How Rowena Chiu’s Story Helped Expose Harvey Weinstein—From ‘Credible: Why We Doubt Accusers and Protect Abusers’

Rowena Chiu began working for Harvey Weinstein in 1998, assisting in the London office with his European film productions. Later that year, at the Venice Film Festival, she found herself at a late-night meeting with the producer. There, she recalls, Weinstein told her “he’d never had a Chinese girl” before attempting to rape her.

After signing a nondisclosure agreement, Chiu spent nearly two decades in what she describes as “constant fear”—“fear of Harvey’s abuse, control and power; that the story would come back to haunt me; that I would inadvertently slip up on my promise to never speak of this.” She was finally inspired to speak out by the powerful testimony of Christine Blasey Ford, whose decision to “speak up” about Brett Kavanaugh in September 2018 made a lasting impression.  

“I can briefly glory in the relief that I am no longer sitting on a sickening secret,” she wrote. 

Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation: How Inequality Affects Women in Film; What Barbie Can Teach Us About the Gender Wage Gap

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

This week: Movies like Barbie and Oppenheimer are impossible without actors and writers, and women are still getting paid less in the industry; Christopher Nolan’s film had the opportunity to mention critical women of the atomic age but failed; Emily’s List’s new Madam Mayor program will “serve as a critical touchpoint” for woman mayors to receive support; and more.

Women Are Hip-Hop’s Culture Bearers: The Ms. Q&A With Elaine Richardson and Kyra Gaunt

Elaine Richardson—or Dr. E—a professor of literacy studies at the Ohio State University, founded the Hip-Hop Literacies Conference. Kyra Gaunt, an assistant professor of music and women’s, gender and sexuality Studies at the University at Albany, State University of New York, is the author of the groundbreaking The Games Black Girls Play: Learning the Ropes from Double-Dutch to Hip-Hop (2006). She is currently writing a book on the impact of YouTube and music technologies on the sexualization of young Black girls. Richardson and Gaunt spoke with Ms. contributing editor Janell Hobson to discuss the upcoming 50th anniversary of hip-hop.

(This series is part of “Turning 50,” which recognizes the women who shaped hip-hop.)

Why Menopause Representation Matters: ‘Women in Positions of Power Realize This Is Not Something to Be Secretive About’

Representation of menopause in popular culture matters. Among the ways menopause has been reflected on TV, the And Just Like That cast has tackled issues of aging, including a cameo by Ms. co-founder Gloria Steinem last week.

It was also the main theme of a Judy Blume film screening and panel Ms. recently co-hosted in New York City entitled “Menopause Needs Our Margaret”—a reference to Blume’s iconic book, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. The event gathered the filmmakers behind the Judy Blume Forever documentary, Davina Pardo and Leah Wolchok, plus menopause advocates Stacy London, Sharon Malone, Omisade Burney-Scott, Tamsen Fadal and Susan McPherson, in conversation with Jennifer Weiss-Wolf.

Read on for highlights from our New York City event.

Rest in Power: Peg Yorkin, Feminist Trailblazer and Supporter of Women in Politics

Peg Yorkin—leading U.S. feminist, philanthropist and strategist, as well as theater producer—died on Sunday, June 25, 2023, at the age of 96. In the midst of our collective grief, we honor and pay tribute to a co-founder as well as the one and only chair of the board of the Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF), publisher of Ms. Since the day FMF started in 1987, Peg Yorkin was important in conceptualizing the organization’s mission and potential significance in the struggle for equality and women’s rights.

“Peg was impatient. She wanted to see change now,” said Kathy Spillar, executive editor of Ms. and executive director of FMF. “She would constantly remind us of her age and wanted to see the changes in her lifetime. She thought big and had total confidence we could make a difference.”

This Magazine Could Be Banned: Go Inside Ms.’ Summer 2023 Issue

In the Summer issue of Ms., we look into the new Florida law that could decimate degree programs in women’s and gender studies, Africana, ethnic and queer studies, among others—part of a radical right-wing strategy that extends nationwide.

Also within the pages of the Summer issue: A look back at 50 years of women in hip-hop. A solution to inequality in professional sports: Let women and men play together. Solutions to men’s violence toward women. And more!
Join the Ms. community today and get the Summer issue delivered straight to your mailbox!

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.