Category: Culture

Yes, I’m a Wife, But You Can Call Me the “Current Supporting Spouse”

The year my second son was born, I went to work, and my husband stayed home. It was the most luxurious year of my life. In the mornings, I nursed my baby while my husband brought our older child to preschool. When he got back, I handed off the baby, said, “bye, Sweetie, see you… Read more →

Average-looking Married Couples Having Caring, Respectful Sex

A friend of mine recently lamented that when he sat his teenage son down to have “The Talk,” he had to focus on the internet instead of relationships. “It’s not like the old days, when you’d tell your kid about the mechanics of it, and protection, that kind of thing. My son knew the basics… Read more →

Satan’s Fortress: Christianity, Sex, and Josh Duggar

When I was 18, I attended a large gathering of evangelical Christians, just as I had every summer through high school. I looked forward to this event each year – my friends and I spent the hot August days wandering the theme park where the festival was held, going on rides and listening to our… Read more →

Teaching Sexuality, Gender, and Race in Middle School

“So what do you do?” We all have asked this familiar question while making small talk at a BBQ, a bar, or a kid’s sporting event. I smile whenever I get this question – already knowing how the person will respond to my answer. “I teach 8th grade.” Cue the familiar, “Oh wow.” “But they’re… Read more →

Parenting in Academia: New Mom + Nursing + Academic Conference = Weekend in Hell

Anyone who is a mom and an academic has one of these stories of academic travel from hell. I can say with a fair amount of certainty, though, that my story of traveling to a conference as a new, nursing mom is the worst. Unfortunately. My daughter was just two months old, not sleeping for… Read more →

Yes, We Should Tell about our Miscarriages on Facebook

Last week, Mark Zuckerberg joyfully announced on Facebook that he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, are expecting a daughter. More solemnly, he added that Chan had experienced three miscarriages before this pregnancy. He shared this personal story as a gesture of support and solidarity with other couples facing similar difficulties. It had meant a lot… Read more →

Outlander: A Story for Historians

While heading out for a quick lunch last week, I found myself in the elevator with a colleague from my department. I invited her to come eat with me if she had time, and she proceeded to give me a sheepish yet excited look. “I would, but I just started book 1 of the Outlander… Read more →

Summer, Now Known as Pedicure Season

“Isn’t the weather beautiful?” I was standing outside my child’s elementary school, making small talk with other parents at pick-up time. “Just about time to pull out sandals.” “Ooh, that’s right, I need to get a pedicure!” exclaimed another mom. “Wait,” I thought, “need to get a pedicure?” I had to ask. Maybe it wasn’t… Read more →

I Was a Bystander in a Police Shooting: What It Taught Me about Police Violence, Memory, and Public Trust

I was returning from a productive, fun academic conference in Tampa, Florida last March, getting in on a 7:35 flight to the Southwest terminal in the New Orleans airport. While I had enjoyed the conference, I was incredibly happy to be coming home to my husband and four-year-old daughter, her souvenirs, or “souvers” as she… Read more →

Suicide Is Not Beautiful

In 1963, Sylvia Plath stuck her head in an oven, turned on the gas, and committed suicide as her children slept. Her friend and fellow poet, Anne Sexton, memorialized Plath with a poem that linked them as suffering women who both had “the suicide inside” them: Ten years later, after a number of failed attempts, Sexton… Read more →