Christmas, Written by Women

From a former slave to two Nobel laureates, a selection of women writers in modern history and their often-overlooked narratives of Christmas.

When the Cult of Celebrity Devours Meaningful History

Katharine Houghton Hepburn helped American women secure the vote and reproductive freedom. Her daughter was a four-time Oscar winner. Chances are, you know about the actress, but not the activist.

The Unusual Union That Led to the World’s First Feminist Government

Sweden’s history provides insight into how it has quietly established itself as one of the most gender equal countries in the world, while the United States continues to loudly squabble over legislation guaranteeing equal legal rights regardless of gender.

Forget About Jack, You Don’t Know Matilda (but you should)

Matilda Joslyn Gage, who wrote about how cumulative advantage (a principle not named until a century later) erased women and their achievements from history, was herself erased from history because of cumulative advantage. The reason why You Don’t Know Matilda involves the Bible and science.

Condemn Her Actions to Silence Her Words

How the dangerously powerful words of two of history’s original “nasty women,” Olympe de Gouges and Mary Wollstonecraft, were silenced, suppressed, and nearly lost to history.

A President’s Son-in-Law, Nepotism and Treason

When the son-in-law of POTUS 2 John Adams used the valuable government position he had gained through nepotism to help a Venezuelan friend start a revolution against Spain, he threatened a precarious peace between America and Spain, and endangered the lives of unsuspecting American citizens. Two centuries later, it’s a salient reminder of how nepotism and politics can be a disastrous combination.

The Surprising 17th Century Origins of Radical Feminism

Almost 350 years after it was written, the feminist philosophy of François Poullain de la Barre still resonates on subjects like gender, prejudice, intersectionality, and the role of men in women’s fight for equality.

“Princess Qajar” and the Problem with Junk History Memes

Junk history is embodied perfectly in a recent viral meme that portrays a nineteenth-century Persian princess with facial hair alongside the claim that 13 men killed themselves over their unrequited love for her. While it fails miserably at historical accuracy, the meme succeeds at demonstrating how easily viral clickbait obscures and overshadows rich and meaningful stories from the past.