In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Aug 15, 2012 / 27 Menachem-Av, 5772

Helen Gurley Brown's stiletto feminism

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The legendary Cosmo Girl, Helen Gurley Brown, has died, and with her, one hopes, a not-so-fabulous legacy.

This would be the demonstrably ridiculous notion that women can have it all. Whatever “it” is.

In Brown’s public estimation, the things that mattered were money, career and sex, not necessarily in that order. These were the goals she promoted in a long, successful career based on advancing stereotypical female characteristics and behaviors: manipulation, vanity and vapidity.

Good manners preclude speaking ill of the dead, but surely HGB would appreciate straight talk in the service of reality. In her own words: “I am a feminist. . . . I am for total equality. My relevance is that I deal with reality.”

Reality for Brown, born in 1922, was much different than today’s, obviously, and any critique of her life’s work necessarily demands homage to context. Women had few options when HGB came along, and blazing trails required a certain feminine perspicacity gently stirred with guile.

Thus, she promoted the ideas that women could enjoy sex without marriage (didn’t men?) and that women should enjoy the same benefits of work and career as men. From Brown’s perspective, empowerment was available to women who used their wiles to get men to relinquish the keys to their kingdom.

Thus, the trek from HGB’s “Sex and the Single Girl” to HBO’s “Sex and the City” was a mere evolutionary sprint, although the finish line is not at all clear.

If we take seriously HGB’s mantra that women can have it all, then she was tragically mistaken, as the stats on single mothers and social pathologies afflicting children confirm. If we do not take her seriously — a better choice — then she was a charming, cheeky shtick artist who turned taped cleavage into an empire.

Her trope that “good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere,” the Mae West quote Brown displayed in her office, was a cute riposte to the laced-up imperatives of Brown’s Ozark upbringing. It was also the clever badinage of a smart and wily entrepreneur. Just as West commercialized her sexuality, Brown institutionalized the idea that woman as a sex object wasn’t something to avoid but, rather, to exploit.

Cute but not reality, in fact.

HGB may have been a full-frontal, girlie siege of sassy talk, but she wrote her blockbuster book, “Sex and the Single Girl,” at age 40 while married to the man who remained her husband until death did them part. It was indeed Brown’s husband who urged her to write the book, the commercial appeal of which can’t have escaped his calculations.

I don’t necessarily doubt the sincerity of Brown’s proclaimed feminism. It was of a different order than the subsequent feminism of Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem, but Brown’s was prescient in a way. Her use-men-the-way-they’ve-always-used-women philosophy foreshadowed today’s culture of pole-dancing moms and porn as women’s ultimate expression of liberation.

While Friedan and Steinem urged women to withhold their favors from exploitative men, Brown implored: Always say yes to sex, and take their money. Men will always be men, she seemed to be suggesting, so you might as well use their weaknesses to your advantage. Magazine cover headlines that touted 50 ways to please your man were really Brown’s way of saying “and get what you want.”

But what do women really want, as Freud was fond of asking? Nothing much that Cosmo was offering. Like Playboy, which Brown triumphantly parodied with a nude centerfold of Burt Reynolds (and years later, of Arnold Schwarzenegger and now-Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts), the message of cheap trinkets and shallow sex is the same. Maxed-out materialism defined the content and the motivating spirit of both venues.

Brown may have aspired to help young women who weren’t blessed with looks or an education lead more interesting lives, as she claimed. But there’s no getting there from here. A well-lived life ultimately isn’t measured in sexual exploits or stiletto heels, or even by a wall of trophies and photo ops. Most adults figure this out, but it isn’t clear that Brown, who got breast implants at 73 and lamented her “fat tummy” at 85, ever did.

The most telling line from the tributes written about her may provide a clue. Brown said she never had children because “I didn’t want to give up the time, the love, the money.”

May the Cosmo Girl rest in peace.

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