Upcoming Infoposts and BBFH

I’m so scatterbrained these days…. well more than usual, hah. I entirely forgot to post my planned schedule for infoposts and BBFH for this year. I was a little behind on my Feb infopost, but I still hope to get March’s up this month. All of this is subject to evolve for any number of reasons, including new recommendations for subjects shared with me. So if you’ve got a great idea, drop it in the comments below!

FEBRUARY: Ida B Wells, Black Journalist b. 1862
MARCH: Rosalind Franklin, chemist who discovered double helix shape of DNA
APRIL: Zheng Yi Sao, Chinese pirate b. 1775
MAY: Liluuokalani, last monarch of Hawaii
JUNE: TBA, let me know your favorite queer icon!
JULY: Poly Styrene, singer for punk band X-Ray Spex
AUGUST: Ada Lovelace, first computer programmer b. 1815
SEPTEMBER: Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, Mexican poet b. 1648
OCTOBER: Kitty Cone, disabled activist b. 1944
NOVEMBER: Susan La Flesche Picotte, Native American doctor b. 1865
DECEMBER: Trieu Thi Trinh, Vietnamese warrior b. 226 CE

FEBRUARY: Reproductive Justice
APRIL: Intersectionality
MAY: Fatphobia
JUNE: Allyship 101
JULY: Clitoris Facts
AUGUST: Patriarchy is bad for men, too
SEPTEMBER: Non-Western Beauty Standards
OCTOBER: Disability rights
NOVEMBER: Childbirth Recovery
DECEMBER: Sexual Violence

Infopost: Reproductive Justice

You are undoubtedly aware of the Reproductive Rights movement, which advocates for access to sex ed, birth control, abortions, and medical care during pregnancy and birth. And those things are absolutely very necessary for the health of individuals as well as for the society which those individuals live in. But those things are all rather limited in the grand scheme of things and as it turns out, we need to recognized the interconnectedness of all things not just through intersectional feminism, but through Reproductive Justice as well.

According to Sister Song, a respected source in the RJ movement since 1997, the Reproductive Justice Movement was named in 1994.

“Indigenous women, women of color, and trans* people have always fought for Reproductive Justice, but the term was invented in 1994. Right before attending the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, where the entire world agreed that the individual right to plan your own family must be central to global development, a group of black women gathered in Chicago in June of 1994. They recognized that the women’s rights movement, led by and representing middle class and wealthy white women, could not defend the needs of women of color and other marginalized women and trans* people. We needed to lead our own national movement to uplift the needs of the most marginalized women, families, and communities.” (1)

Many RJ sources quote Audre Lorde when she said, “There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.”

So what is Reproductive Justice, then? Sister Song defines it as “the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities (1).”

And what does Reproductive Justice look like? It includes awareness and advocacy not just for the same issues as the Reproductive Rights movement calls for, but also for environmental issues, prison reform, economic justice, LGBTQIA+ rights, and it also specifically advocates for the rights of people to have children if they choose – the US in particular has a long and dark history of forced or coerced sterilizations of people of color and disabled folx. So buckle up if you’ve got the spoons for this post, cause it’s gonna be a hard road to walk.

(And please remember, white, cis, straight, abled folx, that when I talk about “spoons” that is not for you in this case. It is your responsibility to learn this history and to share this history among your peers. Marginalized folx already know this and do this.)

Already we recognize that the classism and racism in our culture is toxic and must be eradicated. But it becomes a Reproductive Justice issue when you also acknowledge that without universal, equitable healthcare, many cannot afford it (2). And if one cannot access healthcare, it logically follows that one therefore cannot access birth control, gestational and birth care, cancer and heath screenings, or healthcare for any children one has. Ms. Magazine has a nice little article up that notes how various aspects of economic injustice contribute to a lack of access to healthcare:

  • “women of color are disproportionately segregated into work sectors that are least likely to have access to paid family leave, paid sick leave and protections for pregnant women (2).”
  • “70% of tipped workers are women and they are three times more likely to be in poverty and experience five times the rate of sexual harassment. When the minimum wage goes up to $15, tipped workers will still be left at $5 (2).”
  • “when we talk about domestic abuse, we have to consider the experiences of undocumented people who do not report out of fear of deportation (2).”
  • “At [Planned Parenthood New York City], we see over 64,000 patients every year, many of whom are women of color, low-income and poor, immigrant and undocumented, and young people. Last year, we gave financial assistance to 10,600 patients (2).”

  • We also need to talk about the Hyde Amendment. In 1977, just four years after Roe V Wade, the US backpedaled in the name of “compromise” and “appeasing the Right” and enacted the Hyde Amendment which bars the use of federal funding for most abortions.


    Anyway. Without federal funding, low income folx cannot access most abortions on their own. Which is why we have Planned Parenthood being known for abortions when their original goal was contraception, and the majority of their services are healthcare and cancer screenings.

    But, wait! There’s more!

    “The [Hyde] amendment hinders the ability of all low-income women to terminate a pregnancy and disproportionately affects women of color, but it discriminates against Native women specifically because they are entitled to receive health services from a federal agency (3).”

    I’ll do a post on what intersectionality is at another time, but this is a good example. Many Americans struggle to access healthcare. Women struggle more than men. Women of color more than white women. And, in this respect, at least, Native American women are impacted the most. Where their identities of woman and Indigenous intersect is where they are the most impacted.

    Environmental Justice becomes a Reproductive Justice issue when it interferes with a person’s rights or ability to have and raise (or to not have) a child. This is pretty obvious when you look at the communities struggling during and in the aftermath of major storms like Katrina or Harvey. As global warming continues and storms become more destructive (4) I don’t have to elaborate on how that will affect families, particularly poor families (of which BIPOC make up a disproportionate amount).

    But things like the Flint water crisis are also examples of how Environmental Justice is a fundamental part of Reproductive Justice. Michael Moore reminds us that “you cannot reverse the irreversible brain damage that has been inflicted upon every single child in Flint. The damage is permanent (5).” Furthermore, residents’ reproductive organs may be affected (5). The City of Flint’s website does not have any updates on the situation past last July and this article by a PBS affiliate dated October 2021 notes that “As of June, just over 10,000 pipes have been replaced in Flint and the city’s website says it is in the final stage of replacement, but even still residents struggle to trust that the water is safe to drink (6).”

    If people do not have access to a safe environment in which to raise any children they choose to have, they lack Reproductive Justice. Chernobyl, Fukushima, the BP oil spill in the gulf, the issues with the Cuyahoga River, current and future pipelines, etc…. It’s all included here.

    And a reminder that while these events are global and affect many, many people, it is still BIPOC folx who are affected disproportionately because they are more likely to be living near these places, more likely to live below the poverty line and therefore have fewer options with which to remove themselves. Wealthy white people do not choose to build toxic places near their homes. (Eat the rich, by the way.)

    “Over half (58%) of all women in U.S. prisons are mothers, as are 80% of women in jails, including many who are incarcerated awaiting trial simply because they can’t afford bail (7).”

    When pregnant people are incarcerated, it is still routine within the United States to shackle them during labor and birth despite no evidence that it is necessary. JAAPL notes that “Most incarcerated women are not violent offenders. . . and there are no known escape attempts among inmates who were not restrained during childbirth (8).”

    They also note that “Potential negative health effects of restraints include increased discomfort, limited mobility, increased fall risk, delays in medical assessments during obstetrical emergencies, increased risk of blood clots, interference with normal labor and delivery, and interference with mother–infant bonding (8).”

    And they say that “Currently, 22 states have some legislation restricting the use of shackles during pregnancy, with some of these banning shackling only during active labor and delivery (8).”

    Once the baby is born, they are nearly always separated from their birthing parent in the United States. This is not, it turns out, the global norm. There are only four nations that routinely separate infant and parent: The United States, The Bahamas, Liberia, and Surinam (8).

    The good news is that there are a few prisons in the US that are working to change this. NPR has a really lovely article about this, stating that “Washington Corrections Center for Women is one of at least eight prisons in the country that allows a small number of women who are pregnant and give birth while incarcerated to keep their newborns with them for a limited time (9).” These places aren’t like Orange is the New Black – they are safe and appropriate for babies and toddlers. They are built to be child- and family-oriented and studies have shown that they benefit for the baby and the parent (10).

    Another problem unique to parenting while incarcerated is presented by The Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 which intends to get children out of the foster care system and into adoption as soon as possible. While perhaps a noble goal, for parents whose children are in foster care while they serve their time it becomes a risk of losing ones child altogether. If a child is in foster care for fifteen months of the previous two years, parental rights are terminated (8).

    And a quick reminder here that prisons are literally modern slavery, per the Thirteenth Amendment of the US Constitution. According to Wikipedia, “While the United States represents about 4.2 percent of the world’s population, it houses around 20 percent of the world’s prisoners.” Putting all of this information together together makes the whole situation look kinda sus tbh.

    BIG trigger warning for this whole section.

    Ah, joy of joys. I’ve saved the most fun subject for last. (That’s sarcasm, this is the least fun subject. Maybe. Maybe they’re all equally horrific. The United States is a flat-out dystopia.)

    Did you know that the Nazis quite literally modeled their eugenics program after the United States? After California, specifically, in fact (11). Yeah. Gross.

    “Beginning in 1909 and continuing for 70 years, California led the country in the number of sterilization procedures performed on men and women, often without their full knowledge and consent. Approximately 20,000 sterilizations took place in state institutions, comprising one-third of the total number performed in the 32 states where such action was legal (11).”

    This was a program that specifically focused on the Disabled community. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes famously said, “Three generations of imbeciles are enough” when a disabled woman whose mother was also disabled was sterilized after having a child (11).

    But they didn’t limit themselves to just Disabled folx, they also sterilized minorities. There are noted examples in Puerto Rico (11), and in Los Angeles among Latina women, many of whom were forced to sign papers in a language they did not speak or read while in active labor (watch the documentary No Más Bebés). Time Magazine notes that in the 1970s, at least 25% of Native American women were sterilized, but the numbers are actually likely higher (12).

    But the worst part is that none of this is ancient history (not that 1979 is ancient history…). A number of incarcerated women were sterilized without lawful consent in California in the first decade of this new millennium (13). And don’t forget that as recently as 2020 it came to light that ICE was sterilizing immigrant women without lawful consent (14).

    Access to good, complete sex ed, and to abortions and birth control, as well as to gestational and birth care are absolutely necessary. But, proportionally, white women deal with these other issues less often. And, historically, we tend to forget (or worse) about others when we are doing activism. Hence, Reproductive Justice was born. Just like how feminism isn’t truly feminism if it’s not intersectional, the fight for reproductive freedom means nothing if we don’t remember to include all of these other aspects of being a human.

    Additionally, we must also remember to include LGBTQIA+ issues in our work – but there has not been research done on, for example, trans fathers in prison (also we need to research that and other niche areas). Remember that queer folx need access to birth control and abortions, too. Remember that some men give birth.

    We must remember that the gestational and childbirth mortality rates in the United States are abysmal. We have twice the birth mortality rate compared to other high-income nations at 17.4 per 100,000 births (15). France is next highest with 8.7 deaths per 100,000 births. New Zealand, Norway, and the Netherlands have 3 or fewer deaths per 100,000 births. But wait, it gets worse! For birthing folx who are Black, the rate in the US is 37.1 deaths per 100,000 births. What, and I want to be very clear here, the FUCK? (15)

    None of us are free, while so many of us cannot access their basic human rights. Take this information and share it and together we can begin to fix this mess we call a society.

    Fellow white folx, please remember: While it is absolutely imperative that we make Reproductive Justice a priority, we must remember that it is not our movement. As allies, we should share information, but never speak over BIPOC or any other marginalized community, particularly in a movement they started.

    If you’ve read this far, you’ve earned a cookie.

    1. “Reproductive Justice.” Sister Song, Sister Song, https://www.sistersong.net/reproductive-justice

    2. Ko, Michele. “Economic Justice Issues Are Reproductive Justice Issues.” Ms. Magazine, Ms. Magazine, 8 Feb. 2019, https://msmagazine.com/2016/10/18/wont-wait-issues-economic-justice-issues-reproductive-justice/

    3. Theobald, Brianna. “The Native American Women Who Fought Mass Sterilization.” Time, Time, 5 Dec. 2019, https://time.com/5737080/native-american-sterilization-history/

    4. “Environmental Justice Is Reproductive Justice and Reproductive Justice Is Environmental Justice.” Planned Parenthood, Planned Parenthood, 1 July 2020, https://www.plannedparenthoodaction.org/planned-parenthood-great-plains-votes/blog/environmental-justice-is-reproductive-justice-and-reproductive-justice-is-environmental-justice

    5. Pickens, Josie. “#FlintWaterCrisis Is a Reproductive Justice Issue.” Ebony, Ebony, 2 Feb. 2016, https://www.ebony.com/news/flint-water-crisis-reproductive-justice/

    6. Blakely, Natasha. “Seven Years on: The Flint Water Crisis Has Yet to Conclude.” Great Lakes Now, PBS, 27 Oct. 2021, https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/10/seven-years-flint-water-crisis/

    7. Bertram, Wanda, and Wendy Sawyer. “Prisons and Jails Will Separate Millions of Mothers from Their Children in 2021.” Prison Policy Initiative, https://www.prisonpolicy.org/blog/2021/05/05/mothers-day-2021/

    8. Friedman, Susan Hatters, et al. “The Realities of Pregnancy and Mothering While Incarcerated.” Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Online, 13 May 2020, http://jaapl.org/content/early/2020/05/13/JAAPL.003924-20

    9. Corley, Cheryl. “Programs Help Incarcerated Moms Bond with Their Babies in Prison.” NPR, NPR, 7 Dec. 2018, https://www.npr.org/2018/12/06/663516573/programs-help-incarcerated-moms-bond-with-their-babies-in-prison

    10. Clarke, Matthew. “Benefits of Allowing Prisoners to Raise Babies Born in Prison.” Prison Legal News, Human Rights Defense Center, 3 June 2016, https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/news/2016/jun/3/benefits-allowing-prisoners-raise-babies-born-prison/

    11. Ko, Lisa. “Unwanted Sterilization and Eugenics Programs in the United States.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 19 Nov. 2020, https://www.pbs.org/independentlens/blog/unwanted-sterilization-and-eugenics-programs-in-the-united-states/

    12. Theobald, Brianna. “The Native American Women Who Fought Mass Sterilization.” Time, Time, 5 Dec. 2019, https://time.com/5737080/native-american-sterilization-history/

    13. Johnson, Corey G. “Female Prison Inmates Sterilized Illegally, California Audit Confirms.” Reveal, 2 July 2015, https://revealnews.org/article/female-prison-inmates-sterilized-illegally-california-audit-confirms/

    14. Narea, Nicole. “The Outcry over Ice and Hysterectomies, Explained.” Vox, Vox, 15 Sept. 2020, https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2020/9/15/21437805/whistleblower-hysterectomies-nurse-irwin-ice

    15. “Maternal Mortality and Maternity Care in the United States Compared to 10 Other Developed Countries.” Commonwealth Fund, 18 Nov. 2020, https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/issue-briefs/2020/nov/maternal-mortality-maternity-care-us-compared-10-countries

    BBFH: Ida B Wells

    Damn, I knew this lady was a badass bitch, but when I dove into this research I was thrilled to learn exactly how few fucks she had to give. T Thomas Fortune, a Black civil rights leader, journalist, and publisher, once said of Ida that she “has plenty of nerve; she is as smart as a steel trap, and she has no sympathy with humbug.” And like damn if that’s not accurate. Let’s dive in and see just how little sympathy with humbug this badass bitch had.

    Born into slavery about six months before Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation*, Ida’s childhood was informed by the Reconstruction era and the work that Black folx of the South were doing at the time. Something that may be important to note here, that I certainly never learned in high school history, is that in the years directly following the end of the Civil War, there were as many as 1500 Black officeholders elected to office before white southerners began enacting voter restriction laws. Ida’s father was not in government, but he did help to found Rust College, an HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities), which Ida attended. So she comes from a family of Badasses.

    Unfortunately when she was a teenager, she lost both of her parents and one of her siblings during a yellow fever epidemic. Out of this tragedy, she arose, pulled up her badass britches, and stepped into the path of no humbug that she followed her whole life.

    Although she was only sixteen at the time, she convinced a local school administrator that she was eighteen and qualified to be a teacher (1). In this manner she was able to continue to support her five younger surviving siblings.

    A few years later, a rather inciting incident took place. She bought a first class train ticket and hopped on board with all the other first class passengers. Once the train was underway, she was asked to move to a car designated for Black riders. Like Rosa Parks would nearly a century later, Ida refused. She’d paid for first class, for fucks sake. Having no respect for human beings, the crew tried to physically remove her at which point she, in her own words, “fastened [her] teeth in the back of his hand (2).” Fuck yeah you did, Ms. Wells! While that particular dudebro would not go near her again, other crew members dragged her out anyway. Ida wrote, “They were encouraged to do this by the attitude of the white ladies and gentlemen in the car; some of them even stood on the seats so that they could get a good view and continued applauding the conductor for his brave stand (2).” She sued the railroad and won. For a time, anyway. The decision was eventually reversed by the Tennessee Supreme Court (1).

    So, like so many badass bitches, she began writing. She had articles published in various newspapers and even went on to own two papers herself (1). However, because she preferred to remain not murdered, she used the pseudonym “Iola” (3). She continued teaching even while she was writing and often wrote about the inferior conditions of Black schools, demanding equality.

    When three of her friends were lynched, she responded in the only way she knew how: she spent two months travelling through the south, collecting information on lynchings and writing about them, and eventually publishing a pamphlet and taking her anti-lynching campaign across the Atlantic to Europe and Great Britain (3). She was not fucking around. No sympathy with humbug.

    It feels like such a silly detail to follow that epic part of her story with, but in reality I think it’s remarkable to remember that when Ida got married in 1895, she was one of the first American women to keep her maiden name (1). Fuck yeah. No sympathy with humbug patriarchy, y’all. Never forget where we come from, fellow women. It may be commonplace today to keep our names, but it was revolutionary at one time and Ida got in on the ground floor.

    But she wasn’t just an investigative journalist, writer, publisher, orator, educator, wife, and mother. She was also a suffragist.

    (Fun fact because I like fun facts: “suffragette” is a term that actually only applied to one small group of suffragists in Great Britain who were kinda known for their mild violence. Throwing bricks through windows and whatnot. Everyone else was a “suffragist.”)

    When I am educating people on feminism and feminist ideals, I often remind them that feminism has historically been exclusionary. The suffragists excluded Black women, the women’s libbers excluded lesbians, and today some so-called feminists attempt to exclude transwomen. I use this fact as proof that it’s time to learn from our history and do better. Ironically, it’s always been an attempt to appeal to the perceived majority that prompts the exclusion. An attempt to “find the middle ground” (lol sorry but it’s not the middle ground if all of the people aren’t welcomed into the space).

    Ida faced this directly. Having no sympathy for humbug, she did what Ida always did: what she fucking set her mind to.

    In March of 1913, Alice Paul and other suffragists had planned a march on Washington. Ida traveled to Washington DC with the Alpha Suffrage Club, an organization she helped to found in Chicago, with the intent to March. Although Alice was sympathetic to Ida, in the end it was decided that Black suffragists would have to march at the end of the parade instead of with their respective organizations. Ida was like fuck no everyone knows I’ve got no sympathy for humbug and she waited in the crowds along the street until her group marched by, at which point she just fucking joined them (4).

    The Chicago Daily Tribune published a photo of Ida B. Wells marching in the suffrage parade on March 5, 1913. Credit: Chicago Daily Tribune, found at wttw.com (4)

    God I love this woman.

    There is so much more she was involved with that this mini-bio doesn’t have time to go into. She’s considered a founding member of the NAACP, for instance (1). I highly recommend you go forth and google some shit. If each of us can find just a fraction of the amount of No Sympathy For Humbug that Ida did, we could change the world for the better real fucking fast. Keep that in mind, friends.

    *Remember, slavery did not end until… well, technically ever if you read the thirteenth amendment, which specifically allows for slavery as “punishment for crime,” but the amendment’s act of ending chattel slavery was not proclaimed until December 18, 1865.

    Works Cited
    1. “Ida B. Wells (U.S. National Park Service).” National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, 30 Dec. 2020, https://www.nps.gov/people/idabwells.htm.
    2. Leider, Polly. “Excerpt from ‘Lighting the Way.’” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 16 July 2007, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/excerpt-from-lighting-the-way/.
    3. Smith, Clint, host. Ida B. Wells: Crash Course Black American History #20. Crash Course, YouTube.com, 8 Oct. 2021, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocbAfpjibr4. Accessed 15 Feb. 2022.
    4. “Standing up for Her Principles: Ida B. Wells and the Suffrage Movement: Ida B. Wells: Chicago Stories.” WTTW Chicago, WTTW Chicago, 21 May 2021, https://interactive.wttw.com/chicago-stories/ida-b-wells/standing-up-for-her-principles-ida-b-wells-and-the-suffrage-movement.

    Update (Marissa)

    Previous post here.

    Update January 2022:
    Since those early months postpartum, I have added another sweet kiddo to our family. My son is about to turn 3, and I am almost 1 year postpartum from my second. Not much has changed physically since my first – besides becoming more active. I am now 26! Here are some update photos. I’m not the same woman I was in my first post – I’m so glad. I have come to grow and release much of my harsh words to myself. Here are photos of my bodily changes between 5-10 months postpartum after my second. My advice is to accept this journey where you are – & know that you will continue to change inside and out. Wear the cute outfit, bathing suit, don’t give up on exercise if you loved it before, don’t consider yourself less worthy of good health. I started a workout program just because I love fitness. I found myself almost depriving myself because I knew it wouldn’t “fix my loose skin” but I realized… so? It helps me be a healthier happier person – shouldn’t I invest? So I did. Best wishes my friends.

    Adidas Reveals New Ad That’s Just Boobies

    Have you seen this new Adidas ad?? I know it’s still trying to sell us something and I don’t trust any major corporation to be interested in anything but profit but even still I’ll take this bit of representation of how varied bodies can be. And if you needed this today, don’t forget to check out the o.g. body normalizing site, 007 Breasts.

    All boobies are good boobies.

    [Image shows a tweet by Adidas advertising their new sports bras by showing off 25 topless women with all sorts of boobs. Small ones, large ones, white ones, boobies of color, perky ones, ones pointing down, lopsided ones, ones with vitiligo.]

    Facts About Sex & Gender

    A couple of months ago on our Facebook page, we had an invasion of TERFs. TERF, if you don’t know is an acronym that stands for “Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist,” or someone who defines themselves as a feminist, yet fights against trans rights. It has been proposed that perhaps FART, or Feminism-Appropriating Radical Transphobe, might be a more apt name and I cannot argue. It’s not feminism if it’s not intersectional. *shrug*

    Over the course of the invasion I realized that a lot of folx simply do not have the most up-to-date information about sex and gender. For instance, modern science now fully recognizes that the human spectrum of sexes is not a simple binary of male and female, and that those folx whose physical traits do not align with either male or female are not “broken” or in need of fixing, but that, simply, there are many ways to be human and “male” and “female” are merely two of them. So I knew my next infopost needed to address these topics. Sit back and get ready to learn some really cool shit. Humanity is far more diverse than our society has ever given it credit for, and frankly, I think that’s beautiful as fuck.


    Aren’t sex & gender the same thing?


    What is sex? In this context, “sex” refers to the physical characteristics of a person’s body. I.e. the parts that are used to assign genders at birth or genetic information.

    What is gender? “Gender,” on the other hand, is a set of socially constructed behaviors and/or characteristics that typically go with a person’s sex, although they do not always align.

    Sex and gender do interact with each other, but they are not the same thing.

    When we define terms, PLEASE REMEMBER that definitions can help us to communicate more clearly but that people are more important than dictionary definitions and that as languages evolve, so does our understanding of words and their definitions! So these definitions may be new to you, but that’s okay!

    Isn’t transgender a new concept?

    Western culture, on the whole, has not historically had a unifying definition of gender outside of male/female. Within American culture and the cultures that formed American culture (stemming from Christianity, really), transgender is a relatively new concept to us. That doesn’t mean that trans folx never existed! In fact we have records of many people “living as” the opposite gender to the one they were assigned at birth. But these instances were rarely public knowledge, likely due to the punishments trans folx would receive at the time (2).

    However, other cultures have long acknowledged three or more genders. The UN Free & Equal, an initiative of the UN Humans Rights Office, has an excellent map that shows some of the cultures which have historically acknowledged sexes, genders, and sexual orientations outside the binary (3). (Please note this link is fussy- it always gives me an error the first time. Usually works the second time.) Among them are listed indigenous cultures from the Americas, Russia, Indonesia, Asia, as well as European and Mediterranean cultures dating back to the Enlightenment and ancient times. Worldwide, queer folx have always existed and have been culturally acknowledged.

    How many human sexes are there, really?

    Intersex is the appropriate term today for folx whose bodies do not physically align with either male or female. Older terms you may have heard are no longer considered polite and h*rmaphrodite is considered a slur. Amnesty International has a good, short article debunking five common myths about intersex folx (4). Click the link for more information, but I’ll highlight a few here:

    Being intersex is rare. As we learn more about genetics and hormones, we discover people who may not have otherwise been aware that they are intersex. In recent years a 70 year old man and father of four had surgery to repair a hernia during which it was discovered that he had a uterus (5). Some intersex conditions are only known through chromosomal or genetic workups (5). And some medical professionals and folx with PCOS consider this to be an intersex condition, although there is not yet a firm consensus (6). All told it is estimated that there are about as many intersex folx on the planet as there are redheads (4). (I do not believe PCOS is counted in those numbers. For more info on how PCOS can be considered intersex, check out Hans Lindahl’s video on Youtube.)

    Being intersex is a condition that needs to be corrected. Our culture has been so obsessed with the gender binary that we have performed painful and irreversible surgeries on children and infants, often without their consent (4). “Although doctors and parents may be well meaning, the reality is that the procedures performed on intersex children can cause major problems, including infertility, pain, incontinence and lifelong psychological suffering (4).”

    Intersex folx are transgender. I mean some of them may be, but ultimately the two conditions are fundamentally different conditions. “An intersex person may be straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual or asexual, and may identify as female, male, both or neither (4).” Just like being born cis male or cis female, “intersex” refers only to the physical self, while “transgender” refers to the person’s internal identity of who they are.


    NEVER ask someone about their genitals. That is personal information and it is NONE of your business!

    People are more than their genitals, and your job as an ally is to simply trust that a person knows who they are and to use the language they ask you to use.

    What do trans rights mean for feminism?

    It is important to note that transgender folx – and intersex folx – being accepted and embraced by the feminist and queer movements is not in any way harmful to those movements. This is one argument I hear from TERFs all the time; they accuse me of somehow harming women by being inclusive of trans folx. I honestly cannot comprehend such a thought. When your feminism is intersectional, it already includes marginalized folx. The patriarchy is bad for everyone, even white men. All “patriarchy” means is that men hold the power, not that they spiritually and wholly benefit from it. That can be another post for another day; today I want to talk about the history of feminism.

    As a scholar of women’s history I have learned that the suffragist movement systematically kept Black suffragists out. I have learned that second wave feminism, while being somewhat more racially inclusive, excluded the queer community, calling lesbians “The Lavender Menace” (for real tho is there a gay riot grrl band named The Lavender Menace yet because there should be).

    TERFs are nothing more than the next wave of exclusionary feminists. They are entirely unoriginal and utterly boring. To truly be worthy of the term “radical” one would have to be doing something new and unprecedented. Alas.

    If one is not making sure their feminism is intersectional, they aren’t really doing the work of Feminism. Rather, they are doing the work of the patriarchy, of white supremacy, of capitalism, of oppressors.

    This umbrella is big enough for all of us. Make room or get out.

    Thank you for coming to my Ted talk.

    All of this is not knowledge I was given as I was growing up. Much of the genetic knowledge of sex is more recent than my high school biology education from the dark ages in the 90s. It’s okay to have not known this stuff before now. But as we know better, we do better. Make sure to make room for your trans and intersex friends and don’t gatekeep them because you simply didn’t have the right info.


    1. “Gender and Health.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization, https://www.who.int/health-topics/gender.

    2. “History of Transgender People in the United States.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 14 Dec. 2021, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_transgender_people_in_the_United_States.

    3. “Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Throughout History.” UN Free & Equal, UNFE.org. https://www.unfe.org/system/unfe-74-SEXUAL_ORIENTATION_AND_GENDER_IDENTITY_ARE_NOTHING_NEW_PDF.pdf.

    4. “Its Intersex Awareness Day – Here Are 5 Myths We Need to Shatter.” Amnesty International, Amnesty International, 11 Oct. 2021, https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/10/its-intersex-awareness-day-here-are-5-myths-we-need-to-shatter/

    5. Ainsworth, Claire. “Sex Redefined: The Idea of 2 Sexes Is Overly Simplistic.” Scientific American, Scientific American, 22 Oct. 2018, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/sex-redefined-the-idea-of-2-sexes-is-overly-simplistic1/

    6. Lindahl, Hans. “Is PCOS Intersex?” Hi, Hello, Hans, YouTube, 20 Nov. 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-jN13Cw7XU. Accessed 5 Jan. 2022.

    40 and finally accepting (Ruth)

    Hi, I’m a 40 year old mother of three. My last pregnancy was my third and last Caesarean section 14 years ago. I had heavy babies, and at my heaviest (during pregnancy) I have weighed 210lbs. I now weigh 154lbs and wear a UK size 12. I have an overhang which I don’t think I’ll ever lose without surgery. I do Yoga daily and my body is very strong, but my skin is very loose! Everything else on my body escaped pretty much unscathed, except my tummy which I am still self conscious of, but less so than in my younger days.

    If my pictures help any other mother to feel ‘normal’ (I mean, what’s that anyway??) then I’ll be happy. I spent too many years hating my body, despite the miracles it has performed.

    Time to accept it and begin to love myself again.

    Hymen Facts – Is Virginity Even REAL?

    Image text: Hymen Facts Image shows six sketches of hymens. First, a ring of tissue around the vaginal opening. Second a very thin ring of tissue. Third shows a vaginal opening nearly covered except for a sort of slit in the middle. Fourth shows two openings in the tissue. Fifth shows a medium-sized ring of tissue around the vaginal opening. Last shows a hymen with several small holes in it.

    Spoiler alert: nope! It’s a construct we made up! Read on for more info on hymens.

    Image shows a sketch of a vulva with text labeling the anatomy: clitoris, urethra, vaginal opening, and hymen, also called vaginal corona.

    Hymens don’t necessarily break when something is inserted into the vagina (1).
    And they can break without any vaginal insertion: through injury, or masturbation, etc (1).
    Hymens change in size, shape, and flexibility across a person’s lifespan (1).
    The hymen will often tear during the first vaginal birth (2).
    Hymens have very few blood vessels and may not even bleed when torn (1).
    There is no universal definition of the term “virginity” – its meaning varies by era, culture, and religion (3).
    Clinicians are not trained or educated on the complexities of the hymen (1).
    The term “intact hymen” has no anatomical correlate and should not be used (3).

    If you want this information in the social media formats or in a printable flyer you can use for your clients or students click here.


    1) Mishori, R. “The Little Tissue That Couldn’t
    2) Frye, Anne “Healing Passage
    3) WHO “Eliminating Virginity Testing
    4) drawings by Nina Reimer

    Just a quick update – forgive the mess around here!

    Hello, friends!

    I’ve been pretty devastatingly disabled for the last two and a half years, as many of you know. It’s been particularly difficult to recover because of the particular hellscape that is medical and mental health care in the United States. I’ve only recently been able to access a doctor who recognizes my ADHD and is willing to treat it – but I have to pay out of pocket to do so. In any case, whoa boy has Adderall been changing my *life*. Suddenly tasks that used to make me feel like I was drowning, feel reasonable. It’s incredible to simply be able to say “I should do laundry” and THEN I JUST DO THE LAUNDRY. What? That’s not to say I’m all better. I still struggle almost daily with depression, anxiety, long-term autistic burnout, and, yes, the ADHD as well. I feel on the upswing for the first time in two years, but I know it’s still quite a ways until I am back to my old self, and even longer before I am back to my old self AND ALSO treating and correctly accommodating for the neurodivergence I spent 41 years undiagnosed with. Undiagnosed without? That sentence was kind of a journey, and I apologize or something? haha

    All that said, I have slowly been getting back to work here and in our social media spaces. I have been publishing both infoposts and Badass Bitches posts. I have been posting at Tiktok (both personal and professional stuff) and sharing some of those in reels at Instagram. And, you may notice, I’ve removed ads from this website. In truth, this was primarily because earnings have changed and it was no longer worth it to have the code all fucked up because of ads doing nothing for me, monetarily. But it’s always been a goal. I had just hoped to be more financially stable when I finally got to this place, haha I’ve also been trying to relearn how to manage the design aspect of this site, but two years of my brain being mush has apparently rotted all that I previously knew so it’s taking some time to relearn it and I apologize that things are kind of wonky for now. Wonky but functional is like my whole aesthetic.

    Thanks for sticking around. I’ll soon be actively asking for submissions again. And if you happen to have sent a submission in during this time when I was not functional (but always wonky!) please be patient as I *will* get to it.

    Healing from a mental health crisis without social or familial support is a long process. Thank you so much for sticking through it with me. Love to you all.

    A Timeline of Fashionable Bodies

    banner image for blog post A Timeline of Fashionable Bodies

    This one began as a project in my Women’s Studies 102 class that I took as part of my WS minor a few years ago. We had to create a zine on a feminist topic and my group did body image (of course lol). I wound up creating this idea of a timeline showing how popular body shapes have changed over the years. I think it’s a powerful concept to keep in mind as we go through the work of learning to love, or at least accept, the bodies we live in. The idea that we could go from a curvy af Gibson Girl to a straight, skinny Flapper within just 20 years blows my mind. Because unlike clothing, one cannot change the shape of their body at will.

    Before I go on, I want to just ask that you keep in mind that a body’s primary function is to serve the person who lives in it. I know it may not always serve it perfectly, or even well enough, but if you are reading this, it is serving you. It is for you to experience the world through sense. It is for you to think and learn and grow. It is for you to give and receive pleasure. It is not for others, ever. You may very well choose to share it with others in various ways (sex, pregnancy, or more). But it is always primarily for you. The fact that society has made us all believe it is meant to look a certain way is simply toxic and manipulative. And you deserve better. That’s why we’re here doing this work.

    OK here we go!

    banner 2 The Gibson Girl

    1890s – The Gibson Girl

    The “Gibson Girl” is named for Charles Dana Gibson whose illustrations made these bodies iconic. The waists were made to appear extra tiny because of the use of corsets and other illusions (1).

    A Belgian actress and model, Camille won $2,000 in the early 1900’s in a contest to find a real life Gibson Girl (2).

    banner 3 The Flapper

    1920s – The Flapper

    By the 1920s the flapper was all the rage with her straight, flat-chested, boyish figure, and short bob hairstyles.

    The Gibson Girl shape was often synonymous with Suffragists (2). The flapper was also a style identified with independent women (3). What do other body shapes of different eras symbolize?

    banner 4 The Sexpot

    1950s – The Sexpot

    To this day, we consider Marilyn Monroe to be the epitome of classic beauty and femininity with her curvy figure and blonde hair. We often try (incorrectly) to compare her size with modern sizes, or her body with modern celebrities (4).

    Marilyn is remembered as a ditzy, superficial, social climber but she was actually a highly intelligent, resourceful, and independent woman who worked for equity in her industry

    banner 5 The Stick Figure

    1960s – The Stick Figure

    Only about a decade later, we swung wildly back to straight and skinny bodies like Twiggy’s, an English teenager who became one of the first international supermodels.

    Twiggy was associated with the Mods of the UK, and like all youth counterculture movements, the Mods pushed back on archaic societal ideals. Not unlike the Flappers of the 20s.

    banner 6 Fitness Curves

    1980s – Fitness Curves

    By the 1980’s we wanted curves again, but in the decade of Jazzercize and fitness videos, women were expected to be physically fit as well. Or to appear that way, at least. Eating disorders were on the rise in the 70s and 80s (5).

    banner 7 Skinny Again

    1990s – Skinny Again

    Bodies like Fiona Apple’s or Kate Moss’ of the 90s are often called “heroin chic” which is cringeworthy. Bodies of all sizes, shapes, colors, abilities, and in all states of health are good bodies!

    Besides, heroin addiction is nothing to be flippant about!

    banner 8 Gibson 2.0?

    2010s – Gibson 2.0?

    In the 2010s, women were expected to have extreme curves and *also* a thigh gap. What in the misogyny??

    Think about how the Kardashians are percieved for their bodies. How have our attitudes towards body shapes and the women who live in them changed over the last century?

    Remember that your body doesn’t exist to be viewed, but to carry you through your life.

    All Bodies are Good Bodies:
    fat bodies, skinny bodies, curvy bodies, straight bodies, trans bodies, disabled bodies, intersex bodies, bodies of color, tall bodies, short bodies, ALL bodies

    banner 9 Sources Cited Below

    1. Chopin, Kate. “The 1900’s Answer to Barbie- the Gibson Girl.” Kate Chopin, Loyola University: New Orleans, http://people.loyno.edu/~kchopin/new/women/gibsongirl.html.

    2. “The Prince Of Pilsen: The People In The Piece.” The Play Pictorial. XXII (IV): 144. August 1904. https://books.google.com/books?id=YVIZAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA3-PA144#v=onepage&q&f=false.

    3. History.com Editors. “Flappers.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 6 Mar. 2018, https://www.history.com/topics/roaring-twenties/flappers.

    4. Berlin, Erika. “What Dress Size Was Marilyn Monroe, Actually?” Mental Floss, Mental Floss, 30 July 2015, https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/66536/what-dress-size-was-marilyn-monroe-actually.

    5. Deans, Emily. “A History of Eating Disorders.” Psychology Today, Psychology Today, 11 Dec. 2011, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/evolutionary-psychiatry/201112/history-eating-disorders.