Within the business world, this squeamishness has long been the problem that has no name; marketing executives and consultants I spoke with were well aware of the issue but didn’t have the vocabulary to talk about it. Avery had to borrow from anthropology to find the term ‘gender contamination,’ which traces back to the kind of ancient cultural taboos that banished menstruating women to special huts for fear they’d pollute everyone else.
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Given how unpleasant the car-shopping experience is for women, who find walking into a dealership to be like landing on an all-male, vaguely hostile planet, buying online is something tantamount to a feminist act.
Of all the places where Sarah Palin—former governor of Alaska, former Republican vice-presidential nominee, possible presidential hopeful—might find a natural constituency, New York City’s Liberty Island is not one. “I’ve heard of Michael Palin,” he says.
Last year Marcella Wagner became a mother and a quadriplegic on the very same morning. Here’s the story of the best and worst day of her life.
Perhaps it takes people highly attuned to the fault lines of culture to know how far they can push things.