‘Gray Love’: Yes, Older People Have Desires

Gray Love: Stories About Dating and New Relationships After 60 showcases men and women’s own voices, showing the nitty-gritty headiness of first dates, the joy of getting to know someone’s history, politics and quirks, and the inevitability of decline.

Nan Bauer-Maglin, co-editor, says it’s rare for books about love to intertwine with aging. “I hope that younger readers will learn that older people have desires and still want to date and have romantic relationships. I hope that they will see that older people do not want to spend the rest of their lives longing for a person who is no longer there.”

2022 ‘Best of the Rest’: Our Favorite Books of the Year!

Each month, we provide Ms. readers with a list of new books being published by writers from historically excluded groups. And each year, we review our monthly Reads for the Rest of Us lists and choose our favorite books of the year. 

You’ve read the other “Best of” lists—now read the other one. You know, for the rest of us. Here they are, my top 40+ feminist books, in alphabetical order.

December 2022 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 want to do my part in the disruption of the “norm” in the book world for far too long—white, cis, heterosexual, male—and to amplify indie publishers and amazing works by writers who are women, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, APIA/AAPI, international, queer, trans, nonbinary, disabled, fat, immigrant, Muslim, neurodivergent, sex-positive or of other historically marginalized identities. You know … the rest of us.

Ms. Muse: Melissa Studdard on the Power of Poetry to Create the World We Want

Ms. Muse is a discovery place for riotous, righteous and resonant feminist poetry that nourishes and gives voice to a rising tide of female resistance.

How do you redeem a woman’s worst nightmare lived—or at least one of them? How do you give a mute, silenced or dead woman a voice? These are a few of the questions answered by Melissa Studdard’s poems.

“after I died / I put my clothes back on. / Like women do. / When everything has been taken.”

Not Your Mother’s Menopause

We all remember the moment we heard her story: an old woman, a witch, a shapeshifter, a ghost, who was feared by all who encountered her—likely somewhere between 40 and 101 years old.

But maybe the old woman living in the woods is not a mythical threat, but a person navigating their highly individualized journey with menopause and aging that transforms everything she knows about her body and her relationship to the world around her. Perhaps we should take another look and see her in her full personhood.

Centering Menopause: Dr. Sharon Malone and Jennifer Weiss-Wolf on the Menopause Research Act of 2022

Ms.‘s Jennifer Weiss-Wolf and Dr. Sharon Malone’s Washington Post op-ed became the catalyst for a new bipartisan bill, The Menopause Research Act of 2022, introduced in the House by Rep. David McKinley (R-W.V.) and Rep. Cindy Axne (D-Iowa). If passed, the bill would require the National Institutes of Health to conduct an evaluation of menopause-related research, coordinate a plan of action to resolve apparent gaps in the research and identify further research needed.

I spoke with Weiss-Wolf and Malone about the House bill, the ways in which menopause has been pushed to the margins of federal health research and what new investments could mean for women experiencing menopause.

‘The Second Half’: Ellen Warner’s Portraits of Life Over 50

Over the course of 15 years, Ellen Warner—American photojournalist, portrait photographer and author—interviewed and photographed women from different cultures about life after age 50. These women ranged from an author and translator in Connecticut, to a sacred healer in Indonesia, a doctor in Saudi Arabia, a retired cook in Antigua, and the first French woman TV anchor.

These photos will be on display at the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., part of a solo art exhibition titled, “The Second Half: Forty Women Reveal Life After Fifty,” on view from Sept. 30 to Oct. 29, 2022.