- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 26, 2001

Mary Kay: Arch feminist
"Mary Kay Ash died on Thanksgiving Day at the age of 83. She should have been a feminist icon: a beautiful, savvy businesswoman who gave women the power to 'have it all' without abandoning their families. Her company's motto: 'God first, family second, career third.'
"Of course, she never was embraced by feminism because Mary Kay and her legion of pink-clad consultants who made up Mary Kay Cosmetics were anything but the victims feminists would have preferred. With a refundable $100 for a startup kit, and a closet full of incentives most famously the coveted pink Cadillac consultants can and do go on to make six-figure salaries. Ash used her $5,000 savings and a skin-care recipe to start a company. Once she made her millions by helping other women help themselves she spoiled herself with gowns and pinkness even building a pink mansion.
"Writing in her 1981 autobiography, 'Mary Kay,' Mary Kay Ash explained that she started her company in 1963, even before the feminists were in full swing 'but here was a company that would give women all the opportunities I never had. I don't think God wanted a world in which a woman would have to work 14 hours a day to support her family, as my mother had done. I believe he used this company as a vehicle to give women a chance.'"
Kathryn Jean Lopez in "Strong Women Wear Lipstick" in the January/February issue of "The American Enterprise"

Boy-girl roommates
"Every morning, Courtney Caughey holes up in the closet, in Lodge Three of Swarthmore college, to change clothes. There she enjoys a few modest moments out of the presence of Woot as in Woot Lervisit, her male roommate. Swarthmore is one of a handful of colleges that have plunged into experiments in coed rooming.
"Coed rooms are a new twist on an old theme. At many colleges, male and female students have shared bathrooms and dormitory living spaces for decades, with bedrooms assigned to either men or women, rather than mixed groups. Wesleyan, Antioch College and Haverford College have extended the practice toward coed rooming as well. Swarthmore introduced coed housing in part to provide a residential alternative for gay students. For some, finding a same-sex roommate comfortable with their sexuality was difficult. Timothy Stewart-Winter, who graduated last spring, wrote a memo to the college's housing committee calling mandatory same-gender housing 'heterosexist.'
"'The [homosexual] students were saying that it was awkward living with someone who isn't understanding of their sexual orientation,' says Myrt Westphal, director of housing. 'They felt that finding a roommate sometimes is difficult.'"
Anne Marie Borrego in "Today's Students Want to Have Sex, but Not With Their Roommates" in the Dec. 21 Chronicle of Higher Education

Making it up
"Director Oliver Stone and writer Cyrus Nowrasteh had completed their shoot of 'The Day Reagan Was Shot' by the time I wrote an account of the March 1981 events in the Atlantic Monthly, on the 20th anniversary. They then had a problem: They needed to validate their version and had not known about my tapes. I insisted on seeing the film before talking with Mr. Stone's people, and after I did, Mr. Nowrasteh had the temerity to say that the tapes 'corroborate our movie.' They do no such thing.
"Once again Oliver Stone leads the viewing public to believe that the world was at the brink of disaster, thanks to an internal government conspiracy (an attempted coup by Mr. Haig), aggravated, according to Mr. Nowrasteh, by 'a lot of mistakes by high-level cabinet members [that] put us on a very intense nuclear alert status and the Russians responded accordingly.' This is fantasy.
"The end of the movie is a hoot. Mr. Haig, his coup plot foiled, confronts the cabinet and White House staffers with a deal: He'll not tell about their nearly having thrust the nation into nuclear war if they'll not tell about his lunge for presidential power. Sneering, Mr. Dreyfuss strides from the room while the band of spineless officials breathes a sigh of relief.
"Maybe the whole thing was meant as a comedy. If not, it is simply a swindle."
Richard V. Allen, on "The Day The Truth Was Shot," in the Dec. 14 issue of the Wall Street Journal

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