Jaahnavi Kandula Did Not Deserve This Death

On Jan. 23, 2023, Jaahnavi Kandula was crossing the street when she was brutally struck by a police cruiser going 74 miles per hour. It is difficult to believe that we aren’t hearing this story until nine months later, but that’s how it goes.

Jaahnavi Kandula was a 23-year-old graduate student at Northeastern University’s Seattle campus raised by a single mother in Andhra Pradesh, India. She was due to graduate in three months with a masters in information systems. In a demographic analysis, Kandula and I are no different.

Our lives will always be worth more than a few thousand dollars.

He Was Dancing to Beyoncé. He Never Knew It Would Be His Last Dance: A Dancer’s Perspective

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.

Rest in Power: Katie Early, Long-Time Champion for Reproductive Justice

Katie Early, Ipas’ longest-serving employee, died on June 26, surrounded by loved ones. Early’s extraordinary leadership and vision helped shape Ipas programs, fundraising, workplace culture—as well as Ipas’ visibility on the global stage as a bold advocate for abortion access.  

When Early first joined Ipas, the word ‘abortion’ was barely mentioned in the fields of family planning and women’s health due to abortion stigma and gender inequity in politics worldwide. By the time Early retired, a robust global movement for abortion access was gaining momentum and achieving historic law change in countries around the world.

Rest in Power: Dr. Susan Love, Surgeon and Fearless Advocate for Breast Cancer Patients

Dr. Susan Love died on July 2, 2023, after a long struggle with leukemia. Love was a founder of National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) and a true advocate for patients.

Knowing that ending breast cancer requires advocate voices and action, Susan Love was part of a small group of women who came together in 1991 to form NBCC. Through the strength of her charisma, brilliance and firm belief in women’s power, she helped unite activists, survivors, researchers, policymakers and grassroots and national organizations to work together toward ending the disease for everyone.

Rest in Power: Peg Yorkin, Feminist Trailblazer and Supporter of Women in Politics

Peg Yorkin—leading U.S. feminist, philanthropist and strategist, as well as theater producer—died on Sunday, June 25, 2023, at the age of 96. In the midst of our collective grief, we honor and pay tribute to a co-founder as well as the one and only chair of the board of the Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF), publisher of Ms. Since the day FMF started in 1987, Peg Yorkin was important in conceptualizing the organization’s mission and potential significance in the struggle for equality and women’s rights.

“Peg was impatient. She wanted to see change now,” said Kathy Spillar, executive editor of Ms. and executive director of FMF. “She would constantly remind us of her age and wanted to see the changes in her lifetime. She thought big and had total confidence we could make a difference.”

Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation: Female Candidates Are Often Discussed Using Gendered Terms; Rest in Power, Anita Cornwell

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

This week: Female candidates are more likely to be described as “emotional” or “compassionate,” while male candidates are more likely to be described as “strong” or “confident”; Anita Cornwell, a revolutionary Black lesbian feminist writer, died at 99; progress toward gender balance in the U.S. is frustratingly slow and uneven; Delfina Gómez won her gubernatorial election in the state of Mexico to become the first woman to hold this position in the state; and more.

Remembering Catherine Kassenoff and Continuing the Fight for Fair U.S. Child Custody Outcomes

Why would a brilliant attorney and mother of three take her own life? Because the dysfunctional U.S. family court system took her kids and drove her—like so many others—over the edge.

If a superwoman like Catherine Kassenoff—who had grit, plus training as an elite legal mind—was defeated by our American family court system, what does that say for the rest of women terrorized and victimized?

Dr. George Tiller: A Man Who Trusted Women (Summer 2009)

Dr. George Tiller was an abortion provider—one of only three in the U.S. who provided abortions after the 21st week of pregnancy. On May 31, 2009, Tiller was assassinated by an anti-abortion extremist while serving as an usher at his church in Wichita, Kansas. He was known for mantras like “Trust women,” “I’m a woman-educated physician,” and “Attitude is everything.”

From the Summer 2009 issue of Ms. magazine: “Dr. George Tiller planned to be a dermatologist. He could have led a comfortable, secure life with his wife, Jeanne, their four children and, ultimately, their 10 grandchildren. Instead, Tiller decided to enlist in what shouldn’t be—but is—one of the most perilous jobs in the United States: women’s reproductive healthcare.”