Women making history
Herstory is gloriously adult entertainment
On this day (February 28) in 1933, the 32nd President of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, made history by appointing Frances Perkins Secretary of Labor, the first woman to hold a cabinet post. More than 80 years later, a vocal segment of American political commentators are in a state of panic over the "inevitability" of a woman, one Hilary Rodham Clinton, becoming their nation's 45th president. It would be comic if it weren't so very sad. For a country that claims to be the world's leader, the U.S. remains the last significant democracy to never have been led by a woman. To date, the major English-speaking nations all have had female prime ministers, including the United Kingdom (Margaret Thatcher), Australia (Julia Gillard), Canada (Kim Campbell), Ireland (Mary Robinson) and New Zealand (Helen Clark). So, too, Europe's dynamic duo, France (Edith Cresson) and Germany (Angela Merkel), as well as major U.S. allies, such as India (Indira Gandhi), Israel (Golda Meir) and Pakistan (Benazir Bhutto). Last Sunday (February 22), Oscar-winning actress Patricia Arquette drew criticism for making a passionate, 24-second plea for wage equality and "for equal rights for every woman in the United States of America." The reaction suggests that the U.S. still has a way to go to realize its own best ideals, a truth well known to activist Broadway diva Bernadette Peters. Born on this day (February 28) in 1948, Peters co-starred in a feature film based on the life of 19th-century French feminist George Sand, 1991's Impromptu.
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Playing test and tease
Cop show just small screen silliness
She made her name in The Devil in Miss Jones, one of the 1970s films that made porno chic. Born on this day (March 1) in 1936, Georgina Spelvin played a bit part in the 1984 comedy Police Academy, a screen moment that traded on her adult film fame.
Crypt Keeper exhumed
Screen shocks from banned books
The "golden age" of comics came to an end in 1955 with the February/March Tales from the Crypt, the final issue of the classic E.C. title. The victim of post-war hysteria over juvenile delinquency, its form of story-telling was remembered in 1972's Tales from the Crypt.
And the award goes to . . .
Cross-dressing for acting honours
More than a hundred million viewers worldwide are expected to tune in today (February 22) to the 87th annual Academy Awards broadcast. Today's quiz tests your memory of the many talented performers who took on the challenge of gender-bending acting assignments.
The importance of names
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As the world prepares for the 2015 hurricane season, it occurred to me that the Maryland-based U.S. National Weather Service should consider a new approach to the naming of the increasing number of superstorms, a protocol that gives credit to those who truly deserve it.