Jessica Bennett

Stories by Jessica Bennett

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    Poll: How Much Is Beauty Worth at Work?

    NEWSWEEK surveyed hiring managers and job seekers about the role of beauty in the workplace. The bottom line? It pays to be good-looking.
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    Women Will Rule the World

    When historians write about the great recession of 2007–08, they may very well have a new name for it: the Mancession. It’s a term already being bandied about in the popular media as business writers chronicle the sad tales of the main victims of the recession: men.
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    Why Are Retailers Ignoring Female Consumers?

    It may be a man’s world, but in the new millennium, it’s the women who are controlling the wallets. Yet mainstream retailers continue to largely ignore female consumers.
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    Fat Camp, In Your Face

    Fat kids stuck at fat camp may be "the heart of America," as ‘Huge’ star Nikki Blonsky has put it, but just because the show is the only nonreality series featuring actual fat people, don't expect it to empower the big-boned.
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    How Real Is 'The Real L Word'?

    It’s worth a laugh, but if you think the unenlightened will learn anything about "real" mainstream lesbian life from "The Real L Word," think again.
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    'If It’s Sunday, It’s More Men in Dark Suits'

    Politico tackles Sunday talk shows' gender disparity. But just so we don’t let the media get away squeaky-clean, a quick rundown of exactly how bad we're all doing when it comes to showcasing women.
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    The Case Against Marriage

    Sure, some weddings are fun—but too often they're a formulaic, overpriced, fraught rite of passage, marking entry into an institution that sociologists describe as "broken." Should smart women say "I don't"?
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    Too Hot in the Workplace? It'll Cost Ya.

    It’s the story the TV press just can’t wait to eat up: curvy, attractive brunette, single mom, fired from Citibank because her bosses “couldn’t concentrate” around her—she was simply too hot.
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    No Sex in This City

    It may begin with a big, fabulous, gay wedding, but SATC 2 is more 1950s gender roles than lipstick-and-Manolos feminism.
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    Robin Givhan's Sexist Slam on Elena Kagan

    Tied up in the assessment of style, writes the Washington Post, is the awkward, fumbling attempt to suss out who a person is." It's true--but in Kagan's case, Robin Givhan's attempt is just plain offensive.
  • Turns Out, Yeardley Love Couldn't Have Gotten a Restraining Order If She Wanted To

    Though Yeardley Love never filed a restraining order against him, it's clear that George Huguely, charged with first-degree murder in his former girlfriend's death, had a violent past. He had been Tasered by a female police officer in 2008, after threatening her in a drunken rage. He had to be separated from Love at a party, and allegedly attacked a sleeping teammate, leaving his face bruised, after hearing that the player had kissed Love. He'd been charged with underage alcohol possession, reckless driving, and in 2008, police were summoned by the 22-year-old's father after the two got into a heated argument aboard a fishing boat and Huguely tried to swim the quarter mile to shore....
  • Study: Jealousy Is Blinding

    New research shows that women who are made to feel jealous can't spot targets on a computer screen. In other words, jealousy is (literally) blinding.
  • Double Standard or Not, Bristol Palin’s Anti-Pregnancy PSA Actually Kind of Good

    The teen birthrate in the United States may be down 2 percent, but Americans still have the highest rate of teen pregnancy in the industrialized world—and Bristol Palin, apparently, is trying to do something about it. Now I wouldn’t normally reveal this, but the 19-year-old baby mama Palin’s new anti-pregnancy PSA, produced by the Candies Foundation, for which she is an ambassador, actually gave me goose bumps. I’ll follow that by saying that Law & Order gives me goose bumps, but the point is that the 30-second spot is actually not bad. Part of an ongoing series for National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, it features a freckled Palin, with son Tripp, 1, staring starkly into the camera to ask, “What if I didn’t come from a famous family? What if I didn’t have all their support?” spliced between campaign jeers and the noise of a crying child. She concludes: “Believe me, it wouldn’t be pretty.” Now, certainly the ad is hypocritical (do as I say, not as I do!), and many have poin...
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    Why Young Women Need Feminism

    For all the talk about feminism as passe, mine wasn't a generation that rejected it for its militant, man-hating connotation—but because of its success. Women were equal—duh—so why did we need feminism?
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    Young Women, Newsweek, and Sexism

    In 1970, 46 women filed a landmark gender-discrimination case against NEWSWEEK. Forty years later, their contemporary counterparts question how much has actually changed.
  • When a Family Tragedy Turns Into a YouTube Sensation

    It seems an ever-more common scenario: a death is captured in a photograph or video. The images are uploaded onto the Web. Within days, thousands, if not millions, of strangers have pierced their way into a family’s grief—gawking at the final moments of a life that were never meant to be public. It’s a scenario that’s ongoing for the family of Nikki Catsouras, the 18-year-old Orange County girl killed in a 2006 car crash—her mangled remains leaked onto the Web by two police dispatchers. Now it’s the latest battle for the family of Dawn Brancheau, the 40-year-old SeaWorld Orca trainer who drowned last month after she was yanked by her ponytail and held underwater by the six-ton whale she trained. The attack happened in front of a number of horrified tourists who’d attended a show just moments before.Brancheau’s family announced this week that they would seek an injunction to protect the release of the death imagery, captured by SeaWorld’s surveillance cameras on Feb. 24. And though...
  • Does Gender Matter on the Web? James Chartrand Thinks So.

    A woman in her mid-30s needed a job—and fast. So she turned to the Web, started a business, and hit a wall. “I was having a hard time landing jobs,” she says. So the woman did what many female writers have often wondered about: she changed her name.
  • Cooking with Coolio

    What Coolio Is Cooking for Thanksgiving

    Best known for his 1995 rap album, Gangsta's Paradise, Compton-born rapper Coolio has a new cookbook that will teach you how to pimp your skills.
  • The American Medical Association Reconsiders Marijuana. Will the Justice Department Follow?

    More than 100 million Americans have smoked pot. Thirteen states have medical marijuana laws on the books, and a dozen more are considering legislation. Studies have shown that the substance can stimulate appetite, ease muscle spasms and numb pain. Yet since 1970, when Richard Nixon signed the Controlled Substance Act into law, the time-slowing green plant known as marijuana has been a Schedule 1 controlled substance: classified alongside drugs like heroin and PCP—and deemed more harmful than cocaine, meth, and Ketamine. Pot advocates call that reality the “Schedule I Lie” —referring to the drug’s federal classification as the most potent of drugs, considered, by law, to have “no accepted medical use.” The idea that a few tokes every now and then is more harmful than the recreational use of dog tranquilizer seems a bit, well, bogus, considering its mainstream acceptance. Barack Obama has openly admitted to smoking pot; Michael Phelps has tried it (and still managed to bring home...
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    How Oakland Is Leading Marijuana Legalization

    A nine-block section of downtown Oakland, Calif., has become a modern marijuana mecca—and a model for what a legalized-drug America could look like. Why the stars are aligning for the pro-weed movement.
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    Why Women Have Sex: New Research

    What turns women on has long been an elusive question. The authors of a new book hope that understanding why women have sex in the first place could go a long way toward answering it.