Rivka Solomon Acts Up, Chronic Fatigue Be Damned


Rivka Solomon, the daughter of 1960s activists, has long been a rabble rouser. Her 2002 edited anthology, That Takes Ovaries!, now in its sixth printing, still inspires action with its essays by women telling their true stories of “being bold and brazen, outrageous or courageous”–from rallying against sexual harassment to chewing out a burglar in […]

What’s Behind Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Yellow Wallpaper?


Today, Charlotte Bronte, the author of Jane Eyre, the subject of a big Hollywood film, is not the only 19th-century woman writer newly capturing the public imagination with her portrayal of  a “madwoman” in an attic. Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 1860-1935, is also re-emerging in the spotlight with a bevy of recent books about her, including […]

How an Ill Woman Found Common Ground with a Wild Snail


What appears at first to be a simple creature is actually a complex being, capable of everything any other animal form is capable of: a complex love life, an epicurean appetite, finding a comfortable place to sleep, skilled locomotion, multiple defense mechanisms…

A (Very Incomplete) Feminist Poetry Syllabus for 2011


Recently, I have been hearkening back to my literary year–1988. That was in college when I had a feminist poetry class, and also the last time I read such material in depth. Not that it was a chore back then. I was intrigued by the irreverent, political, intellectually fierce and nakedly honest material, which grabbed me […]

The Vagina Dialogues, Circa 1970


Before there was The Vagina Monologues, there were the pelvic instructors. These women, from Boston’s Women’s Community Health Center, were radical in not only instructing medical students in female sexual anatomy but in also using their own bodies as models. Their short-lived yet highly symbolic program took place from 1975 to 1976 at Harvard Medical […]

The New Face of “Jane” in Chicago


Like with Jane, most of the women served by the Chicago Abortion Fund are poor African American women, But a change with CAF is that African American women are those actually running things.

The Gen X Male-Only Midlife Crisis: Hot Tub v. SATC


The men of “Hot Tub” are funny, while the women of SATC are “desperate.”

The Cancer Bitch on “Sick Lit”


Illness is not a gift. Do you know what a gift is? Earrings.

Migraine: the North Korea of Disabilities


As a result of the lack of federal funding, ‘there has been virtually no innovation in migraine research’ since 1992, said Dr. Shapiro.

My Headache and I on the Hill


Yes, Ms. readers, pain makes interesting bedfellows, which I’ll gladly take, even in the form of Republican beer heiresses. I am certain that anyone who has ever had a migraine will understand.