TV & Radio
February 10, 2007
Harvard Plans to Name First Female President
By SARA RIMER and ALAN FINDER
The New York Times
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Feb. 9 — Harvard, the nation’s oldest university, plans to name Drew Gilpin Faust, a historian of the Civil War South, to be the first female president in its 371-year history, university officials said Friday.
Her selection by a search committee, if ratified as expected by the Board of Overseers on Sunday, would make Harvard the fourth Ivy League university to name a woman. It comes two years after Lawrence H. Summers, then president of the university, set off a storm by suggesting that a lack of intrinsic aptitude could help explain why fewer women than men reach the top ranks of science and math in universities.
Some Harvard professors, particularly women, greeted the decision with euphoria. “Harvard’s waited a long time — since 1636,” said Patricia Albjerg Graham, an emeritus professor of the history of education at Harvard, recalling that when she was a postdoctoral fellow in 1972, she was not allowed to enter the main door of the faculty club or eat in the main dining room.
Mary Waters, the acting chairwoman of the Harvard sociology department, said: “It’s been a lonely place for women, very lonely. There aren’t many of us.”
Dr. Faust, 59, the author of five books and a former professor of history and women’s studies at the University of Pennsylvania, is the dean of the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study, the smallest of Harvard’s schools. It is the remaining remnant of Radcliffe College, once the women’s college at Harvard. Much of the research sponsored by the institute emphasizes the study of women, gender and society.
Dr. Faust emerged in recent weeks as a finalist among the candidates being considered by the university’s search committee, particularly after Thomas R. Cech, a biochemist who is the president of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a Nobel Prize winner, took the unusual step of announcing publicly that he had withdrawn from the competition.
His withdrawal prompted some professors to raise last-minute concerns about Dr. Faust. While declining to speak on the record, they said they thought she lacked the toughness and vision to be a strong leader of an unruly and factionalized university and noted that the Radcliffe Institute, with about 80 staff members, is a tiny part of Harvard. Others wondered why it had taken nearly a year to choose someone who was already a Harvard dean.
“The real import of this choice is that it is a cautious pick, which seems targeted at healing the wounds of the Summers years and restoring Harvard’s momentum as quickly as possible,” said Richard Bradley, who wrote “Harvard Rules: The Struggle for the Soul of the World’s Most Powerful University” (HarperCollins, 2005).
Mr. Bradley said there were legitimate questions about Dr. Faust’s qualifications, like her lack of experience running a large university. “The fact that Harvard could not find someone who filled all their bases suggests to me the difficulty that Harvard had to fill the position,” he said.
One of the nation’s premier universities, Harvard has 12 schools and colleges with an annual budget of $3 billion and an endowment of nearly $30 billion.
John Longbrake, a university spokesman, said he would not comment on the presidential search. Dr. Faust also declined to comment until Sunday’s official announcement. Her selection was first reported by The Harvard Crimson late Thursday night on its Web site.
Faculty members and officials familiar with the search said Dr. Faust’s leadership style — her collaborative approach and considerable people skills — would be vital for soothing a campus ripped apart by the battles over Dr. Summers, whom many accused of having an abrasive, confrontational style.
“She combines outstanding scholarship with an uncanny ability to administer both well and with a heart,” said Judith Rodin, the president of the Rockefeller Foundation.
Dr. Summers turned to Dr. Faust two years ago to help calm the furor over his remarks about women in math, engineering and science. He asked her to oversee two committees he created to come up with ways to recruit, retain and promote women in those fields at Harvard.
Dr. Summers, a former Treasury secretary, stepped down a year ago after a five-year tenure in the face of widespread faculty discontent.
Dr. Faust will take the helm at a time when the university faces a challenging agenda, which includes transforming the undergraduate curriculum, re-emphasizing teaching and building a new campus in the Allston section of Boston that, among other things, will support stem-cell research.
She is seen as likely to be able to restore trust with the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the university’s largest and among its most prestigious divisions, which had led the charge against Dr. Summers.
Dr. Faust has run the Radcliffe Institute since 2001. Before that, she taught American history for more than two decades at Penn, where she had gone to graduate school. An expert in Southern history and a native of Virginia, she has written books on Southern women during the Civil War and on intellectuals and ideology in the Confederate South, as well as a biography of a plantation owner.
In the end, some Harvard professors said, Dr. Faust’s management style might have been more important to the nine members of the presidential search committee than any desire to name a woman.
“My own sense is that it’s a new template for leadership, and that probably is not unrelated to gender, but it ought not get eclipsed by it,” said Richard P. Chait, a professor of higher education at Harvard.
Dr. Chait, who studies university management, noted that in several recent changes of leadership of major American corporations, tough, even bullying leaders were replaced by more mild-mannered consensus builders.
The presidential search began not long after Dr. Summers resigned last February. Derek C. Bok, a former president of Harvard, stepped in to serve as interim president.
News of Dr. Faust’s selection was greeted warmly by Harvard students. “It’s about time,” said Elisa Olivieri, a junior. “Talent is no longer ‘single, male, childless.’ It’s an excellent acknowledgement that the face of talent has changed.”
George Thampy, a freshman, said of the selection: “I think it’s a great step forward — a bona fide scholar who’s a woman. In some ways you could say it’s a reaction to the last president and that fiasco.”
Sara Rimer reported from Cambridge, Mass., and Alan Finder from New York.
Saturday, Feb. 10, 2007
Mr. Yanagisawa does it again
Language sometimes masks what one really thinks or feels. It also sometimes exposes what is really on one's mind, consciously or unconsciously. The second case appears to apply to the two statements health minister Hakuo Yanagisawa has made in relation to the nation's falling birth rate. In a Lower House Budget Committee session on Wednesday, he apologized for his Jan. 17 speech in which he likened women to "child-bearing machines and devices." But on Tuesday, he made another controversial statement.
When a reporter asked whether women alone should bear the responsibility of raising the birth rate, Mr. Yanagisawa replied in part, "Young people are in an extremely sound state in which they want to marry and have two or more children. Therefore it will be important for us to work out policy measures that really fit, well what should I say, Japanese young people's sound wishes." His statement reflects a 2005 finding by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research that 90 percent of unmarried people want to marry and have an average 2.1 children.
But the question is why he went to the trouble of using the word "sound." Social Democratic Party leader Ms. Mizuho Fukushima, who has a daughter with her unmarried partner, reacted by saying, "Does he mean that people who do not have two or more children are not sound?" Other possible and logical questions would be: Are people who have not married or do not want to marry not sound? Are people who are married but do not have children not sound?
When a reporter said that his latest statement may have hurt some people, Mr. Yanagisawa said that since the present society is based on a premise that individuals have freedom in deciding whether to marry and whether to have children, his statement would not hurt people. But it would not be far-fetched to say that by using the word "sound," he is imposing a certain value on people and tacitly criticizing certain people concerning their thinking and life style. Language has its own weight. Even if he works out concrete policy measures, many people will still harbor deep doubts about his basic thinking.
Saturday, Feb. 10, 2007
U.S. resolution on sex slaves moves toward House passage
Compiled from Kyodo, AP
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep. Mike Honda was confident Thursday that a resolution that he and other American lawmakers have introduced condemning Japan for forcing Asian women to provide sex for the Japanese military during the war will clear the House of Representatives.
"We are enjoying bipartisan support as this resolution moves forward," the California Democrat said during a teleconference with reporters.
Honda and some powerful Republicans submitted the draft resolution on Jan. 31, urging the prime minister to issue an official apology for the suffering Japan caused the women, who were euphemistically called "comfort women."
A similar resolution asking for an apology for as many as 200,000 women forced into sexual servitude for millions of Japanese soldiers during the war was passed last year by the House of Representatives foreign affairs panel. However, the Republicans, who then controlled Congress, never brought it before the House.
The Japanese Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Tokyo acknowledged in the 1990s that its military set up and ran brothels for its troops. But Japan has rejected most compensation claims, saying they were settled by postwar treaties.
Honda acknowledged Japan is "very sensitive" to the issue and that Japanese lobbyists in Washington have urged the resolution be dropped, saying it would be bad for U.S.-Japanese relations.
"I'm sure there will be resistance," Honda said. But, he added, "It's a necessary move that the Japanese have to take."
Honda called the resolution "a matter of fundamental justice. These brave women's wounds have been left to fester for over a half-century."
Next week, three comfort women are scheduled to appear at a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia.
The current resolution does not recommend that Japan pay reparations to the women. Instead, it urges Japan to accept moral responsibility for the women's misery with an official apology, to refute those who say the sexual enslavement never happened and to educate children about the sex slaves' experience.
伊で事実婚に夫婦並みの権利、同性同士も (共同 2007/02/09)
Pope worries about family after Italian government backs rights for unmarried couples
The Associated Press
Friday, February 9, 2007
Pope Benedict XVI expressed concern Friday about family identity after the Italian government proposed legislation to grant legal rights to unmarried heterosexual and same-sex couples.
The Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano said the proposed law "wounded" the family as an institution.
"As pastor of the universal Church, I cannot help but express my concern about laws regarding very delicate questions, such as the transmission and defense of life, illness, family identity and respect for marriage," Benedict said.
On Thursday, Premier Romano Prodi's center-left coalition approved proposed legislation Thursday which would grant legal rights to unmarried couples who live together.
A Christian Democrat minister boycotted the Cabinet meeting in protest, and the Italian bishops conference newspaper, Avvenire, said the family was 'under siege."
The pope has been leading a Church drive against legal recognition for unmarried couples, which he contends would threaten the family as a fundamental institution of society. He has also campaigned vigorously against any efforts to allow gays to marry, and in a speech Friday to Colombia's new ambassador to the Holy See, Benedict said the Vatican would keep up its campaigns.
"The Catholic Church will continue to proclaim ceaselessly the inalienable greatness of human dignity," Benedict said, referring to his campaign which insists that families must be based on marriage between a man and a woman.
He called on lay faithful who serve in legislatures or in governmental or judicial roles to ensure that "laws always are the expression of principles and values which conform to natural law and which promote the authentic common good."
Benedict made no direct reference to Italy, but the Vatican newspaper entitled its article Friday on the Cabinet's approval for unmarried couples' rights "The wounded family."
Prodi, whose coalition ranges from centrists to Communists, told AP Television News in an interview Friday that he did not expect trouble from the Vatican about the proposed legislation.
"It's wise and intelligent," Prodi said about the proposed law.
If the law is passed by the Italian Parliament, unmarried couples would have to live together for nine years before acquiring inheritance rights that married couples have immediately, but they would enjoy other rights must sooner, such as taking over rental leases and deciding medical treatment should a partner become incapacitated.
Pope worried about family values
Church attacks Italian bill on cohabiting couples
VATICAN CITY (ANSA) - Pope Benedict XVI voiced worry about new laws regarding marriage and the family on Friday, a day after the Italian government approved a draft law giving legal recognition to gay and unmarried couples.
The pontiff was speaking to the Colombian ambassador and his remarks clearly referred to a decision this week by that country's constitutional court, which gave gay couples the same inheritance rights as heterosexual ones.
But Benedict's words reverberated strongly in Italy, where he and top Catholic figures have repeatedly expressed alarm over the campaign in the country to legally recognise unmarried couples. "I cannot fail to express my concern over laws regarding delicate questions such as the transmission of life, illness, the identity of the family and respect for marriage," Benedict told Ambassador Juan Gomez Martinez.
The pontiff appealed to lawmakers and members of the judiciary to see that laws were always "the expression of values which conform to natural law and which promote the authentic common good".
On Thursday, the centre-left government of Romano Prodi greenlighted a bill which recognises relations between cohabiting gays and unmarried heterosexual couples, granting rights in areas like inheritance and health care.
The bill, which must still be approved by parliament, was a compromise between left-wingers in the government and Catholic-oriented centrists. But it still went too far for some Catholics in the centre left. Justice Minister Clemente Mastella, head of the Udeur party, deserted the cabinet meeting which approved the bill. The Catholic Church opposes the bill because it says legally recognising unmarried couples undermines Christian marriage and traditional family values.
The Vatican daily Osservatore Romano carried the news on Friday under a headline reading: Family Harmed as DICO Arrives.
SIR, Italian bishops' news agency, produced a stinging appraisal of the draft law on Friday, saying it would produce "problems more serious than those it sets out to tackle".
DICO OR PACS?.
The government's proposals, referred to as DICO (Diritti di coppie conviventi - Rights for cohabiting couples), falls short of the civil unions introduced in France, Britain and Spain in recent years.
Gay rights campaigners and hard leftists in Prodi's coalition wanted a more far-reaching measure, akin to the PACS (Civil Solidarity Pacts) legislation in France.
SIR said the Italian solution was a step on the way to gay marriages. "People are talking about DICO but they're imagining PACS and a legislative process in this direction," it said.
According to recent statistics, there are about 560,000 cohabiting couples in Italy. The figure has risen steadily in recent years as the number of marriages, both civil and religious has fallen.
The DICO bill would give cohabiting partners inheritance rights after nine years of living together and alimony rights after three. If specific provision was made beforehand, it would also allow one partner in a couple to take decisions on funeral arrangements and organ donation when the other died.
The bill could be modified when it goes to parliament in coming weeks. The centre-right opposition has promised a battle and several centre-left MPs have talked about "improvements".
But Deputy Premier Francesco Rutelli said any changes would be slight and that there would be "no surprises".
Despite the grumbles of hard leftists and the reservations of Catholics, the government has said it will not call a do-or-die confidence vote on the bill in order to force possible dissenters into line. Although Prodi's coalition has only a razor-thin majority in the Senate, the bill is expected to have the support of some centre-right senators whose votes could compensate for defections in the centre left.
♪ 当ブログではこの先、「DICO (Diritti di coppie conviventi - 同居カップルの権利) 法案」と記載します。
Web posted at: 16:20 JST
Donatella to Clinton: Ditch the trousers
POSTED: 2:44 p.m. EST, February 8, 2007
BERLIN, Germany (Reuters) -- Presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, should tap into her feminine side and wear dresses and skirts instead of trousers, fashion designer Donatella Versace was quoted as saying on Thursday.
"I can understand (trousers) are comfortable but she's a woman and she is allowed to show that," Versace told Germany's weekly newspaper Die Zeit in an interview.
"She should treat femininity as an opportunity and not try to emulate masculinity in politics," Versace said.
Skirts should reach to the knee and be worn with a short jacket or coat, she said. The best color would be black rather than the blue Clinton currently favors, she added.
"I admire her for her determination, which will hopefully take her to the White House," Versace told the paper.