Back to the Motor City

June 15, 2018

Perhaps Thomas Wolfe was wrong. Maybe you can go home again. Last month I travelled to the Detroit area, where I grew up, for a nephew’s wedding. And lo and behold, I rediscovered the city of many happy childhood memories, but a city that had been afflicted with poverty, crime, and blight since the 1967…

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The High Cost of Mother’s Day

May 18, 2018

My youngest granddaughter, Sylvie, gave me a sneak preview last week of her gift to her mother for Mother’s Day. It was a charming booklet, hand-drawn in Sylvie’s first-grade classroom, declaring her love for her mom and featuring nearly a dozen “coupons” that Jessica could “cash in” over the coming months. “I will do the…

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When Women Win Elections, Does Everyone Win?

April 20, 2018

What pops into your head when someone mentions Iceland, that beautiful island nation in the North Atlantic? That it’s a land of creeping glaciers, erupting volcanoes, spitting geysers, and snowy mountains? That it’s a place that is increasingly popular today as a tourist destination? All true, but that’s not all there is to know about…

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Don’t bet against the kids

March 16, 2018

And so, will our children finally lead us out of the wilderness of gun violence, which is literally slaughtering our young people before our eyes? Have we finally reached a historic tipping point? Will we no longer be forced to listen to our feckless politicians, who yet again, offer their “thoughts and prayers” after another…

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#MeToo Comes of Age

January 19, 2018

The #MeToo movement that erupted in Hollywood last fall and then exploded nationwide shows no signs of diminishing. It is, in fact, continuing to mushroom. In November 2017, 700,000 female farmworkers published an open letter saying sexual harassment and assault was a “reality we know far too well.” In mid-December, entertainment moguls— reeling from a…

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‘Flâneuse-ing’ Our Way Through France

August 18, 2017

To be a “flâneur” in 19th-century Paris, first of all, one had to be male. From the French verb “flâner,” a “flâneur” was “one who wanders aimlessly.” There was no feminine form of this noun. Such a dandy gentleman, says Lauren Elkin in her new book, Flâneuse: Women Walk the City, was “an idler, a…

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The Eagle Huntress– or, What Girls Actually Can Do

April 21, 2017

My two youngest granddaughters are six and eight years old. They are (ahem) smart, verbal, and athletic. By no means do they appear to believe boys are inherently smarter and more talented than girls. In fact, they seem to think just the opposite. But according to a study of 400 children that was published recently…

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Frances Oldham Kelsey: Nevertheless, She Persisted

March 17, 2017

Eight years ago, when I was touring New Zealand, I walked into a travel agency and was greeted politely by the middle-aged receptionist. With her short, flipper-like arms, the woman pointed me towards a desk containing the touring pamphlets I had requested. The receptionist, as my Kiwi friend told me later, was “a thalidomide baby.”…

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Headaches, Heartburn, and Women’s Health

January 20, 2017

In the 1950s and ’60s, when I was growing up, few women worked outside the home. In my high-school class, I had just one girlfriend whose mother was in the workforce. Today, by contrast, nearly half the U.S. labor force (47 percent) is female. The percentage of women in the workforce has about doubled in…

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Lobbying for Climate Change Solutions

December 16, 2016

With a little more than two weeks left in the year, 2016 remains on track to be the hottest in our 136 years of modern data-keeping, according to NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. We heard the same thing in 2015, and 2014, and 2013, and so on. Each successive year has been warmer…

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