racism

When America Sterilized Women of Color

Forcible sterilizations of black women in the South were so frequent in the 1960s, civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer nicknamed them Mississippi appendectomies. Cristen and Caroline chart the disturbing American practice of nonconsensually sterilizing women of color and the eugenics movement that started it.

Colorism

Why does lighter skin improve women's chances of getting through school, getting a job and getting married? Cristen and Caroline explore the historical roots, repercussions and cross-cultural shades of colorism around the world.

The First Lady of the Black Press

When trailblazing reporter Ethel Payne died, The Washington Post eulogized that had Payne "not been black, she certainly would have been one of the most recognized journalists in American society." Cristen and Caroline uncover the history and significance of black newspapers in the U.S. and the incredible legacy of one its brightest stars.

The Anita Hill Effect

In 1991, Anita Hill testified before the U.S. Senate that then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas sexually harassed her when they worked together. Cristen and Caroline talk about the significance, gender and racial dynamics, and lasting impact of Hill's public hearing that captivated the nation.

NASA's Hidden Computer Women

When NASA was formed in 1958, its prized pool of all-female "computers" desegregated. Until then, mathematicians of color -- including Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Katherine Johnson -- worked, ate and used the restroom in a separate facilities. Cristen and Caroline shed overdue light on Johnson and her brilliant West Computer teammates who helped launch America into space.

Why Slut Is the Dirtiest Four-Letter Word

Throughout it's 500-year etymological evolution from the kitchen to the bedroom, "slut" has been steeped in a filthy combination of classism, racism and sexism. No reclamation needed.

Pocahontas and the Indian Princess Myth

The Pocahontas myth has perpetuated the "Indian Princess" stereotype since the 17th century. Cristen and Caroline explore how this stereotype mangles the true history of Native American women and mythbust the Disney version of Pocahontas.

"Spicy" Latinas

Stereotypes about Latinas' bodies and behaviors abound, and perhaps none are more pop culturally persistent than that of the "spicy" Latina. Cristen and Caroline, trace the history behind this on-screen trope that's endured from Carmen Miranda to Sofia Vergara.

Exotic Beauty

When Lupita Nyong'o won her Academy Award in early 2014, she was widely hailed as an "exotic" starlet, despite her not-so-exotic rise to stardom. Cristen and Caroline explore the broader intersections of race and Western beauty constructs and the multilayerd problem of exoticizing non-white beauty.