What NOT to Say to a Teen Girl on Thanksgiving


As the mother of two teenage daughters, I’ve struggled through a few holiday dinners that began as fun and festive and quickly turned awkward and painful. I’ve watched older family members start off with what they thought was good-natured teasing and seen one teenager or another grow more sullen and unresponsive as the meal went […]

Spotify Announces Impressive Parental Leave Program


On Thursday, music-streaming service Spotify announced the launch of a broad parental leave program that includes six months’ leave for new mothers and fathers. Effective immediately, the Swedish-born company is offering full-time employees time off with 100 percent pay, which can be broken up into three separate periods and taken within the first three years of a child’s life (employees who become […]

Is This the End of the Model Gay Character?


Reprinted with permission from Women and Hollywood Earlier this month, Oscar-nominated screenwriter Ron Nyswaner reignited a debate that has long been percolating in the LGBT community about our representation in media and entertainment. At the Vanguard Awards, Nyswaner, the writer of Philadelphia and Freeheld, had some pointed things to say about how the project had been “de-gayed.” […]

Consent: It’s as Easy as… Tea!

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As part of a new anti-rape campaign, a British police department is promoting a video that explains the definition of consent using possibly the most British analogy imaginable: tea. And it’s surprisingly effective. The video, originally created by Emmeline May, the blogger behind Rockstar Dinosaur Pirate Princess, and Blue Seat Studios, uses the example of offering […]

Your Guide to Feminist Holiday Gift-Giving: Girls Edition


Reprinted with permission from the American Association of University Women With the holiday season fast approaching, shopping for the girls in your life might seem as easy as heading to the pink aisles of stores. But with several major retailers, including Target and Amazon, doing away with gender-based toy labeling, toy aisles are finally starting […]

A Year Later, the World’s Girls are Still Waiting


Seven hundred million women alive today were married as children. Robbed of their childhood, marital vows for girls typically mean an end to education, early childbearing that puts their still-developing bodies at risk, a life of servitude, increased exposure to violence and abuse and limited opportunities to make choices about their own future. Child marriage […]

What Scandal’s Civil Rights-Era Critique Says About Contemporary Black Women and Girls


“…Do the impossible, raise an African American girl who felt as fully entitled to own the world as much as any white man,” I recalled that line, uttered in a recent episode of Scandal, when I saw the viral video of a white South Carolina school police officer violently ripping a Black teenage girl from […]

What Hillary Clinton and Anne Hathaway Have in Common


Hillary Clinton has been in the public spotlight for so long that her likability isn’t a question; even her most ardent supporters acknowledge that people don’t like her. Republicans, of course, but also the very people she’s spent her whole career trying to represent: women. Gloria Steinem’s new book, My Life on the Road, excerpted […]

I Thought My Husband’s Abuse Was My Fault


October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The Ms. Blog will be publishing a series of posts detailing the impact of domestic violence, including personal essays and more, throughout the month. It was my fault. He swore he’d changed. Swore he wanted to get help. I was living in California, with family, where I’d fled with my two daughters […]

I Didn’t Know


October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The Ms. Blog will be publishing a series of posts detailing the impact of domestic violence, including personal essays and more, throughout the month. The moment I knew I had to escape. It was 3 am. I gripped the cool steering wheel with trembling fingers and white knuckles. “Mommy I’m hungry.” My […]