What else we're reading

A philosophical defense of the Pussycat Dolls. Also, parents to blame for anorexia?

By Tracy Clark-Flory
Published January 23, 2007 12:00AM (EST)

Washington Post: Me-ow! Reporters at a recent press conference rightly sharpened their claws when McG, the executive producer of "Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll," suggested the TV show would be "inspiring to women." He also said the upcoming talent-search show, where women will vie to become a member of pop group the Pussycat Dolls, offers a "snapshot of the contemporary woman being everything she can be." One critic asked: "My daughter's almost 17 ... She just sees this all as, like, a giant step back for women. Why should young girls aspire to dress up like skanks and sing, 'Don't you wish your [girlfriend] was hot like me?'" McG tries to employ both Jean-Paul Sartre and the tenets of third-wave feminism in his own defense -- it's a must-read.

Associated Press: Incredibly, the finger-pointing in the fashion industry over super-skinny chic has reached new lows. Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen recently said: "I never suffered [from anorexia] because I had a very strong family base. The parents are responsible, not fashion."

Also, an AP report offers a sneak peek inside a Texas breast implant factory, which is stepping up production of silicone implants following their recent approval by the FDA. The highlight of the article comes at the end when workers measuring the thickness of implants "under signs that read 'Stuffing Area' and 'Gel Fill Area'" are compared to "Florida elections officials scrutinizing ballots for hanging chads."

In other AP news, the U.K. debate over Muslims' assimilation was reignited when a Muslim policewoman refused to shake the hand of London's police chief. She cited religious beliefs that restrict her from "touching a man other than her husband or a close relative."

New York Times: St. John's University has put a halt to a student performance of Eve Ensler's "The Vagina Monologues." The performance was planned for next month's V-Day College Campaign, a nationwide fundraiser to combat violence against women and girls. "We fully support the value of raising awareness and education on systematic violence against women," said the Rev. James J. Maher, the university's vice president of student affairs. "As part of our obligation to the entire university community, we also reserve the right not to support student life activities that we deem inappropriate."

Also, the New York Times reports that California Assemblywoman Sally J. Lieber is drafting contentious legislation to ban spanking of children younger than 4 years old. Offenders would be charged with a misdemeanor and could face parenting classes or jail time.


Tracy Clark-Flory

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