Feminism | Posted by Meggan Watterson on 04/1/2013

A More Meaty Mary

I would always hesitate before opening the door to St. Elizabeth’s Infant Hospital because once inside, the rest of the world would cease to exist. Nothing else could compete with the presence I met once I entered. St. E’s, a Catholic Charities organization in San Francisco, was a place of mother’s milk and indigestible pain, a place for the excluded—the controversial population of pregnant teens and teen moms.

An icon of the Virgin Mary was perched on top of the refrigerator in the staff lounge. Her four-foot plastic frame was so light that she teetered every time a child-care counselor or Sister of Charity opened the refrigerator door to retrieve their lunch from inside.

She was the “classic Virgin,” I was told—the Mary most readily found in small enclaves in …

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Feminism | Posted by Melanie Butler on 12/7/2011

Are We Bonobos or Chimpanzees? Evolution and Occupy Wall Street

Bonobos and chimpanzees, our closest animal relatives, are almost exactly the same type of monkey. They are so similar, in fact, they only became distinguished as separate species in 1929. But chimpanzee and bonobo societies are dramatically different. In chimpanzee culture, males dominate, sex is strictly for reproduction and violence and infanticide are common. Bonobo society, on the other hand, is remarkably peaceful and is characterized by an abundance of recreational sex and strong female bonding. This marked difference is inextricably linked to the relative levels of female interaction in each society. In chimpanzee habitats, where food is difficult to obtain, females spend their time isolated from one another, gathering food and caring for their offspring. Their seclusion leaves them susceptible to violence and allows male chimpanzees ample opportunity to …

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