Leaping from Our Spheres
Pagan Kelly, who has written a book about world changing inventions, observes that since ancient times women have tinkered with pads and tampons to better contain their menstrual flow. Everything from papyrus to absorbent mosses, to repurposed cellulose bandages. Early in the 20th century, Lillian Gilbreth, one of the first female Ph.D. engineers, questioned thousands of women in her effort to discover what an ideal sanitary napkin would look and feel like. Even still, corporate manufacturers of these products, including Proctor and Gamble, clung to “brick-like sanitary pads,” long after female consumers nixed this chafing, bulky model. Continue reading
In the ecology of our marriage, my spouse can count on me to at least glance at the book review section of the paper—and the obituaries. I can count on him reading the sports section. And then we depend on each other to point out those articles and columns that might be of interest.
So it was not unexpected that he would hand me an essay by soccer player Carli Lloyd, published right before Equal Pay Day 2016. In it, she wrote that she has proudly worn a U.S. national women’s team uniform for 12 years, and in this role had some of the greatest moments of her life—winning two Olympic gold medals and the 2015 Women’s World cup.
Which did not stop her, she wrote, from joining four teammates in filing a wage discrimination complaint against US soccer. Despite her love of the game, she was called to “do what’s right and what’s fair, and upholding a fundamental American concept: equal pay for equal play.” Continue reading
I can’t remember a moment when I wasn’t a feminist. I grew up surrounded by feminists: my mother, her friends, my father… Growing up I attended performances of That Takes Ovaries and read a constant supply of fiction books with powerful women and girl protagonists. My dad’s copy of Our Bodies Our Selves lived in my bedroom.
Growing Up Feminist
I grew up being conscious of how my experiences were affected by gendered power dynamics. I recognized how few women were held up as important historical figures in my elementary school classes and chose to study important women on every history project I could. Continue reading
On International Women’s Day 2016, I was in our nation’s capital meeting with a group of faith leaders who gather live twice a year to share stories of efforts across the country to protect reproductive choice and achieve reproductive justice. We met, appropriately, at the headquarters of a human rights organization. At the desk where we checked in, there were two open boxes of cookies to welcome us – at 8:20 in the morning.
Girl Scout cookies. Also how appropriate. Continue reading
I got the news of the discovery of an elderly man found dead of natural causes in his room at a remote ranch in Texas the way so many of us do nowadays: from a news app on my smartphone. It happened to be while I was walking with my husband on a white sand beach on the Gulf of Mexico.
News that could change the course of gender justice for American women for years to come.
Supreme Court (SCOTUS) Justice Antonin Scalia’s sudden death at 79 years old has heated up an already volatile presidential campaign when, only hours after the announcement of his passing, Senate leaders and the candidates from one party declared their intention to block any attempt to allow President Obama—as is his constitutional duty—to nominate and have hearings held to vote on his choice to fill this vacancy. Continue reading