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Sepia-tone black and white photo of Ladies Cycle Club of Hartford, on hill near Soldiers and Sailors Arch, 1890.
Connecticut Historical Society

Bicycles helped inspire modern cars, paved roads...even airplanes! But did you know they were also an inspiration for the women's movement?

This hour we take a look back in time at the origins of the bicycle, including innovation that happened right here in Connecticut. We find out the history of how this vehicle spurred social change and helped empower women to break through gender barriers a little more than a century ago.

courtesy of Erwin C. Smith Collection / Texas State Historical Association

Nat Love was born a slave, but died a free cowboy and a legend of the Old West. After the Civil War freed Love from slavery, he walked to Dodge City, Kansas, and got a job breaking horses - after he could prove that he could rope a bucking horse, climb on its back without a saddle, and ride him without falling off. He got the job. Thus began Nat's life as a cowboy.

We don't typically include Black cowboys as part of the American story of the West,  even though one in four American cowboys are Black. Black cowboys are as American as baseball. 

Suzanne Proulx / http://www.suzanneproulx.com/

Dust is everywhere, but we rarely see it. We shed it from our skin, hair, and nails, leaving little bits of DNA wherever we roam.  More than 100 tons of cosmic dust fall to Earth each day, leaving an archive of every "geochemical" substance that has fallen - at least some of it into our homes.

Stacks of $100 bills
Pictures of Money / Flickr

Women, on average, make 82 cents for every dollar earned by men. And women of color make even less than that.

This hour, we take a look at the role greater pay transparency can play to address the wage gap in our country. Advocates in Connecticut say that listing starting salaries publicly for open positions is a step towards evening the playing field.

We want to hear from you, too. Do you have salary transparency at your workplace?

Werner Schutz / Creative Commons

We're so caught up in fetishizing (mostly) female breasts in film, literature, art, and in the anatomy-defying breasts of comic book heroines, that we overlook the breast as a vital source of food and and as a body part vulnerable to cancer, including young women under forty. How often should we get that mammogram? To breastfeed - or not?

Lastly, how come men can go topless in America but women can't?

Bruce Andersen / Wikimedia Commons

New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof recently wrote a column proclaiming that "America Is Not Made for People Who Pee." It hit a nerve. People responded with stories that all seemed to agree with him.

So, why don't we complain about locked doors, long lines (for women), or the lack of a public toilet where one should be? Lezlie Lowe might say that we don't like to talk about bodily functions that are perceived as kind of, well, gross.

Cheryl Holt / Pixabay

It has been over eight years since Sheryl Sandberg’s breakthrough book Lean In hit the shelfs and started a conversation about women leading in the workplace. But sexism is far from obsolete in today’s job market. 

Patrick Fore - Unsplash / Illustration by Chion Wolf

Reprise Records

Joni Mitchell's album Blue turns 50 this year. It may not have the artistic sophistication of her later albums, but Mitchell's vulnerability endeared her to fans, if not early critics unused to such intimate storytelling. That was okay with Mitchell. She said her "music is not designed to grab instantly. It's designed to wear for a lifetime, to hold up like a fine cloth."

Courtesy: UConn Rowing

Like most college freshmen, Liz Glomb was hoping to do things a bit differently than she had in high school when she started at the University of Connecticut in 2001. The new chapter inspired her to step away from rowing -- a sport that dominated most of her teenage years. 

Ben Gray / AP Photo

After the killings of eight people in Atlanta, including six Asian women, Caroline H. Lee wrote a commentary for WBUR’s blog Cognoscenti, responding directly to news reports that said it was “unclear” whether the killings were motivated by racism. Her commentary is titled, “Call The Shootings In Atlanta What They Were: Targeted Violence Against Asian American Women.”

Judge Hears Arguments In Lawsuit Over Connecticut Transgender Athletes

Feb 26, 2021
FILE - In this Feb. 7, 2019, file photo, Bloomfield High transgender athlete Terry Miller (second from left) wins the final of the 55-meter dash over transgender athlete Andraya Yearwood (far left) and others in the Connecticut girls Class S indoor meet.
AP Photo/Pat Eaton-Robb

Lawyers for several school districts and the organization that oversees high school sports in Connecticut went before a federal judge Friday seeking the dismissal of a lawsuit that would prevent transgender girls in the state from competing in girls sports.

Image of the Wikipedia logo on white background
Eukaryogurt / Wikimedia Commons

When you want to learn about an obscure topic, where do you turn? For many, it’s a free, online encyclopedia which now contains more than 55 million user-created articles. This hour, we talk about 20 years of Wikipedia.

Updated at 9:45 p.m. ET

California Sen. Kamala Harris will become the next vice president of the United States, shattering another racial and gender barrier in American politics, at the end of a bruising presidential race that further exposed a bitterly divided electorate.

Andry Fridman / Creative Commons

In the 1990s, the Southport Sockmen, otherwise known as Steven Bain and Steven Gawthrop, paid drunk people in Liverpool bars and clubs to give them the socks they were wearing. The Sockmen took photos of each “donor,” before placing each sock and its matching donor photo in a plastic bag. The police found 4,000 pairs of socks piled 18 inches deep when they arrived to arrest the pair for “acts of gross indecency.” The socks were also hanging from the furniture and lampshades -- and some were in the microwave. 

Illustration by Chion Wolf

What does it mean to be a man? What is manliness? What is “toxic masculinity”? And what do - and don’t - specific body parts have to say about what it means to be male?

Hear from two journalists and authors about how the ideas of manhood physically and socially may be far more malleable than you think.

Tiffany Bailey / Creative Commons

We tend to focus on the physical ailments that can arise from being fat more than how fat shaming can affect the mental health of people who are fat.

Nor do we think of how our culture (and the media) perpetuate the notion that fat people aren't desirable enough for love and intimacy. That's flat-out wrong. Sex is a physical act that is deeply influenced by how our mind perceives desire.

A toddler looking at a play pen
Pikist

Many Connecticut families have faced a child care crisis during the pandemic and it hasn’t changed despite most schools opening. Remote learning during the school week has some parents struggling to balance work and child care.

This hour, we talk with Beth Bye, the state’s Early Childhood commissioner. How are you managing childcare and remote school while working? 

First, we talk with a Fairfield woman who ran for the Connecticut General Assembly in 2018 and wanted to use public election funds to pay for child care while she campaigned. A recent court ruling has sided with the former candidate. What does this mean for working parents in Connecticut who see child care as a barrier to running for elected office?

Maggie Hallahan / Wikimedia Commons

Hillary Clinton has spent a lot of time in the spotlight. We know her as a First Lady, a U.S. Senator from New York, President Obama's Secretary of State, a candidate in the 2016 presidential election, and as the wife of former President Bill Clinton. 

Yet most everything we know about Hillary as an individual separate from Bill has been filtered through the media, through President Trump's Twitter feed, and through the many conspiracy theories linked to her name. 

SGT. ASHLEY N. SOKOLOV / U.S. Air Force

The pandemic has caused major disruptions for workers' careers, but the latest numbers show women have been hit particularly hard.

Women, and especially women of color, are bearing some of the largest economic impacts of the pandemic, from facing higher rates of unemployment to holding the majority of frontline essential jobs.

Sandy Cole / Wikimedia Commons

The Argus Pheasant is a lifelong bachelor. He mates with multiple females but has no further contact with his mates or the baby pheasants he sires. By human terms, not much of a feminist.

Yet, he stages a chivalrous courtship on moonlit nights on a forest stage he clears with meticulous care. He sings and dances and pecks. He encompasses his 'date' in a cape of intricately-colored four-foot-long feathers. He ends with a bow.  

Evolutionarily, there's no purpose for the spectacular feathers on the Argus Pheasant - unless you consider they may have evolved to satisfy the sexual preferences of the female Argus.

Suzanne Proulx / http://www.suzanneproulx.com

Dust is a fascinating substance. Our bodies are always shedding dust from our skin, hair, and nails, leaving little bits of DNA wherever we roam. Dust floats unseen through the air around us. It's light. It's hard to see unless it lands on a contrasting surface or crosses the path of a ray of sunshine. It can travel far and wide.  

For nearly 200 years, the term “female husband” was used to describe an individual assigned female at birth who chose to live fully as a man.

Historian Jen Manion, a professor at Amherst College in Massachusetts, said from the 1700s to early 1900s, the British and American press wrote about "female husbands" in a mostly salacious and sensationalized way. And when their assigned gender was revealed, they were usually detained by police and run out of town.

Sgt. Ashley N. Sokolov / U.S. Air Force

This is part of a series of shows from Where We Live about the future of work after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The pandemic has caused major disruptions for workers' careers, but the latest numbers show women have been hit particularly hard.

Women, and especially women of color, are bearing some of the largest economic impacts of the pandemic, from facing higher rates of unemployment to holding the majority of frontline essential jobs.

This hour: how will COVID-19 worsen gender inequality in the workplace?

We talk about how societal expectations around child care duties affect parents’ careers especially when schools have been closed.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public

The federal government has sided with a group of Connecticut athletes who have sued the state’s governing body of high school sports over the inclusion of transgender athletes in girls events.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Donald Collins first told his mom he was transgender when he was a senior in high school. His mother wasn’t totally sure what the word transgender even meant. From there, they began a difficult emotional journey as Donald began his transition.

This hour, we sit down with Donald and his mother, Mary Collins. They have written about their experience in the book At the Broken Places: A Mother and Trans Son Pick Up the Pieces. We ask them how they rebuilt their relationship and what lessons they hope to share with other families.

Have you or a loved one come out as transgender? We want to hear from you.

Two wedding rings
Jeff Belmonte / Wikimedia

Love is what most people are looking for in a spouse or life partner. But this hour, we take a look at marriage, an institution that for much of history had very little to do with love at all.

We also talk about the right to end a marriage by divorce. And we want to hear from you, too.

Pxhere

What’s it like being a dad in 2020? On the next Where We Live, we’ll talk about social expectations for fathers as caregivers, and the impact an involved father has on the entire family, emotionally and financially. Are you a father? We want to hear from you.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Lori Jackson feared for her life, so she got a temporary restraining order against her husband. But he was still able to legally buy a handgun, which he used to kill Jackson.

This hour, we talk about the legal gaps that allow some domestic abusers to purchase firearms.

Chion Wolf/Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

This summer marks 100 years since women achieved the right to vote. Yet women still are underrepresented in political office, both nationally and in the Connecticut General Assembly. This hour, a conversation with a panel of experts and women lawmakers. We ask: what barriers remain for women who are considering seeking office?

Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

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