Category: Feminism

Will We Ever “Have it All”? Examining the Career Woman of the 1980s and in the COVID Era

The US government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis has illustrated just how divided the country has become on the topic of childcare and women’s role in the workforce. In October 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its September jobs report, which indicated that, of the 1.1 million workers who had dropped out of the… Read more →

Working Mothers

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed racial and class inequities in brutal ways. Gone are the early days when politicians might say that the virus affects us all equally. We can see in the statistics, in the losses, and in who fills up the hospital beds that this isn’t true. And just as the pandemic helped… Read more →

Mind the Gap: Motivational Pressure and a Gendered Pandemic

In the midst of the pandemic, articles by journalists, public figures, and scholars on how to capitalize on time spent at home have been rapidly increasing, particularly those with suggestions on improving productivity. These articles employ motivational pressure to push readers to invest in “who they want to become” post-coronavirus. Suggestions range from quarantine recipes… Read more →

Cite My Name, Cite My Name

A couple years back, I was co-teaching a graduate course on gender history at the University of Edinburgh. I was advising an MA student on historiographical literature, and I asked her if she used Google Scholar to locate scholarly references. She didn’t, so I demonstrated how to use the search tool. As an example, I… Read more →

Fight Cancer like a Feminist

On May 2, 2018, I was coming out of anesthesia from an emergency appendectomy when I learned I might have cancer. After an excruciating five days in the hospital, my surgeon confirmed that I had moderately differentiated adenocarcinoma but was unsure as to the type of cancer. While it may sound cliché, my life quite… Read more →

Mokgadi Caster Semenya v. The Patriarchy and its IAAF Minions

Caster Semenya first grabbed my attention in 2009 when she won the 800-meter race in Berlin — she bested her competition by over two full seconds and set a world-leading time for the year. Soon after her athletic successes, however, the sporting community challenged her sex/gender identity. The International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) policy… Read more →

Threatening the Gender Hierarchy in Women’s Sport

Critics of South African track star Caster Semenya warn that her continued participation in women’s track and field without taking testosterone suppressants will mark “the end” of women’s sports. I have a vested interest in continuing sporting opportunities for women—I am a Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies PhD student writing my dissertation on the subject,… Read more →

This is Not a Culture of Life, This is a Culture of Un-Death

Last week at a Vatican conference on abortion, Pope Francis “argued that children who were not expected to live long after birth deserved to be treated in the womb ‘with extraordinary pharmacological, surgical and other interventions.’” He intimated that parents who did not use extraordinary measures were not caring for their children, saying that “Taking… Read more →

Manly Firmness: It’s Not Just for the 18th Century (Unfortunately)

The references to “manly firmness” are everywhere in late-18th-century political sources. For example, Edward Dilly wrote to John Adams from London in 1775 to praise the men in the Continental Congress, “for the Wisdom of their Proceedings — their Unanimity, and Manly firmness.” In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson listed the crimes of the… Read more →

Hallmark Christmas Movies: Guilty Pleasure or Feminist Rallying Cry?

A woman arrives in a small American town at Christmas time. Possibly her car has broken down, or she’s there on business, or to take a job she (initially) does not want, or she’s deliberately seeking the traditional festive comforts of a small town during the holidays. (It might be that she grew up there,… Read more →