Five women more newsworthy than Miley
The brilliant 16-year-old Pakistani teen, who defied the Taliban by championing education for girls, was awarded the European Union’s top human rights prize on Thursday. It’s a stunning accomplishment for the girl who, just last year, survived an assassination attempt. (She was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, but the award went to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.)
In a letter to the editor, Kate Zabinsky contrasted “the immaturity of quibbling American statesmen” with the young Malala, saying “she has done more to legitimize the ‘war on terror’ than any politicians in Washington.”
And earlier this week on “The Daily Show,” Jon Stewart asked if he could adopt Malala, now a celebrated international figure, during this much-buzzed-about interview in which she talked about standing up to the Taliban “through peace and through dialogue and through education.”
But, a note of caution from The Times’ Paul Whitefield: Too much Western praise may not be safe for Malala. (Jessica Rinaldi / Associated Press)
President Obama nominated Janet Yellen to head the Federal Reserve on Wednesday. “It was a historic choice,” wrote The Times’ editorial board of the news. “Yellen would be the first woman to lead the Fed in its 100-year history.”
What’s more: “Yellen, a former UC Berkeley economics professor and San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank president, has a particular expertise in unemployment and labor markets. That’s helpful for a Fed chair, given that the central bank’s monetary policy is required by law to serve two ends: keeping prices stable and promoting full employment. She also brings credibility to the job of combating inflation, having been a strong advocate of the Fed’s move to explicit targets for inflation. Those targets help manage the public expectations that can drive price and wage growth.”
That’s not all. She’s “expected to be tougher than [Ben] Bernanke on the big Wall Street banks that the Fed regulates,” the board says.
Plus an extra bonus point, as Op-Ed editor Sue Horton pointed out: “She’s a powerful woman with gray hair.” (Charles Dharapak / Associated Press)
Megyn Kelly slayed in the ratings this week, blowing away the competition with her new tabloidy news show on the Fox News Channel. But it was another cable news host that caught my attention -- for something she did off camera.
After speaking on a panel at the Columbia University journalism school, and giving empowering advice to the young women in the room, Mika Brzezinski of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” took one-on-one questions from attendees, one of whom was a young reporter concerned about rising in the ranks in her current gig at CBS’ Newspath.
Instead of giving her canned advice, Brzezinski, seen above in 2010, cared enough to actually help her -- by immediately calling a CBS executive and setting up a meeting for the “languishing” reporter.
Why? “Because that’s what women should do for each other, anyone should do for anyone!” she told Capital New York’s Peter Sterne. “And because I can.” (Jemal Countess / Getty Images for Time Inc.)
The 82-year-old author, seen above in 2009, was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature on Thursday. And was she waiting by the phone when the news came through? Nope!
In a piece describing Munro’s beautiful work evoking “everyday people, and the glories and heartaches to be found in ordinary lives,” Times Book Critic David L. Ulin writes, “She is in a class by herself: The 13th woman, first Canadian and first writer of predominantly short fiction to win the Nobel Prize.”
Why short stories instead of novels? Because it’s what she could manage while balancing the responsibilities of running a house and caring for her family. To which Ulin says, “Who needs novels, after all, when she has written stories that are as full as novels, in which time turns and telescopes and entire lives are revealed?”
Suzanne Somers more newsworthy than Miley Cyrus? Normally, I wouldn’t give a shout-out to a celeb for talking about her active sex life in the media. As far as I’m (usually) concerned, that stuff should remain private. But the 66-year-old Somers, seen above in 2007, deserves a nod because she just so happened to have grabbed our attention during the same week that Cyrus and Scarlett Johansson were in the news spreading the notion that women have expiration dates. It’s disheartening when confident female stars talk publicly about how getting older somehow means part of your life is ending. So, by contrast, Somers gets a thumbs-up. (Rose M. Prouser / Associated Press)