As I was heading home the other day, I was thinking about a situation I encountered a while ago when I landed back in the Washington, D.C., area after a trip.
I was hungry and saw that one of my favorite lunch spots had opened an outpost at the airport. So I ducked in there and was just about to order when I realized that a young woman standing next to me was having some sort of confrontation. It was loud, and getting louder.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Later in the program, my regular "Can I Just Tell You?" essay, and a mid-week treat for you. The a capella singing group Traces of Blue will be here. That is coming up. But first, we take a visit to the "Beauty Shop." That's where our roundtable of women writers, journalists and commentators talk about what's in the news and what's on their minds.
Ted is a theoretical physicist facing a slew of resolutely concrete problems. His son is racing headlong into puberty. His daughter's prodigious intellect causes her to stand out at school — the very last thing the girl wants. His elderly father-in-law isn't remembering much, these days, save for the fact that he hates Ted's guts. His wife is sick and getting sicker, just as his employer, a prominent think tank, threatens to fire him for lack of productivity. To keep his job, and its health care coverage, Ted needs an idea.
Sixties pop artist Tom Wesselmann liked women, and saluted them on his canvases — or, sometimes, just parts of them: perfect glossy red mouths with lips parted to reveal pink tongues; nipples, even on the oranges he paints. These are just a few of the images that might make you blush in a Wesselmann retrospective now on view at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond.
"I don't think you could ask for a more literal interpretation of the objectification of parts of the female body," says curator Sarah Eckhardt.