Promiscuous Women Detained + More

The American Plan That No One Talks About

In June of 1942, 33-year-old Billie Smith was arrested on the grounds of the Arkansas ordinance prohibiting “immorality.” After paying a ten-dollar fine, Smith was required to undergo a medical examination under the suspicion that she had acquired a sexually transmitted disease, and was arrested after testing positive for syphilis and gonorrhea and placed into what she called a “concentration camp.” As it turns out, she wasn’t alone - over the next few decades, thousands of American women were arrested for contracting STIs and were treated with painful and ineffective methods of remedy.

Image: Historical/Corbis/Getty Images


How The Handmaid’s Tale is a Paradigm of Women’s Sexual Empowerment

HBO’s hit series The Handmaid’s Tale has proven to be apropos of a multitude of issues that women face - sexual harassment, assault, and access to contraception, among others. But what is seldom discussed, even after the latest release of the second season is the power of sexual pleasure, a revolutionary feat for the not-so-distant dystopian-era America. “If we focus on what makes women’s lives happier, healthier, better, more fulfilling, and more pleasurable, many other progressive goals will naturally follow,” says Jill Filipovic, author of The H Spot: The Feminist Pursuit of Happiness.

Image:  Hulu


Consent on Campus: 45 Stories

Trigger warning: This piece presents quotes and stories related to sexual assault.

This interactive piece from the New York Times shows three stages of consent: anticipation, negotiation, and aftermath.  Even as we say that consent is simple— no means no—people’s sexual experiences continue to test the blurred boundaries. In the light of #MeToo, consent is an evermore urgent matter to clarify, especially for the young people whose stories this piece highlights.

Image: The NYTimes


Juggling the Different Brands of Sexism

Tina Fey discusses the most offensive question she says you can ask a woman: “How do you juggle it all?” Being a mother and working in Hollywood result in different judgments from different parts of her life; she and other working mothers are objectified for their fertility and sexual appeal simultaneously, and judged for not living up to one or both.  A raw and honest piece puts the shame where it belongs, on those who judge her, but also gives voice to the dilemmas she and other women deal with as working mothers.

Image: TIna Fey


A Third of Women Student-Athletes Have Mental Health Problems

In a 2016 study performed by the British Journal of Sports Medicine, a reported 30% of female student-athletes exhibited signs of depression, a whole 12% higher than their male counterparts. Although it is unclear why exactly women are more prone to developing mental health problems, there are undeniable expectations placed on women athletes - unrealistic expectations for body image, success, and even happiness placed upon these women add to the already-high stakes of being a student-athlete.  

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Image: Little, Brown and Company /What Made Maddy Run


Smothering the Mother Guilt

How’s this for a Mother’s Day gift: a heaping plate of ‘mother’s guilt.’ Writer Rebecca Huntley discusses what the term means to her as she grapples with the expectations of motherhood, the ways she combats the unwelcome emotion, and the importance of childcare.  She reflects on Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s feminist utopian novel Herland, and the value it places on not only on childcare, but on child care workers.

Image: NOEL_MCLAUGHLIN___noelmc.com for the Guardian