The Actor Arashi Wakano as a wakashu in a kappa (raincoat)

The Disappearance of Japan’s “Third Gender”

Gender roles in Edo Japan recognized an in-between position for young men, called Wakashu, that was erased as Japan westernized.
Grand Saloon of the Great Britain

Separate Spheres On Narrow Boats: Victorians At Sea

On the North Atlantic, the ships were small and the trips were long, making it difficult to maintain the land-based social distinctions.
A man with a ham radio

Ham Radio and Gender Politics

During its heyday in the 1950s, ham radio was predominantly a hobby for middle-class men, based in suburban homes.
Family on outdoor picnic

The Sorry History of Car Design for Women

A landscape architect of the 1950s predicted that lady drivers would want pastel-colored pavement on the interstate.
Radha and Krishna Dressed in Each Other’s Clothes

The Bengali Religious Traditions That Transcend Gender

The Baul and Fakir lineages understand the cosmos through pairs of opposite essences, including male and female.
Figures merge female to male

Policing Intersex Americans’ Sex and Gender 

Assigning one sex to people with ambiguous genitalia has a long history in medicine and law.
Terracotta memorial portrait (nsodie) of an Akan ruler from present-day southern Ghana

The “Deviant” African Genders That Colonialism Condemned

European travellers and anthropologists found that their gendered worldview didn’t easily map onto the societies they encountered.
Ernest Hemingway at the Finca Vigia, Cuba 1946

Ernest Hemingway and Gender Fluidity

Despite his reputation for hypermasculinity, the author was fascinated by different forms of gender expression.
Sofia, a skeleton from the Durankulak Necropolis

How the Gender Binary Limits Archaeological Study

One case study demonstrates how contemporary assumptions about gender in ancient societies risk obscuring the larger picture.
An image of the uterus and womb, 1908

The “Scientific” Antifeminists of Victorian England

Nineteenth-century biologists employed some outrageous arguments in order to keep women confined to the home.