Category: Culture

White Woman in Blackface as a Black Man in a White Coat? Scary.

Here’s a frank, perhaps surprising, and definitely disheartening admission: nothing you read here should be new to you. It’s been said a million times before. During Halloween weekend a white person at the University of Oregon appeared at an off-campus party in blackface. This distasteful and offensive act was distinctive only in its details —… Read more →

What Does It Mean to Say Millennials Are Having Less Sex?

The internet was abuzz this August with speculation about why Millennials have less sex than our elders did at our age. Perhaps economic precarity makes dating difficult, particularly for those living with their parents. Mediating our relationships through the internet could reduce physical contact. Or maybe ubiquitous pornography is replacing partnered sex, antidepressants are depressing… Read more →

It’s Time to Take Nature to Task

In March of this year, one of my respected colleagues and I published a short essay in Pediatrics in which we critiqued the use of “nature” in public health campaigns, specifically regarding breastfeeding promotion. The piece came out on the heels of the publication of my first book, which examines the “back-to-the-breast” movement and the… Read more →

A Childless Historian of Children: The Choice Not to Parent

I am a historian of women, sexuality, medicine, and childhood. As I write my dissertation on the history of sex education in Progressive Era America, I am constantly thinking about parenthood, family formation, and how adults try to teach children about sex and reproduction. And I do this work as someone who never plans to… Read more →

Sorry, I’m Disabled. Oh, Wait, I’m Not Sorry, Just Disabled.

“Sorry,” I say, “Sorry, but would you mind giving me the directions again a little slower? I have a visual impairment and I didn’t see which way you were pointing.” “So sorry, excuse me for bumping you, I didn’t see you there.” “I’m sorry I didn’t think to get permission ahead of time, but I’m… Read more →

Sex and the Purple Guy

Originally published by Tropics of Meta on April 21, 2016. For a generation of youth — queer and non-queer alike — Prince cleared the path to a different way of embodying gender and sexuality. I recited the intro to “Let’s Go Crazy” at my wedding reception in 2006, to a room of largely puzzled fifty-… Read more →

Lessons from the Funky Diabetic: Phife Dawg as Reluctant Health Rap Pioneer

Often being a hip-hop fan means learning how to deal with the sudden loss of beloved artists. It always feels like they’re taken away too soon. Boogie Down Productions’s DJ, Scott LaRock, was shot and killed in 1987 at the age of 25. Eazy-E succumbed to complications of the AIDS virus in 1993. He was… Read more →

Fear-mongering from Anita Bryant to Houston’s Proposition 1

This post was originally published on February 1, 2016, during Nursing Clio’s Undergraduate Week, when we brought you amazing work written by students at Macaulay Honors College, CUNY. Students wrote their essays as part a “Transgender Issues” course taught by Elizabeth Reis. A man approaches a public women’s restroom. He pushes his way inside, locking himself… Read more →

Go Breast or Go Home: Natural Motherhood and Breastfeeding’s Return

As I stumble over piles of unpacked boxes in the dimly lit interior of our new home in Philadelphia, I hear the friendly voice of one of our new neighbors calling through our open door. Her name is Tiffany, she lives across the street with her husband James, and they have a three-day old baby… Read more →

Flowers and Lady Charlotte: Talking about Menstruation, Past and Present

In some ways, 2015 was the year of the period in social media. Thinx panties, which claim to absorb menstrual blood without the use of a tampon or pad (even on heavy days), were named a “best invention” of 2015 by Time and made the rounds on Facebook. News outlets featured Kiran Ghandi when she… Read more →