From “Sip-in” to the Hairpin Drop Heard Round the World, Protests Can Work

Do protests work? Certainly they can make the participants feel that rather than passively accepting injustice they are doing something about it. But do they actually create change, or do they just enrage the opposition, which traditionally paints protestors as the equivalent of spoiled brats in mid-tantrum? While protests can be little more than acts… Read more →

Inclusive Health Services for Women: More than Just Tote Bags

In Silver City, New Mexico, a small print company has raised over seventy thousand dollars for Planned Parenthood through a simple tote bag. PP services are printed on the tote, in a list so long, it barely fits on the bag. Power and Light Press sell these bags “in the name of Planned Parenthood [as]… Read more →

I did the unthinkable. I saw Fifty Shades Darker. In theaters. By myself.

It was just as bad as I thought it would be. I can get past the ridiculous plot, the #NotMyChristian controversies, and the people who insisted that it can’t be a very romantic movie if the leads have no chemistry. I will also forgive the editors for lacking finesse in the storytelling, which seemed to… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news Why Freud’s not dead. The future of lesbian health. Folklore can help debunk autism myths. How to bathe like an 18th-century queen. Overselling the idea of “young invincibles.” The myths of John Snow (Not Jon Snow). Dolley Madison and her “pussy-hat”brigade. The history of… Read more →

The Anti-Vaccine Movement, Bad Science, and the Rise of Fake News

Fake news was one of the biggest news stories following the 2016 U.S. presidential election. From climate change to abortion, health care to international relations, formerly fringe information hubs like Breitbart took on unprecedented mainstream importance. Could it be that a sizeable chunk of Americans were more persuaded by conspiracy theories and political rumor than… Read more →

Who Gets a Bathroom Pass? The History of School Bathrooms

Gavin Grimm is a 17-year-old boy, who like millions of other school children, simply wants to be able to attend to basic bodily functions while at school. Last year, Gavin stood in front of his school district’s board of education and said, “I am just a human. I am just a boy. Please consider my… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news More doctors smoke Camels. “King Kong” and American cultural history. The moral challenge of the Middle Passage. Appraising the Brady Bunch’s art collection. How the Great War changed women’s fashion. Betsy DeVos and the history of homeschooling. How powdered blood could revolutionize medicine. African… Read more →

The Spoils of War: A Review of Sex and the Civil War

Many years ago when I was first starting my dissertation research on Civil War disability, I had an opportunity to sit in on a question and answer session with historian Marcus Rediker, who was talking about his book, not yet released at the time, The Amistad Rebellion. Part of the conversation revolved around the experience… Read more →

Love and Rage

On November 2, 1992, members of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) carried a dead body through the streets of Manhattan. The deceased was Mark Fisher, a gay man and AIDS activist who had died from complications of the disease he spent his last years fighting. His was the first political funeral staged… Read more →

Sex and the Civil War

The image of Donald Trump signing an order reinstating the global gag rule this February was striking. Surrounded by a group of men — and one woman, all of them white — Trump approved an order that will affect millions of women and girls around the world who rely on programs supported by the United… Read more →