Generation Roe: Have We Always Known Roe Was an Aberrance Only Two Generations Would Experience?

I was born in 1974, nearly 18 months to the day after Roe. The women of my generation, along with the following generation, have been shaped by access to legal abortion and the subsequent guarantee of full personhood. The birth control pill, first approved by the FDA in 1960, promised reproductive autonomy, but abortion rights helped make it true.

As we approach the overturning of Roe, the women of Generation Roe must continue to speak out and join forces with other generations of activists to ensure we will not be the only ones to have experienced full personhood, unencumbered by laws seeking to define all women as mothers whose interests are subsumed by their children, born and unborn.

Defamation Lawsuits: Another Tactic to Silence Survivors

Due to a culture of stigmatization and shame, fueled by deficient laws and a criminal justice system that rarely takes victims of sexual abuse seriously, survivors are often reluctant to come forward with their experiences. Recently, a worrying trend has further raised the stakes for survivors who choose to speak out: the weaponization of defamation lawsuits. This happens when the person accused of sexual violence attempts to use the courts to punish the survivor for having spoken out about the abuse she allegedly experienced—even, in some cases, after an official confirmation of the abuse has been made.

Don’t Fence Me In: Reproductive Freedom and Women Workers

For centuries under common law, a daughter or a wife was the property of the family father or husband or, upon his death, the closest relative with a penis. Whatever was theirs was his, but most importantly the family patriarch oversaw her most valuable asset: her womb. In earliest medical thought, a womb was fertile ground in need of guarding and fences to make property rights clearer, and she to be plowed and planted with seed, quite literally semen.

We thought such laws and cultural metaphors were behind us. But now the cowboys of Texas have put a bounty on women’s wombs. The stakes are women’s civil rights as citizens, surely, but also financial ones.

A Workplace Void of Violence and Harassment: Creating Safer Working Environments with ILO’s Convention 190

The International Labour Organization’s Convention 190—a legally binding instrument adopted in 2019—has a bold message: Gender-based discrimination will no longer be tolerated in the “world of work.”

This legislation attempts to address gender-based violence and harassment in the world of work at the international level. Convention 190 is unique from past attempts as it provides a singular concept of violence and harassment and requires a inclusive, integrated and gender-responsive approach to prevent and address these issues.

The Ms. Top Feminists of 2021

From COVID vaccines to abortion rights, infrastructure bills to Olympic athletes, 2021 has been a monunmental year for feminists around the globe. With so many of our rights in jeopardy, and with so many women struggling to recover from the pandemic, activists have had to work even harder to stand up for the causes we believe in.

Tackling voting rights, public health, reproductive justice and much more, here are our top feminists of 2021.

2021’s Best Feminist Pop Culture Moments

From the swearing in of our first woman vice president, Kamala Harris, to the severe restrictions on reproductive rights, 2021 has been a mixed bag for feminism. Of course, popular culture—ever a pulse from which to measure the present moment—served as a guide this year for feminist expression.

Here is a list of what got us thinking and talking about feminism in popular culture.

Farmers Leading Protests in India—and the Young Feminists Camping With Them—Just Scored a Major Win. Will It Last?

As the world advocates for collective action toward the empowerment for all (including universal healthcare and tuition-free education), farmers and agrarian laborers from the states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh in India have finally pushed back with a massive movement. And after a year of unprecedented protests, an equally unprecedented victory has been won. To some readers, just to exist without immediate corporate control over agriculture may seem small—but these farmers are poised to change the whole game.

And undoubtedly, while the protest was majority male, the centrality of women’s contribution has been unquestionable.

Subject: Man. Object: Woman. Verb? Control.

It is not simply or only “hatred” that motivates the sexists of the world, but the very desire to define and therefore to control. 

It’s then easy to see how attacks on reproductive rights are connected with the prevalence of sexual assault and harassment: Because if women are fully self-determined—can determine when and if they have children, when and with whom they have sex—then they cannot be there, fully, inevitably, without their own desire, for you. For a man. 

Four Years After #MeToo, We Need a Movement Led by Women of the Global South

Four years after #MeToo went viral, women continue to come forward with their stories of sexual harassment in the workplace and elsewhere. Unfortunately, we can only tell some women’s #MeToo stories after it’s too late.

If we’re going to realize the promise of the #MeToo movement for all women, we need to start with addressing the immigration, caste and other systems that harassers and abusers use to exert power over women.