Fighting Fatphobia and Embracing ‘Unshrinking’: The Ms. Q&A With Kate Manne

We live in a society obsessed with fatness. Or, perhaps more accurately, obsessed with fighting it.  Fatness has been rendered a disease, and we are inundated with “cures,” which particularly haunt women’s bodies—and their wallets.

Questioning the devotion to anti-fatness usually prompts a “well, being fat is unhealthy!” But according to Kate Manne, feminist philosopher and author of the recently released Unshrinking: How to Face Fatphobia, the connection between weight and health is not so clear cut. What is clear, Manne brilliantly reveals, is that fatphobia, not fatness, is the problem.

Reads for the Rest of Us: The Most Anticipated Feminist Books of 2024

Books can be a comfort in dark times. They can provide understanding and light. They provide ideas, knowledge and the bravery to speak up when others cannot and to act on their behalf. 

So I read to feel. Read and reflect. Read and take action. We all have gifts to share and strengths to utilize for others who need our help. Let books inspire you to find and develop your own power and courage to be a support through someone’s dark time. Let them relax you so you can get up and fight another day. I am looking for these 100 books to be of service to me so that I might be of service to others. I hope you’ll find some here that will do the same for you. 

So, let’s read. Read and encourage others to do so. Gift books to others. Read one and pass it on. Visit and support your local libraries. But please read. Read as though your life (or someone else’s) depends on it. Because it just might.   

A Story of the Unhoused: The Ms. Q&A with Author Roxanne Chester

How should you talk about unhoused people with children? Read them This is My Bag.

The children’s picture book looks at the day-to-day realities of diverse people—children and elderly, able-bodied and disabled and diverse in race—who are forced to carry their valuables with them because they lack a permanent residence.

The author, Roxanne Chester, spoke to Ms. reporter Eleanor J. Bader in late December, several weeks after the book was released.

2023 ‘Best of the Rest’: Our Favorite Books of the Year!

Each month, we provide Ms. readers with a list of new books being published by writers from historically excluded groups. And each year, we review our monthly Reads for the Rest of Us lists and choose our favorite books of the entire year. 

You’ve read the other “Best of” lists—now read the other one. You know, for the rest of us. So here they are, our book critic’s top 38, in alphabetical order. 

Britney Spears and the Punishment of Women’s Pain

Stories like Britney’s so often go underexplored in modern discourse—ones that impact our lived experience of health, that engage gender, disability, culture and politics. That’s why I created United Bodies, a podcast that explores how different components of our health—mental, physical, social and spiritual—interplay with one another and intersect with the whole of our identity.

United Bodies will launch early in the new year on MsMagazine.com and wherever you get your podcasts.

Florida: Where Learning Goes to Die

I’ve been a clerk, teacher and administrator in Volusia County, Fla., schools for decades. Our 9-year-old grandson will no longer be educated here.

Last school year, one like no other, I kept a journal because the laws coming down from Tallahassee and the school board meetings I regularly attend had become frightening. I knew the effects in the schools would be equally scary. They were worse than I imagined.