Tag: history

Sunday Morning Medicine

By Jacqueline Antonovich
-Going through menopause? Blame men?
-Mussolini’s gay island.
-Scientists sequence DNA of medieval leprosy.
-What happens to women who are denied abortions?
-26 diseases and how they got their names.
-Disappearing Americana: roadside rest stops.
-11 vintage celebrity PSAs.

A Historian’s Guide to Summer – The Ice Cream Edition

Whether you’re overlooking the sandy shores of your local beach chowing down on a Gaytime, discretely licking the sides of your mouth to make sure there’s no lingering trace of that chocolate Paddle Pop you just scarfed, or running down the street hoping to catch that ice-cream truck tolling those god-awful bells, summer is synonymous… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

By Jacqueline Antonovich

-Let’s visit 1930s New York City – in color!
-Al Capone’s struggle with syphilis.
-Futuo! Cuss like a Roman.
-Ladies: You are the weaker sex.
-Ergonomic advice from the 17th century.
-American cowgirls, circa 1940s.

Tan, Wet, Happy, and Fat?

By Cheryl Lemus

When you look at old photographs of yourself, there are many that deserve to be burned and others that inspire a giggle or two. The constant shifts in fashion have meant that you may have stashed away some unflattering pictures that include neon colors, ugly prom and bridesmaid dresses, polyester, big hair, shaved heads, and velour jogging suits. A lot of these pictures spur laughter and some just leave you puzzled and wondering, “why in hell was I wearing that?!?” Then there are those you may be hiding for one reason or another: if you are blinking and look like you’re drunk or you just woke up after a night of partying and your best friend decided to capture your messed up hair, smeared lipstick, and bloodshot eyes as a Kodak moment. Those are not too pleasant, but after a while, although you might not show them readily, you chuckle when you look at them. However, there are pictures that never see the light of day. These pictures can be of anything, but I venture to guess that many of the photographs you bury remain hidden because you believe you look fat.

Sunday Morning Medicine

By Jacqueline Antonovich

-Astronauts kept safe by bra designers?
-1930s public health film on bathing and dressing children.
-‘Mother’s Little Helper’ turns 50.
-1970s pictorial on teen pregnancy.
-Study reveals new health benefit of anti-depressants.
-Stalin and Churchill – drinking buddies?

A Historian’s Guide to Summer – The TV Edition

By Jacqueline D. Antonovich

Ah, summer. There is so much to love about this bewitching season. The long, warm evenings on the porch, the tinkling of ice in a cold beverage, vacations to exotic locations, and a slower pace of life that seems to magically rejuvenate the soul. I think F. Scott Fitzgerald stated it best when he wrote, “And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” Who am I kidding? Summer is also about kids out of school and underfoot, the dreaded bathing suit shopping trip, vacations to not-so-exotic locations (Dollywood, anyone?), and temperatures so hot and muggy that certain portions of skin stick together abnormally. Let’s be honest, summertime is a mixed blessing.

Cross-Dressing: An American Pastime

By Tiffany K. Wayne

Whether we like it or not, clothes and fashion are important markers of status, class, gender, and sexual identity. Just ask any high school student who is trying to present their own personal style or identity and comes up against the rules and judgments of parents, teachers, and society. Most schools today have dress codes regulating the length of skirts and banning t-shirts with offensive images and drug or gang references. Some schools also have gendered dress codes, such as the Virginia school which prohibits “any clothing worn by a student that is not in keeping with a student’s gender and causes a disruption and/or distracts others from the educational process or poses a health or safety concern.”

Sunday Morning Medicine

By Jacqueline Antonovich

-Old Soviet playgrounds are terrifying.
-Is he cheating? A 1950s guide.
-An interracial WWII romance.
-Have you ever heard Helen Keller speak?
-Plague and photography in Colonial Burma.
-The Oxford English Dictionary needs your help to solve a mystery.

Do No Harm: Intersex Surgeries and the Limits of Certainty

By Elizabeth Reis

The Southern Poverty Law Center and Advocates for Informed Choice have filed a lawsuit against the South Carolina Department of Social Services (SCDSS), Greenville Hospital System, the Medical University of South Carolina, and several medical personnel for allowing physicians to remove the atypical genitals of a 16-month-old toddler because that child, in the state’s custody at the time, was born with an intersex condition. M.C. had been identified male at birth, but his genitals were sufficiently indeterminate that surgeons removed his ambiguous phallus, a testis, and testicular tissue on one gonad, and surgically created an ostensible approximation of female genitals. The suit asserts that there was no medical need for this surgery, which was meant to permanently “fix” this child and turn him into an unequivocal girl, but it did him more harm than good. M.C., now eight years old, feels more like a boy, lives as a boy, and heartbreakingly has asked his mother, “When will I get my penis?”

The Jolie Treatment

By Cheryl Lemus

In the past few days, Americans (and I am sure many people around the globe) have read Angelina Jolie’s startling announcement that she recently underwent a preventative double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery (and as I understand she will also have her ovaries removed). Like most people, I was awestruck by her bravery, her straightforwardness, and her honesty. As a scholar of medicine and gender and women’s history, I was instantly struck by how her melodic narrative described her agency as both a patient and a woman. Her op-ed also conveyed a dream of perfect medical care, family support, and clarity in making a very profound decision that would have a major impact on her future health. But as much as I marveled at her decisions (as did so many other individuals), my academic training immediately brought a level of cynicism that I could not easily dismiss (and I am not alone). I almost instantly began to think about Angelina Jolie the celebrity, not Angelina Jolie the common woman.