Sonya Michel

Sonya Michel is a professor emerita of history, Women's Studies, and American Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. Her most recent book is Reassembling Motherhood: Procreation and Care in a Globalized World.

Recent Articles

Women and American Politics: Another Great Awakening?

Despite the failure of Hillary Clinton to break through the ultimate glass ceiling, women's energy could be a key to progressive gains in 2018 and 2020.

Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP Demonstrators participate in a rally for Planned Parenthood at the Texas State Capitol in Austin I n the days following the upset victory of Democratic candidate Conor Lamb in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District, journalists and pundits searched for reasons why his GOP opponent, Rick Saccone, lost in a cluster of southwestern counties that Donald Trump had carried by 20 points. While many saw the race as a bellwether of Trump’s waning popularity, others zeroed in on the personal qualities and positions of the two men, and some pointed to the role of labor unions in a heavily working-class region. For these latter analysts, union support was more or less synonymous with the grassroots, but what was missing in this equation was the impact of newly-formed women’s networks in the Pittsburgh suburbs whose members fanned out not only in their own neighborhoods but in the rural areas where support for Trump had once been strongest. As one...

Sexual Harassment and Sexual Behavior

Are women invariably the victims or do women bear any responsibility?

Erin Lefevre/Sipa via AP Images
Erin Lefevre/Sipa via AP Images A demonstrator holds a "Me Too" sign during the Second Annual Women's March in New York R epresentative Marcy Kaptur of Ohio recently “shocked” fellow Democrats when she suggested that the way women dress might have something to do with sexual harassment. “I saw a member yesterday with her cleavage so deep it was down to the floor,” Kaptur told her colleagues. “And what I’ve seen … it's really an invitation.’’ Her remarks, according to Politico , “left many others in the room stunned.” While defiant at the time, Kaptur later felt compelled to walk back what she had said, releasing a statement that read, Politico reported, “Under no circumstances is it the victim's fault if they are harassed in any way,” How is it that Kaptur’s comments—not a member’s décolletage, much less the threat of sexual aggression—were what shocked her Democratic colleagues? Why is it taboo for her to imply that the way women dress may have something to do with sexual harassment...