Rebel Nun Stands With Pussy Riot, Is on Facebook

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Photo: Seth Perlman/? Corbis. All Rights Reserved.

It’s the first week of New York Times Magazine “Talk” columnist and alleged sexist Andrew Goldman’s time-out and in his absence the magazine is tacking in the opposite direction. Hard. This week, Ada Calhoun (woman) interviews president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and so-called rebel nun Sister Florence Deacon (woman). Calhoun does not ask her if she ever slept with any priests to get to the top. Instead, they talk about Pussy Riot, Facebook, and radical feminism!

In April, the Vatican accused your group, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the country’s most influential nuns’ organization, of “radical feminism.” Did that surprise you? 
I was surprised by us being called radical feminists. I could introduce them to some real radical feminists.

I noticed you have a Facebook page. Do you like Facebook? 
I do. Initially, I was only friending relatives. More and more people were trying to friend me, and at first I was just ignoring them all, but then I decided to go a little further. I keep in touch with a group of former students in their 40s and 50s that way.

Did you hear about the imprisonment of this feminist punk band in Russia, Pussy Riot? 
Yes. It seemed to me to be quite political. The women said they didn’t mean any disrespect to religion.

Let’s guess how the Times can top this interview in terms of shoring up its feminist bona fides. Interviewing Tammy Baldwin about her run to be the first openly gay U.S. Senator? Oh wait …