Ms. Muse: The Coffee Must Be Excellent and We Must Dance—to Defy Russia

The following poems of resistance are written by five poets who identify as women or once did. These poems are about our lives, our mothers and grandmothers, our younger selves and changing selves. The myths, lies and abuse we were raised on. Our beauty and our truths, our lovers and marriages, children and childlessness. The particular deals we make with our lives and “the true honey of freedom.”

Our poetry and stories—our songs—bring us together, remind and ignite us, and make us strong.

The Future is Ms.: Tennessee Teens Advocate for Abortion Rights in a Red State

Alyson Nordstrom, 17, knew that the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade would result in the girls and women of her community losing their rights to obtain an abortion entirely. Despite the challenges of fighting for a blue issue in a red state, Nordstrom helped form Teens for Reproductive Rights, a coalition of teens who organize fundraisers for abortion care, post infographics about current abortion restrictions in Tennessee and encourage teenagers to vote.

Alopecia Isn’t a ‘Cosmetic Issue’—It’s a Serious Autoimmune Disease

It took bravery for Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) and Jada Pinkett Smith to reveal their alopecia and rock a shaved head. The two revived the national conversation around alopecia—an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks its healthy hair follicles.

“To be bald as a woman really does disrupt conventional and societal norms of what is appropriate, what is professional, what is attractive, what is feminine,” said Pressley.

A Nation Without the Hyde Amendment Will Be Safer and More Humane for All of Us

On Sept. 30, 1976, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Hyde Amendment, which barred federal funds from covering abortions with the narrowest exceptions for rape, incest or threats to a patient’s life. As soon as Hyde went into effect, the number of Medicaid-covered abortions in the United States dropped from 300,000 to just a few thousand. 

Abortion, like all healthcare, should be a human right—not merely a benefit of select insurance plans. 

Women’s Rights and Legal Advocates Continue Push for Recognition of Equal Rights Amendment

On Wednesday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the case of Illinois v. Ferriero—a lawsuit brought against the national archivist to compel him to publish the Equal Rights Amendment as the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The lawsuit was brought by two of the three final states to ratify the ERA: Nevada and Illinois. Immediately following the oral arguments, ERA advocates held a press conference and a rally outside the court.

“We are hopeful that this will result in the certification of the ERA,” said Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), co-sponsor of H.J. Res. 28, the Equal Rights Amendment. 

Poet Victoria Chang Is Done Apologizing for Her Ambition

Victoria Chang’s website lists her as “poet, writer and editor”—but just three words can’t contain all that she does or who she is.  She is also a teacher at Antioch University, MBA graduate, editor of the New York Times Magazine’s poetry column, Guggenheim fellow, YA novelist and children’s picture book author, as well as other hybrid work.  She’s also a mother, friend and tireless advocate for more representation within the literary world.

In this interview, we discuss her influences, past and present projects, and how claiming ambition is still contested for a woman in the literary world.

The Future of Sex Education

If it’s been years—or decades—since you started a new school year, you may be surprised to learn that some areas of high school curriculum haven’t evolved for the better since you roamed the halls of your alma mater. This is especially true when it comes to sex education.

Young people today are less likely to receive instruction on key sex-education topics than they were 25 years ago. To get a sense of what the future of sex ed might look like, I interviewed several professionals and students about their own sex ed experiences and their visions on how sex ed can be improved.

Hillary Clinton on Iran, Abortion and the 2022 Midterms

On Friday, Sept. 23, Hillary Clinton—former U.S. secretary of state and the first woman to win a presidential nomination by a major U.S. political party—spoke at The Texas Tribune Festival in Austin, Texas. She was joined by Kara Swisher, renowned journalist and host of the new podcast On With Kara Swisher. Clinton’s and Swisher’s wide-ranging conversation covered several issues affecting women—from the feminist uprisings in Iran, to Trump and the classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, to the upcoming midterm elections. Read on for some of our favorite moments.