Mujeres Libres: Women, Anarchy, and the Fragility of Democracy in Spain

Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sanchez decided to call a snap election in April 2019 following the withdrawal of support by the Catalan separatists who were propping up his government. The short-term implications of another general election in Spain were great, as the lack of a stable government in recent years has impacted Spain’s social… Read more →

Medieval Bodies, Head to Toe

The skeletal diagram in Mansur ibn Ilyas’s fifteenth-century medical text, the Tashrih-i badan-i insan, looks at first glance like it’s been drawn by someone who’s never seen a human body before. The skull is oddly triangular, the jawbone tapering to a sharp point and perched on an over-elongated neck. The script-like scalloping of the clavicle… Read more →

Subversive Samplers: How an Educational Exercise Became a Tool of Feminist Protest

In the spring of 2016, Edith-Anne’s sampler went viral. Stitched in shades of blue and green and marked with an unusual verse, this small piece of needlework is the creation, not of a girl named Edith-Anne, but of a modern needleworker named Judy Estep. During the early 1990s, Estep published a series of “primitive” sampler… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news Hacking Barbie. Asexuality in gaming. Dial meow for murder. Soap operas and rape. The sleek history of airline maps. Male nudes, exposed and examined. A fun romp through the history of sex. The mistake that toppled the Berlin Wall. When America tried to deport… Read more →

Women in the French Resistance

In France, women have long played a vital role in the military. Like most modern militaries, in multiple conflicts the French army had “camp followers,” mostly women, but also men and children, who took care of the cooking, laundering, and other tasks needed to maintain a large standing army. During the French Revolution, some women… Read more →

“If you liked this interview, you’ll love this book”: A Review of Sarah Milov’s The Cigarette: A Political History (2019)

On March 2019, writers Danuta Kean and Isobel de Vasconcellos released The Emilia Report, comparing how 10 male and female writers received broadsheet coverage in the same book market necessary for literary recognition. Perhaps to no one’s surprise, their survey uncovered that new books by men receive 56% of review coverage. Despite being bestselling authors,… Read more →

When Third Place is a Win

On September 30, 2019, medieval historian Ruth Karras launched a poll on Twitter. “What medieval woman should I nominate,” she asked, to be considered for commemoration in the Long Room of Trinity College Library, Dublin? The famous hall – iconic among the world’s libraries – has been decorated since 1743 with the busts of famous… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news Beyond Harriet. Steal this archive? A history of vaping. The science of scary. Deadly lesbian kisses. The bizarre social history of beds. Breaking down sexist slasher tropes. Racial bias in health-care algorithms. The teens are making history of TikTok. The headless, legless pregnancy bump…. Read more →

Help! Talk Radio Ate the Presidency!

In November 2016, my Facebook feed was filled with friends’ dreaded anticipation of Thanksgiving with extended family, and particularly with that uncle: the unapologetic Trump supporter full of crude, bigoted bluster. So many white families seemed to have an uncle like this — even if in liberal families everyone had written him off as a… Read more →

Ruth Taylor Ballard: A Nursing Pioneer In the Jim Crow South

In 1954, the public school system of Mobile, Alabama, launched its first training program for black nursing students. It was a one-year Licensed Practical Nurse Program (LPN). Before then, an African American who wanted to study nursing had to travel to places like Selma, Montgomery, and Tuskegee. Few had the means or the ability to… Read more →