Colorado-Based Water Protector Faces Trial for Involvement in Line 3 Pipeline Protest: ‘I Don’t Feel Guilty. Enbridge Should Feel Guilty.’

When Mylene Vialard followed her 21-year-old daughter across the U.S. to join the thousands of the resistance by Water Protectors led by Indigenous women at Enbridge’s Line 3 pipeline, her aim was clear: to help make change. The Boulder-based activist is one of several around the U.S. who face felony charges in northern Minnesota’s Aitkin County for allegedly “obstructing legal process.” Her trial is the week of Aug. 28. 

“Not taking the plea deal and going to trial is using my voice to point out where the problems are, what the issues are. And, you know, I don’t have that big of a voice, but it’s what I can do right now. The outcome of the trial is secondary to me. If we can raise the awareness and can plant seeds, it’s a victory for me.”

August 2023 Reads for the Rest of Us

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

I particularly enjoy books that are as entertaining as they are informative. Books that I just want to burn through because they are so good. Some call them “unputdownable,” and I dare say that on this list, you’ll find 30 that are just that.  (Another one that’s unputdownable? It’s 50 Years of Ms.: The Best of the Pathfinding Magazine that Ignited a Revolution, and it’s available for pre-order now.) Happy reading!

Abortion’s Old Craft Can Still Be Cultivated

Today, disconnected from the resourcefulness we cultivated before institutionalized science, women have come to rely on surgery and Western pharmaceuticals to end pregnancies they don’t wish to continue.

As a writer who spent the last two years researching the herbal remedies of the granny midwives of Appalachia for my novel in progress, I began with the question of how “abortion” worked before modern medicine. It turns out this question is far too specific: Women didn’t always have that language for stopping pregnancy from advancing. The contemporary imagination that draws lines between fertility, conception, and personhood is relatively new. When doctors were unwilling to treat women, ancestral lore allowed them to care for themselves and each other.

Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation: SCOTUS Is ‘Making History for the Wrong Reasons’; America Had More Than One Founding

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

This week: America has far more than just one set of founders; the architects of American democracy were inspired by the system of checks and balances practiced by Indigenous peoples; why the number of women candidates filing to run for office is lower than in recent years; and more.

Supreme Court Review: The Term That Ended Affirmative Action, Allowed LGBTQ Discrimination, and More

Friday, June 30, marked the end of a roller coaster of a Supreme Court term. The same day, legal experts and commentators gathered for the 13th Annual Supreme Court Review at the University of California, Irvine.

The panel discussed the high Court’s bombshell rulings from the last several months, which put an end to affirmative action, protected businesses’ “constitutional” rights to discriminate against LGBTQ people under the guise of free speech, halted President Joe Biden’s authority to forgive federal student loans, and more. These monumental decisions will have ripple effects in the years and decades to come.

Watch the hour-long program, or read some of our favorite takes.

Keeping Score: Supreme Court Preserves Indian Child Welfare Act and Voting Rights Act; School Book Bans Increase 28%; U.S. Support for Abortion Remains High

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 Supreme Court ruled to protect tribal members’ right to raise their children; AMA issues policy condemning use of BMI; Trump indicted on federal charges for mishandling documents; Southern Baptist Convention cracks down on women pastors; book bans increased 28% in public schools last fall; childcare costs in the U.S. are causing family members to sacrifice their jobs; and more.

This Mother’s Day, I Cherish My Mother’s Strength and the Gift of Time

My mother, Ethel Kennedy, is extraordinary. Seeing such resilience and strength has allowed me to better recognize and come to understand attributes in the many courageous mothers I’ve met in my own human rights work:

The mother of slain LGBTQ+ activist Vicky Hernandez, who refused to give up the fight for justice for her daughter until the Honduran government took accountability for her murder. The mother of slain Colombian activist Nelson Carvajal, who has heartbreaking strength and had to watch each of her grandchildren and children head into exile because their lives are threatened when they demanded accountability. The Polish mothers who have thoughtfully left their own strollers at train stations for Ukrainian refugees to take, and use, after they fled their homeland. And so many others.

This Mother Earth Day, Let’s Follow the Lead of Indigenous People for a More Symbiotic Relationship With Nature

A shift to the Indigenous perspectives, values and knowledge—one that prioritizes a harmonious relationship with the natural world—can inspire real, impactful and equitable action on the climate and conservation. While Indigenous Peoples and local communities account for just 5 percent of the world’s population, they own or manage at least 25 percent of the world’s land surface, 40 percent of protected areas, and steward an astounding 80 percent of biodiversity on earth.

Indigenous people have historically practiced land management and conservation methods that scientists now say are crucial for tackling the climate crisis and enriching biodiversity. As we celebrate International Mother Earth Day, we’d be wise to let Indigenous People and their intergenerational and holistic understanding of the natural world guide us in protecting and replenishing nature.