Presidents Matter: Title IX, Sex-Based Violence and LGBTQ Discrimination

There’s so much at stake in the 2024 presidential elections, including the rights of women and LGBTQ people. President Biden has been a longstanding advocate for women’s right to be free from violence.

On the other hand, Republicans are pledging to eliminate Title IX protections against sex-based discrimination and sexual violence. The difference is clear.

‘This Doesn’t Mean He’s Not Guilty’: An Interview With Rowena Chiu, a Survivor of Harvey Weinstein

When Harvey Weinstein’s conviction was overturned by the New York Court of Appeals, the decision reverberated far and wide. For many survivors, the unraveling of the conviction proved, once again, the failed promise of criminal justice. This failure was felt most deeply by the more than 100 women who have accused Weinstein of assault and harassment. Among these women is Rowena Chiu, whose account helped expose Weinstein’s predations. 

In this moment of setback, I wondered whether Chiu would feel—understandably—defeated. Just the opposite is true. As Chiu told me, beautifully and powerfully, “There’s work to be done and we roll up our sleeves and we do it.”

Keeping Score: Abortion Bans Drive Away Young Workers; Far-Right Groups Mobilize to Suppress Voting Rights; Biden Has Confirmed 200+ Judges

In every issue of Ms., we track research on our progress in the fight for equality, catalogue can’t-miss quotes from feminist voices and keep tabs on the feminist movement’s many milestones. We’re Keeping Score online, too—in this biweekly roundup.

This week: Young workers are avoiding states with abortion bans; 70 percent of likely voters support a ceasefire in Gaza; far-right groups are mobilizing to spread election conspiracies; potential new abortion restrictions in Louisiana; an update on Flint, Michigan; over 80 percent of men of color support abortion; Justice Samuel Alito is under fire for flying a “Stop the Steal” symbol; the Louisiana state legislature rejects a bill that would have allowed rape and incest victims aged 16 and younger to have an abortion and moves to add abortion pills to the list of controlled dangerous substances; and more.

Overturning Harvey Weinstein’s Conviction Shows Poor Understanding of Violence Against Women

Context is everything when it comes to sexual and physical violence against women. Harvey Weinstein had more than a “propensity” for sexual assault; he demonstrated a serially predatory pattern of behavior of targeting and violating women and learned from the systems that enabled him that he could get away with it. Knowledge of this pattern is not prejudicial; it is necessary for a thorough understanding of the perpetrator.

The overturning of Weinstein’s conviction merely emphasizes the degree to which protection of sexual predators at their victims’ expense and permissibility of male violence against women are entrenched in our institutions. If our legal system cannot appreciate the relevance of historical patterns of behavior, we can never combat violence against women successfully.

Nine Need-to-Know Changes From the New Title IX Rules

The United States Department of Education released its much-anticipated amendments to the existing Title IX regulations—which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any education program or activity that receives federal financial assistance. 

The amendments make substantial changes to the existing Title IX regulations. Experts anticipate these new changes will result in an increase in the number of Title IX complaints, since they broaden the protections of Title IX. The Education Department is requiring all schools implement the new 2024 regulations by Aug. 1. 

Here are nine significant changes to Title IX that interested parties in higher education should know.

New Title IX Rules Offer ‘Comprehensive Coverage’ for LGBTQ+ Students and Sexual Violence Survivors

Advocates for the LGBTQ+ community and sexual violence survivors are largely applauding the Department of Education’s newly released federal regulations to protect the rights of these groups in schools, though they also expressed reservations about the lack of clear protections for transgender athletes. Unveiled on Friday, the final rule under Title IX includes provisions that strengthen the rights of sexual violence survivors during investigations and of LGBTQ+ individuals to experience school in a way that aligns with their gender identity. Title IX is a historic civil rights law preventing federally funded academic institutions from practicing sex discrimination. 

“We are glad that the Biden administration finally fulfilled its promise to student survivors to return Title IX to its original intent of protecting their civil rights in the aftermath of sexual violence.”

Women’s History: 10 of the Most Iconic Ms. Magazine Covers 

From calling attention to the endless labor performed by women in the home, to being the first magazine to put the first female speaker on its cover, Ms. covers allowed the magazine to make a statement on newsstands—and bring feminist conversations into the mainstream.

In honor of Women’s History Month, here are our picks of 10 of the magazine’s most impactful covers. 

Keeping Score: Kamala Harris Is First VP to Visit Abortion Provider; Fani Willis Can Pursue Racketeering Case Against Trump; Birth Control Access Is Key Election Issue

In every issue of Ms., we track research on our progress in the fight for equality, catalogue can’t-miss quotes from feminist voices and keep tabs on the feminist movement’s many milestones. We’re Keeping Score online, too—in this biweekly roundup.

This week: Alabama ruling endangers IVF; childcare costs are a significant barrier to parents having more children; Beyoncé and Olivia Rodrigo launch new charities; more than 9,000 women have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza; Biden addresses abortion access in the SOTU; new research on gender discrimination in the workplace; Kamala Harris’ visit to Minnesota abortion clinic is the first time a sitting U.S. president or vice president has visited an abortion provider; a judge ruled Fani Willis should not be disqualified from prosecuting the racketeering case against former President Donald Trump; and more.

Subminimum Wage Is a Legacy of Slavery: Time for One Fair Wage

While some states have eliminated the subminimum wage, or raised it above the paltry federal rate, the vast majority of states still allow employers to pay servers less than minimum wage. Restaurant servers in the U.S. are about 70 percent female and disproportionately women of color. Young people, disabled workers and incarcerated people in many states also receive subminimum wages.

The system of subminimum wages and tipping is a legacy of slavery. After the Civil War, white business owners replaced wages with tipping because they did not want to pay their Black employees. Today, the subminimum wage harms women of color, in particular, who face biases from customers, which shows up in lower tips.

Dark Alleys, Empty Spaces: How Construction on College Campuses Impacts Young Women

Last semester, I realized how much construction on my college campus impacted my daily routines at Vanderbilt. In the early morning, when the sun had not yet risen, I would fear walking in areas near the construction of Kirkland Hall, one of the areas of our campus under renovation.

Well before women started stepping foot on college campuses, they have been adhering to the rape schedule—the ways women are culturally conditioned to make changes in their daily lives in order to avoid sexual assault. This brings to light what steps colleges and universities should take in order to aid students who are negatively impacted by living in a rape culture.