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Contraception, Abortion, and the Rhymes of History

On October 6, the Trump administration rolled back a key facet of the Affordable Care Act that required employers to include free birth control as part of their health plans. The changed rule will allow employers to opt out of contraceptive coverage if they have a “sincerely held” moral or religious objection. In the wake… Continue reading Contraception, Abortion, and the Rhymes of History

Diving Down the Rabbit Hole

When Alice went down the rabbit hole, she found a wonderland of bizarre characters and strange goings-on she had never dreamed of experiencing. At one point, she talks to the Cheshire Cat for navigational assistance.   Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here? The Cheshire Cat: That depends… Continue reading Diving Down the Rabbit Hole

Stigma and the (un)deserving sick

I had lung cancer. And every time I talk about my cancer, I find myself explaining that the carcinoid cancer I experienced is a very rare lung cancer, one that strikes at random, one that has no known risk factors. In other words, a lung cancer that is not associated with smoking. Occasionally, people ask… Continue reading Stigma and the (un)deserving sick

Thirty Five Years of Conferences

In May of 1982, I was a twenty-three year old master's student attending my first academic conference. Held at the Park Plaza Hotel in Boston, it was the annual convention of the International Communication Association and I was the fourth (maybe fifth? maybe sixth?) author on a paper about "the process of studying process in… Continue reading Thirty Five Years of Conferences

The Japanese Surrender – In Lincoln, Nebraska

8:00 p.m. Thursday, August 13, 1945. Lincoln, Nebraska. Marj took advantage of the brief quiet from the teletype machines and looked around the tiny United Press bureau office. The desks were cluttered with carbon papers, empty Coke bottles, dirty coffee cups, cigarette butts. Editors and reporters throughout the Lincoln Journal building were sleepy, their nerves… Continue reading The Japanese Surrender – In Lincoln, Nebraska

Reflections on Professing

I’m not making a clean break. I’m still advising a few graduate students. I’m still editing a major journal. I’ll still attend conferences. I hope to be invited to campuses to speak about my work to students, faculty, and community members. But I turned in my final set of grades. I received my final university… Continue reading Reflections on Professing

A small part of women’s history

I met Nan last fall when she took the initiative to start a book club in my condo building. On that first Thursday afternoon, we nibbled on snacks, sipped wine, and got to know each other a bit before starting our discussion of Unbroken. I was talking to Nan about my book project involving women… Continue reading A small part of women’s history

An International Gathering of Women, 1965

Last Sunday was International Women’s Day. In checking up on the history of the event, I discovered that its first observation was in 1909 in New York – organized by the Socialist Party of America. Socialists and Communists continued the commemorations for many years with strikes and sometimes days off for women. It wasn’t until… Continue reading An International Gathering of Women, 1965

Internet Trolls and Patricia Arquette

In May of 1966, Marie Anderson, women’s editor of the Miami Herald, received a letter from an angry reader. It began politely enough (“Dear Miss Anderson”) then moved quickly to the point: It is people like yourself who are making it so easy for the government to take over even the smallest details of our… Continue reading Internet Trolls and Patricia Arquette