Rest in Power: Urvashi Vaid, the Queer Movement’s Legendary Firebrand

There has never been a queer leader like Urvashi Vaid. Until her death of metastatic breast cancer on May 14 at age 63, she spent the better part of five decades fighting injustice. Principle drove Urvashi in almost everything she did. She exploded onto the scene with a dynamism that has never been equaled since.

“The lesbian agenda is the reconstruction of families … the reimagining of power … the reorganization of the economic system … the reinforcement of civil rights and dignity for all people … the end of the oppression of women, the end of racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia … the reestablishment of a proper relationship to our environment. … When I list this laundry list of oppression, it does not overwhelm me; it tells me how far I have to go in my struggle; it tells me who my allies are.”

The Inflation Reduction Act Is a Much-Needed Win for Women

The Inflation Reduction Act, signed into law on Tuesday by President Biden, will benefit women for years to come.

The new law will limit the amount Medicare recipients have to pay out of pocket for drugs to $2,000 annually—a major benefit for older women, because they’re the majority of older Americans. The bill also empowers the Health and Human Services Secretary to negotiate prices for drugs covered under Medicare, and punish pharmaceutical companies that don’t play by the rules. Younger women below Medicare age will also benefit from other provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act, like subsidies that cover medical insurance premiums.

Don’t Draft Our Daughters—or Our Sons

From a feminist perspective, it is clear that it would be unjust to draft women against their will—not because “women are fragile” or in need of paternal care, but because we should not force anyone, regardless of gender, into war-fighting without their full consent. Instead of arguing about women joining the Selective Service, Democrats should join the bipartisan effort to abolish the Selective Service once and for all.

It’s Not Just the Supreme Court—It’s the Fossil Fuel Industry, Too

The communities that disproportionately lack abortion and reproductive healthcare services are also the ones uniquely affected by environmental injustices. Decades of public health impacts have shown us that communities who struggled to access reproductive healthcare, even before Roe v. Wade‘s repeal, are the same ones who have faced decades of environmental racism and injustice.

I am one face of the millions of people on the frontlines of urban oil extraction who endured serious health affects as a result.

Martha Kempner on Sexuality in the U.S.: ‘This Is a Really Scary Moment for Sexuality and Sexual Agency’

Martha Kempner spoke to Ms. about her weekly newsletter ‘Sex on Wednesday’ and the current political climate in the U.S. Sex, sexuality and sexual health are her subjects—and lately, she has no shortage of material to draw from.

“We are in a really critical period right now. This is a really scary moment for sexuality and sexual agency.”

‘Dark Prison Mirrors the Dark Future of Afghan Women’: A Firsthand Account of a Former Taliban Prisoner

Since the fall of Kabul on Aug. 15, 2021, Afghan women—many of whom dedicated their lives and careers to working for equality—have experienced a systematic campaign of violence and subjugation. Many took to the streets to protest, and in turn have been beaten, arrested, tortured and murdered. This firsthand account of Mursal Ayar’s life and arrest is a powerful reminder of our common humanity, and the duty we all share to protect the world’s most vulnerable—yet remarkable—activists. 

“After those 13 days, I am like a little girl who is afraid of the night. I sleep next to my mother. The Taliban have not only taken my country from me; they have taken everything from me. My peace, my dreams, my hope and courage. I left the Taliban prison, but I could not regain what I have lost forever.”

National Youth Poet Laureate Alyssa Gaines Breaks Down the Realities for Young Women in a Post-Roe World

Young people are taking to the streets to protest, lobbying their elected officials and taking to activism in droves to make abortion accessible for those who need it. National Youth Poet Laureate Alyssa Gaines is using her writing to affirm the need for abortion care and to reach those most impacted by anti-choice legislation.

“It’s my responsibility to reach out and try to connect to those people instead of just writing them off.”

Our Abortion Stories: ‘He Said if I Got Pregnant, He’d Marry Me. I Got Pregnant. He Left.’

On June 24, the Supreme Court overturned the longstanding precedents of Roe v. Wade, representing the largest blow to women’s constitutional rights in history. We’re chronicling readers’ experiences of abortion pre- and post-Roe.

“I had just told my husband that I was leaving him when I got the news that I was pregnant. At the time, I already had two daughters under the age of six. I was figuring out how I was going to be a single mother with a demanding job that paid very little. … I don’t think we would’ve turned out with the lives we now have if there had been another mouth to feed. Nor, frankly, should I have to explain myself or my situation to anyone.”