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Cultural historian, media critic, feminist scholar. Website: bordocrossings.com
This cartoon, which has been circulating freely on social media, was removed by artist.

In 2017, when Hillary Clinton emerged after a well-deserved hiatus to resume public service, the calls for her to quietly leave the stage and take up gardening or knitting began to pour forth. After Hillary’s first post-election interview, RealClearPolitics’ A. B. Stoddard advised Democrats to tell Clinton that “she’s done…


When did it all begin? The realization that the country was no longer under the control of those to whom it had been promised by God?

Perhaps a long, long time ago, in some smoky room behind a church — or the staid living room of a wealthy plantation owner…


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Every book on the history of television has a chapter (or more) on sports. Mine doesn’t. The reason is simple: I can’t watch a sports event without smelling my father’s cigar.

I don’t mean remembering; I mean smelling. Acrid, soggy chewed end in a large glass ashtray, my father’s cigars…


As we near a hugely consequential election, I present a tribute to Georgia via “Designing Women,” excerpted from my forthcoming book on growing up with television.

Discussing the history of representations of women and feminism, Susan Douglas describes this as the media “tak[ing] away with one hand what they…


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We’re so sorry. We make great bourbon, but we let the country down.

We didn’t get rid of Mitch McConnell.

Why do we keep electing him? That’s something that’s baffled me since I came to Kentucky 26 years ago to take a position at University of Kentucky. And now that…


Unbearable Weight

Last year, I was asked to write a preface to a forum that my former graduate students, now successful teachers and writers, had put together for the journal Frontiers. It was published in March 2019. Now, in December 2020, as I’m struggling with pandemic weight-gain, I thought others might identify…


A collaboration between Jenn Abel and Susan Bordo

Jenn Abel is a teacher, writer, and mother of six who describes herself as learning to live by faith rather than fear. Susan Bordo is a writer, mother, and Professor Emerita in Humanities at the University of Kentucky. She is the author of many books on cultural history, the media, gender and politics.

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One of us is “pro-choice” and Jewish. One of us is a “pro-life” Christian. We put these labels in scare quotes because we believe it’s time to get beyond labels and move forward on our common humanity. Branding others is Trump…


For months we had been bombarded on television with horrendous, uncensored images of the war in Vietnam. In March, American soldiers massacred 347 at My Lai. Two weeks later, President Lyndon Baines Johnson, the target of anti-war rage, said he would not seek re-election. In April, Martin Luther King had…


Remember that charisma can be just as dangerous as it is compelling. Charisma is subjective. It’s also the appeal of cultists and authoritarians, as well as our greatest leaders. Jim Jones and Hitler, to their followers, were seen as charismatic. …

Susan Bordo

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