White Masculinity and the Buffalo Massacre

Most mainstream coverage about the horrific massacre in Buffalo has focused, quite rightly, on racism. But there is more to the story. The killer is not just a young white person. He is a young white man. For us to have any hope of preventing future such incidents, and effectively countering the belief systems and social forces that produced him and so many others, we need to understand the complex intersections of race and gender that lie at the heart of these ongoing tragedies.

As our fragile democracy faces growing threats from exactly the sort of right-wing terrorism on display last weekend in Buffalo, we ignore this gendered element at our peril.

Our Gilded Progress: ‘Great Gowns,’ Pop Culture and Reproductive Freedoms

This year’s Met Gala invited A-list celebrities in the midst of an ongoing pandemic, racial divides, rising inflation costs, and the widening gap between the top 1 percent and everyone else. 

During this event a leaked draft of the majority opinion from the Supreme Court immediately sent shockwaves, as the public learned that our highest court intends to overturn Roe v. Wade, which guarantees the right to abortion. Suddenly, the extreme wealth on display at the Met Gala seemed to represent all the “gilded” hubris of an historical era that seemed more “golden” than it really was—as we are now thrust back to a dystopian and despairing future we must confront and resist at all costs. 

The ‘Cure’ for Mom Guilt? Affordable Childcare, Paid Family Leave and Equal Pay

Rather than flowers that wilt, what most mothers really want is underlying systemic change that benefits not just them, but their entire family system. Reshma Saujani’s initiative, Marshall Plan for Moms, a campaign of her nonprofit Girls Who Code, has set out to do just that.

“‘Mom guilt’ is the natural result of two totally unattainable societal ideals clashing: the perfect mom and ideal worker.”

May 2022 Reads for the Rest of Us

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

Whether you read for knowledge or leisure, books are so important. May is a big month for new releases by women and writers of historically excluded communities; I’ve highlighted 60 of them here, but there are many more. I hope you’ll find some here that will help you reflect and act in whatever ways you can. 

What Would Alito’s Draft Opinion Mean for Women’s Rights?

The Alito opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson fails to mention how lack of access to abortion might disrupt education, employment or other aspects of women’s lives—giving America a glimpse into a dystopian future where the Constitution would offer no protection for women’s rights because they are not “deeply rooted in the country’s history and traditions.”

If Alito has his way, the police and politicians could very likely once again be searching our bedrooms for those telltale signs of illegal sexual behavior.

‘This Is An Emergency’: America Left Reeling in Wake of Likely Roe v. Wade Reversal

Late Monday night, shock waves could be felt across the U.S. after a leaked draft opinion signaled the Supreme Court’s majority decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case concerning a 15-week abortion ban out of Mississippi. The leaked opinion, if and when it takes effect at the end of the Supreme Court’s term (likely in June), represents the biggest blow to women’s constitutional rights in the last 50 years. 

Reactions from feminists, lawmakers, reproductive rights advocates and legal scholars have been pouring in as America begins to grapple with the gravity of what abortion access will look like in a post-Roe world.

The Dark Side of Virtual Reality: Sexual Harassment and the Lack of Body Agency

People often focus on the positives of virtual reality (VR): It can provide more immersive experiences. Players can visit outer space or a foreign country without ever leaving their couches. They can interact with other gamers in those virtual worlds. But VR enthusiasts often overlook, or never know about, VR’s darker sides: namely, the risk of unwanted interactions, which falls disproportionately on women and people of color.

Keeping Score: Capitol Statues Honor RBG and Sandra Day O’Connor; Military Survivors Launch Campaign to Address Sexual Assault

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: Michigan governor appeals to state Supreme Court to enshrine abortion rights in constitution; track star Allyson Felix plans to retire; Florida and Oklahoma move to criminalize abortion; Ukrainian refugees face a lack of sexual and reproductive healthcare; U.N. funds Bilan Project to give a voice to female journalists in Somalia; and more.

‘Vagina Obscura’ Author Rachel E. Gross Takes Us on a Daring Anatomical Voyage

Rachel E. Gross, in her debut book Vagina Obscura: An Anatomical Voyage, takes us on a journey around “the organs traditionally bound up in baby-making―the uterus, ovaries and vagina,” elaborating both on what science knows, and what it doesn’t. (Did you know it wasn’t until 1993 that a federal mandate required researchers to include women and minorities in clinical research?)

Gross recently spoke to Carli Cutchin by phone from her home in Brooklyn. Thoughtful and erudite, she talked about the female and LGBT researchers who’ve made scientific inroads against the odds, the myth that the “clitoral” and “vaginal” orgasms are distinct from each other, a princess who relocated her clitoris, koala vaginas and much more.