From the Vault: ‘Math Anxiety’ by Sheila Tobias (1976)

In 1976, in the pages of Ms. magazine, Sheila Tobias explored the topic of “math anxiety:” the tendency of women to avoid mathematics as it became more difficult, which stemmed, in part, from gender roles in academia.

“A culture that makes math ability a masculine attribute, that punishes women for doing well in math, and that soothes the slower math learner by telling her she does not have a ‘mathematical mind.'”

A Social Movement That Happens To Play Soccer

The U.S. is now the first country to grant equal pay for its men’s and women’s soccer teams. But for years, U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team players have repeatedly complained that they’ve been getting as little as 40 percent of the salary their male counterparts get—especially considering the women’s team has four World Cup titles and the men’s team has … none.

From the Vault: Between a Woman and Her Doctor (Summer 2004)

On November 6, 2003, President Bush signed what he called a “partial birth abortion ban,” prohibiting doctors from committing an “overt act” designed to kill a partially delivered fetus. One of the unintended consequences of this new law is that it put people in my position, with a fetus already dead, in a technical limbo. 

We told our doctor we had chosen a dilation and evacuation. But I didn’t realize that pressures extending all the way to the boardrooms of hospitals, administrative sessions at medical schools and committee hearing in Congress, were going to deepen and expand my sorrow and pain. 

From the Vault: Coretta Scott King, a Revolutionary Woman

While Coretta Scott King has been celebrated as a civil rights icon, her vision of “the beloved community” was bolder and more revolutionary than her husband Martin’s. When we retell the story of radical African American activism in the 20th century, we can finally embrace Coretta Scott King as the truly revolutionary figure she was.

*This article was originally published in the Spring 2006 issue of Ms.—a few months after Coretta Scott King’s death on January 30, 2006.*

Rest in Power, bell hooks—Iconoclastic Writer and Activist Who Reminded Us “Feminism Is for Everybody”

We were devastated to hear bell hooks—scholar, writer, activist and feminist legend—died on Wednesday, Dec. 15, at her home. She was 69.

In this beloved interview from the Spring 2011 issue of Ms. between hooks and Jennifer D. Williams, hooks frankly shares her bold takes on the past, present and future of feminism, and how to *live* it—not just think it.

“On one hand we’re being told that feminism failed, but if it failed why do people want to go back and take away some basic successes of the movement?”

From the Vault: Anita Hill Sizes Up Sexual Harassment in ‘The Nature of the Beast’ (Jan/Feb 1992)

From the Jan/Feb 1992 issue:

“The response to my Senate Judiciary Committee testimony has been at once heartwarming and heart-wrenching. In learning that I am not alone in experiencing harassment, I am also learning that there are far too many women who have experienced a range of inexcusable and illegal activities—from sexist jokes to sexual assault—on the job.”

Out-of-Body Image: How Media Teaches Young Girls to Hate Their Bodies and Young Boys to Objectify Them (Spring 2008)

A steady diet of exploitative, sexually provocative depictions of women feeds a poisonous trend in women’s and girls’ perceptions of their bodies. A strategy to counter one’s own tendency to self-objectify is to make a point of buying products, watching programs and reading publications that promote more authentic women’s empowerment

From the Vault: “Dispatch from Beijing” (Jan/Feb 1996)

The United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women (September 4–15, 1995) was ground-breaking and revolutionary, forcing participants to realize that all issues are “women’s issues.” But attendees also had to suffer dirty, crowded conditions, disrespect and downright misogyny.

“Why did women endure such treatment? For each other’s sake. (This is how they get us.)”