Pearl Harbor, 12/7/1941

In an address to Congress on December 8th, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt described December 7th as “a date which will live in infamy.” The decimation of the US Naval fleet at Pearl Harbor led Congress to declare war against Japan and within days, Japan and its allies, Germany and Italy, were at war with the United States. For the next four years, the US fought European fascism on one front and Japanese imperialism on the other in a world war that ended when Truman ushered in the Atomic Age by dropping the A-Bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

On the…

French scholar Michel Foucault captured the centrality of the body in the politics of oppression when claiming it as an “object and target of power, a field on which the hierarchies of power are displayed and inscribed.” Despite woman’s natural reproductive power, for most of western history a patriarchal culture appropriated the power over the female mind and body from women and dispossessed them of voice and control of their bodies. Only in the past fifty years have women in the United States gained political and social equality and control of the discourse about the female body. Both the power…

The OH SNAP of 18% Unemployment in the Age of COVID-19

Masks. Social Distancing. Neighbors yelling salutations across cul de sacs and apartment hallways. Grocery shopping in one direction. No gatherings of more than 10 people. Arbitrary rules in an unprecedented moment. As Thomas Paine declared, “these are the times that try men’s souls” (and all the genders sheltering at home).

Thanks to the COVID-19 response, civil liberties violations increase daily, but most people, in fear of their health or the health of others, are playing nice with the US experiment in totalitarianism as governors shut down businesses, ban elective medical procedures, close parks, schools and hiking trails, mandate shelter at…

The Economic Impact of a Plague

Giacomo Borlone de Buschis, La Danse Macabres

Bizarre how pandemics alter the universe.

Exhibit A: The United States, April 2020
*Exhibit B: The US, September 2020

*A: The price of crude oil = negative $37.63/barrel
*B: September= roughly $43/barrel

*A: US total deaths from COVID-19 =17,229
*B: September=177,177

*A: US unemployment = 18%
*B: September=8.4%

*A: US debt = $25 trillion, 115% of GDP
*B: September=$26.7 trillion, 153% of GDP

If economic forces are the foundation of human action, YIKES. Trump’s suggestion to “Just stay calm. It will go away” is not reassuring.The question is when- and if- the economy will return in the aftermath of this…

How to restore civil discourse in an age of identity politics, government expansion and a pandemic is the question of the hour. Words carry small oceans on their backs, and in a country where Cardi B’s WAP is the song of 2021 (just look at TikTok), language is political. For those citizens befuddled by aggressive protests, civil liberties violations and crippled commerce- caution! Adolph Hitler said, “Demoralize the enemy from within by surprise, terror, sabotage, assassination. This is the war of the future.” Quite apropos.

The Battle between the Tillmans

Ex Parte Tillman was a divorce case, child custody case and legal watershed rolled up into a battle heard before the South Carolina Supreme Court in 1909. Lucy Dugas Tillman eventually won custody of her children but had to wage war against a deeply unjust political and legal machine in a state where divorce was unconstitutional until 1948. Her story is something to think about as Women’s History Month comes to a close.

Benjamin Ryan Tillman, III (known as BR) married Lucy Pickens Dugas in December of 1901, a union that merged two South Carolina political dynasties. Lucy was financially…

March 8th is International Women’s Day, a global day of awareness that celebrates women’s achievements and the continued struggle for women’s equality around the globe. Started in 1911, this day is a great time to reflect on women in history who rose to the #choosetochallenge slogan of the 2021 IWD. Here, the spotlight is on a South Carolina woman who chose to challenge the limitations of regional social mores and work tirelessly to advance opportunities for poor black and white people in her state in the interwar period. …

Native American woman with her child, two views, from Thomas Hariot, A brief and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia

Theda Perdue in “Southern Indians and the Cult of True Womanhood” argues that an integral part of the cultural transformation of Southern Indians was a redefinition of gender roles. The acculturation of Indian women to Euro-American norms required that they conform to ideals characterized by “purity, piety, domesticity and submissiveness,” what Barbara Welter has called the “cult of true womanhood.” A nineteenth-century ideal that extended from the middle class, this notion of womanhood had roots deep in Christianity and western social prescriptions. The eventual adoption of Euro-American gender norms by Indian women, particularly the Cherokee, from the late eighteenth century…

February is Black History Month, and March is Women’s History Month. As this weekend is a bridge between the two, it is a great time to reflect on African American women’s leadership in the early twentieth century. A brief history of African American women-led organizations shows the role they played in politicizing women’s efforts to promote race uplift in an era of political exclusion and discrimination. Moreover, it reveals the power of leadership, perseverance and vision in creating change in American history.

One of the most important organizations for black women at the turn of the twentieth century was the…

I like big butts and I cannot lie — Sir Mix-A-lot

Buttocks, History and Art

The buttocks, bum, ass, backside, rump, hindquarters, money-maker — whatever the reference to the rounded anatomy, it has been a focal point throughout the history of sexual pleasure. The obsession with the posterior of the pelvic region has carried through to the modern world. In western popular culture, a fixation on this particular body part is evident in fashion styles, sex symbols and song lyrics, Baby Got Back by Sir Mix-A-Lot an iconic example. This fixation is rooted in imperialism and a product of colonial voyeurism. …

Mary Mac Ogden

Women are divided into two classes- those who are doing things and those who are not- Do something that makes you proud!

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