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womens history



  • Shirley Temple Black's Second Act as a Diplomat

    An unpublished memoir of her late life, recently released to the Smithsonian, shows how Shirley Temple Black worked to thwart pervasive sexism in the diplomatic arena while advocating for a global environmental awareness.



  • What Parents Did Before Baby Formula

    by Carla Cevasco

    "The formula shortage is not a victory for breastfeeding. It is a calamity for families who, like families throughout history, just want to feed their children."

  • How We Told the Ongoing Story of Title IX

    by Laura Mogulescu

    A curator and her team chose to center the work of activists who pushed to determine the scope and meaning of Title IX's prohibition on sex discrimination in education throughout the law's 50-year history. Their exhibit is now open at the New-York Historical Society.



  • Women Know You Can't Just Replace Formula with Breastfeeding

    by Laura Earls

    Breastfeeding advocacy is historically tied as much to a prescriptive and sentimental image of motherhood and maternal attachment as to concern for babies' health, and has long ignored physical and social obstacles to nursing. 



  • The Laundry Workers' Uprising and the Fight for Democratic Unionism

    by Jenny Carson

    African American and Black Caribbean immigrant women were key organizers of New York laundry workers who pushed for a union movement that rejected divisions of occupation, race and nationality in favor of workplace democracy. 



  • The Fatal Siloing of Abortion Advocacy

    by Meaghan Winter

    It was a strategic mistake for abortion rights advocates to emphasize the right to individual choice instead of the vast issues of economic justice, workforce quality, educational equity and personal safety that are impacted by whether women can control their own reproduction. 



  • Racist Policing Has Roots in Controlling Sex Work

    by Sarah A. Seo

    Anne Gray Fischer's book shows that police policy toward sexuality in public space changed in ways that made Black women's public lives subject to increased control and that entrenched the discretion of police to stop people for suspected minor offenses that is associated with "broken windows" policing today. 



  • The 19th Century Woman's Secret Guides to Birth Control

    Women have always tried to share information enabling them to control their reproductive health, and others have always tried to stop them. Secrecy, coded language and misdirection are historical puzzles to untangle, say Andrea Tone, Naomi Rendina, Lauren Thompson and Donna Drucker. 



  • Bicycles and Women's Liberation in Victorian America

    by Anya Jabour

    The cycling craze of the 1890s was embraced with particular fervor by affluent white women, who seized opportunities for mobility and public sociability presented by the new technology of the "safety" bicycle.



  • Mill Mother's Lament: The Legacy of Ella May Wiggins

    by Karen Sieber

    The city of Gastonia has struggled to agree on the commemoration of the bloody 1929 Loray Mill strike, including how to account for the murder of pregnant union activist Ella May Wiggins.