womens history

  • "Phantom Catholic Threats" Haunt Ireland's National Maternity Hospital

    by Máiréad Enright

    Secular Irish health advocates fear that a partnership between the state and religious charities to operate the national maternity hospital will impose limits on care, including abortion access. Is this justified or a case of finding "nuns under the bed"? 

  • Eve Babitz's Archive Reveals the Person Behind the Persona

    by Kevin Dettmar

    "What could the personal documents of a writer who was so public about her private world teach us about her work? How much of that persona was a performance and how much a reflection of her real anxieties and ambitions?"

  • How Toxic is Masculinity, and Whose Job Is it to Fix It?

    Historian Ivan Jablonka's history of the idea of patriarchy suggests that feminists should recognize the current wave of male grievance as an opportunity to renegotiate the entire social compact of gender that has been built up over centuries of male power. 

  • Barbara Smith on Reproductive Freedom Organizing

    by Joseph R. Fitzgerald

    As an activist with the Combahee River Collective and after, Barbara Smith helped define the attention to the relationships among racism, sexism and social class associated with the term "intersectionality." Here, she discusses the past and future of reproductive justice with her biographer.  

  • Working 9 to 5: The Activism of Women Office Workers

    by Ellen Cassedy

    The author of a new firsthand history of a pioneering organization of women office workers discusses the history behind the movement for "Raises and Roses." 

  • Reproductive Rights, Slavery, and the Post-Dobbs World

    by Jennifer L. Morgan

    Black women's history with reproductive freedom from slavery to today shows that racial and gendered oppression depend on the denial, embraced by Clarence Thomas, of a constitutional protection for bodily autonomy. 

  • 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    An unpublished memoir of her late life, recently released to the Smithsonian, shows how Shirley Temple Black worked to thwart pervasive sexism in the diplomatic arena while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."