Why Is the Senate Failing To Build Back Better? Blame Sexism

Build Back Better is not just about what’s right. It’s about what’s necessary to keep our country from falling apart at the seams. If we don’t mitigate climate change now, climate disasters will become more frequent, and more deadly and destructive. If we don’t build a strong childcare system, parents won’t be able to go to work, and we will lose skills and experience, as well as huge chunks of the labor force.

Without BBB, we’re losing not just a move toward equity, health and well-being—but also the chance at lasting prosperity.

Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation; Rest in Power, Lani Guinier; NY Gov Kathy Hochul Is Shaking Things Up for Women; Black Women Are Just 6% of U.S. House

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

This week: New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s term limit legislation could provide more women the chance to run and win; Minneapolis’s Andrea Jenkins is the first openly trans city council president in the U.S., and Seattle’s Debora Juarez marks same milestone for Indigenous people; Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick’s election brings the percentage of Black women in the U.S. House to 6 percent; Xiomara Castro, the incoming woman president of Honduras; the legacy of voting rights champion Lani Guinier, who died on Jan. 7; and more.

It’s 100 Seconds To Midnight! Can We Reverse The Doomsday Clock?

“We are perilously close, closer than we’ve ever been, to a man-made point of no return,” said Rachel Bronson, president and CEO of the Bulletin. “But setting the Doomsday Clock each year is meant to carry a message of hope and remind us we have the ability to reduce these seemingly insurmountable threats and of our responsibility to future generations. It tells us we can beat the odds.”

Don’t Fence Me In: Reproductive Freedom and Women Workers

For centuries under common law, a daughter or a wife was the property of the family father or husband or, upon his death, the closest relative with a penis. Whatever was theirs was his, but most importantly the family patriarch oversaw her most valuable asset: her womb. In earliest medical thought, a womb was fertile ground in need of guarding and fences to make property rights clearer, and she to be plowed and planted with seed, quite literally semen.

We thought such laws and cultural metaphors were behind us. But now the cowboys of Texas have put a bounty on women’s wombs. The stakes are women’s civil rights as citizens, surely, but also financial ones.

Keeping Score: NYC’s First Women-Majority Council Takes Office; Only 55% of Non-Parents Want Kids Someday; D.C. Students Get Free Period Products

This week: Nebraskans face one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the nation; New York City’s first women-majority city council takes office; Ahmaud Arbery’s murderers sentenced to life in prison; D.C. Council approved free menstrual products in all schools; the gender gap in higher education widens; and more.

20 Years After the First Detainees Arrived at Guantanamo, “The Mauritanian” Depicts One Innocent Man’s Fight for Freedom

It’s been 20 years since the first detainees arrived at Guantanamo Bay. Adapted from the bestselling memoir Guantanamo Diary, The Mauritanian reveals how America’s intense need for retribution in the aftermath of 9/11 resulted in the imprisonment and torture of hundreds of Muslim men at Guantanamo Bay. More importantly, though, it highlights why President Joe Biden must indefinitely close the notoriously violent prison. 

Let Me Tell You About My Feminist Economic Agenda

It’s 2022, and we’re finally talking about how to solve the problems that have been plaguing U.S. workers for ages—women of color in particular.

Three policies from 2021 stand out in particular for their outsized positive impact in solving for gender and racial inequities: the child tax credit; Biden’s forgiving of $12 billion in student loan debt; and guaranteed income pilots.

More Work Ahead: Fighting Food Insecurity Among Military Families

In one of its last sessions of 2021, Congress passed a pared-down version of the Military Family Basic Needs Allowance as part of the Fiscal Year 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This marks an important first step toward closing gaps in our social safety net through which currently-serving military families have been allowed to fall. But it’s miles from enough.

In the wake of Congress’s lackluster response, it is more urgent than ever for the administration to use its authority to take action on concrete, long-term solutions to address military hunger.