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A woman without a man

“A woman without a husband is not a problem to be solved,” writes Jane Austen in her book Persuasion. Jane Austen is a wise woman. I am reading Persuasion again. –Joy

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Too educated, too strong

In 1979, Wangari Maathai’s husband filed for divorce. He was quoted as saying that he wanted a divorce because his wife was “too educated, too strong, too successful, too stubborn and too hard to control.” It was Wangari Maathai who started the Green Belt Movement in Kenya. That movement has planted more than 50 million […]

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Look at yourself

Lucy learns new things about herself in Elizabeth Strout’s book Oh, William!. In an NPR interview, Strout comments: “You always think the other person’s not behaving the way you want them to, but, then you look at yourself and you realize: Well, maybe I’m not behaving the way they want me to, either.”

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Endless pools of unknowability

In her book Oh, William!, Elizabeth Strout writes about William and Lucy, who used to be married to each other. An NPR interviewer commented, “Lucy and William knew each other very well, but they didn’t know each other as well as they thought they did. “Has you ever experienced this?” “Yes, I have,” Strout answered, […]

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A complete nuisance

Toni Morrison was married in 1958. Her marriage was not a happy one, most likely because her husband believed a wife should be subservient to her husband. “I was a complete nuisance to mine,” Morrison once said.

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A sign they’re ready to marry

Anna Dahlqvist, author of It’s Only Blood, talked to girls in Kenya, and they explained that the first period is seen as a sign that they’re ready to marry. Then, the girls asked Dahlqvist how they could hide their period so that they could delay marriage. “What happens when menstrual shame clashes with poverty?” Dahlqvist […]

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We need nurturing in return

“The whole male-female thing in this country is very volatile right now,” Glenn Close, the actress, once said. “I think many women are feeling used by men. They invest a lot in a relationship, in nurturing a man emotionally and in his career, but they have their own careers and emotions and they don’t get […]

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Adam and Eve?

The story of Adam and Eve is about love—about connections, Bruce Feiler stressed when he talked recently in Dallas about his new book The First Love Story—Adam, Eve, and Us. “God doesn’t want us to be alone,” Feiler said. This story is also about resilience, he added. “Adam and Eve leave Eden together, and they […]

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A familiar room

Kirsten and Dieter are “dearest friends,” but they have differences of opinion. They have had the same argument for years until it became “something like a familiar room where they met,” writes Emily St. John Mandel in her book Station Eleven. My husband and I have some of those familiar rooms. Next time we disagree […]

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Beat your wife “lightly”

Pakistan’s most populated province approved a law that gives women protection from abusive husbands. However, the country’s Council of Islamic Ideology strongly opposes the new law, reported The Dallas Morning News in its May 27 issue. The council has drafted a proposal that husbands should be allowed to “lightly beat” their wives.

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