How the ‘Period Paradox’ Keeps Women Down

It’s been a red-letter couple weeks for menstruation-related media. First came Olivia Goldhill’s call for funding for period-pain research in Quartz, followed by news of a policy in China’s Anhui province to institute a “paid menstrual leave” program. In many ways, stories like this are positive, simply because they challenge the notion that periods are inherently […]

The CDC Tells Women Not on Birth Control That They Can’t Drink. Seriously?

There is a clear difference between disease control and prevention, and outright paternalism and mistrust of women. Based on recent recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the organization seems to have difficulty making that distinction. On Tuesday, the CDC released a set of guidelines on alcohol consumption and pregnancy, recommending that any women who […]

Texas’ Anti-Abortion Law is Having a Predictably Terrible Effect on Women

A new study from the Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP) has found that, thanks to Texas’ omnibus anti-abortion bill, HB2—parts of which are currently under consideration by the Supreme Court—women face a variety of obstacles that delay care and, in some cases, prevent them from obtaining a desired abortion. The study found that after being turned away […]

Tea, Cookies and At-Home Abortions

As the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade approaches on Jan. 22—and with the Supreme Court set to revisit women’s fundamental right to access abortion in the Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole case, the most serious threat to abortion since 1992—the Ms. Blog decided to look back at the realities of illegal abortion pre-Roe, and for women today who […]

The U.S. Just Got a D+ on Reproductive Health and Rights

A woman’s reproductive health and rights should not depend upon her zip code, but increasingly they do. The Population Institute last week released its annual 50-state report card on reproductive health and rights, and it points to alarming disparities. Four states received an A (California, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington), but 19 states received a […]

Periods Went Public in 2015: Here’s What’s Next!

From Cosmo to The Guardian to BuzzFeed to the Times of India, there has been resounding consensus that 2015 was “The  Year The Period Went Public.” NPR’s “Why 2015 Was the Year of the Period” called the year’s period positivity an “epic” phenomenon, calculating that the number of times the word menstruation was mentioned in five national news outlets […]

Toxic Culture 101: Understanding the Sexualization of Women

A year ago I decided to drive across the street from my office for lunch. I wanted to avoid the catcalls I’d endured the last time I had crossed this particular street, when a middle-aged man yelled from his red Chevy truck, “Ride my cock, baby!” I wondered what it would be like not to […]

Radio Show Takes Aim at Women With “Fat Chick/Skinny Chick” Segment

If a stranger approached you with questions about your body size, would you answer them? What if the questions were being asked by a radio talk-show host with thousands of people listening? If you’re not already uncomfortable, consider this: What if, based on a series of superficial questions about your job, eating habits and sex […]

Stop Taxing Menstruation: It’s the Fair and Equitable Thing to Do

Since when are tampons a luxury? In recent weeks, hundreds of thousands in the United Kingdom responded with outrage after Parliament failed to muster the votes to abolish the national Tampon Tax—a 5 percent surcharge on “non-essential luxury items,” feminine hygiene included. The debate took a curious turn last week, with the announcement that the £15 million in annual […]

HIV Will Not Stop Me: Girls Speak Out on World AIDS Day

It’s been 32 years since HIV was first discovered. Since then, it’s fair to say that we have come a long way. Just slightly more than 2 million people were infected with HIV in 2013, down from more than 3.6 million in 1997, the epidemic’s height. Currently, approximately 15 million people are taking anti-retroviral drugs […]