A Word Person Thinks About Bodies

Apparently, even in 2020, there is something suspect, even shameful, about devoting too much page time to the body, despite the fact that we all conduct our lives from within a body. But I’ve been body-observant for years—perhaps because my mother loved her own body.

Mary on the Green

The feminist icon Mary Wollstonecraft is best known as the author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792), a pioneering argument for women’s rights. In the 1980s, I, a New Yorker, fought London’s National Portrait Gallery to see that a compelling portrait of Wollstonecraft was finally put on display. Today, the Mary on the Green […]

Winning the Vote: Momentum and Division

In “The Bostonians,” the North—represented by Olive Chancellor, a wealthy woman’s rights advocate—and the South—represented by the anti-feminist womanizer and very sensual Basil Ransome—fight for control over Verena Tarrant, a young woman with a talent for public speaking who is the daughter of greedy spiritualists and the granddaughter of abolitionists.