwing up in the car on the way home. A few months later, we graduated and left for college. It is preposterous to suggest that her life would have been better for having a child at 18. Of course, she did the right thing. She never regretted it.

In 1972, Ms. Magazine attempted to remove some of the stigma attached to this very common procedure by publishing a list of 53 prominent women who said they had had abortions. Sadly, it seems we're in need of a refresher.

We have to start talking about the reality of women's lives. One site is, where women post stories of their abortions. The accounts of scared teenagers trying to scrape up the $400 for an abortion and hide from their parents should be mandatory reading for all red-state legislators.

One brave woman is publishing a real-time account of her pharmaceutical abortion on Facebook under the name I'm Having an Abortion. Despite the mountains of vitriolic hatemail she is receiving from "well meaning" anti-choice strangers, this woman refuses to be ashamed or silenced. She's not sad or damaged, not duped or coerced. Just relieved and hopeful for the future. In short, she's just like us.

Today's $5 is for the Lilith Fund, to fight legislative "regulation" whose sole purpose is to put abortion providers out of business. Becase we are not ashamed.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Which comes first, the pizza or the crazy?

What is up with these crazy pizza guys? First we get Godfather's Pizza CEO and Presidential candidate Herman Cain with his "9-9-9" tax plan to raise taxes on poor people promote tax equity. Then John Schnatter of Papa John's threatens to make all employees part-time to avoid having to offer health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. And this week former Domino's CEO Tom Monaghan sues to block the Affordable Care Act's mandated insurance coverage of contraception, which he calls "gravely immoral."

Monaghan is super-concerned about morality. After selling Domino's to Bain Capital (of course) for $1 billion, Monaghan tried to build his own Catholic paradise in Florida. Who wouldn't want to live in a little town called Ave Maria, where birth control, pornography, and abortion were illegal? And he would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for those pesky constitutionally protected civil liberties! I guess that's why the students at Ave Maria Law School scored worst in the state on the 2011 Florida Bar Exam. Sad face.

While we're on the subject of morality, can we talk about the pizza? Pizza is delicious - mmmmm, fat and carbs. Pizza is also really unhealthy. How unhealthy? Well, let's have a looksee at the Domino's nutrition information. Did your eyes glaze over when you figured out that the calorie information for the crust, sauce, cheese and toppings were each listed separately? Do you think they made this needlessly complicated so that you'd give up and just eat another slice?

Okay, for the sake of Feminism, I'll do some math. One slice of  a large Ultimate Pepperoni Pizza has:
  • 430 calories
  • 100 grams of fat (about 2 times US RDA)
  • 7 grams of saturated fat (about a third of US RDA)
  • 36 milligrams of cholesterol (only 10% of US RDA!)
  • 1125 milligrams of sodium (half of US RDA)
And how often do people stop at one slice? Never.

(Also, if fat has 9 calories per gram, I am not clear how a slice can have 100 grams of fat and clock in at 430 calories. But I'm taking Domino's numbers . . .)

According to the Harvard School of Public Health:
  • one in three adults is obese;
  • obesity-related healthcare costs between $147 and $190 billion per year,
  • which is 8.5% of Medicare, 11.8% of Medicaid, and 12.9% of private healthcare spending.
Where the hell do these pizza guys get off telling us about the morality of any aspect of our healthcare spending?

If you sell a product that kills 300,000 Americans a year, maybe you should not be offering your opinion on our nation's healthcare crisis. Forgive me being blunt, but a guy who made a billion dollars off of ruining people's health can Shut The F**k Up about his religious objection to women's reproductive care!

Cigarette and gun manufacturers are also invited to stay silent on this topic.

Scientists, however, give us helpful data. They tell us that covering contraception saves employers money by preventing unplanned pregnancies. And that deliberately spacing pregnancies contributes to better maternal and child health. And that teen mothers earn $3500 less per year and receive twice as much in Federal aid than those who delay childbearing until their 20s. Which seems way more convincing than, "Your healthcare is against my religion."

Today's $5 is for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which advocates for rational food policy. I know, that's not strictly a feminist cause. But did you see the nutrition numbers on the pizza? Yikes!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

California judge gives rapist light sentence because victim didn't resist enough

What the f*@#?!?!

A California judge is being publicly admonished by the California Commission on Judicial Performance for stating in 2008 that:
I'm not a gynecologist, but I can tell you something: If someone doesn't want to have sexual intercourse, the body shuts down. The body will not permit that to happen unless a lot of damage is inflicted, and we heard nothing about that in this case.
Apparently, the victim didn't suffer enough physical damage, so Judge Derek Johnson only sentenced the rapist to six years. That's all the case was "worth."
"In the commission's view, the judge's remarks reflected outdated, biased and insensitive views about sexual assault victims who do not 'put up a fight.' Such comments cannot help but diminish public confidence and trust in the impartiality of the judiciary," wrote Lawrence J. Simi, the commission's chairman.
Ya think? And how come it took them four years to figure that out?

Today's $5 is for the California Community Service Program for Sexual Assault Victim Services in Orange County.

Thanks for nothing, Justice Kennedy!

I should be writing about the crazy-ass anti-choice law rammed through the Michigan Senate during the lame duck session. But, I just can't. First, because it pisses me off too much. But also because I haven't done enough research to figure out which clauses are likely to survive a legal challenge.

I hope most people understand that American judges are bound both by law and precedent. (I refuse to believe the country is full of people as ignorant as the ones who use the comments section to rant about feminazis and abortionists.) And while Roe v. Wade is the iconic case which legalized abortion, it's really the cases which came after that shaped women's reproductive rights. So, when Michigan passes a law that bans abortions after twenty weeks, or outlaws tele-medical prescription of pharmaceutical abortion drugs, I think, "Thanks, Justice Kennedy. You really screwed us."

In 1973, the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade legalized abortion within the trimester framework. It held that women have a constitutionally protected right to control their own bodies during the first two trimesters of pregnancy. While the government may have some interest in protecting the potential life inside of her, it cannot assert that right until the third trimester. Any regulation before that should only be to protect the health of the mother.

Sounds like a workable system we could basically live with, right?

Cut to Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992, when Justice Kennedy found that the state's interest in protecting a potential citizen begins at the moment of conception. And the state may enact legislation with the sole purpose of persuading women not to have an abortion.

Though the woman has a right to choose to terminate or continue her pregnancy before viability, it does not at all follow that the State is prohibited from taking steps to ensure that this choice is thoughtful and informed. Even in the earliest stages of pregnancy, the State may enact rules and regulations designed to encourage her to know that there are philosophic and social arguments of great weight that can be brought to bear in favor of continuing the pregnancy to full term and that there are procedures and institutions to allow adoption of unwanted children as well as a certain degree of state assistance if the mother chooses to raise the child herself.

There it is. The moment when it became A-OK to assume our ladybrains weren't smart enough to make decisions about our ladyparts without government help.

Oh, but don't worry, girls! Because the good Justice will protect you if the government gets too crazy while it's encouraging you to contemplate those "philosophical and social arguments" against abortion.

Numerous forms of state regulation might have the incidental effect of increasing the cost or decreasing the availability of medical care, whether for abortion or any other medical procedure. The fact that a law which serves a valid purpose, one not designed to strike at the right itself, has the incidental effect of making it more difficult or more expensive to procure an abortion cannot be enough to invalidate it. Only where state regulation imposes an undue burden on a woman’s ability to make this decision does the power of the State reach into the heart of the liberty protected by the Due Process Clause.

Well, that's settled then! The state can do anything it likes as long as it doesn't pose an "undue burden" on women seeking to exercise their constitutionally protected right to have an abortion. Problem solved.

Except for the little matter of defining what an "undue burden" might be.

And that's how we got to spend 20 years litigating whether a bunch of state laws unrelated to women's health placed an "undue burden" on their liberty. Hello transvaginal ultrasounds, mandatory waiting periods, and "fetal pain laws."

So, today's $5 goes to Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania who brought this case in 1992 and continues to fight for women today. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Trust Women to Choose Their Own Vanity Plates

There have to be cheaper ways of teaching civics to our legislators than through the court system. Just this week the North Carolina General Assmbly learned that you actually can't make laws that are unconstitutional. No, not even if you really hate abortion and so do your constituents.

In June, 2011, the North Carolina legislature passed a bill authorizing 80 new vanity plates, including this one.

Story Photo

For $25, citizens of North Carolina could offer friendly advice to other drivers on what to do with their uteruses. The state would keep $10, and $15 would go to the Carolina Pregnancy Care Fellowship, an organization of crisis pregnancy centers. I'm not really down with crisis pregnancy centers (hint: they will tell egregious lies to keep women from choosing an abortion, but do very little to promote maternal health). And the statute's express prohibition on distributing the $15 to "any agency, organization, business or other entity that provides, promotes, counsels or refers to abortion" is pretty appalling. But, it's a free country.  People are entitled to express any opinion they like.

Except in North Carolina, if you would like to express your support for a woman's right to choose what to do with her own body. In that case, you are SOL. Although legislators offered six amendments to include license plates that said things like, "Trust Women: Respect Choice," the General Assembly went with no Pro-Choice option when they authorized the Choose Life plates.

This week, a Federal District Court Judge struck down the law for violating the First Amendment right to free speech. In a nutshell, if the governments grants one side a forum to engage in public speech while excluding the opposing position, it has unconstitutionally regulated speech. Which is all well and good, except that the exact same case was litigated in South Carolina in 2004. The illegality of the proposed statute was entirely clear, and yet the General Assembly still passed it.

Did the North Carolina politicians just say, "Hell, we know it won't stick, but let's pass it anyway. Our constituents will think we're doing them a favor, and we'll bleed the liberals of legal fees to enforce the law?" We may never know. However, we do know that the main proponent of the law, Representative Mitch Gillespie cares more about restricting other people's right to free speech than exercising his own. Asked if he'd support a law which allowed "Choose Life" and "Trust Women" plates, he responded, "I’d be willing to sacrifice this before I’d be willing to vote for that. Personally, I couldn’t do it .  . . My personal convictions on this are strong."

My personal convictions are also strong. I believe strongly that the State of North Carolina should have to pay the ACLU's legal fees, as South Carolina was forced to do for Planned Parenthood in 2004. But, since this case will probably take another two years to wind its way through the appeals process, I'll give today's $5 to the ACLU of North Carolina. Thanks for fighting the good fight.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Hey, Seventeen: BMI is BS

You know one thing I hate? Fashion magazines. The even pages tell you how gross/fat/unfashionable you are. The odd pages tell you what to buy to fix yourself. Do I give a crap what Blake Lively wore on the red carpet? I do not.

You know another thing I hate? The Body Mass Index (BMI), a formula which estimates your body fat based on your height and weight. I'm as concerned about American obesity as anyone, but BMI is such a blunt instrument that it's kind of worthless. Weighing someone doesn't tell you if she eats a balanced diet, exercises regularly, or takes care of herself. I've been lifting weights for twenty years. I'm heavy as lead, but not fat. Lucky thing I'm a grown-up girl who can tap a doctor on the shoulder to look up from the chart before talking to me about the BMI nonsense. Mr. FiveDollar works out like a beast - he could do fifty push-ups with the doctor on his back, and he'd still have to listen to a lecture on BMI.

But suppose we weren't adults who could shrug off a formula that didn't evaluate us properly? Suppose we were teenage girls, constantly bombarded with a message that our weight was our worth? How crappy would it be for a magazine directed at kids to invite them to plug in their weight and evaluate themselves? It's not like American girls are making themselves crazy over this shit, right? Oh, they are?

So, it was particularly disappointing to see that Seventeen Magazine had published the BMI table on their website last week. (Yeah, seriously, Seventeen is still around! Who knew?) Worse, the table mischaracterized underweight girls as normal. Because, when you're inviting girls between 12 and 18 to reduce their entire worth to a single number, why bother to proofread? You can read the whole story here. Yes, the link was removed after thousands protested in an online petition. And, yes, Seventeen tries to combat eating disorders with their Body Peace Treaty and blog. But there's an inherent conflict in a magazine that uses images of emaciated celebrities to sell crap to impressionable kids and its pledge to promote healthy body image.

Let's take a look-see at what articles are trending right now on

Ah, yes. A veritable AP course in enlightenment, civic engagement, and self-esteem.

When I imagine my daughter as a teenager, I think of her racing down a field, accidentally/on purpose whacking another girl with a hockey stick. I imagine her yelling at me and stomping off to her room. I do not imagine her as a stick figure in stilletoes and a short, strapless dress. I guess we won't be subscribing to Seventeen magazine.

Today's $5 is for the National Eating Disorders Association. Because our girls deserve better.