Rest in Power: Alice Shalvi, the Mother of Israeli Feminism

The late Alice Shalvi was an Orthodox mother of six, a remarkable intellectual—and a breaker of glass ceilings who advanced women’s equality in realms both secular and religious. Her two enduring passions: promoting justice for all women and a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

(This article originally appears in the Winter 2024 issue of Ms. Join the Ms. community today and you’ll get issues delivered straight to your mailbox!)

Punish, Torture, Kill: The Reality of Pregnancy in ‘Pro-Life’ America

In Ohio, a grand jury is deciding whether to charge Brittany Watts—a woman who went to the hospital twice for care when she was miscarrying, was sent home twice, and miscarried in her bathroom. She could face jail time for “abuse of a corpse,” because fetal parts were found clogged in her toilet. Watts’ case is a chilling preview of what could come: Miscarriage criminalized in myriad ways. And now, the Fifth Circuit is holding that emergency rooms do not have to provide life-saving abortions—further ensuring that women with dangerous miscarriages will simply be sent home and left to manage on their own.

At the heart of the ‘pro-life’ movement is the idea that women are put on this earth for subservience. And so this is the plan: Force women to carry pregnancies against their will.

Human Rights Advocate Nasrin Sotoudeh on Activism in the U.S. and Iran: ‘Democratic Resistance and Belief in Civil Society Always Pays Off’

On Oct. 29, Iranian human rights advocate Nasrin Sotoudeh was assaulted, arrested and put in prison for attending the funeral of 16-year-old Armita Garawand, who was beaten to death for not wearing a hijab. Despite her injuries, Nasrin began a hunger and medication strike and was released on bail two weeks later. She still faces over 13 years in prison. 

But the activist and attorney is not giving up hope. “Democratic resistance and belief in civil society always pays off in the long run. Governments can be dictatorial and autocratic, and they can have all kinds of armies and weapons at their disposal. Despite this, we see them fail over and over again, and something better emerges because of humanity’s collective will. I draw strength from all these experiences. I hope you can, too.”

Women’s Rights Leaders Urge Full Investigation and Justice for Israeli Rape Victims and Survivors

At a United Nations conference on Monday, Israeli officials shared harrowing accounts of sexual violence, rape, mutilation and torture of women at the hands of Hamas during the terrorist group’s Oct. 7 attack. Now, women’s rights leaders and elected officials are sending a strong message to the United Nations about the need for action. 

Our Abortion Stories: ‘There Were No Resources Available to Make Choosing to Be a Single Mom a Sane Choice’

Abortions are sought by a wide range of people for many different reasons. There is no single story. Telling stories of then and now shows how critical abortion has been and continues to be for women and girls. (Share your abortion story by emailing myabortionstory@msmagazine.com.)

“I made a decision that deeply challenged my ‘values,’ yet was absolutely the most ethical and moral choice I could make.”

“I realized that I wasn’t the only one going through this, even though abortion stigma can oftentimes make us feel that way. … Your abortion is not a taboo or a deep, dark secret; abortion is healthcare.”

Breaking the Silence Around Sexual Abuse: The Ms. Q&A With Maya Golden About New Memoir ‘The Return Trip’

Award-winning multimedia journalist Maya Golden’s searing but redemptive memoir, The Return Trip, takes readers on a harrowing journey. The book offers a no-holds-barred look into the sexual abuse that began when Golden was 5 and charts her course through a troubled adolescence and young adulthood. Along the way, she probes the long-term impact of repeated sexual violation and zeroes in on the ways religious institutions, educational systems, and familial denial continue to intersect and allow the perpetuation of violence.

Golden spoke to Ms. reporter Eleanor J. Bader before The Return Trip’s Nov. 14 release. Their wide-ranging conversation touched on the book as well as the work of the 1 in 3 Foundation, a group Golden founded to support survivors of sexual assault.

The Last Salem Witch Has Been Exonerated

More than 300 years after the Salem witch trials, a class of middle schoolers helped exonerate the sole remaining woman legally classified as a witch.

Originally expected to be a simple class project, the path to clearing Elizabeth Johnson Jr.’s name took three years and the help of a Massachusetts state senator, Diana DiZoglio (D). Unwed women were viewed with suspicion at the time of the trials, and many individuals convicted were later exonerated by their own descendants. With no descendants to clear her name, Johnson’s wrongful conviction remained in place—making her the last remaining witch in Salem history—until Carrie LaPierre’s class came to her aid. 

Filmmakers Annika Hylmö and Dawn Green tell this story in their upcoming documentary, The Last Witch.

Listen to Black Women! A Review of ‘The Exorcist: Believer’

The Exorcist: Believer employs its Caribbean-based opening scene not to locate an “origin” for demonic possession, but to follow an actual blessing in the form of a protection spell over an unborn child. Given how Haiti has been traditionally demonized in Western culture, this representation already elevates this film as a counter-narrative.

In the end, the latest installment of The Exorcist does much to alter Black representations in the horror genre, giving them due reverence and centrality in a mainstream movie while also allowing them to survive.