Women Can Connect, Click by Click

Web sites seek to help women find friends

Originally published on July 15, 2012 in The New York Times

IN 2008, when Janis Kupferer moved to Denver for a job, she was 40 and single and knew no one in the area. When browsing, she recalled, she would sometimes click on other women’s profiles and think: “Some of these women sound really neat. Why isn’t there a Web site where I can meet female friends?” So Ms. Kupferer […]

Children of the Hyphens, the Next Generation

Originally published on November 23, 2011 in The New York Times

When my parents married in 1977, women’s liberation was in full swing and my mother was a consciousness-raiser. She was about as likely to take my father’s name as she was to sport a veil at the wedding. She would remain Ms. Tuhus. Nine months later, the surname for their new baby (me) was self-evident. My parents yoked their names […]

The End of Jewish Men?

Some professors and rabbis are concerned that liberal Judaism is becoming too female. Is this a real crisis?

Originally published on June 24, 2011 in Slate

In 2007, an organization called the Men of Reform Judaism published a Haggadah intended for men-only Passover Seders. It tweaked the familiar rituals. Instead of solemnly intoning the 10 plagues that struck ancient Egypt—frogs, boils, lice, and so on—participants are asked to recite the scourges of manhood: impotence, hair loss, prostate cancer. In the introduction, the authors explain their motives […]

Alzheimer’s Alert

When's a good time to diagnose an incurable disease?

Originally published on April 29, 2011 in Slate

Last week, new guidelines for diagnosing Alzheimer’s defined a “preclinical” stage of the dreaded disease. Evidently, the telltale pathology—in particular, the plaques that encroach on the brain—can be detected years, if not decades, before the patient ever forgets a familiar name or neglects to feed a pet. The announcement renewed a debate that has flared in recent months: Since there’s […]

Why Won’t This New Mom Wash Her Hair?

The fascinating postpartum customs of women from around the world.

Originally published on April 11, 2011 in Slate

“It’s about food, about sex, about rest.” Evelyn, a 34-year-old Dominican immigrant who recently gave birth, is explaining the Latin American custom called la cuarentena (“quarantine”). It’s a 40-day postpartum period during which mothers recuperate from labor and bond with their babies. Minutes earlier, her bouncy 7-year-old daughter let me into their apartment, on the second floor of a two-story […]