Rachel Ryan is a strategic communications and public affairs professional, specializing in health care policy. She lives in Washington, D.C. and has written for The Huffington Post and political news site FrumForum on a variety of issues ranging from health care reform to environmental policy to urban renewal. Rachel is especially interested in gender politics, considering herself a classical, equality-of-opportunity feminist. Follow Rachel on Twitter @rachel_e_ryan.
I have been affirmatively opposed to organized religion since about the age of 14. But I love Christmas. It's magical. As you can imagine, this is often a point of contention in debates: "Christmas wouldn't be here if it weren't for Christ, so how can you say 'religion poisons everything'?" they ask me. if you want to "keep Christ in Christmas," by all means, set up your Nativity scene and go to midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. It's a free country. I, along with the increasing number of non-Christians, will be by the fire, glass of wine in-hand, listening to some Nat King Cole.
In <em>The Atlantic</em>'s powerhouse September issue, Hannah Rosin explores the recent phenomenon of <a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/09/boys-on-the-side/309062/" target="_hplink">Boys on the Side</a>: the hookup culture that has largely replaced dating on college campuses, crudely claiming that "feminist progress right now largely depends on the existence of the hookup culture." Wrong. So wrong.
08/24/2012 05:03 EDT
On my most recent piece, Is Dating a Cold, Careless Game?, a reader offered the below: "Instead of constantly talking about Mars and Venus and how different men and women are, I wish we'd focus more on what common ground we have and how we complement each other." It got me thinking...
07/30/2012 12:48 EDT
There is a very prevalent hostility between the sexes, constantly reinforced by today's no-strings-attached dating game. No one has to commit. No one is responsible. Everyone is out for himself or herself. Everyone is on the defensive. So many options and no need to choose. Immediate gratification coupled with complete lack of empathy.
07/25/2012 03:44 EDT
To all the anti-establishment hipsters lamenting technological advancement and the resulting popularity of social media: nostalgia for a bygone era is hardly avant-garde. Drastically different social norms are not an indication of societal "decline," but simply an indication of human nature's astounding ability to both create and adapt to change.
07/23/2012 12:02 EDT
The <em>New York Times</em> editorial <em>The Busy Trap</em> is a justification for a generational sense of entitlement. A rationale underlying the newfound idea that we, Generation Y, are somehow not only entitled to a fulfilling career at the ripe old age of 22, we are also entitled to plenty of rest and relaxation. But whining about the barrage of emails and offering an escape to the south of France is hardly a solution. It is utterly laughable and disgustingly entitled.
07/05/2012 07:35 EDT
This month, the New England Journal of Medicine published an illustration showing that not only are people now living longer, they are dying of fewer things. However, with this progress, we have also fallen victim to a new subset of maladies. For example, diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
07/02/2012 01:05 EDT
The American media and general public were recently sent into a tizzy over Mayor Michael Bloomberg's announcement that a 16-ounce limit would be on New York City's sugary drinks. What's next? I'll tell you what: foie gras. Starting July 1, Californians will no longer be able to enjoy the deliciously contentious food.
06/13/2012 12:27 EDT
Women in the U.S. are offered zero paid maternity leave, and they're practically the only ones. More women are going to school and joining the workforce but then -- boom! -- babies. And yes, while more and more Americans are working from home, there is little hope that a single shift will alleviate a working mother's workload. The shift needs to be one of national legislative proportions.
06/05/2012 01:52 EDT
The French aren't exactly known for their modesty when it comes to gloating about their own country. But they are known for their privacy when it comes to scandalous stories about their politicians. Sorry, did I say "privacy?" I meant "censorship."
06/01/2012 07:59 EDT
The Glenn Becks of the world might be happy being fat. But Michelle Obama has introduced a healthy eating initiative to promote healthy choices, and to avoid obesity. No one has to participate in the campaign -- but in New York, Bloomberg is forcing citizens to cut down on their calorie intake by imposing a 16-ounce limit on all sugary drinks.
06/01/2012 07:44 EDT
Motivated by the impending summer weather and wardrobe, I decided to do a "cleanse." The cleanse restricted my diet purely to consumption of vegetables, fruit and meat. No soda, no alcohol, no sugar, no artificial sweeteners, no salt. At first, I was gung-ho, then I went outside...
05/31/2012 09:15 EDT
While women have remained invested in conventionally feminine interests, the so-called "tactics" of seduction have experienced a dramatic, unfortunate shift away from pleasantries and compliments. To flirt is to neg. Young women almost expect to be insulted by a prospective suitor. The trouble is, it works.
04/18/2012 05:24 EDT
Neither opponents nor advocates of the Keystone XL pipeline have entertained auxiliary projects that would reconcile both concerns, such as hydropower. Given the undeniable environmental and economic benefits, it's difficult to understand why or how policy makers have failed to recognize it as a viable solution.
02/10/2012 07:31 EST
There are some wonderful, caring men out there. Men who pick up the check, plan fun dates, work hard, call their moms... you get the idea. These men are not hiding in the library stacks, clutching onto their pocket protectors for dear life. They're at the bar, trying to buy the girl with her nose in the air a drink.
01/25/2012 06:11 EST
What is it about our Anglo-Saxon culture that dissuades men from politely complimenting the ladies at whom they can't help but gawk? Similarly, what is keeping us ladies from graciously accepting the compliments we so clearly enjoy?
01/09/2012 12:43 EST
Our two months of pseudo-dating was a lot of me knowing what I wanted and him simply not wanting to make a decision. In between his initial "I really like you" and final "I adore you," there were a lot of "I dunnos" and "maybes." Well, maybe he just didn't like me that much.
10/14/2011 09:56 EDT
While females, football, and food are certainly enticing, there is no single word or concept more powerful than "free" in the marketing and sales industry. Offer a man or woman just about anything marginally-to-very valuable at a discount and chances are, they'll gobble it up like it's going out of style.
10/08/2011 08:36 EDT
Why has Daryl Hannah chosen to lend her celebrity to a cause that pits her against the interests of the free society she enjoys living in, and on the side of oil producing nations where women don't have free speech to speak about their concerns?
09/01/2011 05:26 EDT
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