His and Hers

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According to Jonathan Eig, there are four people primarily responsible for the birth control pill: incendiary feminist Margaret Sanger, iconoclast medical researcher Gregory "Goody" Pincus, devoted philanthropist Katherine McCormick, and Catholic OB/GYN John Rock. Eig weaves their stories together in The Birth of the Pill. Pincus runs his medical institute on a wing and a prayer, […]

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BANG! POW! Super Girls in Comics

Black Cat Comics cover superhero in black cat suit drops in on gangsters gambling

With all the new superhero blockbusters like Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy and X-Men: Days of Future Past, it’s hard not to love caped crusaders. For comic book geeks like me, it feels like a new golden age of heroes. This year, for One Book One Chicago, we celebrate the history of superheroes […]

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Ladies of Dagenham, Unite!

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Rita O'Grady (Sally Hawkins) is nothing out of the ordinary, working at the Ford factory and raising her children with her husband in their blue-collar suburb of London in 1968.  O'Grady works in the all-female section of the plant sewing seat covers, along with 146 other women. What starts out as a dispute over job designation grows into […]

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Build Her a Myth: Romance Novel Dresses by Carrie Ann Schumacher

short ruffled dress made of book pages

Don't miss Build Her a Myth: Romance Novel Dresses, an exhibit by Carrie Ann Schumacher, on display June 6 to July 18 in the 8th floor north wall exhibit case at the Harold Washington Library Center. When Schumacher came across a box of discarded romance novels at the library, she knew she wanted to use them in her artwork. […]

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Seven Magpies

anjelica huston

I have had a girlcrush on Anjelica Huston since I saw her in Addams Family and Addams Family Values when I was a teenager. I wanted to look like Morticia, say witty things like her, and generally subvert the dominant paradigm like her. I have matured somewhat, but I still think Ms. Huston is one of the best actresses […]

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Living with the Complexities

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Axie Muldoon wants: nice clothes, a big house, a meal in her belly.  As an orphan on the streets of 19th century New York, these things seem out of reach. And yet, by the time she is thirty, Axie (AKA Madame Beausacq) has them all. Along the way, she rides the orphan trains, delivers her mother's baby, apprentices […]

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What Are Satmar Girls Made Of?

  If I I have freedom in my Love, And in my soul am free, Angels alone who soar above, Enjoy such Liberty.                                         Richard Lovelace, To Althea From Prison If Charles Dickens had been Jewish and lived now, perhaps he could have come up with Deborah Feldman's childhood.  Born into the Satmar Hasidic Jewish community, […]

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Women Writers to Admire: Jen Lancaster

Jen Lancaster accomplished the nearly impossible task of turning her hilarious blog, Jennsylvania, into a successful book. Since Bitter Is the New Black was published in 2006, she's penned six more memoirs and three novels. Bitter is her tale of losing her lucrative finance job in Chicago and learning some seriously humbling lessons along the way. While it warmed my heart to see her ditch her snotty […]

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The History of Women

In celebration of Women's History Month here are some books about awesome women contributing to our world throughout the years. Gail Collins, most likely known as a New York Times op-ed columinst, wrote America's Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines. It covers four centuries' worth of women's lives. The chapters pair women's roles […]

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Women of the White City

Chicago Sunday Tribune cover

March is a big month for women in Chicago, as the city celebrates its 177th birthday and the nation celebrates Women’s History Month. Although there has been only one female mayor in our city's history, here are some stories of other influential Chicago women. Seeing with Their Hearts tells the fascinating tale of the relief efforts […]

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