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

Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Go to the Salad Bar ...

In theory, your lunch is soon to be a little safer . In part as a response to Harvard Public Health Review editor Madeline Drexler's devastating food-safety critique in the latest issue of Good Housekeeping, the USDA just announced it would designate all "Big Six" strains of E. coli as "adulterants" -- previously, only one E. coli strain was counted as dangerous. That means food producers are supposed to test for and eliminate them in their products. Drexler's piece opened with the heartbreaking death of a healthy child from an E. coli O111 infection, a strain hitherto permissible in the food supply.

This Is Your Country "On Alert"

Remember reading that there were some "security incidents" this past Sunday after authorities "erred on the side of caution" for fear of a 9/11 anniversary attack? James Fallows at The Atlantic has some dispiriting insights into one of them: A half-Arab, half-Jewish self-described suburban housewife and former journalism student was detained because, by chance, she was seated on a plane row between two Indian men.

Did "Sexual Liberation" Make Us More Monogamous?

When I was babysitting back in 1975, I was afraid of a book enshrined on one family's coffee table: Open Marriage, by Nena and George O'Neill. I can't really tell you why it scared me; I never opened it, and I didn't grasp the topic, but its prominent and seemingly fixed placement made it seem evangelically threatening to my family life in some way I couldn't express. Our rural exurb of an Ohio Air Force base (a SAC command, for those who remember the Cold War) wasn't exactly the key-party, "wife-swapping" territory of Updike's Connecticut or Rick Moody and Ang Lee's Ice Storm.

No, You Can't Just Eat Oreos

What do Jane Lynch and I have in common? (I know this question has been haunting you since I started opining here a week ago.) Obviously Jane is funnier and far more talented, creative, well-off, and famous. But we do have this in common: We both became parents at an advanced age by marrying women who already had children. I wonder if her household is as consumed as mine is by the burning question: Should kids pack their own lunches?

Sim City 2000, Subsidized by Your Tax Dollars

If you were either consumed by the 9/11 retrospectives or avoiding them with your own personal news blackout, you might have missed The New York Times' exposé on how thoroughly the video-game industry is subsidized by your tax dollars -- courtesy, at least in part, of the government/industry revolving door. You know something is wrong when even the oil companies think your business gets too many tax breaks. Here's the money quote:

Michael D. Rashkin, author of "Practical Guide to Research and Development Tax Incentives," said that the video game industry had failed to name a technological breakthrough that had helped anyone beyond its shareholders, employees or customers.