Tag: women

A Historian’s Guide to Summer: Independence Day Reading Edition

By Heather Munro Prescott

Via Book Riot, where Derek Attig reminds us that “In a very real way, the Fourth of July is a huge, national holiday celebrating a piece of paper and a scribble of ink. Yes, the celebration is for what that paper and that ink did—ideologically and politically, if not practically or militarily, separate the colonies from Britain—but it’s still, at heart, a celebration of paper and ink.”

For Women in the Workplace: A Lesson and a Cautionary Tale

Last week’s premature and untimely death of Michael Hastings produced numerous reflections on the loss of the hard-charging, courtesy-defying, convention-resisting, prickly-querying, and discomfort-inducing reporter. Embedded within the remembrances are a lesson and a cautionary tale for women in the workplace: a brilliant primer on self-advocacy and an unwitting warning about pervasive unrecognized assistance. First, a lesson:… Read more →

Quit Snickering about Michael Douglas, HPV is Serious Business

By Heather Munro Prescott

In an interview about his new film “Behind the Candelabra”, actor Michael Douglas told the Guardian that his throat cancer was caused not by years of smoking but “by HPV [human papillomavirus], which actually comes about from cunnilingus.” Douglas said, “I did worry if the stress caused by my son’s incarceration didn’t help trigger it. But yeah, it’s a sexually transmitted disease that causes cancer.” He shrugs. “And if you have it, cunnilingus is also the best cure for it. . . It giveth and it taketh.” When I first heard this story, I thought Douglas was compensating for playing a flamboyantly gay character by boasting of his heterosexual male prowess (and/or showing that despite his age and illness, he can still satisfy his much younger wife).

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.

What’s in Your Vulva?

Thirty years ago I went to the Berkeley Women’s Health Collective to get fitted for a cervical cap. “What is that?” some of you might be wondering. The cervical cap is a barrier form of birth control, which fell out of favor when easier hormonal methods became more popular and more effective. It worked by… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

By Jacqueline Antonovich

-A history of “Women aren’t funny.”
-Vintage Spring Break snapshots.
-Photographing a mother’s descent into mental illness.
-Did Jamestown settlers eat people?
-Found: WWI prisoner of war postcard.
-A 1936 anti-poverty film.

Sunday Morning Medicine

By Jacqueline Antonovich

-How to mold a perfect wife circa 18th century (Hint: it doesn’t end well).
-The first man held in the Boston stocks was the guy who built them.
-18 Mad Men anachronisms.
-Wanna get a divorce? You may have to wait two years.
-Famous sex toys go up for auction.

A Tale of Two Pregnancies

By Cheryl Lemus

So I don’t know if you all aware but Kim Kardashian and Duchess Kate Middleton are pregnant. Yes I know, surprising news since both pregnancies have received very little coverage in the media. I mean you would not even know they were pregnant. Sarcasm aside, when both women announced/confirmed their pregnancies in December, I was not surprised to see the media circus that unfolded around the both of them. NBC’s Today practically wet itself when Kate confirmed her pregnancy, while Kim’s news went viral when Kanye West announced she was expecting their child during a concert. Since then, the media has been more than happy to closely monitor both women’s pregnancies (even more than their obstetricians), but in the past few weeks, more attention has been placed on Kim and Kate’s pregnant bodies, revealing a tale of two pregnancies, one the ideal (Kate) and one the reality (Kim). And the attention, praise, comparisons, conniption fits, and criticisms reflect that these two norms are clashing for the first time.

Eradicating Rape Culture

By Austin McCoy

The Steubenville rape case and CNN’s disturbing response to the conviction of the two football players illustrate the pervasiveness of rape culture in American society. As Blogger Lauren Nelson highlighted in her piece, “So you’re tired of hearing about rape culture,” politicians, news pundits, athletes, teenagers, men, and women have displayed some or all the characteristics of rape culture recently—victim-blaming, shaming, and (online) bullying, objectifying women, demonizing sexually active women, perpetuating the notion that (young) men, especially athletes, are entitled to act upon women’s bodies without their legal consent, and sympathizing with those judged guilty.

Sunday Morning Medicine

By Jacqueline Antonovich

-Syphilis and prosthetic noses.
-Early-twentieth century crusade against kissing.
-The ideal women circa 1926.
-A new SARS-like virus?
-Nineteenth century Mormon courtship.
-A very fun time-lapse drawing of the history of music.