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

In Other News

Yet another major public-opinion survey finds that more Americans than ever support same-sex marriage. (You can find the others here .) Guess what's trending? Even the Pentagon is doing it, now permitting chaplains to marry same-sex couples on military bases too . #goingtothechapel Remember the recent adoption scandal in China? The New York Times did some in-depth reporting showing that Hunan Province officials were taking children by force or coercion from their parents, for sale into international adoption. Now the Times reports that China has fired 12 government officials in response.

The Sexism Salon

Last week I wondered how Elizabeth Warren's rousing sermon espousing core progressive beliefs, which brought so much joy and hope to the left, would affect those on the right. One libertarian parody was posted by Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit.com. Here's how it starts: There is no woman in this country who got hot on her own.... You got to the gym on roads paid for by the rest of us. You hired a plastic surgeon the rest of us paid to educate. You're safe from hotter, foreign women because of INS agents and boarder [sic] security the rest of us paid for. ... It gets worse from there. Here's how I understand Reynolds' core idea: Just because the state helps create the world in which I live and thrive, it doesn't therefore own what I create and therefore, me. In this, he is equating taxation with ownership. Personally, I disagree with him that taxation is equivalent to state ownership, but I can see the point. But this particular parody, as you'll see, does more than merely object to...

Church for Dissent

Here's an interesting take on #OccupyWallStreet from Matt Stoler (which I found via @jayrosen): What these people are doing is building, for lack of a better word, a church of dissent. It's not a march, though marches are spinning off of the campground. It's not even a protest, really. It is a group of people, gathered together, to create a public space seeking meaning in their culture. They are asserting, together, to each other and to themselves, "we matter". It's a fascinating analysis, worth a quick read. And the pictures are great.

Adoption Fraud in Guatemala

Last week, I discussed some of the fraud and corruption that haunt international adoption. If you're interested, you should know about Erin Siegal, author of the forthcoming Finding Fernanda , which explores kidnapping, fraud, and endemic corruption in adoptions from Guatemala. For years, that country was one of the top "sending" countries in international adoption -- and the one most widely considered to be riddled with fraud. As I wrote here at the website of the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism: Guatemala is widely considered to have had the worst international adoption improprieties over the longest period of time. In 2006 and 2007, Guatemala sent almost as many children to the United States for adoption as China, despite a hundred-fold difference in size: In 2007, China sent 5,453 out of its population of 1.3 billion. In the same year, Guatemala sent 4,728 out of its 13 million. In that year, and several years before, an astonishing one out of every 110 Guatemalan...

It Doesn't Get Better for Bullies

Do you know the "It Gets Better" project ? In response to last year's spate of gay-teen suicides, writer and editor Dan Savage launched a series of online videos in which adults tell teens: Hang on. High school isn't forever. You will have a good life. Some have been fabulous, burning their way across the Internets; I'm assuming you've seen those. Most are ordinary people, testifying to how much better it got when they waited. Had this been around, it certainly would have eased me through some of the agonizing teenage years when I was fighting the recognition that I might be one of them . You know. Like the girls' gym teacher. That way. Right now the ItGetsBetter.org site is featuring a short, sharp video posted by Representative Jim Moran, a Democrat from Virginia, which includes this: I didn't happen to be born gay, but I've known an awful lot of bullies throughout my life. It's interesting that they all grew up to be insecure jerks. He also talks about overcoming crippling shyness...