Republicans Want to Kill the Dept. of Ed and Privatize Education. Billionaires Are Helping Them.

In the fall, the Department of Education will mark 45 years since its inception, but that anniversary could be its last if Donald Trump gets his way. The federal agency is one of several he’s vowed to slash if reelected president. 

Project 2025, a set of policy recommendations for a second Trump term released by conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation, not only supports eliminating the agency and removing LGBTQ+ protections and diversity curricula from schools but also privatizing education.   

Whether Abusers Like Zackey Rahimi Should Be Able to Have Guns Should Have Never Reached the Supreme Court

For 30 years, federal law has disarmed domestic abusers who are subject to domestic violence protection orders. Last month, in United States v. Rahimi, the Supreme Court rejected the gun lobby’s effort to upend that status quo.

But make no mistake: this Supreme Court, along with lower courts attempting to follow its flawed precedents, remains a grave threat to the health and safety of women and countless others. 

Nursing Parents Still Have No Place to Pump at Work. Now They’re Suing.

A wave of lawsuits—including against major companies—is coming after the PUMP Act gave employees the right to sue over a lack of workplace accommodations.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for the first year of a child’s life, a standard that is difficult to meet in the United States because postpartum workplace protections are very limited.

Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation: Ensuring Fair Pay for Legislators; Alyia Gaskins May Be Alexandria’s First Black Woman Mayor

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

This week: Alyia Gaskins secured the Democratic nomination for mayor of Alexandria and is on track to become the first Black woman mayor in the city; over 100 women are on the November ballot, aiming for seats in the Texas House next year; women across the nation report salary as a key consideration when deciding to run or remain in office; and more.

Ain’t I a Princess? Including Black Women and Girls in Fantasy and Play

It is only fitting that Netflix chose Juneteenth to debut the Shondaland-produced documentary film, Black Barbie. The film tells the story of Black women who worked at Mattel and gave us the titular doll, showcasing the joy of freedom through play. And yet, while the film shows that today’s Black children may no longer have feelings of being “ugly” or “bad,” as demonstrated during Clark’s doll experiment, they clearly understood Black Barbie wasn’t the “real Barbie,” wasn’t the “hero” of her own story. 

To that end, are we needing to ask a similar question about other fantasies: “Ain’t I a princess?”

It is not enough for Black women and girls to enter fantasy and play as “corrective” heroes. While we are as indebted to the Black women imagineers who worked on the new Disney ride, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, as we are to the Black women at Mattel for giving us Black Barbie, we are equally in need of imaginations that transcend our limited realities and revel in our most whimsical dreams.

Racist Graffiti on Angela Alsobrooks’ Campaign Sign Is a Reminder of the Threats Black Women in Politics Face

The recent defacement of Maryland U.S. Senate Democratic candidate Angela Alsobrooks’ campaign sign with hateful and threatening messages highlights the persistent racism and abuse that women—especially Black women—endure when seeking to run, win, serve and lead in our politics. Such acts, including the brandishing of “KKK” by vandals and a target drawn on her forehead, assault both individual dignity and democratic principles.

Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation: Court Halts Fearless Fund’s Grants to Black Women; Mexico’s First and Iceland’s Next Women Presidents

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

This week: Discover why the Fearless Fund has been halted by the courts and its implications for DEI programs. Explore the ongoing challenges in achieving global gender balance despite historic gains. Join us in celebrating the victories of Claudia Sheinbaum, Mexico’s first woman president, and Halla Tomasdottir, Iceland’s next president. Additionally, dive into our Summer Reading series, where we spotlight the incredible books our team at RepresentWomen is delving into this summer.

A Georgia Law Restricts What Educators Say in the Classroom—But I Refuse to Be Silent

Reading may be fundamental to students’ education, but according to Georgia lawmakers, this is only the case if the ideas students read do not reflect “divisive concepts.” On such matters, educators are supposed to remain silent. 

Georgia’s so-called divisive concepts law does not expressly define the term. Therefore, even those who may wish to comply with the regulation can have trouble understanding what is prohibited.

As both a mother and a college department chair, I am concerned about these and other legislative actions, which aim to silence certain ideas. My perspective as a racialized minority matters.

Because We’re ‘Still Working 9 to 5’: Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dolly Parton Win ERA Coalition’s Trailblazer Award at Hollywood Premiere

The ERA Coalition Forward awarded Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda and Dolly Parton with the Women’s Equality Trailblazer Award for their fearless work to bring the film Still Working 9 to 5 to fruition, as well as Fonda and Tomlin’s steadfast commitment to getting the ERA enshrined in the Constitution. 

As Tomlin told Ms., “The ERA is fundamental to the culture. We’re one of the few industrialized countries that does not have some kind of law… [for] equality between the sexes,” and Fonda leaned in with a message for Congress: “Come on! It’s time! It’s been 100 years!” Then added, “It’s been ratified, so get it published already!”

Senate GOP Blocks Right to Contraception Act

Wednesday afternoon, Senate Republicans blocked the Right to Contraception Act, a Democrat-led measure that would have codified the right to contraception into federal law.

“It’s very simple. It just says you have the right to use and healthcare providers have the right to provide contraception,” said Rachel Fey, vice president of policy and strategic partnerships at Power to Decide. “I think this bill is as clear as it gets, and if you can’t get behind that, I don’t think as a policymaker you should be able to say that you’re pro contraception. I think that is something that people deserve to know about their elected officials.”