Lady Gaga Takes On Campus Rape in New Music Video

Screen shot 2015-09-30 at 3.11.43 PM

What do Lady Gaga, President Obama, and the head of Harvard University have in common? They’re all speaking out to stop sexual assault—and not a moment too soon. The headlines call attention to the problem on college campuses: “Survey: More than 1 in 5 female undergrads at top schools suffer sexual attacks.” It’s important to […]

Women’s Health Is in the Hands of the Supreme Court


OK, I admit it. I’ve become obsessed with SCOTUS Blog. During the last week, I’ve spent hours at my computer, watching lawyers live blog as the Supreme Court announced its decisions. I’m a passionate women’s health activist, and this is not where I wanted to be spending my time. No complaints about SCOTUS Blog itself. […]

Oppression vs. Discrimination: How the Law Failed Ellen Pao


When is a gender discrimination lawsuit not about gender discrimination? Always. Gender discrimination cases are proxies for challenges to existing social norms that support unearned privilege. A claim of gender discrimination is a charge that there is bias, both conscious and unconscious, that perpetuates the status quo. Ellen Pao’s suit against the venture capital firm Kleiner, […]

What the Supreme Court Didn’t Decide This Week


The most important thing to know about the Supreme Court’s decision on June 1 in Elonis v. United States is that it does not resolve the question of when the First Amendment allows people to be punished for speech threatening others. Facebook and other social media have made it much more common for people to make […]

Marriage Equality Forecast: Victory Is Near!


Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has taken up the broad question of whether marriage is a constitutionally protected right for same-sex couples, a nationwide victory may be less than two months away. There were no surprises in last week’s hearings. Opponents of marriage equality had nothing new to say. They made the same unconvincing claims that […]

Inside the Supreme Court’s First Day of Marriage Equality Hearings


I got to the Supreme Court to hear arguments for and against marriage equality early Tuesday morning, but the crowds were already everywhere—outside as well as in various lines snaking throughout the court. Bag and coat safely in a locker, I made my way into the gallery. The court was packed as the clerk shouted […]

Trafficking Policy Should Focus on Empowerment, Not Coercion

Screen shot 2015-04-10 at 10.37.30 AM

I have been studying the sex industry for nearly 25 years and been a feminist for even longer. Over this period I have seen many changes in the sex industry as well as how feminists and others talk about it. But for many Americans, feminists included, one point has remained steady: the belief that sexual […]

Carolyn Maloney: Equal Rights Crusader

Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 5.26.21 PM

This March, for Women’s History Month, the Ms. Blog is profiling Wonder Women who have made history—and those who are making history right now. Join us each day as we bring you the stories of iconic and soon-to-be-famous feminist change-makers. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney has championed women’s rights since the start of her congressional career in 1992. As a […]

Abortion Law: Roe Was Right, But McRae Was Wrong


Today marks the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court opinion that recognized the fundamental right to abortion, and with it comes the yearly celebrations and critiques. For decades, critics of Roe have claimed that the case was a travesty of justice and wrongly decided—that the opinion prompted such fierce backlash that abortion remains, […]

On the Docket: The Top 4 SCOTUS Cases to Follow in 2015


The Supreme Court’s 2014-2015 term—which began on Oct. 6—will conclude near the end of June 2015. After a year of decisions that narrowed women’s reproductive and economic rights, the current term provides the justices ample opportunities to right their wrongs (that is, if they can see past their egregious “blind spot” for women’s rights). Below, take […]