The Freshman Fifteen: A Stigmatized Phenomenon

Seventeen magazine popularized the phrase “freshman fifteen” in 1989 and the phrase remains ubiquitous in U.S. culture today.1 Seventeen’s cover story “Fighting the Freshman 15” depicted the inevitable weight gain as an uphill, hopeless battle. The so-called “freshman fifteen” fostered a legendary nervous epidemic amongst students, especially women, entering their first year of college. How… Read more →

Take a Hay Ride: Remembering Louise Hay

On August 30, 2017, Louise Hay died. Hay was a metaphysical healer who began her journey in healing at the First Church of Religious Science in the late 1960s. Her first publication was a 1976 pamphlet that came to be called, “Heal Your Body.” She became a best-selling author and publisher in the 1980s in… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news Why is giving birth so hard? Exploring the history of Afro-Mexicans. What’s so natural about natural medicine? The history of the internet’s first viral video. The invisibility of women military historians. The 1930s painting that declared lesbian love. An opera about gay life in… Read more →

Fight and Flight: “Butch Flight,” Trans Men, and the Elusive Question of Authenticity

My junior year of college, my roommate and dear friend had a butch girlfriend. She aligned more with what many would consider traditional masculinity than I did; there was always a can of Axe body spray in the back of her truck. She confessed to me one night that she felt pressure to transition to… Read more →

“Bought some souvenirs as usual and a cheese:” Nurses’ Lives Outside the Hospital in the First World War

A great deal has been written about soldiers’ experiences behind the lines during the First World War and the relationships they forged in the course of their service. From visiting brothels to performing in amateur theatricals, interpersonal and romantic relationships had lasting effects on men after their service had ended.1 Janet S.K. Watson has noted… Read more →

A Midwife for Every Woman: Maternal Healthcare in Malawi

Malawi is one of the poorest countries in Africa, with 50% of its population living in poverty. A landlocked country located in East Africa between Tanzania, Mozambique and Zambia, it received independence from British rule in 1964. It would take another 30 years for free elections. The country has made headlines in the last few… Read more →

Women, Prayer, and Household Authority in Irish History

Traveling through Ireland in 1909, writer Robert Lynd described “a strange crying—almost a lamentation” that one might hear “on some evenings, if you are in a Catholic house in the most Irish parts of the country.” This strange sound, he elaborated, “was the hour of family prayer.”1 In almost all Irish households, nightly prayers were… Read more →

Superhumanization

On the cover of Black stands a lone Black man in red, hood up, hands to the sky, while cops aim their guns for his head. Surprisingly, there is a smirk on his face. I flipped through the pages so fast to see why this man could smile in the face of a modern day… Read more →

History at Home in the Tenement Museum

Several times a day, several days a week, I stand with a group of strangers in the parlor of a Lithuanian immigrant family who arrived in New York’s Lower East Side in 1901. I explain that when the Rogarshevsky family observed the Sabbath each week, their two teenage daughters were away at their jobs in… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news We need to talk about Dr. Phil. Contraception in fantasy novels. The rise and fall of DC’s Chinatown. Confined by leprosy: remembering Mr. Pete. Black gay history and the fight against AIDS. A saving breath: the history of respiratory care. The personal tragedy behind The… Read more →