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The Humor Issue

Letter from the Editor:

Here is a variation on the "If you were stranded on a desert island ...?" question.

Let's assume, for the purposes of this exercise, that aside from or in addition to a person whom you might bring, you'd also be able to grab a few books and DVDs or videos.

What would they be?
 
 

Women's Humor

by Nina Burleigh with Ellen Snortland

Janeane Garofalo sees no difference between male and female humor. “Funny transcends gender,” she says. Comedian Kate Clinton sees a definite difference. “I am an essentialist ... Women’s humor is more circular, narrative, not the punch line, more kind of interestingly connecting the dots.” Discuss >>

Dances With Wolves

by Catherine Orenstein

Feminists in particular have long recognized that fairy tales socialize boys and especially girls, presenting them with lessons that must be absorbed to reach adulthood. But what exactly are those lessons? Discuss >>

Between A Woman And Her Doctor

by Martha Mendoza

On Nov. 6, 2003, President Bush signed what he called a “partial birth abortion ban,” prohibiting doctors from committing an “overt act” designed to kill a partially delivered fetus. One of the unintended consequences of this new law is that it put people in my position, with a fetus that is already dead, in a technical limbo. Discuss >>

Touching History

by Ms. Readers

Over the past year, Ms. has published readers' stories about the fabulous, inspiring women they've met. Here are three of the most recently published remembrances -- Nina Simone, Alice Paul, Margarita Sames -- with many more to come. Discuss >>

Documenting Women

by Amy Taubin

For over three decades, women filmmakers have thrived in the documentary field as they still do not in Hollywood or the indie world. Plus: Sheila Nevins, president of HBO Documentary and Family, talks with Ms. Discuss >>

Viagra Or An Rx for Sex?

What Women Really Want in Bed
by Sheenah Hankin


Let’s be frank: Women are not sexually “dysfunctional.” Let’s be clear: Many, many women are sexually dissatisfied. So, what turns us off? Discuss >>

Unequal Under the Law

  by Jessica Neuwirth

Around the world, real discrimination against women persists — much of it in blatant, tolerated, legal form. Read about cases from Nepal to the United States.
Plus, the "family oriented" political climate of Italy; a North Korean refugee's journey; and Peruvian Congresswoman Cecilia Tait spikes and serves. Discuss >>

Just Verdicts

by Marissa N. Batt

Next time you search for an excuse to avoid jury duty, remember it wasn't that long ago that the 12 seats used to be filled only by men. So do what Oprah did: bring Anna Karenina and take a seat. Discuss >>

Summer Must Read List


Whether you're headed to the beach or spending the next few weeks cooling off in front of a fan, here are almost a dozen books sure to keep you entertained. Which ones would you suggest? Discuss >>

Our August Amazons

by Michele Kort

When the Olympic Games became a modern event in 1896, founder Pierre de Coubertin declared that women competing in “men’s” sports “would be impractical, uninteresting, unaesthetic and improper.” This summer in Athens, women athletes will come the closest they’ve ever been to parity with men. Discuss >>

Convincing the World

by Michele Kort

If Anita DeFrantz hadn’t become the most powerful woman in amateur sports, she might have settled for being secretary of state. Ms. talks with the 51-year-old member of the International Olympic Committee about women's sports. Discuss >>

Taking Back the Whip

by Jessica Seigel

Let’s say you’re swinging an 8-foot bullwhip — the kind that can reverse a stampede with a thunderous boom, yank the gun from the hand of your nemesis or vault you to freedom from a chandelier — and you unleash your first “crack!” You can feel pretty mighty in just a snap. I sure did. Discuss >>

Food, Farming ... Feminism?

by Elaine Lipson

Putting food and feminism in the same sentence can make one wary. Wasn’t that part of the whole liberation plan — to make women less responsible for food? And what’s gender got to do with food choices and food production methods? Discuss >>

Backtalk

by Donna Brazile

In this electoral season, it’s time for women to “stir the pots” and to utilize the power of their vote to help change the face of American politics.

One Funny Woman

by Elaine Lafferty

Wanda Sykes is crazy, controlled, smart, brave and devoted to the proposition that whatever happens in this world, we gotta laugh at absurdity. "I hate what's going on in this country," says Sykes. "But it's good for comedy."

What's So Funny?

by Gina Barreca

Women are funny. We are certainly funnier than men. Which is why you always hear laughter coming from the women’s room — we’re having a riot in there.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Letters
Keeping Score

 
National
Global

Women Leaders
March for Women's Lives
Political Conventions
Mortgages for Moms
Indecent Laws
Asian Pacific Women
Dispatches
Calendar

Unequal Laws
Blaming Italian Women
Peru's Volleyball Politican
North Korean Refugee Tale
Dispatches
Networking Corner

FEATURES

Cover Story

One Funny Woman | ELAINE LAFFERTY

What's So Funny? | GINA BARRECA

Women's Humor is Different | NINA BURLEIGH WITH ELLEN SNORTLAND

More Features

Food, Farming...Feminism? | Elaine Lipson
Our August Amazon | Michele Kort
Interview with Anita DeFrantz | Michele Kort
Documenting Women | Amy Taubin
HBO's Sheila Nevins | Amy Taubin
Taking Back the Whip | Jessica Seigel
Dancing with Wolves | Catherine Ornstein

 
DEPARTMENTS

Law
Just Verdicts? | MARISSA N. BATT
Why women should embrace jury service

Health
Viagra or an Rx for sex? | SHEENAN HANKIN
Women are dissatisfied, not dysfunctional

Essay
Between a Woman and Her Doctor | MARTHA MENDOZA
An unforgettable story about abortion

Excerpt
Mandalas | ROSHNI RUSTOMJI
A remembrance of the unending wars the author has watched and lived through

Fiction
By-and-By | AMY BLOOM
How I Left Onondaga Country and Found Peace and Contemtment on 72nd Street | JANE CIABATTARI

 



Poetry
How Everything Adores Being Alive | MARY OLIVER
Big Baby | JOY KATZ

Touching History
Encounters with Women of Renown | NINA SIMONE, MARGARITA SAMES & ALICE PAUL

Book Reviews
Alica Gambrell on The Fire This Time; Branda Wineapple on Bobbed Hair and Bathtub Gin; Jane Ciabattari on The News from Paraguay; Tina McElroy Ansa on Shifting Through Neutral; Sarah Gonzales on A Seahorse Year

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