Tag: Family

“What Must That Sound Like?”: The Trauma of Family Separation

On June 22, 2018, US Representative Ted Lieu, a Democrat from California’s 33rd District, stood on the floor of the House of Representatives to demand action regarding the children in “Tender Age” detention shelters as a result of the Trump Administration’s new immigration policy of separating children from their parents at the US/Mexican border. In… Read more →

Women, Prayer, and Household Authority in Irish History

Traveling through Ireland in 1909, writer Robert Lynd described “a strange crying—almost a lamentation” that one might hear “on some evenings, if you are in a Catholic house in the most Irish parts of the country.” This strange sound, he elaborated, “was the hour of family prayer.”1 In almost all Irish households, nightly prayers were… Read more →

History at Home in the Tenement Museum

Several times a day, several days a week, I stand with a group of strangers in the parlor of a Lithuanian immigrant family who arrived in New York’s Lower East Side in 1901. I explain that when the Rogarshevsky family observed the Sabbath each week, their two teenage daughters were away at their jobs in… Read more →

Not Going Back: Queer American Families and the Value Voters Summit

On October 12, 2017, the day after National Coming Out Day, I received an email from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) informing me that President Donald Trump was scheduled to appear at the Value Voters Summit, a venue that combines virulently anti-LGBTQ and anti-Muslim “values.” Like I have almost every day since last November’s… 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 →

Climate Change, Crack, and the Dream of “Population Engineering”

Want to do your part to fight climate change? Don’t reproduce. If you’re American, each kid you don’t have will save the world from 9,441 metric tons of carbon emissions.1 This is the argument of a recent paper (soon-to-be book) gaining steam around the internet: “Population Engineering and the Fight Against Climate Change.” I first… Read more →

The Salt in the Bottom of the Pretzel Bag: Reflections on Speechless

Last spring, my daughter wrote this poem in her 5th grade poetry class. This may sound like a poem written by a child when a newborn sibling arrives home. But it’s not. My daughter’s feelings of being ignored and pushed aside result from all the time, attention, medical care, behavioral therapy, ridiculously over-qualified babysitters, and… Read more →

A Childless Historian of Children: The Choice Not to Parent

I am a historian of women, sexuality, medicine, and childhood. As I write my dissertation on the history of sex education in Progressive Era America, I am constantly thinking about parenthood, family formation, and how adults try to teach children about sex and reproduction. And I do this work as someone who never plans to… Read more →

Pink Hollyhocks

This month, National Poetry Month, we encounter a poem both contemporary and historical — “Pink Hollyhocks,” a piece from Diane Gilliam Fisher’s 2004 collection Kettle Bottom that imagines the voices of dozens of residents of Mingo County, a small Appalachian coal mining community, during the West Virginia labor battles of 1920-1921. Fisher brings a poet’s… Read more →

Love Won: The Irish Referendum

Last May, the Republic of Ireland legalized same-sex marriage, just 22 years after the decriminalization of homosexuality in 1993. This was put to a referendum in Ireland due to the change to the Irish Constitution’s definition of Marriage. While there are obvious and real issues with allowing a public vote on human rights, the Yes… Read more →