‘Vagina Obscura’ Author Rachel E. Gross Takes Us on a Daring Anatomical Voyage

Rachel E. Gross, in her debut book Vagina Obscura: An Anatomical Voyage, takes us on a journey around “the organs traditionally bound up in baby-making―the uterus, ovaries and vagina,” elaborating both on what science knows, and what it doesn’t. (Did you know it wasn’t until 1993 that a federal mandate required researchers to include women and minorities in clinical research?)

Gross recently spoke to Carli Cutchin by phone from her home in Brooklyn. Thoughtful and erudite, she talked about the female and LGBT researchers who’ve made scientific inroads against the odds, the myth that the “clitoral” and “vaginal” orgasms are distinct from each other, a princess who relocated her clitoris, koala vaginas and much more.

The Dream Continues: Amplifying the Voices of Black Women to Achieve Health Equity

Raising awareness about structural racism and empowering Black women to raise our voices are crucial to addressing health and social inequity.

Exclusion of Black women from mainstream world history has effectively masked our contributions to society, helping to facilitate marginalization. An important step in the process towards health equity and social justice involves amplifying the voices of Black women and other marginalized populations by creating spaces for us to tell our own stories.

Front and Center: How the Child Tax Credit and Guaranteed Income “Help Mothers Like Me Get Out of a Continuous Cycle of Poverty”

Front and Center highlights the success of Springboard to Opportunities’ Magnolia Mother’s Trust, which this year will give $1,000 per month for 12 months to 100 families headed by Black women living in federally subsidized housing.

“I carry a really heavy load as a single mom. There’s no one else—everything is on me. So it helped ease my burden a lot when I started getting the monthly child tax credits last year.”

The Supreme Mom Guilt Is Real: Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson and Motherhood

During her historic confirmation hearings, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson saved a “special moment” to address her two daughters directly: “Girls, I know it has not been easy as I have tried to navigate the challenges of juggling my career and motherhood. And I fully admit that I did not always get the balance right.”

Imagine being at the pinnacle of your career, writing a speech that would be heard by millions—but, at the same time, apologizing to your daughters, for whom you wished you’d done more. Like many other working moms, I could imagine just that. But, in many ways, what Jackson was expressing is unique to Black women.

Here’s Why The ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill Won’t Work

I was 25 when I was finally ready to admit I wasn’t straight. I was lucky politics didn’t factor into my journey. It’s a luxury today’s students don’t have, between policies like Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill and the Texas directive that orders state agencies to investigate gender-confirming care. Avoiding these topics won’t stop kids from being queer—it will just leave them feeling isolated. It will leave them closeted and at risk.