Women, Girls, and Climate Change

February 20, 2020

Climate change is all around us. Last week, it was Storm Ciara that tore across the United Kingdom and brought dangerous levels of rain, wind, snow, and ice. People died. Travel chaos reigned for days. Last month, it was hundreds of deadly wildfires in Australia, massive blazes fueled by three years of drought that experts…

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Putting Women in Charge

January 18, 2020

Last month I read an article titled, “The Future Is Young and Female.”  Soon after, I saw a photo of Finland’s new prime minister, Sanna Marin, who is 34 years old.  She was surrounded by the party leaders of her country’s coalition government. All are women, and four of the five are under the age…

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Silence Is Not the Answer

December 20, 2019

“I am 57 years old and I have not begun to get over that day of murder,” says Michael Fechter.   Fechter, who lives in California now, was a high-school classmate of Carlotta Hartness and Tommy Taylor, young teenagers who were randomly murdered in Columbia back in October 1977.  Terrible violence was inflicted upon Carlotta. I…

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I didn’t just lose Carlotta that day

November 14, 2019

It has been 42 years since that October afternoon in 1977 when Carlotta Hartness and her friend Tommy Taylor were shot to death near a baseball park in northeast Columbia. Tommy was 17 years old. Carlotta was just 14. The random, gruesome murders of two innocent teenagers rocked Richland County. “I didn’t just lose Carlotta…

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Inspector Gamache, Je T’aime

October 17, 2019

J’adore Armand Gamache. That would be Chief Inspector Gamache, head of homicide in the Sûreté du Québec, the provincial police force of Québec, Canada. My fictitious love is the leading character in Louise Penny’s murder mystery series, set mostly in the lovely Eastern Townships of Québec. The Canadian author has just released A Better Man,…

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Men and Guns

September 19, 2019

And so, the killings continue apace. In the month of August alone, 53 people died in mass shootings in the United States. The final carnage last month took place in Texas, when, after a traffic stop, a gunman began shooting randomly at cars, killing seven innocent people and injuring 22. Once again, it was a…

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Needed: more leaders who look like me

April 19, 2019

If I lived in Colorado, nearly half my state legislators would look like me. But because I live in South Carolina (and despite our state being 51.5 percent female) only about 16 percent of the lawmakers in the S.C. General Assembly are women. This ranks us a dismal 44th in the country in terms of…

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Where are all the female college presidents?

March 15, 2019

In the next few months, a new president will be appointed to lead the University of South Carolina. Considering the school’s 218-year history, odds are another white man will succeed President Harris Pastides in the top job. Neither a woman nor a person of color has ever held that position at the University. Why is…

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Well Done, Ms. Athill

February 15, 2019

The last volume of Diana Athill’s multi-part memoir was published in 2016 when she was 99 years old. She died last month in London at age 101. You are forgiven if you’ve never heard of Athill, although she had been a legendary book editor and publisher in England since the 1940s. But she became internationally…

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Hear Us Roar

January 18, 2019

Women of “a certain age,” as the French say, will remember the powerful song by Helen Reddy called “I Am Woman (Hear Me Roar)”—a 1971 hymn to gutsy, strong members of the female sex. Reddy is 77 years old now, but I imagine she still roars. So do an increasing number of older women who…

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