What Would Susan B. Anthony Say?

In this year of fantastically proportioned historical revisionism (the Tea Party’s version of 18th century colonial resistance, Glenn Beck’s adaptation of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s politics, Christine O’Donnell’s take on the founding fathers’ feelings on church and state), the rise of the Susan B. Anthony List fits right in. Crusading as the anti-choice answer to EMILY’s List, SBA List claims to have most of the “early feminists” on its side – suffrage activists such as Alice Paul, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and, most notably, Susan B. Anthony. As it climbs higher on the ladder of influence, sprinkling false facts about abortion – and about the origins about feminism – in its wake, it’s crucial that we reexamine its claims at every step.

Campaign Tackles Women’s Chronic Pain–But There’s a LONG Way to Go

In mid-May, supported by Reps.  Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and other prominent lawmakers, a group of advocacy organizations launched the “Campaign to End Chronic Pain in Women.” The campaign is aimed at conditions that predominantly (or only) affect women, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, interstitial cystitis and vulvodynia. It will tackle the discrimination and […]

Women’s Chronic Pain Goes Ignored, Unresearched, Underfunded

Much of America can recall with a chuckle the first-season Sex and the City episode in which Charlotte’s vagina becomes “depressed.” However, this “depression”—called vulvodynia by those outside the Sex and the City set—is far from chuckleable. Vulvodynia’s guest-starring performance on SAC provides hardly a glimpse of the pain, frustration, anxiety, and turmoil that results […]

Disgust, Propaganda and Same-Sex Marriage

In his 1993 treatise “Medical Consequences of What Homosexuals Do,” Paul Cameron, the firebrand founder of the anti-gay Family Research Institute, revealed the “horror story” of “fecal sex.” Cameron claimed that “80 percent of gays” ingest “medically significant amounts of feces” on a regular basis, and also tend to “eat or wallow in it.” He and his allies – in other anti-gay groups and in legislatures across the country – can’t get enough of such descriptions, associating gay sex acts with feces, urine, blood, vomit, and other indelicacies that make for unpopular dinner-party discussion.

The lurid imaginings of Cameron and friends may seem a marginal oddity, just a small, eccentric fish paddling in the sea of propaganda that washes over Americans on a daily basis. But this fish has some mean fangs.

Disgust is a dangerous weapon. According to political philosopher Martha Nussbaum, we must understand its workings if we hope to comprehend how prejudice and discrimination have been hard-wired into this country’s legal system.