Huddled Masses Yearning to Breathe Free: Tuberculosis in Progressive Era New York City

Since January, Americans have grappled with the implications of the Trump Administration’s continued efforts to suspend immigration from six (originally seven) predominantly Muslim countries. The tones of fear and moral outrage sound eerily similar to those from more than a century earlier, when anxious nativists sought to halt the flow of millions of impoverished Jews… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news Neurosurgery and WWI. A short history of influenza. Fascism and medicine in France. A famous painter and tuberculosis. Did Victorians really get brain fever? Child dropping in nineteenth-century Britain. How Duncan Hines shaped restaurant history. The creator of the LGBT rainbow flag has died…. Read more →

UK Squatters’ Fight for Decent Housing

The topic of squatting — living in or using a dwelling without the owner’s permission — often elicits condemnation from the well-housed, confusion or fear from those who consider modern civilized life to revolve around a stable and secure home, and a general attitude that only dirty hippies would resort to essentially living illegally and… Read more →

Irish Abortion Trails and Informal Care Networks: Facilitating Continuities in Care

Women from the north and south of Ireland have travelled to England to access abortion services since the advent of the British Abortion Act in 1967 (and before this as single expectant mothers.)1 Lacking help from health services in either jurisdiction of Ireland, activist networks on these abortion trails have emerged to support the thousands… Read more →

The Miseries and Heartbreak of Backstreet Abortions: Before and After Roe

In 1967, a group of clergy in New York City founded the Clergy Consultation Service on Abortion (CCS) to “bring light and hope to the thousands of people who suffer — usually in quiet, and sometimes in death — the miseries and heartbreak of backstreet abortions.” In an era of back-alley butchers, prohibitively high-priced abortions… Read more →

You Know What? Equality Feminism is Crap

In the wake of the Women’s March, one thing is clear — we haven’t resolved a debate that has been at the heart of feminism since 1848. What, if anything, does women’s equality mean? Does it mean we’re equal with men? Does it mean something else based on our physical and social status as women?… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news Snake oil revisited. Johnny’s got the syph. The 1910 St. Johns riot. Um…meet the smart sex doll, Samantha. Walking the wards of a Victorian hospital. The lessons of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. Documenting 100 years of Japanese animation. Smartphone app can accurately test sperm… Read more →

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 →