This week begins with a friends’ 50th birthday dinner. More and more of the people in my life are turning 50. Some are married. Some are financially sound. Some are empty-nesters. It’s almost like when I wrapped up my time at college and all my high school friends were getting married. Or when I turned 30, and so many of my friends were cruising their way into their careers. I have never been where my friends are, life-wise. I was the first of my close friends to have a baby, I wasn’t the first to turn 50, I am the only one who raised a daughter on her own. Watching my friends turn 50 is exciting for me; I feel capable of cheering my friends on as they crest into the next stage of their lives. And for that, I am grateful.
Roxane Gay: “In my early 30s, I changed my mind about feminism.”
Katha Pollit:“Feminism has changed. It’s lost its earnest, been-there-done-that aura (undeserved, but there you are). When my daughter was in college 10 years ago, she was one of only two or three girls who raised their hands when their sociology professor asked if any of them called themselves a feminist. And this was Wesleyan, a famously liberal school. I recently visited a sociology seminar at New York University, and asked the same question. All the students raised their hands — including the two men.”
Alice Schwarzer, founder of EMMA: “What is so shocking for all of us, is that such an old-school sexist makes it to the top, and that so many women voted for him. That is backlash, that is reactionary.”
Governor Kate Brown: “400,000 Oregonians now have access to health care they did not have before. Elective visits to emergency rooms have dropped 50 percent and we have created 23,000 jobs. If the Affordable Care Act is repealed, Oregon could lose up to 40,000 jobs.”
Litigator Paula Hinton: “He said you can’t wear that in front of a jury. I told him ‘I most certainly can. I’m from 40 miles up the road; and here in North Alabama they like their women to look like women.’ ”
Sasheer Zamata: “I’ve always been talking about race in some sort of capacity.”
When you create a show and you get fired from it, like Theresa Rebeck of Smash, you also get to write about that experience. “No one likes being fired, and guess what, I am no exception. As the dust settled, it became clear that at the management level a lot of dastardly stories had been invented about my character. Sometimes I try to parse them and fit them all back together; I have been, at times, desperate to figure out what actually happened. There was a destructive and incoherent madness to it that resists interpretation.”