Hot pink feather fan with celluloid sticks and guards

Staying Cool with Hand Fans

Fans are much more than convenient cooling devices. They make fashion statements, serve as status symbols, and silently spread political propaganda.
National Police Gazette

Policing Abortion

A study on the criminalization of abortion in the late 1800s through the 1940s reveals that the law was often used against working-class women.
From Sexualpathologie by Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld, 1921

Visualizing Trans Identities

Photography played an important role in determining gender categories and presentations for both scientists and trans individuals in interwar Germany.
At La Souris, Madame Palmyre, 1949 by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

Palmyre’s Belle Époque Lesbian Bar

By providing sexualized entertainment to tourists, the bar owners of Montmartre made visible and even celebrated the quarter’s queer culture.
A meeting of the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) leaders, c.1906 - c.1907

Can a Woman Be a Genius?

Many Edwardian progressives and utopians put their hopes in the exceptional individual who was able to overcome obstacles with a force of will.
A woman breast feeding her child, 13th century

Paying Moms to Breastfeed in Medieval Europe

The idea of offering remuneration to women for breastfeeding—even their own children—wasn’t unusual in late medieval and early modern Europe.
A couple holding hands

The Long History of Same-Sex Marriage

Same-sex marriages, in all possible configurations and with all possible motivations, have taken place throughout the history of the United States.
Studio portrait of American violinist Maud Powell, c. 1909

Women, Men, and Classical Music

As more women embraced music as a profession, more men became worried that the world of the orchestra was losing its masculinity.
Clockwise: Sun Ra, Betty Davis, Janelle Monáe, Erykah Badu, and Jimi Hendrix

The Scholars Who Charted Black Music’s Timeline: Tony Bolden

Tony Bolden explores the spiritual principles that inform the foundation of Afrofuturist music.
Protestors demonstrate during a rally against the transgender bathroom rights repeal at Thomas Paine Plaza February 25, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Transgender Legal Battles: A Timeline

New laws regarding transgender youth are based on the assumption that the gender binary is natural.