May 2022 Reads for the Rest of Us

Each month, I provide Ms. readers with a list of new books being published by writers from historically excluded groups.

Whether you read for knowledge or leisure, books are so important. May is a big month for new releases by women and writers of historically excluded communities; I’ve highlighted 60 of them here, but there are many more. I hope you’ll find some here that will help you reflect and act in whatever ways you can. 

Rolling Back Abortion Rights in the U.S. Will Send Shockwaves Around the World

It is distressing to think that the United States, once a global leader in women’s rights, could erase 50 years of progress in a single moment. We’ve seen how anti-choice policies in the U.S. tend to embolden the opposition around the world.

We stand in solidarity with the millions of women in the U.S. who could see their reproductive rights cruelly stripped away, and with the many more across the globe who may see their national abortion laws tighten as a result.

The Patriarchs’ War on Women

Assaults on women’s and LGBTQ+ rights—and attempts to put women “in their place”—constitute a backlash against feminist progress expanding women’s full inclusion in public life.

As women’s participation becomes more prominent in domestic and international politics, here’s why political sexism and gender policing are also becoming more virulent—and what to do about it.

Poetry for the Rest of Us 2022

April is National Poetry Month! Since my dormant love of poetry was reignited, I’ve found it so refreshing and inspiring to read beautiful collections each year and share my thoughts with you.

I’ve included these 66 poetry titles for a variety of reasons: because they are especially unique, because I wanted to shine a light on them, they are from debut authors, indie publishers, or because they stood out to me for any other reason. I hope you find collections that will have you reflecting on how poetry moves you, challenges you and represents you. 

Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation: Ranked-Choice Voting Is Key in Alaska Special Election; How Latin America Is Achieving Gender Parity

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

This week: The Senate confirms Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court; why so many countries in Latin America are achieving gender parity; major barriers for women in China and South Korea; ranked-choice voting takes center stage in Alaska special election; the 2018 law that more than doubled the number of women on boards in California has been struck down; it’s National Poetry Month; and more.

The Pornification of War in Ukraine

The trending of #Ukraine on porn sites is only a recent development of an age-old misogyny, as old as warfare itself.

Research shows that habitual users of online porn seek ever more explicit and graphic images in order to sustain the same level of arousal. This partly explains the uptick in searches for pornographic videos of Ukrainian women after the invasion. It also accounts for the horrifying genres known as “refugee porn” and “war porn.” These videos link sex with desperation and violence. But not just any violence will do. The user is mainly interested in videos that feature the utter degradation of women and girls.

The Power of Women in Iran, Standing Up to the Morality Police

I was 16, on a trip to visit my family in Iran, when I was stopped and arrested by two morality guards. They plucked me off the street, loaded me into their car, and took me to the local station. My crime? I had my hair uncovered, showing it to their male gaze.

I still remember the searing mix of emotions that is familiar to millions of Iranian women who are arrested every year for this “offense.” But now, through social media, mobile apps, weblogs and websites, a growing movement of Iranian women are actively participating in public discourse and exercising their civil rights on the internet, which the patriarchal and misogynistic government has not yet figured out how to completely censor and control.