Who's Your Momma? Probably Not a Famous Author.

Why are there so few mothers among our favorite writers? The numbers are not good. The bylines, by far, go to the men, as do the literary prizes, the biggest advances, the upper echelons of the canon, the spoils. Although noting tipped scales when it comes to men and women writers has been a common move..

Why are there so few mothers among our favorite writers?

The numbers are not good. The bylines, by far, go to the men, as do the literary prizes, the biggest advances, the upper echelons of the canon, the spoils. Although noting tipped scales when it comes to men and women writers has been a common move since first wave feminism lapped on our shores, the subsequent four or so decades have done little to alter the situation. We who tally and note these things tend to simply sigh these days, rather than picket or rail. We shrug our shoulders. Too often we forget to make the point (after all, we think, they'll just think it's another whine, and doesn't everyone know this all already?): women are greatly underrepresented amongst the ranks of writers, fiction or non.So it is with fatigue that I welcome (and I do welcome it!) Elaine Showalter's new book, A Jury of Her Peers: American Women Writers From Anne Bradstreet to Annie Proulx, as well as Laura Miller's excellent review-essay about the book, "Why Can't A Woman Write the Great American Novel?" in Salon (which begins her ennui with

articles about the dearth of women writers).And it is with fatigue that I read Javier Marias recent article in The New Republic titled "Love The Art, Hate The Artist," an article about how artists are often unpleasant people. Fine, interesting enough. Only, that is, if you can get past the subtitle, "Why are creative geniuses always portrayed as insufferable louts?" Wait. Lout is a gender-specific term, isn't it? Could that have really passed without notice through author and editor and copyeditor? Just to make sure, I look up "lout" and sure enough, Encarta World English Dictionary confirms: "lout: an offensive term that deliberately insults the behavior and attitude of somebody, especially a young man (informal insult)." (And since I know you are now wondering, the synonyms are thug, hoodlum, vandal, hooligan, yob, ruffian, oaf.) Yob?And, so exhausted I could just cry while reading, I stumble (as in "to fall") upon a blog post by D. G. Myers on the dearth of literature about parenting, in which he points out that the thirty-seven writers included in the Norton Anthology of American Literature, 1914–1945, had, in toto, forty-nine children. (Or, as he puts it, " a child-to-writer ratio of 1.32, the fertility rate of a former Soviet Bloc country"). Of the twelve women included in that group of thirty seven, nine-count ‘em, nine of twelve, twelve of thirty-seven-had no children. Zero. Zip. (Or, as Myers does it, they get big goose eggs after their names: "Willa Cather, 0; Gertrude Stein, 0).And then, just to be cruel to myself, I polled some literary friends of mine. "Quick," I asked them. "Name a favorite writer who was or is a mother." Pause. "Virginia Woo…? Nope." "Dickinso…? Nope. " "Louisa May Al…? Nope." Then they thought harder and little curls emerged at the edges of their lips. Do not despair, Anne, those smiles promised. "Mary Shelley! Toni Morrison! Joan Didion!"And not a single lout!I know that now, at this point in the article, after evidence-gathering, I am to shift gears, and analyze the significance of what I have found, crunch the numbers and parse the names to figure out why this age-old imbalance has not gone away.But-oops! Could it be 2:57 already? I have to run and pick up my son from school. Alas! No memorable argument, elegant interpretation or paradigm-shattering claims today. I haven't the time.
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Sin City is doing something good for its less fortunate citizens as well as those who've broken the law this month. The city of Las Vegas, Nevada will drop any parking ticket fines for those who make a donation to a local food bank.

A parking ticket can cost up to $100 in Las Vegas but the whole thing can be forgiven by bringing in non-perishable food items of equal or greater value to the Parking Services Offices at 500 S. Main Street through December 16.

The program is designed to help the less fortunate during the holidays.

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For more than 20 years. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has served the citizens of Maine in the U.S. Senate. For most of that time, she has enjoyed a hard-fought reputation as a moderate Republican who methodically builds bridges and consensus in an era of political polarization. To millions of political observers, she exemplified the best of post-partisan leadership, finding a "third way" through the static of ideological tribalism.

However, all of that has changed since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. Voters in Maine, particularly those who lean left, have run out of patience with Collins and her seeming refusal to stand up to Trump. That frustration peaked with the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

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Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign looks to be getting a huge big shot in the arm after it's faced some difficulties over the past few weeks.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a leading voice in the Democratic parties progressive, Democratic Socialist wing, is expected to endorse Sanders' campaign at the "Bernie's Back" rally in Queens, New York this Saturday.

Fellow member of "the Squad," Ilhan Omar, endorsed him on Wednesday.

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The U.K. is trying to reach its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, but aviation may become the biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.K. by that same year. A new study commissioned by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) and conducted at the Imperial College London says that in order for the U.K. to reach its target, aviation can only see a 25% increase, and they've got a very specific recommendation on how to fix it: Curb frequent flyer programs.

Currently, air travel accounts for 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, however that number is projected to increase for several reasons. There's a growing demand for air travel, yet it's harder to decarbonize aviation. Electric cars are becoming more common. Electric planes, not so much. If things keep on going the way they are, flights in the U.K. should increase by 50%.

Nearly every airline in the world has a frequent flyer program. The programs offer perks, including free flights, if customers get a certain amount of points. According to the study, 70% of all flights from the U.K. are taken by 15% of the population, with many people taking additional (and arguably unnecessary) flights to "maintain their privileged traveler status."

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