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.

  • Guns, Roses, and Terrorist Watch Lists

         Back in 2003, while the government was busy enforcing its notoriously inaccurate no fly lists, ensnaring a range of travelers from Senator…

  • Discrimination Under God

         Secularists scoff when conservative Christians complain that they're oppressed.  So many demands for putative religious rights - like the…

  • Challenges to DOMA have Only Begun

         Gay rights activists outraged by the Obama Administration's disingenuous defense of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in a pending…

  • Speaking of Hate Speech

         This is obviously not the best time to defend the right to engage in hate speech.  The murders of George Tiller in Kansas and Stephen Johns…

  • Pleading Guilty at Guantanamo/Response to the ACLU

         The ACLU's furious comments on my June 8th post about proceedings at Guantanamo refute an argument for allowing guilty pleas in capital…

  • Guantanamo Detainees and the Right to Die

         Should Guantanamo detainees facing the death penalty for their alleged roles in the 9/11 attack be allowed to plead guilty without ever…

  • This is What Identity Politics Looks Like

        Sonia Sotomayor has received the unofficial endorsement of the ACLU, but not on the basis of her record on rights and liberties.  Citing her…

  • Angels and Demons

        When I say that Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry demonizes abortion providers, I'm not speaking metaphorically. "George Tiller was a…

  • Credentialism

         Karl Rove should be forgiven for countering assumptions about Sonia Sotomayor's intelligence by claiming to know "lots of stupid people who…

  • Torture Photos Want to be Free

         Shortly after FBI memoranda detailing post 9/11 detainee abuses were released in December 2004, pursuant to an ACLU Freedom of Information…

  • Sotomayor and Sisterhood

    Sonia Sotomayor is either an injudicious advocate of identity politics or candidly realistic about the possibility of entirely objective…

  • The Trouble With Single-Sex Schools

    All-female schools are "models of equivocation," the author, a Smith graduate, writes. They "reinforce regressive notions of sex difference" while at the same time helping women into the professions

  • Second Thoughts on the Second Amendment

    CALMLY, patiently, with considerable bravery, the instructor at the shooting range shows me how to fire the submachine gun, a MAC-11--the first…

  • Feminism's Identity Crisis

    The most effective backlash against feminism comes from within

  • Feminists Against the First Amendment

    A critique of a movement that is winning new recruits among politicians and on college campuses—a movement that appeals to the widespread loathing of pornography, that promotes a view of men as lubricious brutes, and that has united authoritarians on the left and the right in an assault on free speech


Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more


Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.


What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world



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