An Imperfect Abortion Story

It’s probably not normal to fantasize about a better, less complicated abortion story, but since the current politics of sexual health and reproductive freedom are pretty much a colossal shitshow of complete insanity, let’s start there anyway. Here’s the abortion story I wish were mine: I wish I had been a carefree teenager or an… Read more →

Plague in the Age of Twitter

I’ve been spending a lot of time on Twitter over the past week. Some evenings, it feels like I can’t help myself. I scroll and refresh, watching as the numbers keep rising: total cases in New York, total cases in the US, restricted travel zones, conferences canceled. Even on their own, the numbers feel unmanageable,… Read more →

What to Read in a Pandemic

Nursing Clio editors and writers share their favorite books on disease, social anxiety, and resilience to help you get through COVID-19. Cassia Roth: Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks details a year in the life of an English town during a plague epidemic. Its protagonist, Anna Frith, will take you along on her terrifying, and… Read more →

Sperm Donor Siblings Speak Their Truths

In Random Families: Genetic Strangers, Sperm Donor Siblings, and the Creation of New Kin, sociologists Rosanna Hertz and Margaret Nelson ask what it means for children to be related to each other via a sperm donor. In their rendering, this is not merely a theoretical question up for philosophical debate. What is so brilliant about… Read more →

Making a Ruckus: Considering The Goop Lab

The six-episode series, The Goop Lab, launched in January on Netflix aiming to “explore ideas that may seem out there or too scary,” according to Goop’s chief content officer, Elise Loehnen. Goop is a “modern lifestyle brand” that covers everything from skincare to travel, but it has developed a reputation for focusing on controversial health… Read more →

How the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake Gave Working Women a Place to Breathe

In September of 1909, San Francisco’s businessmen opened the latest issue of the Merchants’ Association Review, looking forward to reading stories about the city’s recovery in the years since April 18, 1906. The earthquake on that spring day flattened the city’s financial center and its working-class district, and then reduced them to cinders in a… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news How pandemics change history The story behind Rosa Parks and yoga. How fortune-telling took hold in Australia. Listen to Vietnam’s catchy coronavirus PSA. Amazing poster art from the “golden age” of magic. “The Afronauts” of Zambia’s 1960s space program. The horrors of San Francisco’s… Read more →

Becoming a Scot and Cross-Cultural Marriages in Outlander and the Early Modern British Isles

If you’ve heard about any historical romance, then you’ve probably heard of Outlander. The popular series by Diana Gabaldon follows Claire Beauchamp Randall, an English nurse who falls through time when visiting standing stones in the Scottish highlands in 1946. Transported to 1743, she is picked up by a band of Scots highlanders and falls… Read more →

Who Decides? Medical Intervention for Transgender and Intersex Children

Who should decide whether medical intervention on a child’s body is necessary? Ideally, the person who will undergo the treatment should have a say in these decisions. Patients themselves, even if they are children, should understand all their options and assent to whatever procedures are on the table. Technically, parents are the ones providing consent… Read more →

Mesmerism, (Im)propriety, and Power Over Women’s Bodies

Mesmerism had promise. According to accounts of popular demonstrations and parlor séances of the 1830s through the 1850s, a subject in mesmeric sleep was immune to external stimuli; she (and it was often a girl or woman) couldn’t feel the pain of needles pricking her skin, smell pungent salts held under her nose, taste vinegar… Read more →