As Long as We Have Racism, We’ll Have Sexism—and It Starts With Our Word Choice

We not only mistreat people of different colors—but we also use those same techniques to keep women in ‘their place.’ One of the things we use most thoughtlessly is words. Whoever said, “Words are the most powerful weapon devised by humankind” was right.

So let’s look at a few words used by racists and see if their use can be compared to the words used in sexist literature.

Femicide: The Need To Name Gender-Based Killing of Women in the United States

The U.S. downplays the growing issue of gender-based killings and violence by failing to call it what it is: femicide.

Recent high-profile murders have received immense media coverage, but the reality is they aren’t rare events. Femicide is a global issue that disproportionately impacts BIPOC women and requires urgent action to prevent. The U.S. needs to adopt a language of femicide that recognizes the gendered nature of ongoing murders of women in the nation, as well as the larger social patterns connecting them.

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

Race, Disability and Coercive Control: One More Look at the Gabby Petito Case

Two features of Petito’s case have been strikingly absent from media coverage: her disability, and the myriad signs that Petito’s boyfriend was subjecting her to a form of domestic violence known as coercive control.

Yet Petito’s disability was central to how the system failed her prior to her death. Her case also shows what happens when law and society oversimplify domestic violence and overlook coercive control.

Media Repeat Junk Science Behind Abortion Ban Laws: Check the Science—There is No Heartbeat at Six Weeks

The inaccuracies of the Texas law, repeated by media across the country, are part of a larger anti-abortion movement strategy to spread misinformation about abortion.

When media uncritically repeat the factually inaccurate and politically charged language of the anti-abortion movement, they create confusion, spread misleading information about abortion, and perpetuate stigma and bias against abortion, endangering women’s health and lives.

First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom on Gender Justice, Feminist Backlash and the Future of Women’s Leadership

Despite tremendous media coverage of the upcoming recall election of Gov. Gavin Newsom in California, one aspect of this political struggle that has barely registered in California or nationally is the women’s rights work and leadership of Jennifer Siebel Newsom, the first partner of California. In a Ms. exclusive interview, contributing writer Jackson Katz, a long-time colleague and collaborator of Ms. Newsom, asked her about her gender justice advocacy work both in and outside of the Newsom administration—and her unfinished agenda.

Cosplaying Oppression: Hollywood’s History of Excluding Autistic People From Their Own Stories

Disabled people, especially autistic people, continue to face a lack of true and respectful representation from the mainstream media.

“We’ve progressed with other minority groups. With disability, the representation is still woefully inadequate, and we think that’s based on a stigma that’s prevalent in society and also in Hollywood.”