Slipped through the cracks

Maybe the empty nest isn't so empty after all. Plus: remembering Kamala Das, Madonna's adoption and more

By Joe Coscarelli

Published June 12, 2009 9:13PM (EDT)

This week in Broadsheet, we tried to avoid idol worship by not comparing our families to the Obamas and questioning the idea of Angelina as the perfect woman. Meanwhile, sexism ran rampant from Australia to India, and unsurprisingly, on "Fox & Friends." Not to be outdone, Letterman got in on the action and offended Sarah Palin, though Alex Rodriguez could not be reached for comment. Chastity Bono decided to become a man, while Susan Orlean took to Twitter to kind of wish she were one. It may sound like a hell of a week, but believe us, there was more:

The cure for empty nest syndrome?: Date nights, Skype and lots of sex! Not only does new technology make it easier for parents to keep up with their children after they fly the coop, but some research even suggests that "empty nesters" are happier with their partners than mothers with kids at home.

Indian poet and memoirist dies: The New York Times has the obituary for writer Kamala Das, 75, who died of respiratory failure late last month. Das, best known for her memoir "My Days," wrote openly about women's sexuality at a time and in a culture where the discussion was all but absent. Through her life she "embraced both controversy and contradiction," running for a seat in the Indian parliament in 1984 and later converting from Hindu to Islam. First married before turning 16, Das described women's oppression, all the while denying the feminist label for herself.

Moral of the story? Have your baby in the city: A new study suggests a dismal outlook for women giving birth in rural areas. Between 1985 and 2000, the number of hospitals with obstetric services dropped 23 percent, leaving one-third of counties without hospitals housing these procedures. Because of high malpractice premiums, low delivery volumes in rural areas and staff shortages, many women are seeing their options shrinking and their healthcare commutes growing.

Louisa May Alcott, guru: On a recent "All Things Considered" segment titled "Three Books ...," NPR looked at what girls' novels like "Island of the Blue Dolphins" and "An Old-Fashioned Girl" teach us about survival.

The superstar and the orphan, part 500: Malawi's supreme court of appeals ruled in favor of Madonna's latest adoption, arguing, "Every child has the right to love." Your move, Angelina.

Saturday is Loving Day: Celebrate the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision that stopped states from banning interracial marriage

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