Category: Feminism

Public Memory and Reproductive Justice in the Trump Era

Donald Trump’s victory in 2016 necessitated a rethinking of narratives of both self and nation, and a reimagining of the future for many feminists and others on the Left. Our book, Nasty Women and Bad Hombres: Gender and Race in the 2016 US Presidential Election, connects the outcome of the 2016 presidential election with America’s “historical… Read more →

“We’re Here As Women”: General Hospital, #MeToo, and the Power of Soap Operas

Split personalities and evil twins, secret babies and long-lost heirs. Soap operas provide us with stories of high drama and deep intrigue, contrasting scenes of familiar domestic life with a narrative tuned to the highest possible emotional frequency. Because they air every day, five days a week, fifty-two weeks a year, daytime soap operas are… Read more →

The Dangers of the Damaged Hero: Gender and Suffering in Romance Novels

I unabashedly love romance novels. As a reader, I find that a well-crafted happy ending is a wonderful antidote to a world that seems at times utterly devoid of them. As a scholar of gender, I am fascinated by the ways in which sexuality, power, and desire are constructed, discussed, and challenged. Moreover, I heartily… Read more →

Joan Scott, Liberalism, and Abortion Rights

Recently, the University of Edinburgh awarded Joan Scott an honorary doctorate in social science. The hooding ceremony seemed more like a Catholic wedding than an intellectual honor — replete with scepters, somber music, and long robes (the British do like their hierarchy). I attended, of course, not for the solemn ceremony, but for the lecture… Read more →

“Weaponized Babies”; or, Damn, Why Didn’t I Think of Using That Term?

News that Senator Tammy Duckworth brought her baby to the Senate floor for a vote thrilled some and infuriated others. Prior debate over whether babies belonged in the Senate sparked some great pro- and anti-baby remarks that pundits and scholars will enjoy parsing and quoting in coming days, weeks, months … or until babies on… Read more →

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 →