Upholding “First, Do No Harm”: A Review of Sarah B. Rodriguez’s The Love Surgeon

James Burt, an OB/GYN in Dayton, Ohio, spent years developing and perfecting his “love surgery.” He designed it to increase men’s pleasure during sex by “fixing” women’s anatomies so they would get better clitoral stimulation during missionary postion sex. The procedure involved radically altering womens’ genitalia: making the vaginal opening smaller, moving the vaginal opening… Read more →

The Essential Problem: Essential Workers Category and Vaccine Roll-Outs

In November, the American Medical Association (AMA) declared, “Racism is a threat to public health.” In doing so, the AMA finally stated outright what many of us in the humanities and social sciences have been saying for decades – “the primary drivers of racial health inequality are systemic and structural racism, racism and unconscious bias… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news The Chicano detective brigade. Black, deaf and extremely online. The making of our consumer culture. The history of LGBTQ+ visual novels. An archaeologist’s guide to beer cans. A brief guide to the history of the NHS. Is any modern porn worth preserving? Black history… Read more →

Breast Cancer Care: Sexism and Knowing versus Doing

A Rise in Unnecessary Breast Cancer Surgeries A troubling trend in breast cancer treatment has surgeons scratching their heads. Since the late 1990s, more women with cancer in one breast have been opting to have both breasts surgically removed. For women without a genetic predisposition to breast cancer, this procedure – contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM)… Read more →

Wearable Immunity: Beauty Lessons from the Pockmarking Era

This pandemic’s “mask wars,” as with the 1918 flu pandemic and HIV/AIDS in the 1980s, have prompted reflections on how the visual cultures of disease prevention have shaped the cultures of fashion. It is timely to think again about how markers of health protection have been donned and displayed and to ask what lessons history… Read more →

Speaking Out: Joe Biden, Stuttering, and Disability Discrimination in the United States

In October 2020, CNN host Jake Tapper confronted Lara Trump for a video of what seemed to be her mocking now–President Elect Joe Biden’s stutter on the campaign trail. In the video, Lara Trump was seen saying “Joe, can you get it out? . . . Let’s get the words out, Joe. You kind of… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news The macho sperm myth. How to do witchcraft for real. Poems in the language of death. The Lizzie Borden house is up for sale. Get in losers, we’re singing sea shanties. The extraordinary body of Evatima Tardo. A history of Latin America through rock… Read more →

Rediscovering (and Redefining) Clara Barton’s Story

The building was due to be demolished until a carpenter checked the attic. Among old socks and newspapers was a sign that read “Missing Soldiers Office, 3rd Story, Room 9, Miss. Clara Barton.” What the carpenter, Richard Lyons, had discovered was the remains of Clara Barton’s Washington, DC residence, where she had lived during and… Read more →

Irish Keens, Modern Grief, and the Digital Landscape of Mourning

In January 1833, an author known only as O’G published their musings on the Irish funeral cry, or caoine, in the Dublin Penny Journal. O’G described the cry as “the most singularly plaintive and mournful expression of excessive grief that could well be imagined.” In the article, O’G describes traveling the Irish countryside on horseback… Read more →

“ES LEY”: Argentina Legalizes Abortion

The flashing words “ES LEY” (It’s law!) marked the occasion: on December 30, 2020, Argentina’s Senate voted 38-29,with one abstention, to legalize abortion for any reason (“on demand”) in the first fourteen weeks of pregnancy. What’s more, public hospitals will provide the service free of charge. Argentina now joins its neighbor Uruguay, which legalized abortion… Read more →