The Marlboro Psychiatric Hospital in New Jersey opened in 1937 and closed in 1990. The 600-acre grounds are dotted by Tudor-style "cottages" that housed up to 55 patients each, which are in turn dwarfed by the larger, looming treatment buildings. "This is the kind of place people were talking about when they said someone had been ‘put away,'" Greg Roberts, chief executive at the hospital for 17 years, told the New York Times as he packed up his office. "For a long time, that's what happened—people were put here and all but forgotten."
Legend has it that the builders approached the owner of a local slaughterhouse, looking to buy [...]
Warning: light spoilers.
Bitching about Downton Abbey has become a new cultural pastime: It’s horrible, it’s melodramatic, Julian Fellowes is a hack, if they kill one more person I’m quitting for good…..
….and yet we don’t. It’s like the Valentine’s Day candy corn I’ve been devouring for the past week: so cute, so sweet, so makes me want to barf. But I can’t resist! Here I am, even paying for episodes so that I can watch at the gym, even though they’re available on public television. Usually, we watch a show once it’s gone bad for one of three overarching reasons:
1) Emotional investment in the storyline;
As a shy, late bloomer with a nervous twitch in my eye, I didn't particularly enjoy high school. I was consistently the last one to get a joke, with the exception of dirty jokes, which I usually didn’t get at all. This sense of being on a different wavelength from my peers led to a paranoid, left-out feeling—like nobody knew I existed, and at the same time, they were all laughing at me behind my back.
One night after dinner in tenth grade, my mom said there was something she wanted to “talk about.” My first thought was that my mom had seen one of those TALK TO YOUR KID [...]
Human genomes are 99.9 percent identical—with one prominent exception. Instead of a matching pair of X chromosomes, men carry a single X, coupled with a tiny chromosome called the Y. Tracking the emergence of a new and distinctive way of thinking about sex represented by the unalterable, simple, and visually compelling binary of the X and Y chromosomes, my book, Sex Itself: The Search for Male and Female in the Human Genome, examines the interaction between cultural gender norms and genetic theories of sex from the beginning of the 20th century to the present, postgenomic age. Here, we've excerpted from the chapter "Save the Males!"
The prospect that [...]
I took my first empowerment-model self-defense class in 1999, and I've been teaching it since 2000. For 14 years, I’ve been deeply invested in this way of helping women, children, and other targeted populations discover their power and reduce their risk of harm.
Empowerment self-defense, or ESD, was developed by feminist activists who rejected the old, male-designed-and-taught self-defense models of the '50s and '60s. They wanted a system that taught practical skills within the context of rape culture; one that addressed the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social/cultural components of self-defense. The ESD model is constantly fine-tuned by the people who teach it; today, for example, the National [...]
Here’s the only formal announcement I’ll make: my boyfriend and I are getting a domestic partnership. There’s no milestone we’ve reached, no prying relative we want to spurn by only getting a “sort of” union. There is only the question of his health insurance, which is running out.
I’m still trying to decide whether this is a big deal or not, for our relationship and for myself. He kept stressing that we didn’t have to if I didn’t want to. I was hesitant, but realized: a person I care about has a problem, and I could provide the solution. We were thinking about doing it anyway. I bucked up, kneeled [...]
A spite house is a house built for the express purpose of pissing someone else off. Personal comfort, adequate living space, and compliance with local zoning laws all come second to this all-important goal. Spite houses come in all shapes and sizes, but the best are absurdly small and very angry indeed. Here are a few of my favorites, ranked from least- to most-spiteful.
The Montlake Spite House, Seattle
The Story: You have options here. EITHER the house was a result of a divorce settlement in which the husband got the [large, non-spiteful house] and the wife got the front yard and decided to use it, dammit—OR, the [...]