From Green to Red Tide: Latin America Is Leading the Way in the Fight Against Obstetric Violence

In the early 2000s, Latin American feminists coined the term “obstetric violence” (OV) to refer to acts of abuse in the context of pregnancy, labor and birth, including physical and psychological violence, abusive medicalization and pathologization of natural processes that involve the loss of autonomy over our bodies and sexuality. 

Since then, governments of Venezuela, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Uruguay, Bolivia and Costa Rica have all passed legislation using the language of OV, laying out the rights of people at the time of labor and delivery.

Southern Baptists Pursue a Mission of Misogyny

This weekend, thousands of Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) delegates will assemble in Indianapolis, and one of the most misogynistic gatherings in all of Christendom will be on display. With 13 million members, the Southern Baptist Convention is the largest Protestant faith group in the country. Considered as a bellwether for white evangelicals, and enmeshed with the Republican Party, the SBC carries an outsized influence disproportionate to its numbers.

When you combine the SBC’s misogynistic, authoritarian theology, which relegates females to second-class status, with an institutional structure lacking in effective accountability systems, you wind up with an institution in which abuse can run rampant.

‘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.”

A Violent Denial: Combating Silence Around Hamas’ Sexual Violence and Preventing Future War Crimes

Feminist lessons of war are traumatically and often fatally difficult to come by. In her 2023 book, Twelve Feminist Lessons of War, Cynthia Enloe offers a list that includes: “Women’s wars are not men’s wars,” “wounds are gendered” and “feminists organize while war is raging.” She declares that “feminist lessons are for everyone.”

Cochav Elkayam-Levy is still figuring out the feminist lessons to be learned from the Oct. 7 attack. As she has come to accept, this will be her life’s work.

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

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.

Women Rap Back: ‘It’s My Dance and It’s My Body’

From the November/December 1990 issue of Ms. magazine: “What won’t subvert rap’s sexism is the actions of men; what will is women speaking in their own voice.”

(For more ground-breaking stories like this, order 50 YEARS OF Ms.: THE BEST OF THE PATHFINDING MAGAZINE THAT IGNITED A REVOLUTION, Alfred A. Knopf—a collection of the most audacious, norm-breaking coverage Ms. has published.)

How Rowena Chiu’s Story Helped Expose Harvey Weinstein—From ‘Credible: Why We Doubt Accusers and Protect Abusers’

Rowena Chiu began working for Harvey Weinstein in 1998, assisting in the London office with his European film productions. Later that year, at the Venice Film Festival, she found herself at a late-night meeting with the producer. There, she recalls, Weinstein told her “he’d never had a Chinese girl” before attempting to rape her.

After signing a nondisclosure agreement, Chiu spent nearly two decades in what she describes as “constant fear”—“fear of Harvey’s abuse, control and power; that the story would come back to haunt me; that I would inadvertently slip up on my promise to never speak of this.” She was finally inspired to speak out by the powerful testimony of Christine Blasey Ford, whose decision to “speak up” about Brett Kavanaugh in September 2018 made a lasting impression.  

“I can briefly glory in the relief that I am no longer sitting on a sickening secret,” she wrote. 

‘My Life as a Feminist Punk’: An Interview With Kathleen Hanna

In her memoir, Rebel Girl: My Life as a Feminist Punk (Ecco), Hanna shares her journey from a challenging childhood through college and her first shows to love, Lyme disease and Le Tigre. Intimate and candid, Hanna graciously explores it all, including the duplicity of the punk scene with its caring collectivity and underlying exclusivity, racism and misogyny. 

I was lucky enough to chat with Kathleen Hanna about her book, the writing process and how her feminism has changed over time.

The Twin Demons of Maternal Mortality and Femicide

Black women in the U.S. face a unique double-bind when it comes to maternal mortality and femicide.

Black maternal health isn’t just about perinatal care; it intersects with racial and reproductive justice, and it’s part of the nexus of gun violence and domestic violence. Focusing on this intersection should drive overwhelming support from both reproductive and racial justice communities working toward solutions.