Keeping Score: Why Are Women More Likely Than Men To Wear Masks in Public?

In every issue of Ms., we track research on our progress in the fight for equality, catalogue can’t-miss quotes from feminist voices and keep tabs on the feminist movement’s many milestones. We’re Keeping Score online, too—in this biweekly roundup.

Lest We Forget

+ “I’ve met so many of you. I’ve heard your stories. And through you, I have seen this country’s promise. And thanks to so many who came before me, thanks to their toil and sweat and blood, I’ve been able to live that promise myself.

“That’s the story of America. All those folks who sacrificed and overcame so much in their own times because they wanted something more, something better for their kids. There’s a lot of beauty in that story. There’s a lot of pain in it, too, a lot of struggle and injustice and work left to do. …

“So, it is up to us to add our voices and our votes to the course of history, echoing heroes like John Lewis who said, ‘When you see something that is not right, you must say something. You must do something.’ That is the truest form of empathy: not just feeling, but doing; not just for ourselves or our kids, but for everyone, for all our kids.”

—Michelle Obama, during her speech at the Democratic National Convention

+ “I have done more for WOMEN than just about any President in HISTORY! As we celebrate the 100th Anniversary of women’s voting rights, we should build a BEAUTIFUL STATUE in Washington D.C. to honor the many brave women who made this possible for our GREAT COUNTRY…”

Tweeted President Donald Trump

+ “He not in jail, because I didn’t tells the laws what happened as soon as it happened and I should have. I’m smart. … I don’t have to spare nobody, but I did and I’m done.”

—Megan Thee Stallion, though having been shot by rapper Tory Lanez, protected him from the police immediately following the incident.

+ “Just heard from a teacher friend prepping for the school year: they’ve been told they can’t leave classroom doors open to promote better air circulation, because that would circumvent the school’s automatic locking system that’s in place for active shooter situations.”

Tweeted journalist Gabriel Debenedetti


+ The Reclaim Her Name Collection—a joint project between the Women’s Prize for Fiction and Baileys—is republishing 25 novels originally written by women under male pen names. The new covers have the real names of the authors.

We Heart: Republishing Novels To Recognize Women Writers
“Throughout history, many female writers have used male pen names for their work to be published or taken seriously,” wrote Baileys on its website. “ … [W]e have put their real names on the front of their work for the first time to honor their achievements.” (Baileys / Women’s Prize for Fiction)

+ Karine Jean-Pierre, the chief of staff to Kamala Harris, is the first Black person and first out lesbian to serve in such a role to a vice president.

+ At least 15 states have reported COVID-19 outbreaks at their universities. Many schools, such as Notre Dame and UNC-Chapel Hill, have had to quickly transition to an online-only format as cases soar in their communities.

+ Some companies are now providing “period leave,” or paid time off for when their employees are menstruating.

+ To celebrate the centennial anniversary of women’s suffrage, President Trump pardoned Susan B. Anthony. She was arrested in 1872 for voting before women were granted the right to vote.

The Susan B. Anthony Museum rejected the pardon, arguing Anthony would never have wanted to be pardoned for something that she never considered a crime. The president and CEO of the museum, Deborah L. Hughes, instead asked the president to honor the suffragist by disavowing voter suppression, advocating for human rights and tackling discrimination.

Read more:

+ A few years ago, Marley Dias set out on a mission to find books that feature Black girls as the main character. While her initial goal was 1,000 books, enshrined in the campaign name #1000BlackGirlBooks, she has now catalogued 12,000 such books.

+ Three trans women were robbed and assaulted in Los Angeles on Thursday, Aug. 20. In relation to the event, two men have been arrested on the charges of robbery and committing a hate crime.

+ Cardi B. and Megan Thee Stallion will be giving $1 million dollars to women who tweeted #WAPParty. The giveaway celebrates “WAP,” their new sex-positive song from the perspective of two female rappers.

+ The “Golden State Killer,” Joseph James DeAngelo Jr., will finally be held accountable for his crimes from the ’70s and ’80s—he was sentenced to life in prison without parole. He killed 13 people and raped over 50 women. This is a major win for women’s justice; according to RAINN, out of 1,000 sexual assaults, 995 perpetrators go free.

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How We’re Doing

+ The New York Times found that, in New York City, women are more likely than men to wear masks in public. Specifically, one in three men were massless, whereas only one in six women were caught doing the same. Moreover, the men that were wearing masks were more likely to be doing so improperly.

In New York City, those ignoring the mask rule are nearly twice as likely to be men as women.. (U.S. Air Force / Christian Conrad)

+ A survey released shows that a vast majority of respondents (77 percent) agree that telehealth is a useful method to obtain birth control from a healthcare provider, particularly when in-person visits are not possible.

Despite support for telehealth, gaps in information persist. Only 36 percent of respondents were able to describe what telehealth is—and only 24 percent knew how to secure a telehealth provider.

+ 583 women are running for Congress in 2020, a record number. It is also an all-time-high number of Black women running for office, at 130 congressional candidates.

+ In the face of the pandemic, the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer: Jobs for high-wage earners have recovered, but less than half of the jobs earning under $20 per hour have returned since the pandemic started.

+ According to the Labor Department, Black people have recovered around 20 percent of jobs lost in the pandemic, while that number is 40 percent for white men and 45 percent for white women.

+ In the U.S., Hispanic/Latinx people are the most represented group of pregnant people with COVID-19.


Sarah Montgomery is a senior at USC. She is passionate about using writing as a tool for social change. Her Starbucks beverage of choice is the iced skinny vanilla latte—personal cup and reusable straw, of course.