"What happened was that 78 poor children whose fathers are incarcerated received free back-to-school supplies provided by three area churches. Their dads were permitted to be on hand to help present these presents, getting a rare chance to spend a few hours with their young kids.
This is, unambiguously, a Good Thing. "Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the needy have their needs met, children are prepared to learn, broken families experience healing, the poor have good news brought to them."
Most readers will respond to such good news appropriately -- seeing it as good news. That's accurate and appropriate and therefore not very interesting. Why do these readers respond to good news as good news? Because it's good news.
The opposite, anomalous response is more interesting. Why do some readers respond to this good news with such hostility? Why does this story make them angry and unhappy?"
In which an education researcher discovers how science conferences have been run approximately forever.
"Those who like to believe they have picked themselves up by the bootstraps sometimes forget that they wouldn't even have boots were it not for the women who came before. Listening to Palin, it's almost impossible to believe that, as recently as 50 years ago, a woman at Harvard Law School could be asked by Dean Erwin Griswold to justify taking a spot that belonged to a man. In Ginsburg's lifetime, a woman could be denied a clerkship with Felix Frankfurter just because she was a woman. Only a few decades ago, Ginsburg had to hide her second pregnancy for fear of losing tenure. I don't have an easy answer to the question of whether real feminists are about prominent lipsticky displays of "girl-power," but I do know that Ginsburg's lifetime dedication to achieving quiet, dignified equality made such displays possible."