People protesting with signs to secure welfare rights.

The Welfare Rights Movement Wanted Society to Value the Work of Child-Rearing

The welfare rights movement of the 1960s and ’70s resisted invasive policies. Their animating vision: that society treat every mother and child with dignity.
Woman smiling mischeviously and holding bottles of liquor

Whiskey, Women, and Work

Prohibition—and its newly created underground economy—changed the way women lived, worked, and socialized.
A toddler at a small table eat a plate of food with a large glass of milk.

Empathy in the Archive: Care and Disdain for Wet Nursing Mothers

The complex story of wet nurses and their children in the time before the advent of baby formula.
Housewife Annie Driver of Hunstanton, Norfolk, scrubbing the floor, while a toddler plays with the water bucket, 1956.

NOW and the Displaced Homemaker

In the 1970s, NOW began to ask hard questions about the women who were no longer "homemakers", displaced from the only role they were thought to need.
Title card for The Class Room, and drawing of a woman holding a child.

How America Got (And Lost) Universal Child Care

The U.S. managed to pay for a child care program during the most expensive war ever. What happened?
Henrietta Rodman walking

How Teachers Won the Right to Get Pregnant

In the early twentieth century, teachers were prohibited from keeping their jobs after getting pregnant. Socialist feminists organized to change that.
Newspaper headline stating "Mrs. Sarah Corleto to become nurse"

How an Embalming License Freed Sarah Corleto from an Abusive Husband

She used her work to live an autonomous life in a time when women were often trapped by socially constructed gender roles and systematic oppression.
A woman speaks at a union rally.

America Once Led the Push For Parental Rights. Now It Lags Behind.

It’s time to adopt paid parental leave as a right.
Sketch on Rosie the Riveter working with a crying baby on her back.

Who Took Care of Rosie the Riveter's Kids?

Government-run childcare was crucial in enabling women’s employment during World War II, but today the program has largely been forgotten.
Octavia E. Butler.

The Spectacular Life of Octavia E. Butler

The story of the girl who grew up in Pasadena, took the bus, loved her mom and grandmother, and wrote herself into the world.
Constance Motley and Randolph Rankin attending City Hall budget hearing, February 25, 1965

The Legal Mind of Constance Baker Motley

The story of Motley's legal career prior to Brown v. Board, and her crucial participation in it.
Illustration of a 1950s woman surrounded by orange flames, pink background

Reading Betty Friedan After the Fall of Roe

The problem no longer has no name, and yet we refuse to solve it.
Mary Kay Ash photo with pink filter.

How Mary Kay Contributed to Feminism – Even Though She Loathed Feminists

Ash derided women’s liberation as “that foolishness” – but her success story is very feminist.
Meghan Rapinoe, member of the U.S. Women's Soccer team, speaking at a podium about Equal Pay Day as President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden stand behind her, masked.

Why International Women’s Day Matters

It’s a chance to spotlight the challenges for women, especially mothers, in the workplace.
Third World Women's Alliance member demonstrating in crowd

How Black Feminists Defined Abortion Rights

As liberation movements bloomed, they offered a vision of reproductive justice that was about equality, not just “choice.”
Young and old hands.

The Pandemic has Exacerbated the Transformation of Grandparenthood

While our perceptions of grandparents have remained static, we've asked them to do a lot more.
Yumi Doi, an activist with Group of Fighting Women, at a protest against sexual discrimination, Tokyo, June 1972

A Work in Progress

Two new books on the history of feminism emphasize global grassroots efforts and the influence of American women labor leaders on international agreements.
Victorian women waving from ship

The Glamour and the Terror: Why Women in the Victorian Era Jumped at the Chance to Go to Sea

The daring women whose transatlantic journeys challenged gender roles.
A woman with a baby

The Feminist History of “Child Allowances”

The Biden administration’s proposed “child allowances” draw on the feminist thought of Crystal Eastman, who advocated “motherhood endowments” 100 years ago.
Equal Rights Amendment supporters cheer for the passage of the House ERA Resolution at the Capitol in Richmond, VA

2021 Could Finally Be the Moment for the Equal Rights Amendment

The turmoil of the coronavirus pandemic could push the amendment across the finish line after a century of work.