You know The Washington Post is a liberal newspaper when it hails Democratic grande dames -- in the Home section. The lead story in the Thursday section was "Secretary Albright's Sugar Shakers: And Other Significant Parts of Great Women's Houses." Post reporter Annie Groer touted the effects of "great women" like Madeleine Albright. When Albright ran through her official flower budget as U.N. Ambassador, "she pressed her antique sugar shakers into centerpiece duty in New York and later in Foggy Bottom." A large picture of Albright and her shakers dominated the top of the page.
Included inside among more "Treasures of Great Women" was liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Tang Dynasty-era sculpture of a Chinese woman that sits on her piano.
Groer began by citing her inspiration, a book on great men's furnishings -- and how that's certainly not feminist enough for the women's collective at The Washington Post:
"Dr. Johnson's Doorknob: And Other Significant Parts of Great Men's Houses" is an eccentric little book with a clever conceit.
British writer-photographer Liz Workman offers intimate glimpses of furnishings and architectural details -- beds, banisters, teacups, desks and, yes, doorknobs -- in the house museums of 18 famous dead men....
Furthermore, the author does not deign to include a single woman among her subjects. Instead, Workman leaves it to uber-feminist Germaine Greer to concede in the foreword that "most of the houses in this book were inhabited and run by women, whose influence has been obliterated by history." Greer goes on to explain that even in the "modest dwellings" that would become house museums of accomplished members of her own sex, "there is nothing designated Jane Austen's chair or Charlotte Bronte's desk because these women did not have property or a space of their own."
So with a nod to Workman, we now focus on things that are, or were, "significant parts" of the domestic lives of five great women -- three of them, happily, very much still with us.
The other women accompanying Albright and Ginsburg were opera singer Denyce Graves, black educator Mary McLeod Bethune, and suffragette Alice Paul.