Link Roundup: Margaret Seltzer a sociopath? The Sexing of Science. Lowlights of the Presidential Race.
Is Margaret Seltzer, aka Margaret B. Jones, aka the latest memoirist to be exposed as a fraud, a sociopath who skillfully manipulated her benefactors in the publishing industry? Amy Alexander, co-author of Lay My Burden Down: Suicide and the Mental Health Crisis among African-Americans, ponders the question of blame in the Nation:
Could it be as simple as a case of innocent victims--the editor, the agent, the writing teacher--being duped by one sociopathic young lady?
Maybe. But it also may also be true that when it comes to a hard-luck gang story, McGrath, Bender and others involved in the publication of Love and Consequences were more inclined to err on the side of sensationalism and exploitation over the hard work of grooming an author who might give readers genuine authenticity. And it is more than a bit ironic that their apparent quest for vividly told ghetto authenticity led them to nurture and promote a white woman writer whose story, even if it were true, represented only a one-dimensional version of the Authentic Black Experience.
Throughout the book, Bergland examines Mitchell's rise from 1847, when she witnessed the flash of a comet... to becoming the "computer of Venus" employed by the Nautical Almanac to calculate by math the orbit of that planet; to her hiring as the first professor of astronomy at Vassar College for women; and to the close of the 1800s when women's roles in the sciences were discouraged and Mitchell lamented that she might be the last of the nation's female scientists.
Bergland notes that while the word "scientist" had no masculine association at the start of the 19th century, by 1873 a male Harvard Medical School faculty member posited that women were physiologically unable to study science and that those who pursued the subject with vigor risked becoming "thoroughly masculine in nature or hermaphroditic in mind."
As of 1875, 10 years after Mitchell was appointed to her professorship, the move toward a male scientific role model had gained societal dominance.
The Rev. C. Welton Gaddy compiles the worst moments in the race for "Pastor-in-Chief." Watch them on YouTube, where the video has been added to the Beacon Broadside favorites. Mitt Romney's speech on faith in America didn't even make Gaddy's top ten.