Generation Roe: Have We Always Known Roe Was an Aberrance Only Two Generations Would Experience?

I was born in 1974, nearly 18 months to the day after Roe. The women of my generation, along with the following generation, have been shaped by access to legal abortion and the subsequent guarantee of full personhood. The birth control pill, first approved by the FDA in 1960, promised reproductive autonomy, but abortion rights helped make it true.

As we approach the overturning of Roe, the women of Generation Roe must continue to speak out and join forces with other generations of activists to ensure we will not be the only ones to have experienced full personhood, unencumbered by laws seeking to define all women as mothers whose interests are subsumed by their children, born and unborn.

It’s Mourning in America: Feminists Reflect on the Incredible Loss of Our Sista bell hooks

The National Women’s Studies Association mourns the passing of Dr. Gloria Jean Watkins, Ph.D./bell hooks—genius, scholar, cultural critic, author, professor, truth speaker, a lover of words and of us. She challenged us, taught us, spoke to and sometimes for us. She gave us the words to say and the courage to say them. bell hooks never gave up. She never gave in. She was more than we could have asked for and gave us more than we could have ever imagined. As someone said, our heroes are dying, and our enemies are in power.

As NWSA marks this moment, I reached out and asked some of our former presidents to join with me and share their reflections and stories to add their voices to our collective of love.

Subject: Man. Object: Woman. Verb? Control.

It is not simply or only “hatred” that motivates the sexists of the world, but the very desire to define and therefore to control. 

It’s then easy to see how attacks on reproductive rights are connected with the prevalence of sexual assault and harassment: Because if women are fully self-determined—can determine when and if they have children, when and with whom they have sex—then they cannot be there, fully, inevitably, without their own desire, for you. For a man. 

bell hooks: The Black Feminist Guide That Literally Saved Our Lives

bell hooks’s death is a reminder that the work continues, and that it is even more imperative to continue resisting systemic oppressions, to carve a path to liberation.

Her signed message to me—”Janell! To loving blackness –bell hooks”—still resonates with me because I have approached my critiques through this radical positioning of “loving blackness” and doing so as resistance to “white supremacist capitalist patriarchy.”

One Victory in Building Equity for Black U.S. Families—Millions More to Go

For Black people to build wealth, white people need to be comfortable redistributing some of theirs. A success story out of Eugene, Ore., shows how homeownership can begin to remedy income and wealth gaps for Black families.

But while it is amazing that the community came together to help Ms. Lyllye realize her dream of home ownership, there are millions of Black Americans just like her who deserve the same thing. To make that a reality, we need government policies such as increased mortgage options and subsidizing down payments for those impacted by historically discriminatory housing policies.

To Better Understand Sexual Violence on College Campuses, Congress Members Demand Education Department Changes

Up to 25 percent of undergraduate women will become victims of sexual violence—but because existing mechanisms for capturing and measuring this impact fail to capture the full scope of the issue, this number may be even higher. On Monday, members of Congress formally called this to the attention of the Biden administration.

In a letter signed by 77 members of Congress, signatories called on the Department of Education to update Campus Climate surveys, which assess campus culture including sexual violence.

Who’s Silencing Whom on University Campuses?

Right-wing outlets—and sometimes mainstream ones, too—tell us that individual professors are being silenced by a “woke orthodoxy” that is overtaking college campuses.

From where I sit at a state university in the Pacific Northwest, this is incredibly ironic. My experience has been precisely the opposite: The faculty loudly decrying their victimhood are the ones who succeed in silencing the rest of us.