U.S. soldiers used "comfort women," too

Plus, Maureen Dowd chastises Barack Obama's wife for publicly teasing the presidential hopeful.

Published April 26, 2007 12:55AM (EDT)

Associated Press: Here's a scandalous -- although perhaps not very shocking -- turn of events: U.S. soldiers used Japan's infamous "comfort women" system and allowed it to continue with full knowledge that women were being forced into sex work. "Historical documents and records shows American authorities permitted the official brothel system to operate despite internal reports that women were being coerced into prostitution."

USA Today: It was discovered that two female students at Virginia Tech had complained about Cho Seung-Hui stalking them before he went on his killing rampage and, suddenly, the media's concerned with the prevalence of stalking on college campuses. It seems there's reason -- beyond the major news peg -- to be concerned, too: A 2000 survey reported that 13 percent of college women said they had been stalked in the past seven months. Apparently, the college environment makes students especially prone to stalking: "It provides really an ideal environment for stalkers, because college campuses are relatively closed communities," says Alison Kiss, program director for the nonprofit Security on Campus. "Anyone's daily routine is pretty regular. It can be easily followed or monitored."

New York Times: Maureen Dowd proclaims in her latest column, "Usually, I love the dynamics of a cheeky woman puncturing the ego of a cocky guy." Couldn't agree more, but then she goes on to criticize Michelle Obama for playfully ribbing her husband Barack Obama. For instance, at a recent fundraiser, Michelle said he "still can't manage to put the butter up when he makes toast, secure the bread so that it doesn't get stale, and his 5-year-old is still better at making the bed than he is." But, according to Dowd, some are "worried that [Michelle's] chiding was emasculating, casting her husband -- under fire for lacking experience -- as an undisciplined child." The problem I have here is that his inability to do these household tasks isn't what's supposedly emasculating -- it's not as though she said he couldn't fix a clogged drain to save his life. It's that she -- a woman, his wife -- dared to tease him publicly. But the real clincher is seeing Down refer to Michelle as the "princess of South Chicago."

The Onion: In a piece titled "Female Boss Walking Around Like She Owns the Place," The Onion reports, "Lydia Bernoldini, the CEO of financial services firm Bernoldini & Co., consistently uses her personal carriage and manner of verbal address to establish a commanding presence in the workplace, her staff reported." Funny or not so funny -- you be the judge.

By Tracy Clark-Flory

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