For the most part, technological innovation made our lives better and easier, and made humanity healthier and wealthier. But I worry we are walking blindly into an AI nightmare.
The world is not confined to Israel and Palestine, and it should be possible to give that conflict the attention and outrage it deserves—which is a lot—while not treating other people as trivial or disposable because they happen to live in places that are not as geopolitically relevant to U.S. interests, or are not as psychologically or biologically tied to as many Americans and Europeans, or are not as connected to the American and European telling of history.
It does not have to be this way. We do not have to turn our eyes away.
The people who are least responsible for this war—women, children, innocents of all kinds—are bearing the heaviest burdens of this war.
I’m on the side of the women whose children’s lives have been stolen, of the women who were told to flee but had nowhere to go, of the women who fled but were bombed anyway, of the women who don’t have clean water or medicine or electricity or a safe place to hide, of the women who like so many women are desperate down to the marrow to protect their children, of the women who cannot do that one singular thing, of the women scrawling names on their children’s limbs so someone might be able to identify them, of the women who are pulling their children’s bodies out of piles of rubble, of the women who lost their lives to a war they didn’t start and wanted nothing to do with.
The Alliance Defending Freedom is the group that overturned Roe v. Wade. And they’re clear on what they’re coming for next: Trans rights. Gay rights. The separation of church and state. Secularism. Anti-discrimination laws. And contraception.
I don’t think Nikki Haley should be president. But there’s no real comparison between her bona fides and Vivek Ramaswamy’s. She has spent the last 20 years working her way up the political chain. She’s held legislative roles and executive ones. She has terrible ideas, but she’s done what so many women have: Gone through the process, collected accomplishments, waited her turn. And now she’s experiencing what so many women have: A young man, buoyed by his own enormous ego, skipping the hard parts and the learning-how-to-do-it parts and feeling entitled to power, simply on the basis of his potential greatness and self-assuredness.
No wonder she’s livid.
Girls are showing up, shaping popular culture for the better. Their choices tell us about friendship, connection, and how to forge joy in this world.
Of course, the power of girls as consumers and taste-makers isn’t new. And life remains pretty damn hard for young people. But when I see the Swifties in their ecstatic thrall, or the pink-clad Barbie hordes stampeding toward the theater, I think: We could all use a little more of that sincerity and exuberance in our lives.
Every five days, a person murders his family. We see these killings so much more often in conservative states, where guns are easy to get and there’s a higher concentration of sexist, insecure men who expect their wives to behave.
The U.S. is a global outlier when it comes to gun deaths. in much of the world, violent, misogynist men cannot easily get their hands on deadly weapons. In the U.S., they can—and the Supreme Court may make that even easier.
Modern-day debates over gay rights and women’s rights are far less about long-standing cultural norms and far more about power and social control.
Criminalizing abortion makes pregnancy more dangerous and renders doctors impotent to treat pregnant women fully and appropriately.
Pregnancy has long been one of the more dangerous things a woman can do. It is not convenient for abortion opponents, but the truth is that pregnancies go wrong, and sometimes they threaten women’s lives and our health. Even when everything goes right, pregnancies are tremendously stressful events on the body; they leave their mark, and they cause permanent changes (and often permanent injuries). It is unreasonable and unconscionable for the state to force this on women.
Where voters are allowed to have a say, they give a resounding “yes” to abortion rights. Instead of adjusting their politics accordingly, the GOP just makes it harder for voters to vote.
There is a direct relationship between authoritarianism and opposition to abortion rights. After all, what is more authoritarian and more a rejection of basic individual freedoms, than believing the government should be able to force you into pregnancy and motherhood?
(This essay is part of Women’s Rights and Backsliding Democracies project—a multimedia project made up of essays, video and podcast programming, presented by Ms., NYU Law’s Birnbaum Women’s Leadership Network and Rewire News Group.)