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. 

The Pornification of War in Ukraine

The trending of #Ukraine on porn sites is only a recent development of an age-old misogyny, as old as warfare itself.

Research shows that habitual users of online porn seek ever more explicit and graphic images in order to sustain the same level of arousal. This partly explains the uptick in searches for pornographic videos of Ukrainian women after the invasion. It also accounts for the horrifying genres known as “refugee porn” and “war porn.” These videos link sex with desperation and violence. But not just any violence will do. The user is mainly interested in videos that feature the utter degradation of women and girls.

Supreme Court Upholds Bush-Era Policy Endangering Women’s Health

Publicly opposing sex work while also providing social and health services to sex workers both further stigmatizes sex workers and is hypocritical.

“This ruling is disconcerting and shameful. The [anti-prostitution loyalty oath] hurts public health outcomes and it has always been bad policy. Social stigmas that disproportionately impact and undermine the sexual and reproductive health rights of people across the globe do not belong in our nation’s foreign aid programs.”

Sister to Sister: Why a Group of Nuns are Going Undercover as Sex Workers

For the last five years, more 1,000 nuns have been going undercover as sex workers to help women trafficked into prostitution and sex slavery. And while you’ve probably never heard of them, the sisters of Talitha Kum—a reference to the Gospel of Mark meaning, “Maiden, I say to you, arise” in Aramaic—are worthy of your attention. The sisters run prevention […]