Meet the Women Fighting a Voter ID Law

The U.S. Justice Department has filed suit against the voter ID law in Texas, but two older African American women are behind separate legal challenges to new voter ID requirements in North Carolina. The state has one of the nation’s most wide-ranging voter ID laws and the first to pass since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the Voting Rights Act. In North Carolina state court, Alberta Currie, 78, claims she’s no longer able to vote, as she …

Virginia Johnson: She Helped Bring Sex Out of the Bedroom

In 1957, Virginia Johnson, a divorced mother of two, saw an ad for a position as a research assistant at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The job turned out to be working for Dr. William H. Masters, a gynecologist who’d begun to study a topic that was largely taboo: sex. Johnson took the job, and it was the start of a partnership that would change America. Johnson, who died on July 24 at age 88 in St. Louis, …

The Beginning of a Beautiful (Long-Distance) Friendship

One Friday last month, I finally broke my news to Arthur. “I have something I need to tell you,” I said, taking a deep breath. “I’m going to graduate school.” “That’s great!” “For gerontology.” “To study old people?” “Yep. And it’s in Ohio.” “Ohio?!” That’s the part I had been nervous about – telling him I’m leaving New York. Apart from his time in the Navy and a year sabbatical in China, Arthur has lived in New York his whole …

Was My Mom Abused?

On July 2, USA Today reported that more than 20 former employees of a Georgia Alzheimer’s care center are facing dozens of criminal charges after a three-month state investigation uncovered allegations of cruel treatments of patients. The cruelty ranged from physical abuse – slapping patients and throwing water on them – to outright neglect and financial exploitation. Other abuse included shackling patients to their beds with sheets and ‘double diapering’ so the staff wouldn’t have to change soiled diapers so often. As it …

The Unwiring of America

Four or five years ago, some time after I decided to bite the technological bullet and get fiber-optic broadband phone and Internet service at home, I gave up my “analog” – copper wire – telephone line. I almost immediately regretted my decision. During our first extended power outage – and where I live, we typically have several of them a year – we lost phone service. In the pre-digital days we could call others – starting with our electric company …

Elder Abuse Awareness Day: 7 Ways You Can Help

It’s easy to miss elder abuse. Austin, Texas. Mid-1980s. I’m sitting at lunch with a casual friend, who is living with and taking care of her mom. Mom is slack-jawed, with a vacant stare, but she knows what she wants: her portion, and more, of the french fries she’s sharing with her daughter. As mom reaches for one more fry, my friend’s hand flashes out, spearing her mom’s hand with a fork. Mom’s reaction is much quieter than it should …