Wendy Kaminer

Wendy Kaminer is an author, lawyer, and civil libertarian. She is the author of I'm Dysfunctional, You're Dysfunctional, and a past recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. More

Wendy Kaminer is a lawyer and social critic who has been a contributing editor of The Atlantic since 1991. She writes about law, liberty, feminism, religion and popular culture and has written eight books, including Worst InstinctsFree for All; Sleeping with Extra-Terrestrials; and I'm Dysfunctional, You're Dysfunctional. Kaminer worked as a staff attorney in the New York Legal Aid Society and in the New York City Mayor's Office and was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1993. She is a renowned contrarian who has tackled the issues of censorship and pornography, feminism, pop psychology, gender roles and identities, crime and the criminal-justice system, and gun control. Her articles and reviews have appeared in The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, The American Prospect, Dissent, The Nation, The Wilson Quarterly, Free Inquiry, and spiked-online.com. Her commentaries have aired on National Public Radio. She serves on the board of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, the advisory boards of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and the Secular Coalition for America, and is a member of the Massachusetts State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission.

  • Rationalizing Repression

    Wondering at the disdain for fundamental American freedoms reflected in the Cheney-Kristol smear campaign against lawyers who represented Guantanamo…

  • Gay Rights and Anti-Gay Liberties

    An openly gay student seeking a graduate degree in counseling at a state university is expelled for refusing to agree that homosexuality is immoral…

  • Sticks and Stones

    I'm not suggesting that the demonization of certain words will end in their criminalization ever, or anytime soon.

  • The Jobs Bill

    What qualifies a Republican as a moderate in 2010?  He votes in favor of allowing Senate debate on a pro-business "jobs" bill, mainly comprising tax…

  • Bullying: Response to Comments

    Are we ruled by personal experiences in evaluating allegations of workplace abuse?  The pop therapeutic answer is "yes:" we are seen, in essence, as…

  • The Bullying Pulpit

    Thanks to the U.K., where incivility is apparently the new infidelity, for providing a little black comic relief from the dangerous idiocies of…

  • Spying on Students

    Increasingly ubiquitous surveillance is enabled not just by its invisibility but by the common refrain that people who have nothing to hide have…

  • The Civil Libertarian's Lament

    Civil libertarians have good reason to feel betrayed by President Obama's embrace of Bush-Cheney national security policies (including his invocation…

  • Ghostwriters, Speechwriters, and the State of Our Union

    Politico reports that freshman Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown is "writing a book," and I suppose that's an accurate statement if "writing a book"…

  • Just How Stupid Are We?

    "I never tried to cut her throat," Scott Lee Cohen protested, defending himself against one of several allegations of abuse during his 15 minutes as…

  • Citizens United, For and Against Free Speech

    When Republicans controlled Congress in the 1990s, liberals fought hard to block a series of constitutional amendments demanded by conservatives,…

  • Martha Coakley and the Pitfalls of Identity Politics

    Like most political earthquakes, Martha Coakley's decisive loss to Scott Brown in the Massachusetts Senate race was over-determined, by all the…

  • No Atheists Need Apply

    In my lifetime (and I am now astonishingly old) I've witnessed dramatic declines in social and institutional biases against women, racial minorities,…

  • The Right to Kill in Kansas

    In 1992, the Kansas legislature amended the state's involuntary manslaughter law to include an "intentional killing (based upon) an unreasonable but…

  • Big Lie

    Thick-skinned, Rudy Guiliani is not, but despite the mockery he's endured for "forgetting" 9/11, he could still enjoy the last laugh, along with…

  • Sex, Violence, and Individual Liberty

    If you consider a stash of obscene videos scarier than a stash of firearms then this is the country for you.  In America you have a constitutional…

  • Index on Censorship Meets the Enemy Within

    Jytte Klausen's excellent analysis of the Muhammad cartoon controversy, "The Cartoons that Shook the World," has once again fallen victim to myths…

  • Good for Goodness Sake

    Bill Donohue, the reliably apoplectic president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, attributes freedom of speech to Christianity…

  • Workplace Privacy

    Workplace surveillance is pervasive, legal, and "devastating to employee privacy," the National Workrights Institute lamented in a 2006 report. …

  • ACORN and the Ethics of Leadership

    Reactions to former Massachusetts Attorney General Scott Harshbarger's report on ACORN have been predictably partisan. On the left, progressive…

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Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

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Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

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What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

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