Press-Republican

FYI...

December 27, 2012

Slate: Lady jerks of 2012

(Continued)

Taylor Swift, singer-songwriter. Swift built her songwriting career by detailing how she's been scorned by her big, bad high-profile boyfriends. Her tales of romantic persecution have made her one of the most powerful pop stars in the business, but she hasn't ceded the right to be wronged. (In 2010's "Mean," she accused a music critic who gave her a bad review of "picking on the weaker man" — superstar Taylor Swift.) Of course, a powerful person with an underdog complex is just a jerk. And Swift really leaned into her jerkiness this year, crashing a Kennedy wedding with still-in-high-school boyfriend Conor (Taylor Swift does not crash parties; everyone is expected to be excited when she unexpectedly arrives) and collaborating with other boyfriend Harry Styles to recreate the famous "Dirty Dancing" lift at a private party (nobody puts Taylor in a corner).

Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. When Rice's name was floated for nomination to succeed Hillary Clinton as the next Secretary of State, haters called her "prickly," "hard-headed," "temperamentally unfit," and "always right on the edge of a screech." The personality police eventually moved Rice to withdraw her name from the running. Ruth Marcus wrote in The Washington Post, "the controversy over Rice stems in part from the fact that she does not fit comfortably into this model of collegial, nurturing, division-healing woman." But the idea that Susan Rice could have netted the job had she shown the softer side of the Secretary is yet another double standard keeping lady jerks down. Previous Madame Secretaries Hillary and Condi weren't soft and fuzzy, either.

Amanda Hess is a writer and editor in Los Angeles. She blogs for DoubleX on sex, science and health. Tweet at her @amandahess.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
FYI...
  • Why it's basically impossible to delete those naked selfies you text

    If you're selling an old Android smartphone on an online auction site, you could be giving away rather more than you intend to, according to a recent investigation by anti-malware company Avast.

    July 21, 2014

  • Why does the Vatican need a bank?

    The Vatican Bank's history reads more like Dan Brown than the financial pages, but its worst -- and weirdest -- days may be behind it.

    July 18, 2014

  • Almost half of the world actually prefers instant coffee

    Americans' taste in coffee might be getting more high-end _with a growing fixation on perfectly roasted beans, pricier caffeinated concoctions, and artisan coffee brewers - but it turns out a surprisingly big part of the world is going in the opposite direction: toward instant coffee.

    July 17, 2014

  • ent_taylorswift.jpg There's less good music now — here's why

    Taylor Swift, the seven-time Grammy winner, is known for her articulate lyrics, so there was nothing surprising about her writing a long column for The Wall Street Journal about the future of the music industry. Yet there's reason to doubt the optimism of what she had to say.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can plants hear? Study finds that vibrations prompt some to boost their defenses

    They have no specialized structure to perceive sound as we do, but a new study has found that plants can discern the sound of predators through tiny vibrations of their leaves - and beef up their defenses in response.

    July 12, 2014

  • wheat1.jpg Backlash has begun against gluten-free dieters

    The swelling ranks of Americans adopting gluten-free diets have given rise to another hot trend: people calling the whole thing a bunch of baloney.

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140516-recalls_1357_88cb85dbc81b724b4ae9c83db4426fd8.jpg Auto recalls break single-year US record with six months to go

    With six months left in 2014, automakers have already recalled more vehicles in the United States than in any other year on record.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • The science of shyness

    Shy people have quite a bit to contend with - not least the word itself. It has a number of different meanings, none of which are flattering. To "shy away" from something implies avoidance; to "shy" can also mean to move suddenly in fright; to "be shy of" something can mean to come up short, or be insufficient.

    July 8, 2014

  • Wanna write a pop song? Here's a foolproof equation

    Pop songs (generally) stay in one key, are in 4/4 time, last between three and five minutes, are organized into chunks of four or eight bars, have a repeating chorus played two to four times, include the title sung at least three times, and feature short melodic fragments that repeat a lot to help everyone to remember them.

    July 7, 2014

  • Americans falling out of love with shopping malls

    Abandoned malls are hot: The Dead Malls Enthusiasts Facebook group boasts almost 14,000 members; a Google search of "dead malls" produces 5.7 million results; and the desolate interiors of these unused retailing meccas keep making cameos in thrillers and horror films.

    July 6, 2014