Category: Clio Gets Personal

How I Met My Mother: The Story of an Unexpected Pregnancy

I was born seven weeks after my mother found out she was pregnant. I was not a medical miracle — I was a bouncing 9lb 14oz when born — but my route into the world was complicated by a series of doctors (all men) who repeatedly told my mother she was not expecting a child… Read more →

Labor, Birth, and Superstitions

On the morning that my daughter-in-law went into labor, a small bird crashed into our apartment window and lay dead on the terrace. At least that’s what I assumed happened when I saw its small black and yellow body lying on its side. Our internet research told us it was a Blackburnian Warbler, a bird… Read more →

On the Craft of Editing, Our Teachers, and Leaving Academia

Generations of history graduate students at the College of William & Mary have stories to tell about Gil Kelly. The longtime managing editor of the books program at the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture (OI), Gil was one of those unforgettable individuals. Throughout his career and long past the advent of Microsoft… Read more →

Stop Depicting Technology As Redeeming Disabled People

About corn, fancy arms, and the narratives imposed upon me. About a year and half out from my amputation, I visited my local grocery store. I was looking at ears of corn, peeling back the husk a little to see if the corn inside was a winner. Someone sidled up to me, and leaned in…. Read more →

Her Own Hero: How Self-Defense Became Acceptable for American Women

I was a seventeen-year-old college freshman when I realized I was being stalked. It started when a 27-year-old graduate student, whom I did not know, began showing up wherever I was on campus. Then he started following me off-campus. After I filed multiple reports with campus police, the Dean of Students summoned me for a… Read more →

How to Start a Feminist Restaurant: A Chat with Alexandra Ketchum

Just as Nursing Clio has covered #MeToo stories in academia, on the street, and in the bedroom, the movement plays out in the kitchen too. Conventional gender norms code everyday cooking as a feminine duty (and drudgery), while claiming professional food work as masculine mastery. Due to a host of additional challenges and barriers, a… Read more →

On Infanticide and Reluctant Maternity: Between Personal Testimony and Historical Sensitivity

As a historian of gender and medicine, I sometimes have nightmares about the scenes of medical suffering that appear in archival sources. The setting is always the same: the historical medical-school-turned-archive where I conducted research. Because I study surgical technologies, my dreams tend to be chilling portraits of the instruments physicians used in obstetrical interventions…. Read more →

Demanding to Be Heard: African American Women’s Voices from Slave Narratives to #MeToo

The #Metoo movement has made public what women have long known: that sexual assault and harassment are endemic in many workplaces. Using the power of social media, brave women have revealed the abuses men in positions of power have inflicted on the women who worked for them. Women have been revealing the abuses of powerful… Read more →

“Now I try to live my feminist politics in bed as well as elsewhere”

When Babe published a first-person account of a young woman’s awful sexual encounter with actor Aziz Ansari, one she later interpreted as sexual assault, many considered it to be crossing a line in the #MeToo movement. In this perspective, the transgression into the private sphere of dating led to a multitude of other women’s supposedly… Read more →

Why It’s Bad When It’s “Not That Bad”

When then-Senator Al Franken was accused of sexual harassment by multiple women this past November, I braced myself for the backlash. I grew up in Minnesota, so my social media threads were filled with Franken-loving Minnesotans begging him not to resign and castigating his accusers for blowing their experiences out of proportion. One friend of… Read more →