In this space, we invite authors to contribute brief reflective essays on research challenges, the writing process, broader applications of their methods, and where they might trace out contemporary comparisons or provocative comparisons across time and space.

December 2020

Funny Feminists? Some Reflections on Research

Dr. Kirsten Leng
University of Massachusetts Amherst

The myth of the humorless feminist has deep, resilient roots in American culture. It has taken various forms over the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, shifting from the stern, sexless suffragette, to the hairy-legged, man-hating women’s libber, and now, the performatively woke PC-policewoman. It is reflected, concisely and cruelly, in jokes like the following:

Q: “How many feminists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?”
A: “That’s not funny.”

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Reflections on the Publications of the General Federation of Iraqi Women

Dr. Jeffrey Drew Reger

In my recent article in the Journal of Women’s History, “Baʿathist State Feminism: The General Federation of Iraqi Women in the Global 1970s,” I highlight a number of Arabic-language primary sources produced by the women’s arm of the Iraqi Ba‘ath Party in the 1970s, paying special attention to a pamphlet commemorating and summarizing “The Eighth Conference of the General Federation of Iraqi Women: Facts and Snapshots.” Despite being a conference organized by and for Iraqi women, what I found perhaps most striking was the emphasis on the prominent role of Saddam Hussein, one of the few men in attendance.

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