This week, you might have heard a few things about Roman Polanski. But that certainly wasn't all that happened. It was, perhaps not coincidentally, also a big week for debates about what constitutes child pornography: A poster for the upcoming "Battlestar Galactica" prequel, "Caprica," featured cherubic 22-year-old actress Alessandra Torresani looking eerily adolescent, and the Tate Modern in London removed a controversial photo of a naked 10-year-old Brooke Shields from an upcoming exhibit. Meanwhile, the health care debates took another unfortunate turn when the Senate Finance Committee voted to appropriate $50 million of federal funds for abstinence-only sex education, and we feared many women could lose insurance coverage for women's health needs unless reform laws are rewritten. With so much scandal and outrage, it was all too easy for some stories to slip through the cracks:
Marie Claire discovers not all stoners are lazy burnouts
The mag interviewed a slew of successful, career-minded women who prefer smoking a joint at the end of a long, hard day to sipping their merlot. "They cut a wide swath across the professional spectrum… looking nothing like the blotto hippie teens of 'Dazed and Confused' or the unemployed, out-of-shape schlubsters who are a staple of the Judd Apatow canon," wrote Yael Kohen. "By all outward appearances, they are card-carrying, type A workaholics who just happen to prefer kicking back with a blunt instead of a bottle." Jezebel took issue with the magazine's apparent obsession with the women's thin figures (despite their penchant for pot), which New York went out of the way to emphasize.
Calendar girls: All the conservative ladies
The Clare Booth Luce Policy Institute released a calendar featuring some of America's best-looking conservative women. The calendar roster will sound familiar to those who read the now-removed Love-to-Hate Playboy article released last June: Anti-"13 year old sex clinic" Republican Rep. Michelle Bachmann appears on the list, along with dethroned Miss USA pageant winner Carrie Prejean. And yes, there will be Ann Coulter.
A campus magazine of her own
Plenty of female-oriented magazines target teens and the 30+ demographic, but what about college-aged women, those whose needs fall somewhere between "what to wear at prom" and "how to keep your marriage interesting"? With this market gap in mind, three female Harvard students have launched Her Campus, a "hub for everything college women need to know about today, with articles on Style, Health, Love, DormLife, Career, World, and much more." Unfortunately, what Her Campus's founders seem to think plagues college women -- anything from "joining a sorority to combating the 'freshman 15' weight gain to decoding what the text message from that guy you like really meant" -- reeks of a shallowness reminiscent of the dull ladymags the site is meant to depart from.
Of course, Her Campus is in its infancy -- it soft launched just a few weeks ago and has only recently begun to garner attention from other media outlets. Hopefully such a great concept can find better ways to marry fun and feminism as it develops its content, and readership.
Protests make way for a freer public life for Iranian women
July's protests may not have toppled Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but as the New Yorker reported, it represented a new era for women living under the repressive regime. Women not only actively participated in the protests, but many manipulated regime tactics by exploiting their roles as mothers in order to save fellow male protestors. For 30 years the women of Iran have been subjected to the reign of the morality police, with many afraid of being arrested for wearing too much makeup or exposing even a wisp of hair. But these protests may serve as a catalyst for a discussion about women's rights in the Islamic Republic.
Glamour's plus size models talk about body image on Ellen
Four of the plus size models featured in Glamour's November issue appeared on "Ellen" to discuss their experiences in a size-0 dominated profession. Kate Dillon recounted her struggles with anorexia, and Jezebel called Ellen out for "failing body acceptance 101."