Tag: Women’s History

Writing Black Women’s Stories in French: A Review of A Decolonial Feminism and Reimagining Liberation: How Black Women Transformed Citizenship in the French Empire

Since January 2011, an archived rendition of the “Anthem of the Movement for the Liberation of Women” (MLF) has garnered more than 300,000 views on YouTube. The song was collaboratively written by MLF leaders and sung for the first time in March 1971 to commemorate the lives of the women who died during the Parisian… Read more →

Lieutenant Lowderback’s Short Snorter: A Flight Nurse’s Service and Souvenir in WWII

Lieutenant Ruth Banfield Lowderback was nervous on her first flight accompanying wounded and ill soldiers back to the mainland U.S. The plane barreled down the runway of Hawaii’s Hickam Airfield to embark on a twenty-hour flight to San Francisco. On February 17, 1945, twenty-seven-year-old Lowderback, newlywed and newly deployed, marked two milestones: her first service… Read more →

A Different Kind of Expert

In the spring of 1813, Abigail Adams wrote to her friend Julia Rush inquiring after the death of Julia’s husband physician Benjamin Rush.1 “[O]h how shall I address you. how offer the consolation I need for myself upon an occasion which has torn my heart in anguish, filled by Bosom with Grief, and so overwhelmed… Read more →

How the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake Gave Working Women a Place to Breathe

In September of 1909, San Francisco’s businessmen opened the latest issue of the Merchants’ Association Review, looking forward to reading stories about the city’s recovery in the years since April 18, 1906. The earthquake on that spring day flattened the city’s financial center and its working-class district, and then reduced them to cinders in a… Read more →

Hijabophobia: An Unseen but Entirely Visible Force

In August 2017, a burqa-clad woman stepped into the chambers of the Australian parliament and sat down. To the individuals behind the cameras, she was entirely unknown. But for the members of Parliament, it was all too obvious who she was and what she was trying to do. The black cloth came off to reveal… Read more →

Mujeres Libres: Women, Anarchy, and the Fragility of Democracy in Spain

Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sanchez decided to call a snap election in April 2019 following the withdrawal of support by the Catalan separatists who were propping up his government. The short-term implications of another general election in Spain were great, as the lack of a stable government in recent years has impacted Spain’s social… Read more →

Women in the French Resistance

In France, women have long played a vital role in the military. Like most modern militaries, in multiple conflicts the French army had “camp followers,” mostly women, but also men and children, who took care of the cooking, laundering, and other tasks needed to maintain a large standing army. During the French Revolution, some women… Read more →

“Immoderate Menses” or Abortion? Bodily Knowledge and Illicit Intimacy in an 1851 Divorce Trial

In 1851, four years after actress Josephine Clifton’s death, she was named as one of Edwin Forrest’s adulterers during the American actor’s divorce trial. Forrest was an established transatlantic celebrity who exemplified rugged American masculinity in both his roles and celebrity persona. In 1849, Forrest’s rivalry with English thespian William Charles Macready inspired the deadly… Read more →

“Who but Women Should Manage It?”: Convalescent Home Matrons and Medical Recuperation

Today we often hear reports about women’s invisible labor. Female family members do the lion’s share of housework and caregiving — not just for their own children, but for any household member. Given that such caregiving takes time, often drawing women away from wage-earning jobs, this care is likely one source of wage discrepancies between… Read more →

What Women “Want”: Wordsmithing Education Reform Rhetoric

Persuaders and Persuadees The decentralized nature of public education in America means that any one individual who wants to implement sweeping change needs to use rhetoric and persuasion to convince others their idea is the best one. For most of American history, the persuaders have generally come from one demographic group and directed their powers… Read more →