In Cardi B and Meg Thee Stallion’s “Bongos” and Flyana Boss’ “You Wish,” Black women hip-hop artists create spaces for pleasure, joy and sisterhood. If this is what hip-hop’s feminist future looks like, we’re here for it.
Civil rights groups and voting organizations are in federal court challenging a Texas law that makes it harder to vote, especially for people of color and those with disabilities. Over the course of the trial, which goes until late October, counsel will show how Senate Bill 1 violates the Constitution, the Voting Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
While SB 1 is one of many anti-democracy laws enacted by 19 states in the year after the 2020 election, it stands out for its sheer number of restrictive and discriminatory provisions, which largely target Latino and Black voters. This is likely the only challenge to such an extensive restrictive voting law that will go to trial between now and the 2024 election.
The new school year brings a fresh onslaught of conservative attacks on public education. As I prepare the syllabus for my “Teaching English for Middle and High School Teachers” course at the University of New Hampshire, a new court challenge to the HB 544 “Divisive Concepts” bill is underway. Passed in 2021, HB 544 prohibits the teaching of racism, sexism and any materials that claim “an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.”
Intentionally vague rhetoric like “divisive concepts” masks the bill’s white supremacist logic. Students recognize how the bill co-opts language commonly used in calls for social justice to argue against diversity. It is the legislators that pass and the administrators that enforce these abhorrent bills that are most to blame.
Weekend Reading for Women’s Representation is a compilation of stories about women’s representation.
This week: an update on RepresentWomen’s work as we celebrate our fifth anniversary as an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization; spotlighting impactful female leadership and systems strategies like ranked-choice voting that elect more women to office; and more.
Currently, three women—Barbie, Beyoncé, and Taylor Swift—seem to be running the world, or at least the economy judging by record-shattering tour and box office revenues. But, as in the case of Beyoncé and other female artists of color, this success does not translate to deserved recognition from prestigious institutions.
“The message young women absorb is that unless you are a one-in-a-generation talent like Lauryn Hill or Whitney Houston, female artists of color can kiss goodbye any hope of wide-scale recognition by the Recording Academy.”
The U.S. needs a future of care fit for 21st-century feminism. This excerpt from Emily Kenway’s newest book: Who Cares?, is a look into the lives of women who have been relegated to the home in order to provide care to others and the experiences of women of color and working class women, who need the freedom to care in the first place.
“We shared the sadness of watching a loved one in anguish, but our caregiving experience was completely different. … We need to witness both care worlds to create solutions that work for all women, not just some.”
In colleges and universities across the U.S., right-wing donors endow “chairs” and departments, set up free-market boosting thinktanks, and get themselves on college boards, to ensure that progressive influences are limited, if not outright eliminated.
“Koch Industries and the entire Koch network are willing to fund projects for many years. They understand the importance of deep investment. The progressive sector needs progressive funders who are willing to mirror the philanthropy of the right.,” said Jasmine Banks, executive director of UnKoch My Campus, a national organization devoted to disrupting hidden corporate influence on U.S. college campuses.
On July 29, 2023, O’Shea Sibley, a 28-year-old Black, gay, professional dancer, was fatally stabbed in his heart while he and his friends were voguing to Beyoncé outside of a gas station. His murderer shouted, “Stop dancing, stop dancing, stop dancing”—as if dancing is a crime, an assault on life, a blasphemy to the living.
A recent report from the United Nations found that high rates of pregnancy-related deaths among Black women in North and South America are likely due largely to racism and sexism.
Systemic racism has biological effects. Addressing these mental and physical health conditions together—through Black-led community-based peer support—can reduce maternal mortality rates.
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.”