Tag: Gender

Better Sight, Better Light: Eyesight and Selling the Farm Wife on Electric Modernity

On a chilly Monday in early February 1940, hundreds of locals had crowded into a “big top” tent in Johnson City, Texas to see the electric circus.[1] On the stage, a woman stood before a table of lamps, prepared to give a speech that she’d given dozens of times before. She would begin: “Everybody here… Read more →

The Sixteen Year Gap: Women in Medical Trials and the Side Effects Today

Historically, women have been excluded from clinical trials creating a gender gap in pharmacology. This means that medication is geared towards men, benefiting men’s health more than women’s. After the thalidomide crisis, US laws excluded many women from drug trials for medications that were ostensibly for all adults until 1993. Despite legal changes, the issue… Read more →

Bodies in Doubt, A New and Expanded Edition: An Interview with Elizabeth Reis

I first met Elizabeth Reis at a conference about intersex several years ago, and we became fast friends. Lizzie served on the board of interACT, the country’s largest intersex advocacy organization, when I was the board president, and though neither of us are on the board anymore, we both have continued our activism in various… Read more →

Manhood, Madness, and Moonshine

In November 2015, Princeton University economists Angus Deaton and Anne Case published a startling report. Among 45 to 54 year olds with no more than a high school education, they found death rates increased by 134 per 100,000 from 1999 to 2014. These mortality rates, Deaton and Case argued, were not being driven by the… Read more →

“Women Cry – Men Swear”: Gender and Stuttering in the Early Twentieth-Century United States

Speech specialist Ernest Tompkins was not alone in thinking that he had figured out what caused stuttering. But when Tompkins penned his 1918 Scientific American article, he not only aimed to disprove other theories from his contemporaries, he also wanted to conclude once and for all the very reason why there seemed to be more… Read more →

Mare of Easttown: Not Just Another Dead Girl Show

The HBO crime drama Mare of Easttown captivated viewers, who flocked to social media with theories about who killed Erin McMenamin. The show follows detective Mare Sheehan (Kate Winslet) as she investigates this and other cases in Easttown, a suburb of Philadelphia. Billed as “an authentic examination of how family and past tragedies can define… Read more →

Writing “Hearts and Minds” as Feminist Military History

I was very proud to defend my dissertation on the British Indian Army on March 8 – International Women’s Day – until one of my advisors noted (lovingly) that there were “hardly any women in it.” She pointed out (and implicitly criticized) what is the troublingly common assumption – that of course stories about wars… Read more →

Cite My Name, Cite My Name

A couple years back, I was co-teaching a graduate course on gender history at the University of Edinburgh. I was advising an MA student on historiographical literature, and I asked her if she used Google Scholar to locate scholarly references. She didn’t, so I demonstrated how to use the search tool. As an example, I… Read more →

Threatening the Gender Hierarchy in Women’s Sport

Critics of South African track star Caster Semenya warn that her continued participation in women’s track and field without taking testosterone suppressants will mark “the end” of women’s sports. I have a vested interest in continuing sporting opportunities for women—I am a Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies PhD student writing my dissertation on the subject,… Read more →

The Absence of Presence: Caroline Criado Perez’s Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men

This is a book that might leave most readers frustrated about the state of things. It’s also a book that I wish didn’t need to be written but was glad I came across. Caroline Criado Perez patiently demonstrates that collecting data mostly on men and applying those findings to people in general might be erasing… Read more →