The Absence of Presence: Caroline Criado Perez’s Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men

This is a book that might leave most readers frustrated about the state of things. It’s also a book that I wish didn’t need to be written but was glad I came across. Caroline Criado Perez patiently demonstrates that collecting data mostly on men and applying those findings to people in general might be erasing… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news A brief history of ramen. A mini history of the tiny purse. The world that Jazzercise built. A hidden history of Father’s Day. C-section viewing parties in Brazil. No one talks about perimenopause. The cynical politics of Donald Duck. A brief history of sex in… Read more →

The Disappearance of Juliet Stuart Poyntz

Throughout the spring and early summer of 1937, telephone operators at the American Woman’s Association Clubhouse in Manhattan noted that a man with a deep voice called daily for one of the residents, Juliet Stuart Poyntz. Poyntz took the calls every time, until one morning in June when she spoke with her mysterious caller and… Read more →

Going Baroque for Babies

A few months ago, a friend and I were chatting about plans for a baby shower that she was hosting for another friend of ours. She told me that our friend’s mother had called to ask what the theme or the designated color of the shower would be in order to have matching flowers and… Read more →

Who Was the Original “Welfare Queen?”: Review of Josh Levin’s The Queen: The Forgotten Life Behind an American Myth

How do you tell a story about a real-life, embodied individual who inspired a stereotype, without reducing her life to fit into the same trope you are trying to upend? How do you uncover the exception that proved the rule without reifying the label you acknowledge is pernicious? I’m not sure, and Josh Levin sure… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news Drawing dissection. The race to replace Viagra. An oral history of grunge food. Police violence and Stonewall. The dangerous game of croquet. The first Pride marches, in photos. The “brown babies” who were left behind. A history of the black market in human fat…. Read more →

“The Inflamed Egotism of Women:” Emma Simpson and the Limits of the Unwritten Law

Let me just admit it now—I’ve never listened to Serial.Or, rather, I never finished listening. Sure, I started it—after all, I did have an iPod, internet access, and a pretty NPR-happy social circle in fall of 2014—but I stopped after episode 1. Whatever it was that drew in historic millions of listeners, prompting critics to… Read more →

How I Met My Mother: The Story of an Unexpected Pregnancy

I was born seven weeks after my mother found out she was pregnant. I was not a medical miracle — I was a bouncing 9lb 14oz when born — but my route into the world was complicated by a series of doctors (all men) who repeatedly told my mother she was not expecting a child… Read more →

The Japanese Imperial Family Invented

In May 2019, as now Emperor Emeritus Akihito passed the Chrysanthemum Throne to his son Emperor Naruhito, the world watched ceremonies and rites that appeared to be the timeless observations of the world’s longest continuous monarchy. Much was written throughout the course of the transition period on the unprecedented aspects of both the Heisei monarchy… Read more →

This is Not a Culture of Life, This is a Culture of Un-Death

Last week at a Vatican conference on abortion, Pope Francis “argued that children who were not expected to live long after birth deserved to be treated in the womb ‘with extraordinary pharmacological, surgical and other interventions.’” He intimated that parents who did not use extraordinary measures were not caring for their children, saying that “Taking… Read more →