Adele M. Stan

Adele M. Stan is a columnist for The American Prospect

Recent Articles

THANK YOU TO THE BLACK WOMEN OF VIRGINIA.

THANK YOU TO THE BLACK WOMEN OF VIRGINIA. The junior senator from the Commonwealth of Virginia, James Webb , is hardly my favorite freshman. (Feminists of my generation find it tough to forget his attack on the women attacked at the Tailhook convention in 1991.) However, there's no denying the effectiveness of his rebuttal to the State of the Union. He kept his message simple and strong, bringing the weight of his family's continuing military history to his reasoned denouncement of the war in Iraq. And his clearly articulated explanation of the economic injustices now endured on some level by most Americans was dead-on. Sticking to these two issues was smart stuff; let the Democratic presidential candidates take note. We would be remiss, however, to go on lauding Webb's response without expressing heartfelt thanks to the African-American women of Virginia, for it was they who made the difference in Webb's tight contest against the former Senator George Allen (known in some parts as...

DROP IN THE...

DROP IN THE BUCKET. More on the noblesse oblige theme. Did the president just applaud himself for getting AIDS drugs to 50,000 people on the continent of Africa? According to the U.N. , of the 900 million people on the continent, "an estimated 24.5 million people [in sub-Saharan Africa] were living with HIV at the end of 2005 and approximately 2.7 million new infections occurred during that year." Thank goodness that Africa's devastation at least gets some notice in a presidential address but, really, I think we could do a bit better at getting AIDS drugs to a continent deep in crisis. --Adele M. Stan

GOODNESS GRACIOUS. ...

GOODNESS GRACIOUS. Ah, the whir of helicopters overhead, the scent of freshly baked cookies wafting through the room in which I sit tonight, a mere three blocks from the chamber from which the president is delivering his sixth State of the Union address. The helicopters circle as a means of protection for the dignitaries there assembled; the cookies I've made as my own private celebration of the sight of the first woman Speaker of the House as she graces the big chair behind the presidential podium. They have a bittersweet character -- the cookies, that is -- appropriate to the moment. Here is where I suppose I should remark upon the gracious manner in which President George W. Bush greeted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi , but I daresay the president's fawning, whether feigned or merely finessed, rang in my ears with the soft bigotry of noblesse oblige . When the current President Bush ascended to the leadership of the free world, I don't believe he was introduced in his official capacity...

Untruth in Advertising

The leaves are falling, the daylight waning, and the air has that bracing snap to it; 'tis the season of deceptive political advertising. Weeks before congressional elections, this usually this takes the form of negative television ads placed by the supporters of one candidate or another. But, on the Web, at least one issue-oriented group is offering a clever and upbeat form of the classic deceptive ad: Feminists for Life, a group that seeks to outlaw all abortions, no exceptions. Now, perhaps, as the Feminists for Life literature says, it is possible to oppose all forms of legal abortion -- even those that would save the life of the pregnant woman -- and still be a feminist. But if one were to take such a stance and consider oneself a feminist, one would certainly believe that women should have access to contraception, right? Apparently not if one is a member of Feminists for Life, an organization that href="http://www.feministsforlife.org/FAQ/index.htm#contraception">refuses to...

Benedict the Bombthrower

When I heard of Pope Benedict XVI's unfortunate comments about Islam, uttered via the voice of an ancient Byzantine emperor, my initial supposition was that the pontiff had simply been a bit ham-fisted, making an ill-advised choice of source material to illustrate a point about the nature of God. Then I actually read the speech that has set the Islamic world aflame. At best, the address delivered by the pontiff to what the Vatican calls “representatives of science” at Germany's University of Regensburg is an act of mischief rooted in chauvinism. I cannot see how any Catholic of good will -- one who values peace over war, or favors compassion over condemnation -- can accept the pope's actions in delivering such remarks as in any way divinely inspired, especially if one applies to Benedict the very standard he sought to illustrate with his once-removed insult of Islam as evil, inhuman, and unoriginal. The point His Holiness was trying to make -- and I can't imagine how this was...

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