Erica Myers-Russo

I'm a freelance science and environmental writer who still believes in the goodness of humanity.  Mostly.  Visit me at, where I search for the meaning of life in the least likely place: Southern California.

Who's Afraid of the F-Word?

I recently overheard a snippet of conversation that went something like this: a young woman protested defensively, “Well, I’m not a feminist!” and the man she was talking to quickly said, “Oh, no, of course, not, I didn’t mean to imply you were a feminist.” They might as well have said leper, or moron, or cripple, except all of those words would have had people leaping to their defense: How dare you use the word “leper” like that?  Have you no respect for the millions of people suffering from leprosy? So let...more