Tag: women

Back to the Back Alley? Abortion Rights and Realities in the Trump Era

On the first day of his presidency, Donald Trump reinstated the global gag rule on abortion. This is no great surprise; Trump is certainly not the first Republican president to restrict access to abortion when assuming office. Still, there is something different about the Trump election and administration: already, of course, when it comes to… Read more →

Gender-Bending in Thirteenth-Century Literature: The Roman de Silence

Do genetics or environmental factors determine one’s gender identity? The question may seem a distinctly modern one. Indeed, premodern people — and especially medieval ones — are often considered naively incapable of even pondering such concepts. We assume it was a simpler time, long before the theoretical legwork of social constructionism and so much feminist… Read more →

At the Mercy of the Sea: Women, Reproduction, and Europe’s Migrant Crisis

In 2015 over a million women, children, and men from conflict-ridden parts of Africa and the Middle East made their way across the Mediterranean Sea, seeking a better life in Europe. Thousands, as we now know, died in the process. In 2016 the tide of migrants, as well as casualties, only increased, and it shows… Read more →

Keep On Marchin’ – The Women’s Marches of 1876, 1913, and 2017

I routinely listen to Slate’s DoubleX Gabfest, a podcast about women’s issues hosted by Hanna Rosin, June Thomas, and Noreen Malone. A few months ago, it focused on the planned Women’s March in Washington, D.C., the day after the presidential inauguration. Dismissing its importance, one participant questioned why anyone would want to take a bus… Read more →

“Buried with Doctor’s Certificate”: Reading the Uses and Abuses of Bodies in a Medical School Thesis

In 1886, Marie K. Formad graduated from the Woman’s Medical College of Pennsylvania, entering the small but rapidly growing body of American women holding the degree of Doctor of Medicine. Along with Dr. Formad, the 31 other members of the class of 1886 demonstrated clearly the progress of women’s medical education in the thirty years… Read more →

Contraception, Depression, and Who Bears the Burden of Unwelcome Side Effects

I started taking hormonal birth control pills in September 2015. That entire past summer, I had begun to experience some early warning signs of a depressive relapse. As someone who’d battled mental illness throughout my adolescence, I dreaded that possibility intensely. Throughout my freshman year of college, I’d managed to keep depression at bay without… Read more →

When the Man Gets You Down… Or the Power of Transnational Feminism

Over the last fifteen years, Latin America has seen the rise and fall of women in politics. A decade before the U.S. (almost) elected their first woman president, Chile elected Michelle Bachelet (2006-2010 and 2014-present); Argentina voted in Cristina Kirchner (2007-1015); and Brazil chose Dilma Rousseff (2010-2016). These women ran on mainly leftist platforms and… Read more →

We Can Do Better Than the Suffragists

How many references to suffragists have you seen in the news lately? In April, the US Treasury announced that five suffragists will appear on the back of the new ten-dollar bill. Three months later, Hillary Clinton wore a white pantsuit — a reference to the suffragists’ white dresses — to become the first female presidential… Read more →

Housewives Against Dictatorship: The Bolivian Hunger Strike of 1978

On December 28, 1977 four women and fourteen children arrived at the offices of Archbishop Nelson Manrique in La Paz, Bolivia and began a hunger strike in the highest capital city in the world. Aurora de Lora, Nely de Paniagua, Angélica de Flores, and Luzmila de Pimentel had travelled two hundred miles from the mining… Read more →

Nurse-Midwives are With Women, Walking a Middle Path to a Safe and Rewarding Birth

In childbirth politics as in all politics, extreme viewpoints make the news, and sensible centrists are ignored. A couple of years ago, Ricki Lake provoked a firestorm of debate about home birth with her film, The Business of Being Born, which showcased gloriously crunchy New York City home births, and made the case for the… Read more →