- A small pamphlet entitled “Old Mills”
- A Bettie Page shot glass
- Two expired inhalers
- Bookmarks from bookstores in three states
- A plastic bag containing four hair elastics, two Band-Aids and eleven peanut butter Nips
- Black knit cap from the New Year’s Eve midnight road race in Central Park last year
- A package of D batteries guaranteed fresh until 2008
- Eight unused free samples from Sephora
- Ex-boyfriend’s mother’s neighbor’s recipe for Persian rice
- I was trapped in a windowless room with our motion graphics guy and D’Angelo, both of whom wanted to do karaoke, even though they knew full well that karaoke makes me terribly uncomfortable and I don’t like it. I tried to talk the motion graphics guy and D’Angelo out of this plan, and was rummaging in my bag for something with which to entertain/distract them, but before I could locate anything other than an old issue of Harper’s they started to sing, loudly, with gestures, and I begged them to stop but they wouldn’t, so I sat in the corner and put my arms over my head.
- I got arrested (??) at a Callista Gingrich event in New York (????), and after getting out of jail I spent hours on the phone trying to reach an editor at the New York Times, which had erroneously described me as “a reporter” who was detained. No one I spoke with seemed to care when I said I was not a reporter, and they kept putting me on hold and passing me on to other people, and finally a man yelled at me for bothering him, which made me cry, and then I confessed that I had “behaved like a reporter in the past.” They refused to issue a correction.
- I was in a cab in Paris, or a movie set intended to look like Paris, and I couldn’t be sure which it was. I also wasn’t sure if I was in the movie or not.
- There were no apostrophes anywhere on the internet and it drove me crazy.
- A bird flew in the window and lectured me about my throat chakra.
but there are times when the topic seems more urgent than ever, as it did yesterday evening, when I found myself gazing at an image of Tom Brokaw wearing a lei, listening to a stream of the new Florence + the Machine album, half-reading an IM about a young comedian, half-reading a text message about oysters, clicking close tab on an article about tax policy and writing the words “Santorum video” in my notebook.
Quite unlike prior presidential and vice presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin, Bachmann has consistently downplayed the fact that she is a woman in her campaign. She never mentions any of the barriers that would be broken if she were to become the first female Republican presidential nominee or the first female president. She doesn’t identify as a feminist or embrace any particularly feminist or pro-woman policies. She talks about how wives should be “submissive” to their husbands, and on Women’s Equality Day, she shared a stage in South Carolina with the state’s first woman governor and entirely ignored the fact that it was the 91st anniversary of women’s suffrage.
Jennifer Lawless, director of the Women and Politics Institute at American University, said Bachmann’s decision to downplay her gender in her campaign could be a smart electoral strategy to win over the evangelical, conservative base.
"She does not embrace feminist policies or feminist principles," said Lawless.
1. Talking about how wives should be submissive to their husbands is not “downplaying the fact that you are a woman.” It is the opposite of that, especially when evangelical conservatives are your base.
2. Not identifying as a feminist is not the same as “downplaying the fact that you are a woman,” just as identifying as a feminist is not the same as “making a big deal out of the fact that you are a woman.”