Category: Activism


On the evening of Wednesday, March 14, Marielle Franco — the thirty-eight-year-old human-rights activist, feminist, anti-racist organizer, and recently-elected city councilwoman — went to an event on young black women and organizing (“Jovens Negras Movendo as Estruturas”) in the central Lapa district of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.1 At around 9 pm, Marielle left the meeting…. Read more →

Gender, Health, & Marginalization: National Responses to HIV/AIDS in the U.S. and Jamaica

After conducting Fulbright research on the cultural politics of HIV/AIDS in Jamaican women’s lives, I became interested in exploring how Afro-diasporic women matter in responses to the pandemic. This interest grew alongside both my personal experiences as an HIV tester in Detroit and my exploration of the global dilemmas surrounding sexual and reproductive health. The… Read more →

Women’s Health Advocacy at Work

I realized belatedly that writing a biography of a women’s health activist as my dissertation (and wrestling with the late journalist Barbara Seaman’s strong personality) was an exhausting task. I finished graduate school a semester late, burnt out, and in desperate need of a paycheck. So when I saw a job advertisement from a women’s… Read more →

Fight and Flight: “Butch Flight,” Trans Men, and the Elusive Question of Authenticity

My junior year of college, my roommate and dear friend had a butch girlfriend. She aligned more with what many would consider traditional masculinity than I did; there was always a can of Axe body spray in the back of her truck. She confessed to me one night that she felt pressure to transition to… Read more →

#MeToo and the Massage Envy Scandal: Looking Back and Beyond

“Massage brings all the weirdos out of the woodwork. I mean real sick people who have problems,” massage therapist Kathleen Dynes told the Los Angeles Times in 1978, explaining she could understand why a local homeowners association boycotted her fledgling suburban massage business, despite her best efforts to make the office, where her mother also… Read more →

On Doors Open and Shut: Sex and Power Yet Again

One day last week, literally as I sat down in a shared meeting room to write this post, a senior male colleague “joked” that my arrival meant that we “better keep the door open” to avoid problems like those in the news. In that same twenty-four hour period, three female colleagues shared their fraught experiences… Read more →

Nursing Clio (still) Supports Net Neutrality

The FCC is about to vote to end net neutrality — breaking the fundamental principle of the open Internet — and only an avalanche of calls to Congress can stop it. Net neutrality affects everyone who uses the internet. If you don’t like the idea of your ISP (be it Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, or Spectrum)… Read more →

A Few Things I Need You To Know Before Getting Tested for HIV, As Told By Your HIV Tester

Welcome! Before getting tested for HIV, New York State requires me to go over a few things with you. First, testing is confidential but not anonymous. Second, testing is voluntary and can be stopped at any point. Third, I can and will stop a test if I feel you are a danger to yourself or… Read more →

Don’t Bring that Anti-Choice Nonsense to the #MeToo Movement, Peggy Noonan

There have been any number of smart, critical takes on the #MeToo movement and the wave of sexual harassment allegations against famous and powerful men that have rocked the country in recent weeks. Lindy West, Caitlin Flanagan, Roxane Gay and numerous others have offered some great commentary on how we might process this cultural moment… Read more →

Sunday Morning Protest – A Note from the Editors

Since 1903, a poem has lain before the feet of the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor that declares to the world that the United States will be a safe haven for the world’s neediest people: “Give me your tired, your poor/ your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” As historians we know that… Read more →