Judy Blume’s Legacy: How and Why We Must Talk About Periods

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, the iconic book about puberty and preteen firsts, debuts on the big screen later this month, along with the much anticipated documentary, Judy Blume Forever. Social media has been abuzz with fans spanning generations sharing their own #MargaretMoments.

Here’s mine: When I researched and wrote the book Periods Gone Public: Taking a Stand for Menstrual Equity in 2017, I delved into the national discourse about menstruation in the United States during the 20th century. Of course, Margaret plays a leading role—but so too, I learned, does the invention and commercialization of modern menstrual products.

Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation: Women in Congress Lead Committees That Control U.S. Spending; Celebrating Suffragists of Color

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

This week: The leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees are all women, as is the top White House budget official—the first-ever all-women team to lead the congressional committees that control government spending; new research about women of color involved in the suffrage movement; the power of knitting; and more.

It’s Women’s Equality Week—and Three More Total Abortion Bans Are About to Take Effect

On Thursday, existing laws in Texas, Tennessee and Idaho will take effect that either outlaw abortion entirely, or increase penalties for doctors who perform an abortion. The very next day, the U.S. will commemorate Women’s Equality Day. You’ll understand if we don’t feel much like celebrating.

Before this week, total bans were already in effect in Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

Coalition-Building Is Key to Moving Women’s Political Leadership Forward

We are at a pivotal moment where we need to move towards greater equality more rapidly, so the path to gender parity in civic and political leadership is not 200 years long.

Let’s move beyond partisan politics and individual missions to achieve our collective goal of increasing the number of women in elected and appointed positions across the country, and bringing our country closer to a representative democracy. We can only do this if we work together.

The Urgency for Reproductive Freedom: From Slavery to the New Jane Crow

When states coerce and force women, girls and people with the capacity for pregnancy to remain pregnant against their will, they create human chattel and incubators of them. Today, Texas, Mississippi and other states with ‘trigger’ bans make clear that the essences of chattel bondage and the draft have returned, but only for women, girls and pregnant-capable people.

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. 

With a Powerhouse All-Women Cast, ‘Suffs’ Explores Activists Who Made Women’s Voting Rights Happen

Unlike the limited lessons of women’s suffrage many learn—Seneca Falls and Susan B. Anthony—Suffs digs deep into the gamesmanship wielded by the movement’s early 20th century leaders. Suffs opens April 6 at the venerable Public Theater in New York City. Lin-Manuel Miranda himself tweeted this week that >Suffs is “gobsmackingly incredible” and its writer and star, Shaina Taub as Alice Paul, is “the FUTURE.” I couldn’t agree more.