“Unforgettable” Shows Promise for Memorable Female Lead

Tonight’s premiere of the new CBS drama “Unforgettable” brings to mind another cable show, “Monk” (2002-2009). “Monk”‘s detective lead had Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), which was both a blessing and a curse–not very practical for trying to enjoy the ordinary parts of life, but really helpful for catching criminals. Now CBS riffs on this concept […]

Lynn Peril’s Fiendish Study of the Secretary

When I started to collect kitschy advice books to women from thrift-store bargain bins in the 1980s, their main attraction was a good laugh. My stash included some gems from the 1970s, such as Helen Gurley Brown’s Sex and the New Single Girl, featuring advice about conducting office affairs with married men, or Partridge Family […]

Rivka Solomon Acts Up, Chronic Fatigue Be Damned

Rivka Solomon’s 2002 anthology, “That Takes Ovaries!,” still inspires action. That book (and play of the same name) even spurred its own international movement, serving as a blueprint for at least 600 open-mike speak-outs and performances in which girls and women celebrate their own “ovarian acts.” But Rivka has done much of this from bed.

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.