Category: Feminism

Pornography on the Playground

When I was 19, I had a summer job supervising a playground. It was a pretty lame job. It paid $5 an hour, and it was outside in the sticky summer heat. The hours alternated between utter boredom and the kind of excitement I’d rather avoid – breaking up shouting matches, figuring out whether the… Read more →

The Enigmatic Spinster

Judging from the number of books, blogs, news articles and interviews focused on the lives of single women, it seems that the “spinster” is making a resurgence. For example, Rebecca Traister’s All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation and Kate Bolick’s Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own received… Read more →

“A Basic Issue of Women’s Liberation”: The Feminist Campaign to Legalize Contraception in 1970s Ireland

On May 22, 1971, forty-seven members of the Irish Women’s Liberation Movement (IWLM) boarded the 8am train from Dublin to Belfast. Their aim was to purchase contraceptives in the north, where contraception was legal under UK law, and to travel back to Dublin with them in order to highlight the hypocrisy of Irish law, which… Read more →

Women On the March

The Women’s March in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere the day after Donald J. Trump was sworn in as president attracted much attention. There were accolades for the feeling of sisterhood that pervaded the rallies across the nation, fueling a sense among liberals that women denied the presidency would be the ones to lead the next… Read more →

Gilead: An Antiporn Utopia

In a recent article for Feminist Current, Gail Dines draws parallels between two TV series currently causing a stir: Netflix’s Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On (HGWTO) and Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale. While the two series may appear different — The Handmaid’s Tale is set in the fictional totalitarian theocracy of Gilead, whereas HGWTO is a… Read more →

You Know What? Equality Feminism is Crap

In the wake of the Women’s March, one thing is clear — we haven’t resolved a debate that has been at the heart of feminism since 1848. What, if anything, does women’s equality mean? Does it mean we’re equal with men? Does it mean something else based on our physical and social status as women?… Read more →

When the Man Gets You Down… Or the Power of Transnational Feminism

Over the last fifteen years, Latin America has seen the rise and fall of women in politics. A decade before the U.S. (almost) elected their first woman president, Chile elected Michelle Bachelet (2006-2010 and 2014-present); Argentina voted in Cristina Kirchner (2007-1015); and Brazil chose Dilma Rousseff (2010-2016). These women ran on mainly leftist platforms and… Read more →

Dorothy Bruce Weske: Academia and Motherhood in the Mid-Twentieth Century

In 1934, in her mid-thirties and single, Dorothy Bruce defended her dissertation at Radcliffe College on thirteenth- and fourteenth-century Convocations, a name given to a category of English church councils. In 1937, her work, Convocation of the Clergy: A Study of its Antecedents and its Rise with Special Emphasis upon its Growth and Activities in… Read more →

Writings Appropriate to Her Sex: Women Authors, Pseudonyms, and the Gendered History of Publishing and Reading

Recently, Italian journalist Claudio Gatti allegedly “outed” the popular Italian novelist Elena Ferrante by publishing in the New York Review of Books proof of her “true” identity. Ferrante’s writing, particularly the Neapolitan novels — a series of four books that chronicle female friendship, violence, poverty, and gender in postwar Italy — have become international bestsellers… Read more →

Are Women Human? A Historical Mystery with Medical Interruptions

In 1938, the British crime writer and theologian Dorothy Leigh Sayers addressed a women’s society on the simple question: “Are Women Human?” Adding her voice to the ongoing discourse on the “woman question,” Sayers expressed frustration with the wonder and criticism directed towards those people whose lives divert from the path expected of their gender…. Read more →