Women Deserve to Live in a Nation Free of Gun Violence: The Ms. Q&A with Kris Brown

This fall, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in U.S. v. Rahimi, a case about a Texas law that prevents individuals subject to domestic violence restraining orders from possessing firearms. In a country where an abuser’s access to a firearm makes it five times more likely that he will kill his victim, where gun ownership continues to increase and where domestic violence and mass shootings are fundamentally entwined, a ruling overturning the Texas law (and making similar laws impermissible) would be disastrous.

“I believe America stands for the proposition that you can walk down the street and not get shot,” Kris Brown, president of Brady United Against Gun Violence, told Ms. “And I’ll never stop fighting for that.”

In Novel ‘Bessie,’ Linda Kass Takes on Antisemitism Through the Story of the First and Only Jewish Miss America

“Bessie was not raised to be a beauty queen,” said Bessie novelist Linda Kass of Bess Myerson, the only Jewish Miss America. “She sought to have a voice, to make a difference.

“Antisemitism, racism and sexism were virulent, and homophobia was taken as a given. The arguments voiced then are similar to what we’re hearing and seeing today.”

Who Is Funding Your University? Unpacking the Hidden Influence of U.S. College Donors With Jasmine Banks

In colleges and universities across the U.S., right-wing donors endow “chairs” and departments, set up free-market boosting thinktanks, and get themselves on college boards, to ensure that progressive influences are limited, if not outright eliminated.

“Koch Industries and the entire Koch network are willing to fund projects for many years. They understand the importance of deep investment. The progressive sector needs progressive funders who are willing to mirror the philanthropy of the right.,” said Jasmine Banks, executive director of UnKoch My Campus, a national organization devoted to disrupting hidden corporate influence on U.S. college campuses.

Gloria Feldt and Kathy Spillar on Feminist Wins and Losses: ‘The Setbacks Have Only Awakened an Even Larger Giant Among Women’

The movement for gender equality has been sustained by a steady drumbeat of activists and leaders pushing for progress and fighting side by side. It is powerful when these feminist leaders take time to reflect together on the lessons, the losses, the wins, and the road ahead. This conversation between Gloria Feldt and Kathy Spillar offers just that.

Feldt and Spillar, along with hundreds of other feminists, will convene on Women’s Equality Day—Saturday, Aug. 26—for the Take The Lead Conference at the UCLA Luskin Conference Center in Los Angeles. The program will be dedicated to sharing solutions to help the U.S. reach intersectional gender parity in leadership—at work, in politics, and in life.

Two Years After the Taliban Takeover, an Afghan Girl Is Holding On to Hope: ‘I Am Young, But I Am Everything for My Family’

Last summer, almost one year after the Taliban takeover, I spoke to 17-year-old Farzana about her life in Kabul. Now, two years since the U.S. withdrew their troops, Farzana, 18, feels she has very little to live for.

“It has been two years and the future looks dark. It’s not being alive, and not being dead. We have permission for neither. … I had the hope to be a great athlete and leader in the world—a leader for Afghan women. These are still my hopes and my goals, and even in this hard situation, I am doing my best to get an opportunity to find a university outside of Afghanistan.”

Healing From an Abusive Relationship: The Ms. Q&A With Psychotherapist Amira Martin

Psychotherapist Amira Martin knew that it made sense to move slowly when starting a new relationship, but after a whirlwind romance, she married a man she’d known for less than a year. After all, the courtship had been perfect—indeed, the man himself appeared perfect—and however improbable, Martin believed that she had found her soul mate.

She hadn’t.

Amira Martin spoke with Ms. about her marriage, its dissolution, and what she learned from it.

Southern Hip-Hop Feminists Got Something to Say: The Ms. Q&A on Hip-Hop’s Reverse Migration

Aisha Durham and Regina Bradley are both hip-hop feminist scholars who focus on the South. Both spoke with Ms. contributing editor Janell Hobson to discuss the upcoming 50th anniversary of hip-hop, the origins of Southern hip-hop, how women continue to shape the genre—and, of course, their favorite feminist hip-hop anthems. (This article is part of “Turning 50,” which recognizes the women who shaped hip-hop.)

“Hip-hop started in New York but it didn’t end there,” said Bradley. “You probably wouldn’t have a robust hip-hop scene today without the Southern sound.”

Developing Hip-Hop Feminist Scholarship: The Ms. Q&A With Tricia Rose and Gwendolyn Pough

In our continued coverage of hip-hop feminists for our “Turning 50” series, we highlight two important voices and pioneers in hip-hop feminist studies.Tricia Rose, a professor of Africana Studies at Brown University, was born and raised in Harlem and the Bronx in New York City. Her groundbreaking book, Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America (1994), explored the emerging culture of hip-hop and helped to establish the birth of hip-hop studies. Her work addresses Black feminisms, Black women’s sexualities, and systemic racism. 

Gwendolyn D. Pough, a professor of women’s studies and rhetoric at Syracuse University, is renowned for her scholarship on hip-hop feminism, begun with her seminal work, Check it While I Wreck it: Black Womanhood, Hip-Hop Culture, and the Public Sphere (2004).

(This series is part of “Turning 50,” which recognizes the women who shaped hip-hop.)

Dance as a Form of Personal Healing: The Ms. Q&A With Tara Rynders

Burnout and stress have caused approximately 100,000 nurses to leave the workforce since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. This comes as no surprise to Tara Rynders, a Colorado-based registered nurse who has created a series of workshops for medical staff to address the sorrow and the joy of caring for others. The workshops—which combine movement, writing, play the arts and debriefing—also focus on how workers can provide what she calls “courageous care” to themselves.

Rydners’ workshops aim to “give nurses a way to debrief and process their feelings. … Nurses and other medical workers need to be able to stand up to power and celebrate themselves, not for being self-sacrificing, but for being able to set boundaries, say no, and not comply with every request.”