¡Escúchanos! Immigration and Reproductive Politics

Two years ago, the case of a 17-year-old undocumented immigrant catalyzed the creation of a class action suit from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) against the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). Jane Doe, the name given to maintain her anonymity and safety as a pregnant minor, and her story of struggle and success captivated… Read more →

Training Future Wives and Mothers: Vocational Education and Assimilation at the Stewart Indian School

In 1879, the US government launched an expansive effort to restructure Indigenous lives by enrolling Native American children in off-reservation boarding schools. By the early 1900s, a network of federally managed boarding schools emerged across the country to “civilize” Native children. The architects of this system believed they had a mission to uplift and assimilate… Read more →

How Perceived Racial Differences Created a Crisis in Black Women’s Healthcare

In 2016, a black baby born in Charlottesville, Virginia, was almost ten times more likely than a white baby to die in their first year of life.1 That same year, researchers from the University of Virginia revealed that nearly 21% of first-year medical students at the school believed that black patients had stronger immune systems… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news Shutting down Hawai‘i. The teenage murderess. Women also know Washington. Finding asexuality in the archives. Archiving web content on COVID-19. Medicinal leeches and where to find them. The fashionable history of social distancing. The surprisingly contentious history of Purell. Lessons from my grandma on… Read more →

The Lone Woman of Kokura

She was alone. The men and women of the domain were all gone. In their flight, they’d set the castle town afire to deny the enemy the prize they sought. There was no stopping the enemy now — there were more of them, and they were better trained, better equipped, and better armed. The only… Read more →

¡Viva the Queer Zapata! The Sexual Politics of Defining Mexican Identity and Icons in Fabián Cháirez’s “La Revolución”

Fabián Cháirez’s painting “La Revolución,” part of the current exhibition, “Emiliano. Zapata después de Zapata” in Mexico City’s Bellas Artes Museum, has provoked controversy in Mexico. It portrays Emiliano Zapata (1879–1919), the archetypal, hyper-macho Mexican revolutionary, as a voluptuous, pouty-lipped pin-up girl wearing a pink sombrero, pistol-shaped stilettos, and a ribbon of green, white, and… Read more →

Joking in the Time of Pandemic: The 1889–92 Flu and 2020 COVID-19

As we see with COVID-19, the darkest periods in history expose the best — and worst — of humanity. Some people become virulently racist. Others spend hours caring for the most afflicted. Still more look for safe outlets to vent their fear and anger, often fleeing to laughter to do so. As a number of… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news Managing melancholy. A history of crosswords. Pregnant in a pandemic. The best tour diary in pop history. The slippery history of the dental dam. When was toilet paper invented anyway? 5 native women leaders who made history. When Michigan students put the car on… Read more →

Between a Soft Rock and a Hard Place: A Review of Karen Tongson’s Why Karen Carpenter Matters

Early in her new book Why Karen Carpenter Matters, Karen Tongson reports that a karaoke machine in the Philippines once presented the key phrase from the Carpenters’ 1970 song “We’ve Only Just Begun” as “whiteness and promises” instead of “white lace and promises.”1 Sometimes, Tongson suggests, getting something “wrong” can be a very powerful mode… Read more →

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 →