Will your Valentine be Unbearable?

  So my sister, who is “mother” to my nephew’s second-grade class, just finished baking, decorating, and glassine-wrapping enough heart-shaped cookies so that all the little tiny terrors in Ms. Wilson’s room will receive a Valentine that provides, according to sis, “enough sugar to last them the weekend.” Twenty-seven sets of parents are sending bad […]

Caitlyn Jenner Doesn’t Get It

I’ve been thinking a lot about Caitlyn Jenner lately, because who hasn’t? I think there was a law passed somewhere that says we have to. The first thing that occurred to me was to wonder whether Jenner would apply for admission to college. Mount Holyoke, Smith, Wellesley, Barnard, Mills would welcome an application from Jenner. […]

A “Chronicle of Higher Education” Expose! Kinky Sex and the English (of course) Professor!

I could retell the story of Associate Professor Lisa Chavez, the English Department’s resident dominatrix at the University of New Mexico. It’s the tale of a poor creative writing teacher who, post-divorce, turns to phone sex to raise quick cash for the mortgage payment. Phone sex soon turns to sadomasochistic photo shoots with lowly graduate […]

Al and Tipper Call it Quits: Single Ladies Clear Your Calendars!

Calling Maureen Dowd! Calling Maureen Dowd! A new age-appropriate man is on the meet ‘n mingle scene. No, I am not talking about the dreamy Karl Rove, who not too long ago divorced his wife. Nor the new-to-the-secondary-market heartthrob SC Governor Mark Sanford. Rumor has it he’s already spoken for, and by an insultingly younger […]

More “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Hypocrisy: Why Elena Kagan Should Tell All…even if she has nothing to tell and it’s none of our business anyway…

I wish Supreme Court Justice-nominee Elena Kagan all the best, just as I do any woman being considered for a tough, important job. I even feel a passing kind of kinship with her, perhaps because she is from New England and the academy and she’s unmarried. Full disclosure: I’m pudgy, too. But you know what? […]

When Bad Proms Happen to Bad People: Constance McMillen, Yet Again

There ought to be a word that describes the avalanche of emotions that runs rampant through the mind when something nasty happens to someone for whom your opinion is low. I admit that Constance (“Is my bow tie straight?”) McMillen possesses many of the traits I find unattractive in a person. If press accounts and […]

Profiles in Racism: How Comments in The New York Times Reveal Their Writers’ Ugly Thoughts

Way back in the 1980’s I held a tea party. I broke out the Limoges, I tracked down watercress—no easy trick in 1985—for fancy sandwiches, and I spent hours baking the requisite tiny pastries. As it happens, the guest list was all female, friends and colleagues. The centerpiece of the menu was a lethal brew […]

The Course I Wish Phoebe Prince and Her Tormenters Had Taken

A week or so ago, a report on abstinence education that originally appeared in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine made headlines. Its authors, Drs. John and Loretta Sweet Jemmott of the University of Pennsylvania, had written about the results of their research in the Philadelphia public schools, in which they found that abstinence […]

The Court Affirms Miss McMillen’s First Amendment Rights to Express Her Sexuality and Don Black Tie

As a First Amendment absolutist, I agree completely with the court’s decision, which you can read here. Miss McMillen’s rights have been vindicated. She just can’t exercise them at the prom, which the court also said could remain canceled. No harm, no foul, no prom.