No Paula Deen, It’s Not Just Men Being Men

By Cheryl Lemus

Sick of hearing about Paula Deen? Yeah, I know, it’s been a little overwhelming. Not only have we found out that Deen admitted to using the “n-word” in the past, that her ignorance about race still exists, and that she has subsequently been dropped by several sponsors, but we also have endured many, many responses to these events in the last few weeks. Well, I hate to break the bad news, but I am going to give you another commentary. One with a very different viewpoint, however, so please bear with me. The case against Deen and Bubba Hiers (her brother) is not that complicated, but the responses to Deen’s deposition raise issues of privacy (“we can say what we want in private”), reflect double standards regarding race (“well, African Americans call each other by that name, why can’t we use it?”), suggest the belief that time erases all sins (“she’s of a certain time period” or “well, she said it so long ago, it does not matter anymore”), and even elicit offerings of olive branches (an excellent example of this is here). But as much as this episode in the continual series “Celebrities are not Gods” demonstrates that racism is alive and well in America, I must remind everyone that Lisa T. Jackson is not just suing Deen and Hiers for racial discrimination, but also for sexual discrimination and harassment. These charges have gotten lost in the shuffle. Why?

A Historian’s Guide to Summer-The Beer Edition

By Tina M. Kibbe

Now that I am back in my home state of Texas after being gone for several years, I wanted to write about a topic that might touch upon summertime, gender, and the history of medicine . . . so obviously, I decided to write about beer! Beer and barbeque in the Texan summer are about as ubiquitous as heat and humidity. While I’m not really going to focus on the summer specifically, I primarily wanted to use it as a springboard of sorts to begin this post on the history of medicinal beer.

Sunday Morning Medicine

By Jacqueline Antonovich

-Infant care in 1831.
-The restaurant of the future (circa 1920).
-The radical working-class roots of improv.
-Seasonal cycles of suicide.
-Sex and witchcraft in Early Modern Europe.
-New York City used to be really, really dirty.
-Banned from the pub: Mugshots of Edwardian female drunks.

For Women in the Workplace: A Lesson and a Cautionary Tale

Last week’s premature and untimely death of Michael Hastings produced numerous reflections on the loss of the hard-charging, courtesy-defying, convention-resisting, prickly-querying, and discomfort-inducing reporter. Embedded within the remembrances are a lesson and a cautionary tale for women in the workplace: a brilliant primer on self-advocacy and an unwitting warning about pervasive unrecognized assistance. First, a lesson:… Read more →

Banning Heterosexuality in the Workplace

By Jacqueline Antonovich

It has recently come to our attention that some of our employees are offended or distracted by our LGBT employees who flagrantly display their sexual orientation in the workplace. Management has expressed concern that worker productivity is at risk if we fail to take action on this matter. This feeling of unease, we would like to assure you, is not isolated to our own company. Recent news reports make it abundantly clear that “overt displays of sexual orientation” (ODSO) is on the rise across the United States and that various government officials are beginning the arduous task of addressing ODSO in the workplace.

Sunday Morning Medicine

By Jacqueline Antonovich
-Curdled breast milk.
-A brief history of funeral invitations.
-The cure for vapours.
-Building a cyborg, circa 1920s.
-Hair stockings to ward off “perverts”?
-Is there a scientific reason for oral sex?
-The incredible, disappearing evangelist.

She Works Hard for the Money

It is officially summer in Madison. The air is moist, the boats are out, and I, like many other graduate students, have ventured outside of the hallowed halls of the university in search of summer income. For the next ten weeks or so, I will find myself plunked down in front of a computer, working… Read more →

I am a Real Mother

Sandra Trudgen Dawson
A few weeks ago I heard an interview between Terri Gross and Jennifer Gilmore on NPR discussing Gilmore’s new novel, The Mothers.[1] The novel is based on Gilmore’s experience as she and her husband navigated an open, domestic adoption. After a series of incredibly cruel and emotionally abusive relationships with potential birth parents, Gilmore and her husband eventually adopted a son earlier this year. The interview was grueling. At one point, the interviewer asked Gilmore if she would recommend “open adoption” to anyone listening. While Gilmore answered yes, it was not the unequivocal “yes” that I would give.

What We Can Learn From Republican Men

By Carrie Adkins
Listen up, people: Republican men have had A LOT to teach us this week about sexuality, reproduction, and abortion. For one thing, you can all breathe a deep sigh of relief about the possibility of rape leading to pregnancy; apparently, that happens only very rarely, so really, we should probably just overturn Roe v. Wade. Oh, and in case you need a second reason to ban abortion, here’s one: male fetuses masturbate! Also, not to be homophobic or anything, but it seems that gay people are likely to show up at work wearing tutus. Now what would you have done without all of this edifying information? You’re welcome.

Sunday Morning Medicine

By Jacqueline Antonovich
-Going through menopause? Blame men?
-Mussolini’s gay island.
-Scientists sequence DNA of medieval leprosy.
-What happens to women who are denied abortions?
-26 diseases and how they got their names.
-Disappearing Americana: roadside rest stops.
-11 vintage celebrity PSAs.