In 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic, my friend and I were in the midst of writing our honors theses, she on smallpox vaccine hesitancy among the working class and I on female emancipation in Weimar Germany. We would jokingly say “Help, I’m living in my research!” on a regular basis. We drew connections… Read more →
Understanding Shaming’s Place in History: The Story of Germany’s Victims
It can be difficult for those who have never experienced sexual violence to understand and address the pain of survivors. From the women who’ve chosen to come forward and report instances of abuse in the entertainment industry as part of the #MeToo Movement, to less publicized cases in which women make the brave choice to… Read more →
Birth Certificates can be Changed; Surgery is Forever
By Elizabeth Reis
We shouldn’t get too enthusiastic about Germany’s new birth certificate designation: “indeterminate.” Because the category will be an obligatory designation for babies born with ambiguous genitals (commonly known as intersex), the law might do more harm than good. Most infants are born with seemingly uncomplicated gender designations; we look at their genitals and decide their sex and their gender in an instant. Of course, not everyone grows up to agree with the gender they were assigned at birth. Transgender people grow up feeling out of sync with the gender they were assigned, even though the decision for most of them seemed perfectly straightforward at the time.