Category: News

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news Um, Nope. A history of ketchup. Maxillofacial portraits of WWI. Homophobia in women’s sports. How racism gave rise to acupuncture. A history of diners that look like train cars. Rare photos of Frida Kahlo as a teenager. Three big ableist myths about Helen Keller…. Read more →

Change We Need? Why the Name of the President’s Fitness Council Matters

At the end of February, President Trump renamed the council that supports American physical fitness as the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition (PCSFN). This is not in and of itself a big deal. It is the fifth time the Council has changed names since its 1956 creation, and seemingly one of the least… Read more →

It’s (Not) in Your Head: When Bodies Defy Logic

“If you say too little they can’t help you, and if they say too much they think you’re kind of … a mental patient.” Less than five minutes into Jennifer Brea’s stunning new documentary, Unrest, her husband captures this central tension for people with rare or undiagnosed conditions and their loved ones. Brea has myalgic… Read more →

Sunday Morning Medicine

A weekly check-up of gender, medicine, and history in the news The Nazi anatomists.  White feminism and eugenics. The best food in video game history. Race, gender, and flash photography. Only invalids and chickens drink water. What Buddy the Elf taught me about disability. The godless sex radicals of the Kansas plains. Help transcribe this… Read more →

On Doors Open and Shut: Sex and Power Yet Again

One day last week, literally as I sat down in a shared meeting room to write this post, a senior male colleague “joked” that my arrival meant that we “better keep the door open” to avoid problems like those in the news. In that same twenty-four hour period, three female colleagues shared their fraught experiences… Read more →

Don’t Bring that Anti-Choice Nonsense to the #MeToo Movement, Peggy Noonan

There have been any number of smart, critical takes on the #MeToo movement and the wave of sexual harassment allegations against famous and powerful men that have rocked the country in recent weeks. Lindy West, Caitlin Flanagan, Roxane Gay and numerous others have offered some great commentary on how we might process this cultural moment… 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 →

Not Going Back: Queer American Families and the Value Voters Summit

On October 12, 2017, the day after National Coming Out Day, I received an email from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) informing me that President Donald Trump was scheduled to appear at the Value Voters Summit, a venue that combines virulently anti-LGBTQ and anti-Muslim “values.” Like I have almost every day since last November’s… Read more →

My Story of 20 Weeks

20 weeks. That is the magic number according to the GOP. House Republicans last week passed a bill, which they named the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, banning abortions after 20 weeks except in cases of rape or incest, or when necessary to save the life of the mother. While not expected to pass the… Read more →

Renée Zellweger, Isabelle Dinoire, and the Stakes for Changing the Face

On October 20, 2014, Renée Zellweger attended the Elle Women in Hollywood event, her first appearance in the public eye after a long hiatus. She looked different; people do, over time. Most people do; some work very hard to continue to look exactly the same. Zellweger’s face was exhaustively discussed, dissected, and criticized in the… Read more →