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E.J. Graff

What Is Marriage For?

Longtime feminist journalist and author E.J. Graff is smart, incisive—and funny—about issues facing women, girls, families, and the LGBT communities. Over the past thirty years, her provocative reporting and commentary have appeared in venues that range from early gay and lesbian newsweeklies to The New York Times Magazine. Her writing and speaking grow out of deep research, groundbreaking reporting, and analysis from new and startling angles. Whether in her daily column at The American Prospect or when talking with college students, her informed and irreverent take on the challenges women face—in the office and in our paychecks, on the streets and between the sheets—provokes college students and other audiences into reexamining their old ideas. Her feminist analysis of LGBT issues, especially same-sex marriage, has made her one of the subject’s experts, appearing nationally and internationally in schools, churches, and conferences, as well as on NPR, CBC, BBC, ABC, MTV, Logo TV, PBS, and beyond.

E.J. is the author of What Is Marriage For? The Strange Social History of Our Most Intimate Institution (Beacon Press, 1999, 2004), which explored how same-sex marriage is following, not leading, the many twists and turns marriage has taken over 2,500 years of Western history. She collaborated on Lt. Gov. Evelyn Murphy’s book Getting Even: Why Women Still Don’t Get Paid Like Men – and What To Do About It (Simon & Schuster/Touchstone, 2005), which examined workplace sex discrimination—and how women can overcome it. As associate director of the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, she investigated the sexual harassment of teens in their first jobs; the “opt-out” myth; and fraud and corruption in international adoptions.

E.J. can speak on a variety of feminist and LGBT topics. Her existing talks include:

  • What is marriage for? A historical romp through marriage’s social history – and where same-sex couples belong today.
  • All but equal: thirty years from invisible to winning. In only thirty years, lesbian and gay men have lived through a dizzying social revolution, from pariah to full citizen.
  • How to succeed after college: what every young woman should know.
  • Lezzies & trannies & fags, oh my! The alphabet soup of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people is a loose and not always easy coalition.

E.J. is contributing editor and daily columnist at The American Prospect; a Resident Scholar at the Brandeis Women’s Research Center; and a Senior Fellow at Brandeis’s Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism. Her writing has appeared in such publications as the New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post, Boston Globe, Columbia Journalism Review, Democracy Journal, Foreign Policy, Good Housekeeping, Los Angeles Times, Ms., The Nation, The New Republic,, Village Voice, Women’s Review of Books, and in more than a dozen anthologies. Her fellowships and awards include the Society for Professional Journalism’s Sigma Delta Chi award for magazine investigative journalism; the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism; the Astraea Foundation’s Emerging Writer Award; and positions as a Visiting Scholar at Radcliffe’s Schlesinger Library and as a Fellow in Law & Journalism at Harvard Law School. She currently sits on the board of directors of JAWS (Journalism & Women Symposium) and on the advisory board of the Sexuality, Gender, and Human Rights Program at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Harvard Kennedy School.

E.J. GRAFF SPEAKING ON VIDEO: between 0:58-1:12, and 1:52-2:01

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E.J. Graff
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