Tina Turner’s impact on the American cultural landscape—and her status as a feminist trailblazer—is undeniable. She carved out a reputation as a peerless artist who defied labels and was capable of reincarnation at any age.
From the April 1979 issue of Ms. magazine:
“Since the era of slavery, music—and essentially singing— has given women the greatest range of styles, sensibilities and opportunities … [but] at present, old age and death seem to be the best guarantees of recognition for a Black blues woman.”
Rihanna’s pop star persona has always maintained this edge of “regular woman” meets “island girl” realness. During her 13-minute halftime show, America rejoiced at the simple magic of a Black woman being herself and resonating across the spectrums of humanity.
Such hopeful images are especially powerful against the backdrop of disturbing stories of Black women experiencing higher maternal death rates and the realities of how Black pregnant people are devalued in our healthcare system.
One of the best things about director Alexandria Bombach’s documentary about folk rock duo The Indigo Girls, It’s Only Life After All, which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, is its easygoing intimacy. Singer-songwriters Amy Ray and Emily Saliers’ rapport, with both each other and the director, shines through a series of present-day interviews, concert footage, archival videos and recollections that foreground their music and their partnership over the last 40-plus years.
There is a pattern here: Black women must ride on the coattails of protective manhood—a respected dad, a Hollywood white male “bodyguard”—to secure the top prize.
In a world that constantly tells women in general, and Black women specifically, that we just might be “imposters,” Beyoncé affirms us and allows us to luxuriate in a Black woman defiantly and truthfully announcing that “I’m the bar.” We revel in her excellence, even if some would try to diminish that greatness as “not good enough.”
In every issue of Ms., we track research on our progress in the fight for equality, catalogue can’t-miss quotes from feminist voices and keep tabs on the feminist movement’s many milestones. We’re Keeping Score online, too—in this biweekly roundup.
This week: The Grammys saw wins (and losses) for women performers and feminist causes; Republicans in Congress call for a nationwide abortion ban; Iowa state rep compares women to cattle; Florida educators reject ban on books in classrooms; NYC city-run clinics to provide free abortion medication; Lisa Marie Presley dies at 54; Biden administration releases plan for renter’s bill of rights; Utah Governor Spencer Cox approves ban on youth gender-affirming care; and more.
Gola did not mean to predict the eruption of her native country into protests, violence and death when she sang “Haghameh” (“It’s my right”) a few months before the brutal killing of 22-year-old Iranian woman Mahsa Amini
It’s that time of year to reflect on highlights of 2022 and the ways that feminism showed up and showed out in our popular culture.
From Wednesday Addams’ cool confidence, to some fabulous baby bump reveals, to Megan Thee Stallion’s spotlight on mental health … here are our top 10 favorite moments.
If you’ve been looking for holiday tunes sung by artists whose feminist values match your own, here is our semi-annual list of holiday songs written by feminist musicians or holiday songs that espouse feminist values.
In every issue of Ms., we track research on our progress in the fight for equality, catalogue can’t-miss quotes from feminist voices and keep tabs on the feminist movement’s many milestones. We’re Keeping Score online, too—in in this biweekly round-up.
This week: National children’s health organizations urge Biden to issue a National Emergency Declaration; pregnant cancer patients struggle to start chemotherapy without abortion access; Biden issues mass pardons for federal marijuana possession; Cardi B is first woman rapper to have two 11x platinum singles; 36 percent of U.S. counties are “maternity care deserts”; and more.