Although women got only 17% of the attention in the New York Times' "Notable Deaths of 2007" review last week, the "fairer sex" fared, well, better, in the newspaper's Sunday magazine, out yesterday. The magazine's annual "Lives They Lived" issue features a whopping 11 women (out of 24 profiles total), most of them not-so-boldface names and none — with the exception of designer Liz Claiborne — repeats of individuals found in "Notable Deaths". In fact, the Times magazine chose to honor women who were not tabloid trainwrecks but those at the top of their games, some of them domestic doyennes intent on transcending the confines of the kitchen or the hospital ward.
Included within the issue: Lady Jeanne Campbell, writer, journalist, and female companion to any number of powerful men, including Norman Mailer (to whom she was married) and John F. Kennedy; Brett Somers, actress, co-host of 70s game show Match Game and "average-looking menopausal" television star; Dr. Marian Radke-Yarrow, researcher on the effects of maternal depression on children; Gloria Connors, housewife, onetime tennis prodigy and mother/coach/number one fan to tennis star Jimmy Connors; Madeline Stern, rare-book dealer, scholar, and "utterly apolitical feminist in a world where feminists were bluestockings and then bra burners"; Mary Crisp, a housewife who became a powerful force in the Republican party and supporter of the ERA and abortion rights; Australian war correspondent and onetime prisoner of war Kate Webb (pictured above); Karen Hess, cook, food historian, and proponent of "pure" food; Andree De Jongh, the Belgian artist and nurse who played Harriet Tubman to numerous downed Allied pilots during WWII; Kathleen Khan, a Christian missionary in Pakistan; and reluctant kitchenista and author (The I Hate To Cook Book) Peg Bracken, who so famously wrote, "add the flour, salt, paprika and mushrooms, stir, and let it cook five minutes while you light a cigarette and stare sullenly at the sink."
The Lives They Lived [NY Times]