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

Moms Behaving Badly

I hate these stories. A couple in love decides to start a family. They do. Their bond cracks under the strain of parenting (parents, y’all know exactly what I’m talking about). As they break up, instead of putting the child’s well-being first, one of them tries to keep the other one entirely out of their child’s life. In this case, both parents are women, “law enforcement officers,” according to the AP. In order to have their bond to their child be mutual from the start, one donated her eggs and the other implanted the embryo and bore the child. When they broke up, the birth mom took the child to Australia. The bereft ova-mom hired a private detective and tracked her down. Now they’re in the Florida courts, where the ova-mom is insisting that they were both parents all along. You didn’t, by any chance, think that lesbians are nicer when breaking up than heterosexuals are? Ha! Don’t get me started. If only they could have gotten married! One major reason for marriage is that it...

Be Thankful for No More Lysol!

Some good news and some bad news for your International Women’s Day. The good news: you no longer use Lysol as your spermicidal douche. I mentioned that Lysol was once marketed as a Plan B earlier this week in my post about Rush’s extremely odd way of seeing women’s lives. In the ‘great minds think alike’ category, Mother Jones has taken that farther, offering you a social history slide show of the actual Lysol ads that upped women’s anxieties about their marriages and offered to increase marital intimacy—and led to poisonings and death. Here’s some more good news: The gender wage gap has closed to its lowest point ever: 82.2 percent. But there’s bad news: That’s only because men’s wages have fallen farther than women’s during the recession—and because so many more women’s wages are already at the legal minimum that they can’t fall as much. Here’s the key paragraph from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research March 2012 report : Both men and women’s real earnings have declined since...

No Contraception? Seriously?

The amazing Ann Friedman has put together a must-see online narrative about the contraceptive flap. Looking at it’ll take you about five minutes, and it will make your (international women’s) day. I promise. Here’s the only thing I have to add.

Separated at Birth?

Is it just me? Something about Ron Paul just reminds me desperately of Dennis Kucinich. That irrepressible grin, the don’t-bother-me-with-the-facts ideas, the feeling that they’re bouncing on the heels behind the podium—anyone agree?

Holder Says Killing Citizens Is Okay If You're The Government

I know my “beat” is gender & sexuality. But I’m also an American citizen who loves, and is therefore regularly grieved by, my country. And so today I’m going to talk about something that weighs heavily on my heart: the latest in American “national security” policy, announced by Eric Holder under cover of the Super Tuesday media frenzy. As a young adult, I used to wonder how citizens could stand by why their governments did appalling things in their name—and I assumed that we had learned from those wrongs, and that such things could never happen again. Yes, of course, I wondered about the rise of the Nazis, although for a Jewish child, the Holocaust was almost wallpaper; my mother’s explanation—communicated without explicit words—was that Germans hated Jews, The End. But I wondered more, beginning in eighth grade civics and beyond, about appalling things done by my own country, which I loved. Not just slavery, undertaken by people in peculiar clothes and accents, long ago and far...