womens history

  • Why Has Medicine Looked at PCOS Through the Lens of Fertility Instead of Pain?

    by Alaina DiSalvo

    Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome has had a complicated history in medicine. But its path toward recognition has been unfortunately colored by a concern for preserving fertility instead of improving women's quality of life—even in groundbreaking feminist health guides like Our Bodies, Ourselves. 

  • Lady Vols Country

    by Jessica Wilkerson

    The author remembers Pat Summitt's championship women's basketball teams at the University of Tennessee as a demonstration of how sports "encompass a battleground for determining how gender manifests in the world, how women and girls can use their bodies, and who can access self-determination."

  • Recovering the Story of the Empress Messalina After a Roman Cancellation

    by Honor Cargill-Martin

    After the empress Valeria Messalina's fatal fall from favor with her husband Claudius, her name and image were stricken from public and private spheres, an episode that reveals the tightly-regulated dissemination of imperial women's images (and puts current "cancel culture" panic and whisper networks into perspective). 

  • Ayahs, Amahs and Empire: The History of Domestic Care Work under Colonialism

    by Julia Laite

    The history of domestic and child care work has become increasingly robust, but museums and public exhibitions have struggled to find ways to represent the work and experiences of women, many from south Asia, who traveled with white colonial families to perform this labor, putting marginalized people in charge of the empire's children. 

  • How to Get Americans To Embrace Constitutional Amendments Again

    by Kate Shaw and Julie K. Suk

    As recent Supreme Court decisions on guns and abortion rights have made many Americans fear the loss of basic rights, reviving the effort to pass the Equal Rights Amendment can remind Americans that nine people in robes don't have to be the final authority on the Constitution. 

  • Authors Call for a Rethink of Birth and Motherhood

    Peggy O'Donnell Heffington makes an assertive argument that the United States has a long history of official involvement in motherhood, from making reproduction near-compulsory for white women on one side of the color line to eugenics and sterilization on the other. 

  • After Dobbs, Women Have Been Pushed Out of the Legal Debate on Abortion

    by Felicia Kornbluh

    Federal Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk's recent ruling focused on his interpretation of the rights of fetuses and physicians, while ignoring the real-world health and reproductive concerns of women. Reproductive freedom advocates can learn from earlier generations of women who stressed the rights of women before Roe. 

  • Nikki Haley's Campaign May Capitalize on Gender Stereotypes, but at a Cost to Women

    by Jacqueline Beatty

    The former South Carolina governor and UN Ambassador is seeking to separate herself from other conservatives by leaning into certain gendered stereotypes; this reinforces the idea that women leaders are fundamentally different, which has historically kept women from equal political footing. 

  • History of Reproductive Law Shows Women in Power aren't the Solution

    by Lara Friedenfelds

    The end of Roe v. Wade makes difficult pregnancies and miscarriages potentially legaly perilous for women. The history of how the law determines fault in a lost pregnancy shows that women are as capable as men of participating in a regime that punishes other women for the ends of their pregnancies.