Alice Paul ERA

Why the Equal Rights Amendment Hasn’t Been Ratified Yet

Suffragist Alice Paul proposed the ERA in 1923. Congress approved it in the 1970s. So why isn't the amendment part of the Constitution?
Catherine Beecher

The Women Who Tried to Prevent the Trail of Tears

In the 1830s, American women, including Catherine Beecher, worked to fight Andrew Jackson’s genocidal Indian Removal campaign.
segregation

How Global Colonialism Shaped Segregation

One of the first U.S. municipal laws demanding residential segregation, passed in 1910 in Baltimore, has roots in European colonial policies.
politics of women reading

When Reading Inspired Women to Change History

The "Friday Night" group was a cohort of prominent nineteenth century Baltimore women who met each week to read, write, and debate social issues.
Treadmills atonement

Treadmills Were Meant to Be Atonement Machines

America’s favorite piece of workout equipment was developed as a device for forced labor in British prisons. It was banned as cruel and inhumane by 1900.
Sex trafficking

The Complicated Reality of “Sex Trafficking”

Anthropologist Jennifer Musto looked at how the rise in concern about sex trafficking, particularly in regard to the domestic trafficking of underage girls, actually plays out in policing.
Old West Crossdressing

The Forgotten Gender Nonconformists of the Old West

In the Old West, cross-dressing was sometimes a disguise for criminals on the lam. But, one historian argues, in many cases these “cross-dressers” were probably people who we would identify as transgender today.
Alaskan woman and child

Alaska’s Unique Civil Rights Struggle

A generation before Rosa Parks, a young Eskimo-American woman was arrested for sitting in the "whites only" section of a Nome, Alaska move theater.
Nuns and cows

How Frontier Nuns Challenged Gender Norms

Scholars Carol K. Coburn and Martha Smith write that nuns were an important part of westward expansion—and in Colorado, nuns quickly learned how to use their gender to their advantage.
Women moonshiners bootleggers

How Prohibition Encouraged Women to Drink

During Prohibition, American women “made, sold, and drank liquor in unprecedented fashion,” writes historian Mary Murphy.