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womens history



  • Susan Carruthers on The Myths and History of the "Dear John" Letter

    The "Dear John" letter represents a convergence of the social history of the military and the culture of family, love and relationships. Historian Susan L. Carruthers explains how the term was coined and what she learned about romantic breakups in military history.



  • New Book Asks if Exercise is a Path to Power for Women

    Danielle Freedman's new book identifies the paradox of exercise for women: the subversive potential of training, strengthening and developing the capability of the body is yoked to an exploitative diet and beauty culture.



  • The Indomitable Rev. Addie L. Wyatt

    by Kim Kelly

    After starting at Armour's Chicago cannery at age 17, Addie Wyatt rose through the ranks of her local union to lead workers across five states, recognizing the connection between workers' power and racial and gender equality and linking midwestern unions to the southern civil rights struggle. 



  • Enslaved Women as American Revolutionaries: Karen Cook-Bell

    "Instead of viewing Black women as at the margins of the American Revolution and abolitionism, it is important to see them as visible participants and self-determined figures who put their lives on the line for freedom."



  • The History of Women in the New York City Marathon

    Amateur Athletic Union rules in the 1970s didn't sanction any competitive race for women longer than 1.5 miles. Kathrine Switzer and other pioneering women marathoners discuss a half-century of change. 



  • “If Black Women Were Free”: An Oral History of the Combahee River Collective

    Writer Marian Jones gathers together the recollections of the participants in the 1977 efforts to define the relationship between struggles against sexism, racism and capitalist exploitation and reminds that the group's coinage of the term "identity politics" was meant to bring multiple groups together.


  • The Women Who Won the Vietnam War

    by Sherry Buchanan

    Fifty years on, the history of the women who defeated a superpower, while celebrated in Vietnam, remains largely unrecognized and undocumented in our history of the war.



  • Reframing Abortion as a Public Good

    by Judith Levine

    "States have a compelling interest—a profound obligation—to defend the right to abortion. Abortion is a public good. Why haven’t we linked abortion to the commonweal?"