Today’s show is all about reproductive health, rights and justice. We are unpacking the Texas abortion law, S.B. 8, talking about the Supreme Court, and what the legacies of legislative interference with reproductive decision-making and autonomy mean for women, people who can become pregnant, and for U.S. democracy.
It’s 20 years after 9/11 and what have we learned? In May, when U.S. and international troops began to withdraw from Afghanistan, feminists and Afghanistan experts warned of the brutal impact that would likely be felt by women and minorities with the return of the Taliban and in the vacuum of leadership. They were right.
The Taliban have announced their provisional government, which does not include a single woman. Already, reports show the armed group being violent and intimidating women protesters, women journalists and ethnic minorities. Just like in the ’90s, live music is banned throughout the country once again, and Afghan women are banned from playing sports.
What does this mean for national security? The safety of women and girls? What are the geo-political dynamics yet to be sorted?
The recent rise in documented anti-Asian violence—which saw grandmothers being punched on the streets, and a major shooting in Atlanta—has raised questions about the current status of Asian American identity and safety in the U.S.
How does “Asian” fit into the American racial taxonomy, which has for so long relied on a dichotomy of Black and white?
Republican lawmakers in Texas seem obsessed with passing extreme voter suppression legislation, banning critical race theory and outlawing abortion outright. In protest, Texas House Democrats have fled the state en masse and are making national news while camped out in the U.S. capital. Texas Governor Greg Abbott has threatened to arrest legislators when they return from Washington, D.C., *and* vowed to call special session after special session until the elections bill passes. On Saturday, July 31, thousands of people descended upon the Texas Capitol with signs demanding lawmakers “Protect Voting Rights,” “End the Filibuster” and “Say No to Jim Crow.”
So … what the heck is happening in Texas?! If you haven’t been following along, don’t worry—we’ve got you covered in this week’s edition of “On the Issues,” 15 Minutes of Feminism. (Okay, 17 minutes!)
In our second ’15 Minutes of Feminism’ episode, the Badass Women of Podcasting take on the Supreme Court. As the court goes into recess, we’re recapping the highs and lows of the past year. What was at stake? What did feminists win — and whose rights remain at risk? We update you on the state of the court, cases feminists should be keeping their eyes on going forward, and more.
What does independence mean for the rest of us? Women have long asked this question—as have groups that have felt or experienced being shut out, excluded, colonized or enslaved.
On July 5, 1852—a time in which the U.S. reaped benefit from the enslavement of kidnapped and trafficked Black people from the shores of Africa—Frederick Douglass put it this way: “What to the slave is the Fourth of July?”
That was long ago, before the Emancipation Proclamation, Civil War and ratification of the 13th Amendment. However, the question—what does it mean to be free, equal and a citizen?—remains a vital point of discussion not only in the United States, but around the world. We dive into freedom, the 4th of July, and what it means to be represented in this episode.
What does liberty mean to and for you, your family, your communities? To answer that, we are talking to folks making a difference at the local level.
In this joyous episode, host Michele Goodwin is joined by music icon Anita Pointer of the three-time Grammy Award-winning R&B group the Pointer Sisters and her brother Fritz Pointer, acclaimed professor and historian and former music manager. They celebrate Juneteenth and unpack their award-winning memoir, Fairytale: The Pointer Sisters’ Family Story.
Fritz and Anita Pointer discuss coming of age in the civil rights movement; emphasize the importance of tenacity and learning the hard way; and break down what it was like for their family to finally break through and land award after award—all by doing it their own way. As an added bonus, expect to be serenaded by Anita Pointer!
All eyes are on Washington D.C., with commissions to study the January 6 insurrection, expansion of the Supreme Court, and coronavirus origins. But that means much can be overlooked at home. Do you know the names of your local school board members? What about the folks on your city council?
This week, we’re giving listeners a new way to listen to Dr. Michele Goodwin’s reporting, rebelling and truth-telling: 15 Minutes of Feminism, where we give a serious take on an important issue featuring a single guest (okay, fine—maybe two from time to time.) In these jam-packed, bite-sized episodes, you can expect voices from the center of the story—people you should know, those who roll up their sleeves and change the world. These are guests who have things to do, places to be, and something important to say. (Next week, we’ll be back with our regular programming!)
In this inaugural episode, we center Breonna Taylor: We say her name, revisit her story and reflect on what comes next.
In this episode, we’re focusing on moms, child care, single parenting and teen parenting. We know that women have been hit hard by COVID—causing many to dub the economic downturn a “she-cession.” And as it stands, current U.S. laws and policies are woefully inadequate—leaving mothers, particularly mothers living with low incomes, behind. Luckily, women-led organizations are helping moms by filling in the gaps.
On March 31, the Biden administration released the American Jobs Plan, which establishes broad goals for achieving a cleaner and more equitable future, including significant investments in green jobs like caregiving and clean energy infrastructure. On April 22—Earth Day—Biden further raised the stakes, committing the U.S. to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. Even still, there are legislators at local, state and federal levels that continue to deny climate change as real.
Meanwhile, in Flint, Michigan, after a five-year water crisis, reports say the water is now clean—but many locals still refuse to drink it to this day, due to a loss of trust.
How do global warming and other environmental concerns affect the lives of listeners in coastal areas, or those who live near waste sites, or in areas where environmental concerns are hidden? What does environmental and climate justice look like?
Now that the U.S. has reentered the Paris Climate Agreement, what next steps must be taken to address climate change and environmental injustice here at home? What can we expect from the Biden-Harris administration?
In this episode, we confront the question at the center of Derek Chauvin’s trial: Who killed George Floyd? Our guests unpack that question as an issue central to police and societal violence. Examining who killed George Floyd means taking stock of legacies of racism in the Twin Cities, including redlining, school segregation, policies that undermine equality, and disparate rates of policing and mass incarceration.
As attention has turned to the horrors of the old South, has racism of the new North been overlooked? And at what cost to Black lives? Have liberal allies made a difference or exacerbated harms in the Twin Cities?
We also explore the trauma associated with George Floyd’s death and other officer-involved killings. Experts on our show explain how racism produce physical and psychological health harms.
It’s tax season! It’s time to talk race, taxation and D.C. statehood. The U.S. tax system raises serious questions about equity and inclusion and—according to our guests—taxation is at the root of many social and economic injustices.
So, who does the U.S. tax code benefit? Who does it leave behind? How does racism manifest in the U.S. tax system? What role does D.C. statehood play in all of this? What roles can we expect the Biden administration to play in the fight for D.C. statehood and the larger fight for racial and economic justice?
Brooke Baldwin is a renowned CNN anchor and author of a new book, HUDDLE: How Women Unlock Their Collective Power, out this month. Huddle examines the phenomenon of “huddling,” or what happens when women lean on one another—in the arts, activism, politics, Hollywood and everyday friendships—to lift up each other and to provide empowerment, support, inspiration and the creativity and courage to enact change and solve problems.
Gender-based and sexual violence are pervasive symptoms of a larger violence issue in this country. This reality is exemplified by recent reports that some insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol on January 6 have histories of violence against women, including domestic violence and sexual assault. Of course, we also remain in mourning for the lives lost to gun violence in America—most recently the horrific killings of eight people, including six women of Asian descent, in Atlanta, and 10 people at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado.
What do these events convey about the U.S. and our culture of sexual violence? What connections can we make from gender-based violence and sexual violence to a broader culture of violence in the U.S.? How does gender-based violence intersect with race and racism? What can we do to begin to disrupt this culture?
The 2020 election revealed the deep fractures in U.S. democracy and its electoral system. Many were already there, but this past election truly pushed our voting system to its limits.
“Many of the familiar procedures for translating the people’s will into the choice of a president depend on norms of behavior, not laws,” guest Rick Hasen put it—evident from the significant efforts undertaken to undermine and interfere with the results of the election.
Part of this dysfunction played out in the Senate, where the institution itself protects arcane rules and undemocratic processes. Is the Senate truly representative? Is the electoral system fair? Is it time to eliminate the electoral college? What other electoral reforms should we be considering? What does contemporary voter suppression look like?
One of the important Senate rules at issue today is the filibuster, which has been weaponized at various times to defeat important legislation. What purpose does the filibuster serve? Is it a barrier to real progress?
“Women’s rights are human rights,” proclaimed then-First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton in September 1995 at the United Nations’ Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. This groundbreaking speech marked a turning point for feminism and international efforts toward gender equality, articulating women’s rights as a basic fundamental concept of civil rights, human rights and dignity. During the conference, 189 countries unanimously adopted the Beijing Declaration and the Platform for Action for women’s equality.
In this show we consider the impact of the U.N. agenda for gender equality and women’s empowerment. Where has there been progress? What are the setbacks? What comes next in the global agenda on women’s rights?
As women continue to be hit by job loss, increased home responsibilities, family caretaking, unaccounted for invisible labor, homelessness and domestic violence, it’s clear the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed underlying institutional and infrastructural inequalities in our society.
It’s time to check in on and reimagine the international status of women and girls. What would a feminist foreign policy agenda look like in the United States? How does it look globally? How does it take into account vulnerable women and girls? What hope exists for ending inequality based on race, sex and gender? What differences do women and girls make as social, political and economic motivators for change?
In this episode, we remember our friend and advocate for women in prison, Sue Ellen Allen, who died this week on February 24, 2021. In the latter part of her life, she became an internationally renowned advocate for incarcerated women and girls. She championed banning the box, promoting reentry, and protecting the integrity and dignity of people tethered to the criminal justice system. She was a reformer. She spoke with tremendous grace and power about being formerly incarcerated.
Take a listen as we revisit Sue Ellen Allen’s final interview—a wide-ranging and intimate conversation with her long-time friend, Michele Goodwin.
Rest in power, Sue Ellen.
On January 16, 2021, the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Dustin Higgs became the 13th and final person executed by the Trump administration—just days before Inauguration Day for President Joe Biden, the first sitting president to openly oppose the death penalty.
What purpose does the death penalty serve? How have race and racism marked the implementation of the death penalty? Is there ever a humane way to kill another person? With public support for the death penalty waning in the U.S. and across the world, how can the U.S. continue to justify it, both federally and in individual states?
Women make up the fastest growing incarcerated population in the U.S—yet, politicians and the media frequently frame incarceration as an issue that affects only boys and men. Why is so little attention paid to women and mass incarceration? What does the failure to include women in the analysis on mass incarceration mean for communities, families and the women themselves? What are the unique challenges women and girls face behind bars and after they are released?
Friday, January 22 marked the 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court’s landmark decision affirming a constitutional right to abortion. Yet, decades later, reproductive health care access remains illusory for many women and people of birthing capacity.
Is the constitutional right to abortion a reality today? If so, for whom? How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted women’s health and exacerbated existing disparities? What can we expect from the first 100 days of the Biden-Harris administration? What is the status of reproductive health, rights and justice—48 years after Roe?
On today’s show, we planned to introduce listeners to the new feminists in Congress—and we do. But, in the period since our team at Ms. curated the design and content of this episode, another shoe has dropped in American politics: the insurrection.
We examine what the Jan. 6 riot and insurrection at the U.S. Capitol signify for our nation, including what we can learn from it. Why did it happen? Will the president be impeached? And what does this atmosphere mean for the new feminists in Congress?
This year has been defined by the COVID-19 pandemic, a reckoning on racism and policing in America, the 2020 election, and the ongoing fight for justice.
What does the 2020 election and the Biden/Harris win mean for our democracy? How important is the outcome of the Georgia runoff for the incoming administration? Where are we on immigration? How are we to undo the damage to our federal courts and address the legitimacy of the U.S. Supreme Court? How do we reckon with the racial unrest that exists in our country—especially when it comes to police violence? What hope lies ahead in the realm of reproductive health, rights and justice?
Government leaders worldwide met the election of President-Elect Joe Biden with a collective sigh of relief. But while many celebrate Biden’s win, many still wonder if the possibility of another presidency that devalues global treaties and relationships related to protecting global health, the environment, and stemming nuclear proliferation is in America’s future.
How is the U.S. viewed abroad? What are the opportunities and challenges ahead for the next administration? Where are the biggest tensions in U.S. foreign relationships and diplomacy? Does the U.S. have an international legitimacy problem? The world has witnessed amazing leadership from women in other nations, especially during COVID—so what can the U.S. learn from that?
On Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. was elected the 46th president of the United States. Vice President-Elect Kamala Devi Harris made history becoming the first woman, the first Black person, and the first South Asian person to ever hold the office. This news resulted in widespread celebrations throughout the country and all across the world. Additionally, a significant number of down-ballot victories also mark historic milestones in U.S. politics—including countless firsts for people of color, LGBTQ+ candidates and women.
But while there is cause for celebration, there is more work to be done and more questions to be asked. Was the election free and fair across the nation? What did we learn from this election? Where and how did democracy flourish? What does the 2020 election mean for our democracy, our courts, and our state and federal agencies?
Dr. Goodwin and her guests answer some of your pressing election questions—and have a bit of fun. Let them keep you company (and keep you calm!) while you wait for results.
At the 1964 Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, voting activist and civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer described the violent injustice she and others had endured while living under the South’s Jim Crow rules and fighting for the right to vote: “I am sick and tired of being sick and tired!”
Over 50 years later, ahead of the 2020 election, we see record early voting across the country. Even so, serious efforts aimed at voter suppression persist, including curbing access to mail-in voting and shutting down polling locations.
So, what are the biggest threats to voting rights today? How is voter suppression showing up in the 2020 election? What can we do to ensure that our elections remain free and fair?
Recently, Justice Clarence Thomas, joined by Justice Samuel Alito, lashed out at the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision, which guaranteed marriage equality, calling it ruinous for religious liberty. In response, the New Yorker posed a sobering question: “Does Clarence Thomas now speak for the majority of the Supreme Court on LGBTQ Rights?”
The use of religious liberty to discriminate against LGBTQ people is nothing new. And marriage is not the only issue on the line. Among other things, the Trump administration has worked to discriminate against gay parents in foster care and adoption, take away vital healthcare under the ACA, and prevent transgender people from serving in the military.
The attacks are not limited to the federal government either: This year alone, there have been clear, coordinated efforts at the state level to legalize discrimination against people based on their LGBTQ identity.
What is the current legal landscape for LGBTQ rights and justice? What is the significance of the impending election for the rights of the LGBTQ community? What’s at stake?
On January 15, 2020, Virginia became the critical 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, or ERA—a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution that reads: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.” Virginia’s ratification raised important questions about the viability of an amendment that had been stymied for decades.
What does the promise of the ERA hold in the continued battle for equality and freedom? What roles have women of color played to secure the ERA? In the wake of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, what is the modern platform for women’s equality?
President Trump has appointed and confirmed a near record number of judges to the federal bench in four years. In fact, nearly one-third of all active federal judges on the U.S. appeals courts have been appointed by Trump. On the federal courts of appeal, the president has not appointed one African American and only one Latino judge.
These issues are magnified by Trump’s recent nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court left by the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg—a nomination made 38 days before the Election Day, during a time in which some voters across the country are already in the process of voting. The passing of Justice Ginsburg and the promise of confirmation hearing, even during COVID and while the president is under medical surveillance, has now caused an uproar.
On today’s show, we focus on the question: Can the president suspend the elections? The short answer: No. But while the law is clear, President Trump’s efforts to delay the elections, sow distrust in our democratic processes, and wreak havoc on the U.S. electoral process are already well underway.
On July 30, President Trump tweeted mail-in voting will make this year’s elections “the most inaccurate and fraudulent election in history.” (In reality, mail-in voter fraud averages 0.0025 percent.) This, just months after he and others dismissed as ridiculous Democratic presidential nominee Joseph Biden’s warnings in April that Trump might “try to kick back the election somehow” or “come up with some rationale why it can’t be held.”
The president’s tweets and public comments raise serious questions about the integrity of the upcoming elections. For example, what are the ramifications of Trump suggestions that we suspend the election? Will access to mail-in ballots (or lack thereof) impact voter turnout? Can Trump invoke martial law if he loses the election? What are the possible threats to our democracy come November?
From a frozen asylum system, huge camps on the Mexico border and family separation policies, to the worsening lack of healthcare and the aftereffects of COVID-19, Latinx communities are at a disadvantage both inside and outside U.S. borders. In this episode, we focus on events over the last few years greatly impacting Latinx communities: socially, economically and politically—as Trump administration immigration policies have resulted in child separation,huge camps on the Southern border, stalled immigration, and much more.
Meanwhile, those held in detention centers face an added layer of challenges—ranging from lost children, to an increased risk of COVID infections. Are detainees seeking self-deportation to avoid contracting COVID?
In this episode, in the midst of the centennial anniversary of women’s securing the right to vote, we focus on the 19th Amendment. The perpetual struggle for U.S. voting rights has been fraught with conflict, and the fight for women’s suffrage was no exception. Even after the 19th Amendment was passed, women of color were denied the opportunity to vote: Black women were kept from voting through insidious practices like poll taxes and long wait times (some which still exist today); Indigenous women, many of whom inspired the initial Euro-American push for women’s rights and suffrage, were not considered citizens; and Asian women could not naturalize for citizenship. In fact, until the mid-1950s, laws enacted by Congress—including the Page Act—made it very difficult for Asian women who immigrated to the U.S. to become citizens.
Because voting rights are central to our democracy, we devote this episode to the 19th Amendment, its history and the road ahead.
In this episode, we focus on why #WeHaveHerBack. You heard it recently in the wake of Sen. Kamala Harris’s selection as the vice presidential candidate for the Democratic ticket. #WeHaveHerBack is as a powerful challenge to newsrooms to avoid sexism in media representation. Tina Tchen, president and CEO of Time’s Up Now, joins host Dr. Michele Goodwin to talk the importance of having Harris’s back—and other women candidates’ backs, too.
Today’s episode also focuses on women’s political leadership, starting with the urgent need to repeal the Helms Amendment. Dr. Goodwin is joined by two pathbreaking members of Congress—Representatives Jan Schakowsky and Barbara Lee—to discuss why women’s leadership has been central to forging political representation, equality and fighting for reproductive health, rights and justice—at home and abroad. Their leadership helps to put in context why the #WeHaveHerBack campaign is so important, and why women’s leadership matters.
Since 1790, of the 113 individuals who have served on the Supreme Court, only four have been women. Similarly, in over 230 years, only three justices have been persons of color—two of whom presently serve on the Court. Under Trump, the vast majority of judges confirmed to the nation’s federal courts are white men. Thus, in over two hundred years, very little has changed in terms of the Court’s composition.
On this special episode, we focus on toxic masculinity in the U.S., including online misogyny, and how it translates into real-world violence—highlighted most recently in the horrific murder of Daniel Anderl, the son of U.S. District Court Judge Esther Salas, and the shooting of her husband Mark Anderl. The person assumed responsible for those tragedies is Roy Den Hollander, a self-proclaimed “men’s rights” activist—part of a growing movement of men who describe themselves as frustrated by women. Some members of this movement are also known as “incels.”
We also turn to the everyday harassment women experience—even in Congress, like in the case of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who was accosted by Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.). Representative Yoho called her “disgusting,” “a “f***ing bitch,” and at first denied it. Rep. Yoho claimed his “passion” got the better of him and offered what many would describe as a rambling floor speech in which his daughters and wife were centered. However, he did not apologize. For some women, this looked like typical workplace misogyny they endure all the time.
What lessons can be drawn from these incidents and others? Has toxic masculinity gone too far?
In June Medical v. Russo, the Supreme Court struck down a challenge to abortion rights in Louisiana, a state in which reproductive health care access is already fraught. The law would have required all doctors performing abortions to obtain hospital admitting privileges. Even though this case has put such challenges to rest, lawmakers in Louisiana have effectively undercut women’s access to reproductive healthcare, causing clinic closures and more. As our guests make clear, Roe is not enough.
However, it’s not just abortion rights or pregnancy at stake, with regard to women’s health. Reproductive justice matters, and bringing that lens into these conversations is urgent. The rise in criminalization of pregnant women for failing to comport to the state’s standards for behavior during pregnancy is alarming. Women have been threatened with arrest for refusing C-sections, falling down steps and attempting suicide during pregnancy. Where does this end? What should we be concerned about? What’s the future of Americans being able to exercise control their own reproductive futures, given the aggressive attacks at the state and federal levels? We close considering how organizations, doctors, lawyers and activists are fighting back.
On today’s show, we focus on rebuilding America from the ground up. What will it take? What issues should we be concerned about, which are not making the news? For example, despite what appear to be recent triumphs at the Supreme Court with regard to LGBTQ equality, reproductive rights and DACA, many argue those victories are thin and fragile. Beyond that, as we know, underlying challenges persist, including pay inequality between men and women; Americans living beneath the poverty line without a living wage; lack of access to affordable health care; and a warming planet. Most painfully, our democracy is at stake—clearly evidenced by voter suppression.
On today’s inaugural show, we focus on policing in America, examining race, sex and violence. We specifically take up women and policing, elevating the stories and experiences of women—a perspective often absent from mainstream conversation. Even in recent weeks, as the nation has erupted in protests related to the tragic murder of George Floyd, some might argue that the killing of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor, an emergency medical technician in Louisville, Ky., was an afterthought, even though her death too was no less inhumane, violent and preventable.