War on Women Report: Republicans Propose 150 Anti-Trans Bills; Idaho Republican Says Women Are Like Cows; Trump Glosses Over His Role in the End of Roe

U.S. patriarchal authoritarianism is on the rise, and democracy is on the decline. But day after day, we stay vigilant in our goals to dismantle patriarchy at every turn. The fight is far from over. We are watching, and we refuse to go back. This is the War on Women Report.

This month: Biden announces new immigration restrictions; Trump glosses over his role in the fall of Roe; Greta Thunberg is detained; Idaho Republican Jack Nelsen wants everyone to know he knows a lot about women; protests erupt nationwide after the disturbing video of police assaulting Tyre Nichols is released; and more.

Violence Against Jacinda Ardern and Other Women Political Leaders Is an Attack on Democracy Itself

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern faced online vitriol at a rate between 50 and 90 times higher than any other high-profile figure.

Because men commit the vast majority of violence directed at women in politics, men who reject misogyny and violence have a special responsibility to call it out. What can men who believe in elementary fairness and other basic democratic values do? They can start by pushing back against the idea that violent rhetoric in politics is normal.

Like Prince Harry, Survivors of Family Sexual Assault Know What It’s Like to Cope With Family After Public Truth-Telling

In his new book Spare, Prince Harry outlines the trauma he experienced as a child after Princess Diana’s death, as well as the whitewashing and abuse he and his wife, Meghan Markle, suffered at the hands of both the press and his royal family. As a survivor of sexual violence, I recognize Harry’s plight and also the incredibly painful journey of losing relatives because of truth-telling in an effort to be whole again.

Ranked-Choice Voting Is on the Rise—From the Academy Awards to the Texas Legislature

Weekend Reading for Women’s Representation is a compilation of stories about women’s representation. 

This week: Academy Award nominations used multi-winner, proportional ranked-choice voting; Columbia University names its first woman president; some members of the New York City Council continue to have questions about ranked-choice voting, despite its giving voters more voice and more choice; and more.

Jacinda Ardern Showed the Power of Women’s Leadership—And the Urgent Need for More

“The resignation of Jacinda Ardern reminds us that women continue to face barriers in politics, and that it is essential to build governmental workplaces that enable all to participate and succeed,” said Cynthia Richie Terrell, executive director and founder of RepresentWomen. “Even as leaders like Ardern have advanced women’s political representation, the pace of progress remains unacceptably sluggish.” 

Reads for the Rest of Us: The Most Anticipated Feminist Books of 2023

I have spent the last few months scouring catalogs and websites, receiving hundreds of books and even more emails from authors, publicists and publishers, reading your book Tweets and DMs, all to find out what books are coming out in 2023 that I think you, my exceptional, inquisitive and discerning Ms readers, will want to hear about. 

Here’s your TBR (to be read) for the year. Enjoy!

How Johnny Depp Turned Abuse Allegations Into a Comeback

By 2018, Johnny Depp was bordering on irrelevancy—but he soon gained a tremendous fandom as a public trial unfolded, prompted by abuse allegations from his ex-wife Amber Heard. In December, Heard announced she would no longer be moving forward with her appeal because “cannot afford to risk an impossible bill—one that is not just financial, but also psychological, physical and emotional.”

Depp has paved a new path for accused men in search of cultural capital—and accomplished the very thing women throughout the ages have been baselessly accused of: leveraging victimhood to gain status. Depp, whose career was flailing, became not just a rallying cry for men’s rights and the supposed victimhood of being a successful, wealthy, white man in a changing world, but a newly hot commodity in Hollywood once again with a thriving fan base.