E.J. Graff

E.J. Graff writes on social-justice and human-rights issues, particularly discrimination and violence against women and children; marriage and family policy; and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender lives. She is a resident scholar at the Brandeis Women's Studies Research Center and the author of What Is Marriage For? The Strange Social History of Our Most Intimate Institution (Beacon Press, 1999, 2004).

Recent Articles

Obit Day

Today is obit day. The nation lost three visionaries, as you’ve heard by now: Steve Jobs, the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth, and Derrick Bell. Others have said what there is to say, brilliantly. But such a day of losses made me think of a Gerard Manley Hopkins poem I try to say to someone every autumn. Close your office door and read it aloud. 

Spring and Fall

to a young child


MÁRGARÉT, áre you gríeving

My Body, Myself

(Homepage photo credit: Georgia O'Keeffe, Grey Line with Black, Blue, and Yellow, 1923. Houston Museum of Fine Arts.)

So you've been watching those early '60s nostalgia shows in fascinated horror -- oh lord, women really had to live like that -- and wondering: How in the world did that world change into this one?

Where Are All the Same-Sex Couples At?

Thanks to the tireless demographer Gary Gates of UCLA's Williams Institute, NPR has an interactive map of where in the U.S., according to the census, the most same-sex couples live. (Or at least, where you can find same-sex couples who feel safe enough to tell the census that they're together.) As you'd imagine, every state has an outpost where the lesbians and gay men flock if they want to get a little bit away from their unwelcoming small town or family -- but not so far that they can't go home to visit the nephews or help with Thanksgiving.

Poor, Poor Rich People

Over at The Washington Post, Barbara Ehrenreich feels terrible, just terrible about the problems of the super-rich, who can't dress the way they want to. She describes a New Yorker profile of Daphne Guinness

The Best Man-Splanation

In response to my article yesterday about offices where sexism is a low-grade fever -- and let's be clear, this definitely happens in progressive and journalistic organizations as well as in finance, manufacturing, and all the rest -- Amanda Marcotte tweeted at me that the word "mansplaining" can sometimes help counter the problem. Aha! Yes -- naming things can help get rid of them! But this new coinage I had not yet heard, so I asked her for examples. Herewith: