Be Kind: I’m Over It

I’ve encountered this mantra on my Instagram, Facebook, and just about everywhere:

“In a world where you can be anything, be kind.”

At first, I embraced it. I can do more “kind.” Yep, I can be known as kind. “You know Christine Merser; she’s so kind.”

*pause*

No one says that about me. But that’s not to say I don’t do kind things. Say kind things. Bleed with empathy and reach out with kindness for

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Mother’s Day 2020

I got the following email from a friend.

Did I tell you about my mom? She uses a walker, but for some reason decided to try the tread mill at her apt building last week, hit the wrong button, sped up, she went flying, got battered, had to have eye surgery last week for a torn retina ….laugh or cry?

I read it and started laughing with the image of this older woman on a

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Harvey Weinstein: Accomplices and Accessories

I realize that we should take a moment to pause and recognize that twenty years ago, Harvey Weinstein would not have been given a sentence of 23 years — no way, no how. We can do that, sit and marvel at the new world of appreciation for what countless women must have gone through, more women than we will ever know. And I want to do that. I want to think about the fact that

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Favorite Feminist Disney Character: Cruella De Vil

Whenever I’m asked my favorite feminist Disney character, I don’t waver. “Why, it’s Cruella de Vil,” I reply without hesitation.

I was 8 years old when “101 Dalmatians” was released. I felt relief when I saw her on the screen.

Cinderella made me anxious. I couldn’t see an ounce of myself in her. Why would she not fight back? Why was she so nice to such awful people? And Bambi? Let’s not even go there.

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Margaret Chase Smith: Saving the Republic from the Senate Floor

Margaret Chase Smith. You might never have heard her name, but it’s certainly not because she doesn’t deserve to have you do so. She was the first woman voted in as a senator who wasn’t an appointment or a widow filling her husband’s seat. But it’s not that for which we should resurrect her now. It’s because she was a Republican from Maine. Republicans from Maine are known to be individualistic in their approach to

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Felicity Huffman Gets 14 Days. Justice or Entitlement?

Felicity Huffman was sentenced to 14 days in prison and ordered to pay a $30,000 fine.

Here is the thing. Part of the divide in this country is the belief by the average American that the accountability for entitled behavior by the privileged rich doesn’t at all correspond to the accountability they have to contend with when they break the law. That money renders people immune to punishment.

This reaction signifies the growing anger between

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Taylor Swift’s Legs

OK, gather round. I was speaking with an intern last week whose friend works in specialty insurance. Being the curious type, I asked for more information. Here’s how that went:

“What is specialty insurance?”

“Oh, it’s when you insure something that makes you a celebrity … like Taylor Swift’s legs.”

“Taylor Swift’s legs?! Surely, you jest. Taylor Swift’s brain for writing songs, and her voice, I get — but her legs? You can’t be serious.”

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Joe Biden & Anita Hill Hearings: Deal Breaker

“Are you crazy?” I asked. “Do you know what he did during the Anita Hill hearings when he was in charge? Head. Of. The. Judiciary. Committee. Running. The Hearing. He was the guy. He was the one who seven women, in addition to Anita, petitioned to speak, as they’d had the same experience as she did. Corroborating evidence he chose to ignore. He turned them down! Have you seen the hearing tapes of how he

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Getting Old, or Should I Say Aging?

A client, who is also a friend, was telling me about a trip he took with a few couples to Florida last weekend. By the time they arrived at the airport to embark on their vacation, one of the men wasn’t looking so good. He’d been in a fender bender, and said he was experiencing blurred vision among other ailments, but he insisted on boarding the plane. My friend said that as soon as they

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Gloria: A Life Review

My friend Chris and I went to see Gloria: A Life, the Gloria Steinem one-woman show. The play is closing in New York City at the end of this month, but it will be traveling to other parts of the country that Gloria changed during the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I have met Gloria at dinner parties in the Hamptons, where I found her to be soft-spoken and not

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