- The Washington Times - Friday, November 10, 2000

Jiggle feminism

"OK, so Gloria Steinem they ain't, but now that actresses Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu have brought 'Charlie's Angels' the 1970s-era quintessential 'jiggle TV' series to the big screen, they've become the latest actresses to join a legion of pop-culture icons that has entertained, titillated and stirred up debate over whether women can be smart and sexy at the same time.

"And 'Charlie's Angels,' the film, comes endowed with a feminist message as complex as the plot is simple… .

"Yes, the new Angels are still prancing around in tight, revealing clothes. Yes, the camera is still fixed on their toned bodies, and yes, they still work for a man who seems to serve as some sort of watchful, protective father figure.

"But, true to their predecessors, these Angels are quick-witted, athletic crime-fighting crackerjacks. The movie also can be viewed as the latest archetype of 'girl power' culture that's considered part of the third wave of feminism."

Rachel Leibrock, writing on "Charlie's Angels 2000" in the Sacramento Bee

Choice words

"During the past several weeks of the campaign, the expression 'anti-choice' was used repeatedly in commentaries, political ads and talk shows. For instance, The New York Times recently used the expression in an editorial, and Planned Parenthood often uses it in their literature.

"This use of the word 'anti-choice' is an illustration of the political mischief caused by the misuse of language. If you think about the expression 'anti-choice' for a moment, it's clear that it is nonsense… .

"The very same people who are clamoring for the protection of 'choice' so-called are working overtime to restrict other people's choices. They want to restrict smoking; they argue for laws against talking on cell phones while driving; and they lobby for more restrictions on gun ownership.

"So, if the expression 'anti-choice' is nonsensical and hypocritical, why continue to use it? The answer is to divert our attention from what is being chosen.

" 'Choice,' you see, is a morally empty concept. The morality of a choice lies in what we choose. No one wants to say he's 'pro-abortion,' so he simply says he's 'pro-choice.' "

Chuck Colson in "The Hidden Agenda of Choice: The Abuse of Language in Politics," a Breakpoint commentary posted Nov. 3 on www.breakpoint.com

Not so gifted

"The Gifted and Talented (GT) program is the ultimate status symbol in Northern Virginia. This is where the wheat is separated from the chaff.

"Entry into this exclusive club of smart kids is even more coveted than having your son or daughter cherry-picked for the select soccer team … .

"[It is also] a sinister program. It's elitist to the core. If the school system can provide such a wondrously nourishing academic environment for the 20 percent of the kids who are gifted and talented, why can't it do the same for the other 80 percent? …

"The one enduring lesson you learn from living in Washington for nearly 20 years is how overrated intelligence is. This city is a mecca for self-described intelligent people. But Washington is also a place where supremely stupid ideas seem to sprout and flourish. Gifted and talented people believe the most unwise and nonsensical things.

"Most Marxists are fairly intelligent people who, for all I know, sailed through gifted and talented programs. I'm told that half the people who devised the dim-witted Hillary Clinton health care plan were Rhodes scholars. Ditto for the people who work at the World Bank and the [International Monetary Fund] … .

"Not only are the geniuses not very smart, but the people who choose them have a few screws loose, too."

Stephen Moore in "Little Brainos" in the November issue of the American Spectator

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