At Its Moment of Peril, Democracy Needs Journalists to Be Activists

If U.S. democracy falls, one key enabler will have been the most consequential failure to date of a vital institution doing its job: journalism.

It makes my journalism friends profoundly and understandably uncomfortable to think of themselves as activists. But if they won’t use their platforms to raise the alarm loudly and persistently, beyond spotting some burning brush while ignoring the blazing forest, we—and they—are in deep, deep trouble.

Even if they do, we’ll all still be at risk, but at least the craft I believe in will have tried. And that will be a start.

Women Rap Back: ‘It’s My Dance and It’s My Body’

From the November/December 1990 issue of Ms. magazine: “What won’t subvert rap’s sexism is the actions of men; what will is women speaking in their own voice.”

(For more ground-breaking stories like this, order 50 YEARS OF Ms.: THE BEST OF THE PATHFINDING MAGAZINE THAT IGNITED A REVOLUTION, Alfred A. Knopf—a collection of the most audacious, norm-breaking coverage Ms. has published.)

Why Do Single Moms Still Get Erased on Mother’s Day?

The misrepresentation and erasure of single/lone mom’s on Mother’s Day happens right before our eyes, surrounds us—and yet can be impossible for some to truly see. 

What’s being ignored here is an opportunity to speak directly to single/lone moms who construct their own days and lives—who buy their own Mother’s Day presents. Moms who, depending on the age and situation and ability of their children, do not wake up to breakfast in bed or presents from others. Mothers who celebrate themselves. Or are learning to.

Women on the Verge of Vanishing From Afghan Media

As we celebrate World Press Freedom Day, it’s worth reflecting on how it’s become a rare privilege to spot a female face on Afghan television—whether they wear a face covering or not.

Now, even these brief glimpses of women on Afghan TV might disappear. Near the end of February, Sheikh Mohammad Khalid, the Taliban’s minister for the propagation of virtue and prevention of vice, gathered owners of media companies for a meeting in Kabul and issued a warning: Women working in media needed to start covering their entire faces, leaving only their eyes visible; otherwise, the Taliban would ban women from working in the industry.

Who’s Afraid of Taylor Swift?

Taylor Swift commands a lot of attention. In mere days since its release, her 11th album The Tortured Poets Department, which is a lengthy 31 songs and runs over two hours, became the most streamed album in a single week and the first to reach over one billion streams on Spotify.

To some, such success seems … well, excessive. It’s hard not to notice such takedowns targeted at Swift amid her breakneck success might have something to do with her gender.

Women’s Sports Are an Economic Force

Female athletes are making an impact on the court and, with the right opportunities, can make a significant economic impact off the court too. 

Sports fans of all ages are on to something big. The media can no longer bury the lead. Women excel in sports. Now companies and their brands need to see the writing—and the opportunities—on the sports page.

How the Anti-Abortion Movement Weaponizes Language

With misleading and anti-scientific phrases like “pro-life,” “late-term abortions” and “abortion up until the point of birth,” anti-abortion advocates prey on the public’s lack of familiarity with medical terminology and stoke emotional responses in order to demonize abortion care and those who seek and provide it.

These phrases cause tremendous harm, and the media outlets covering this language without a check are amplifying the damage. Those in need of abortion care are forced to navigate the stigma and lies forced on them by the preponderance of misinformation and bias when making their healthcare decisions.

Women Lawmakers Have Pushed Back Against Senate Dress Codes for Decades

Last week, Senate Majority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced a major change to the long-standing informal dress code: “Senators are able to choose what they wear on the Senate floor,” he stated. The move was seen as no less than a revolution, especially for an establishment known for its adherence to tradition and archaic protocols. The attention this seemingly unimportant change has gotten shows us why what we wear matter.

If women have managed to reclaim the power of the suit and make it a staple of their wardrobe, while also finding creative ways to be noticeable, male senators can now have this opportunity to use their clothes to fashion their image.

Girl Bond Summer: Taylor, Barbie and Power of Collective Joy

Girls are showing up, shaping popular culture for the better. Their choices tell us about friendship, connection, and how to forge joy in this world.

Of course, the power of girls as consumers and taste-makers isn’t new. And life remains pretty damn hard for young people. But when I see the Swifties in their ecstatic thrall, or the pink-clad Barbie hordes stampeding toward the theater, I think: We could all use a little more of that sincerity and exuberance in our lives.