Phoebe Connelly

Phoebe Connelly is a former web editor of the Prospect. Previously, she was managing editor of In These Times. She writes on political culture, human rights and feminism.

Recent Articles

Safe Words

In recent decades the government has stopped urging Americans to have safe sex. Now, we're seeing the consequences.

Singer Lady Gaga and singer Cyndi Lauper attend the amfAR (American Foundation for AIDS Research) benefit gala on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2010, in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini)
On Good Morning America in February, pop sensation Lady Gaga tested the limits of A.M. chatter by bringing up cavalier attitudes toward sex. Gaga (given name: Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta), was there with 1980s pop icon Cyndi Lauper to promote their lipsticks for MAC Cosmetics' Viva Glam line, whose proceeds go toward services for those living with HIV/AIDS. The two were dressed in sedate photo-negative outfits -- Lauper in a stiff, geometric black jacket and Gaga in a ruffled white dress. The chyron billed them as "Champions for Women's Health," but the two were focused on women's attitudes toward sex. "I don't know if this is too much for morning TV," Gaga started. "Everyone has that ... phone call of 'Oh my gosh, you won't believe what I did last night. I was so stupid I didn't use a condom,' and there's all this laughter on the phone. ... I've gotten those phone calls, and it's our job as friends to one another to say, 'I don't know why you're laughing because it's very...

The Little Picture: Henrietta Lacks Saved You From Polio.

Today, in 1954, the first trials began of the polio vaccine. The vaccine was developed using cells unknowingly donated by Henrietta Lacks , a black woman from Baltimore. Her cells -- known to researchers as HeLa cells -- have been used for everything from understanding the long-term effects of radiation to conducting experiments in space.

The Library of Congress Is Now Following You on Twitter

TAP talks with the library about why they're archiving tweets, if you can opt out, and who gets to be the Twitter Librarian.

Update : Links have been added to some of the library's programs and partners. On Wednesday, the Library of Congress announced it had signed an agreement with the microblogging service Twitter to archive all public tweets sent since the service began in 2006. I spoke with Martha Anderson, the director of the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program at the Library of Congress, about the project and how it fits into the library's digital-archiving efforts. She warned me when we got started that her department had a cumbersome name. That's a very impressive-sounding title. Well, the name is horrible. It's shortened to NDIIPP. [Laughs.] We hear all sorts of puns and things about that. What's the best? That with digital preservation, we are in deep . So who came to you with the request, or the idea about Twitter? Twitter approached us. They were looking around; they are a small business -- which happens, quite often. Businesses cannot afford to sustain all the...

Advocating for Women: Texas Equal Access Fund.

Courtney Martin writes that this International Women's Day, we should look at gender inequality in our own communities. Each day this week on TAPPED we will run a profile of an organization doing exactly that. In 2005, Gretchen Dyer organized a Tea Party, along with some of her University of North Texas students and local community members. They weren't railing against socialism's evils or demanding lower taxes. They certainly weren't calling for the impeachment of Obama , who at the time was just a freshman senator from Illinois. The goal of this Tea Party was to raise money for low-income women to pay for the abortions that they already decided they needed. Ever since, the Texas Equal Access Fund -- or TEA Fund -- has worked to make sure that all Texan women north of Waco are able to exercise their reproductive rights. Beyond showcasing the Senate's dysfunction and raising progressives' blood pressure, the debate over health-care reform has also highlighted just how unequal access...

Advocating for Women: Coastal Women for Change.

Courtney Martin writes that this International Women's Day, we should look at gender inequality in our own communities. Each day this week on TAPPED we will run a profile of an organization doing exactly that. When Hurricane Katrina hit Sharon Hanshaw's hometown of Biloxi, Mississippi, it destroyed her house and her beauty shop, a business she'd been building for 21 years. The few belongings she could salvage were in rough shape. After hours of cleaning off family photos, all that was left was a collection of silhouettes. "We just said we'll keep 'em, because at least we knew we did exist." With Coastal Women for Change , a Biloxi-based organization she helped build in the aftermath of the storm, Hanshaw has done something similar for women struggling to rebuild their lives. Her goal was simple: "I'll make sure our community is valid, our voices will be heard." The group started informally, a collection of about 25 women ages 18 to 82 getting together in East Biloxi to talk about life...