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Feminism’s fault lines: understanding young women’s support for Bernie

Peggy O'Donnell, Ph.D. candidate, history | February 12, 2016

This campaign season has been pretty bleak on the gender front, from Marco Rubio’s assurance that he understands rape victims’ “terrible situation,” but would insist on them carrying any resulting child regardless, to Trump’s “blood out of her…wherever” comment heard ’round the world. Even so, last weekend stood out a new low for women, particularly for … Continue reading »

Ever since Eve: Hillary and the War on Women

Robin Lakoff, professor emerita of linguistics | May 23, 2014

There have been recently several attacks by Republicans (just for example, Karl Rove and Reince Priebus) on the character and competence of Hillary Rodham Clinton: about her complicity in Benghazi and the Boko Haram kidnappings, her age, her health, and more. The response by the Democrats and the supposedly liberal pundit class has been less … Continue reading »

“Why were you destroying government property in Afghanistan?”

Malcolm Potts, professor of population and family planning | October 20, 2013

I first went to Afghanistan in December 1969. I still remember the bitter cold. USAID had begun to invest in family planning and an American gynecologist had been assigned to the US embassy in Kabul to start a program. He was who had invented a new experimental  intrauterine device. It looked to me rather like a … Continue reading »

A 165 year-long struggle for women’s rights continues

Rosemary Joyce, professor of anthropology | July 19, 2013

On July 19, 1848, the Seneca Falls Conference launched a challenge to US society: extend the revolution to encompass women, not just men. The point was made in a provocative text, the “Declaration of Sentiments” drafted by Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Rhetorically, by using the Declaration of Independence as a model, the Declaration of Sentiments sharply … Continue reading »

International Day of the Girl: Why science and math programs matter

Camille Crittenden, Deputy Director, CITRIS | October 9, 2012

Late last year, the United Nations declared Oct. 11 the International Day of the Girl. Celebrated for the first time this month, the occasion aims to highlight the challenges girls face around the world to gain access to education and other basic rights, and empower them to advocate on their own behalf. Despite recent publications … Continue reading »

How to lie with statistics: Job losses, women, and presidential candidates

Rosemary Joyce, professor of anthropology | April 12, 2012

In case anyone hasn’t heard yet, yesterday apparent Republican candidate for president Mitt Romney rolled out his argument for the women’s vote in November. And it was a doozy: 92.3% of jobs losses during the Obama presidency belonged to women. 92.3%! Can you believe it???!! Well, no. You can’t. Not that the numbers are made … Continue reading »

Spinsters no more

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | June 29, 2011

Among the familiar characters in 19th century novels are the spinsters – the “spinster aunts” who lived with a brother or sister’s family; also the “spinster daughters” who stayed home with their elderly parent(s). These characters seem to have decamped from modern fiction. No wonder, there are a lot fewer of them in modern life. To … Continue reading »

Why women aren’t pigs

Robin Lakoff, professor emerita of linguistics | May 26, 2011

Because of the DSK and Schwarzenegger scandals, there has been probably more than enough public consideration in the last week or two of questions like: Are powerful men pigs and if so, why? But I have yet to see any discussion of a related and relevant question: Why are powerful women so seldom sexually predatory? … Continue reading »

Women graduating

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology |

It’s the season of graduation in America and, increasingly, that means it’s the season of women, too. This year, about 3 women will get their B.A. degrees for every 2 men who do. About 50 years ago, the ratio was about 2 men to every 1 woman. In a society that treats a college degree … Continue reading »

Cleopatra and other powerful women

Rosemary Joyce, professor of anthropology | June 10, 2010

“Her name is synonymous with power and glamour”: so starts an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer prompted by the opening of a new exhibit last week at The Franklin Institute. This opening, and the exhibit itself, reflects the long-standing fascination of the public, shared by archaeologists, for women who ruled in ancient states, and the … Continue reading »