The Queer Truth: Sarah Schulman’s People in Trouble

For years, when I would tell stories of my time in 1980s San Francisco to friends or students, some of my listeners would say, “It sounds kind of like Rent.” “No,” I would say, “It’s more like Sarah Schulman’s novel People in Trouble, but San Francisco rather than New York.”1 The friends and students to… Read more →

Notes on Outrages from Reviewer #2

Naomi Wolf’s latest book, Outrages, was supposed to be released in the United States on June 18, 2019. In May 2019, BBC host Matthew Sweet had Wolf on his show and challenged her misinterpretation of a key legal term. One argument in the book is that legislative changes in 1857 institutionalized homophobia in the United… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news Tinder for sperm. The 1960s “freeway revolts.” Diagnosing OCD in the past. Ireland’s lesbian revolutionaries. A history of the frontal lobotomy. A history of impotency treatments. The medieval “vagina monologue.” Surviving Europe’s killer heat waves. How hoop skirts led to tape measures. The defiant… Read more →

“Charlie Says” and the Santa Cruz Prison Project

Joan Didion, Again “Many people I know in Los Angeles believe that the Sixties ended abruptly on August 9, 1969.” This ubiquitous Joan Didion quotation, from her essay “The White Album” (1979), appears in approximately one gazillion accounts of the Manson Family murders, and now it serves as the opening title card to the 2019… Read more →

The Politics of Reproductive Rights Legislation in the “Modern” South

On May 15, 2019 Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed legislation that will make the state’s abortion laws the most restrictive in the United States. Furthermore, it will establish extremely stringent penalties for violating these laws. The Human Life Protection Act, as it is formally named, would ban abortion in nearly every instance, including rape and… Read more →

Journey Into Mothering with Historian Sarah Knott

In Mother Is a Verb, Sarah Knott takes her reader on a historian’s journey into motherhood. It is a sort of train travelogue, riding along parallel rails: personal memoir and wide-ranging social history. The path of the narrative is dictated by the chronology of the memoir, starting with choosing to try for a pregnancy, and… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news Selling Angola. A history of space food. The women who invented collage. Julia Child and an opera about cake. The rise of the lesbian period drama. Where are all the Bob Ross paintings? The suffragists who opposed birth control. Jane Austen’s tips for health… Read more →

Blinded by the White: Race and the Exceptionalizing of Ted Bundy

Ted Bundy just won’t quit. Or at least our cultural obsession with him won’t, long after he was executed in Florida by electric chair just over thirty years ago. Netflix’s Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes, released in January, has reignited interest in Bundy once again and introduced him to a new generation… Read more →

Uncovering the Convent

I study nuns. Now, let me start by saying that I’m not Catholic; I just study nuns in the nineteenth century. I am one of a handful of scholars, mainly women, who study nuns, or more accurately, women religious.1 Although I am immensely passionate about my topic, I find that most people are not aware… Read more →

Threatening the Gender Hierarchy in Women’s Sport

Critics of South African track star Caster Semenya warn that her continued participation in women’s track and field without taking testosterone suppressants will mark “the end” of women’s sports. I have a vested interest in continuing sporting opportunities for women—I am a Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies PhD student writing my dissertation on the subject,… Read more →