What a year in lady-news. We watched Hillary Clinton make her historic bid for the White House (and then witnessed her ripped apart by rabid male pundits, called the C-word in a million different ways and otherwise attacked with sexism of the "Iron my shirt!" variety). We all, even Middle America, fell head over heels in love with Michelle Obama and watched the meteoric rise of the ladies of the nightly news.
And then there was Sarah Palin. We've written enough about the woman to last a lifetime, so I'll simply offer up some free association: rape kits, abortion, teen pregnancy, Trig, hockey moms, "Nailin' Paylin," Saks Fifth Avenue, the country of Africa and -- yes, God, thank you -- Tina Fey.
Thankfully, we were handsomely rewarded for making it through this maddening marathon election. Still, there was plenty of bad news on the political front: California legalized and then banned gay marriage, and the Bush administration pushed through midnight legislation restricting women's access to abortion, birth control and an array of reproductive services and care.
Through it all, there was enough cultural cotton candy to nosh on that we spent most of the year in hypoglycemic shock: Lindsay Lohan revealed her breasts and her lesbian relationship. Miley Cyrus caused a kerfuffle by wearing just a sheet on the cover of Vanity Fair. And we met Ashley Dupré and her "magic" vagina and saw "high-class" hooking become totally in vogue.
Looking back, you might ask yourself, How did we survive it all? Two words: Puppy cam. On that note, we're closing shop for the holidays, to return Jan. 5. Until then, here are a few of our favorite posts from the year:
- "What's So Bad About 'Sweetie,' Anyway?" — Rebecca Traister responds to Barack Obama's slip of the tongue on the campaign trail.
- "The Mommy Wars, Interrupted" — Amy Benfer looks at the imperfect reality of "choosing your choice."
- "I Now Pronounce You Wife and Wife" — Katharine Mieszkowski writes about the first same-sex couple to legally wed in San Francisco: octogenarian lesbian activists Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin, who died months later.
- "Go Ahead, Treat Your Vulva" — Judy Berman marvels at the existence of vaginal "facelifts" and a "pelvic fitness" spa.
- "What to Make of the Edwards Fiasco" — Broadsheeters weigh in on John Edwards' affair with Rielle Hunter.
- "Big Fat Contradictions" — Kate Harding takes a look at the paradoxes of weight-loss TV programming.
- "Jezebels Without a Cause" — Sarah Hepola responds to the rape jokes and youthful callowness of two prominent female bloggers.
- "Sarah Palin and the Victims-Pay-for-Rape-Kits Story" — Lynn Harris notes that "Wasilla's women are not the only ones who have heard, 'You can press charges. Will that be cash or credit?'"
- "Sex Writing Goes Limp" — Tracy Clark-Flory asks: "If sex sells, why are sex writers getting the shaft?"
- "Can You Be Both Pro-Life and a Feminist?" — Catherine Price tries to look beyond the black and white lines dividing the abortion debate.