War on Women Report: Supreme Court Fails to Deliver Abortion Wins; Senate Republicans Block Contraception and IVF Bills

U.S. patriarchal authoritarianism is on the rise, and democracy is on the decline. But day after day, we stay vigilant in our goals to dismantle patriarchy at every turn. The fight is far from over. We are watching, and we refuse to go back. This is the War on Women Report.

Since our last report: New Hampshire became the 13th state to outlaw child marriage; parents sue Louisiana for new law requiring 10 Commandments be displayed in schools; Republican-dominated legislatures continue to attack rights, introducing further restrictions on abortion, contraception and IVF; Trump defends state-level abortion bans and the overturn of Roe at the debate; Iowa’s six-week abortion ban approved by the state Supreme Court and more.

Don’t Think the Southern Baptist Convention Vote on Women Pastors Was a Win for Women

The Southern Baptist Convention rejected a proposed amendment that would have designated any church with a woman pastor as no longer in “friendly cooperation” with the SBC. Those churches could have then been expelled from the SBC.

Some might express surprise at this vote and wonder if Southern Baptists are changing direction on women’s issues—if they’re becoming more accepting of women in leadership.

They’re not. This vote wasn’t at all about supporting women.

The Upcoming Presidential Debate Is Really a Masculinity Contest

The GOP and its mouthpieces in conservative media repeat constantly that Trump and MAGA are the natural home of “real men,” who are the only ones that have what it takes to protect and defend this country.

By contrast, Biden embodies a wonkish, managerial masculinity that is calm, measured and empathetic. But that matters very little in terms of how he will be judged on his debate performance. What will matter is his energy level. His assertiveness and aggressiveness. The way he responds to Trump’s verbal aggression and bullying behavior. Whether or not he “scores points” in verbal repartee. In other words, the way he performs his “manhood.”

Flipping the Script on True Crime: The Ms. Q&A With Author Kristine S. Ervin

Kristine S. Ervin was 8 when her mother was abducted from a mall parking lot, murdered and abandoned in an Oklahoma oil field. In her debut memoir Rabbit Heart, Ervin resists the true crime trope of exploiting and glorifying femicide and instead delves into the emotional toll her mother’s death took on her and her family. We sat down recently to talk about her book, growing up motherless, how this informed her life’s gender power dynamics and her evolution from being a feminist-skeptic to writing what is undeniably a deeply feminist memoir.

“I see this as a grief memoir, a motherless daughter memoir, a memoir that is meant to show what 25 years of unrelenting, brutal grief looks like when you are the loved one of a victim and you don’t have answers.”

In U.S. v. Rahimi, Domestic Violence Victims Live to Die Another Day

Friday morning, the Supreme Court ruled 8-1 that a law restricting firearms access for a narrow class of individuals subject to a specific kind of domestic violence restraining order does not violate the Second Amendment. The ruling is a “win” in much the same way the Court’s ruling in the mifepristone case FDA v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine earlier this month is a win: The Court did the “bare minimum” necessary to cling to the last vestiges of its legitimacy.

The threat posed by violent abusers like Zackey Rahimi might be temporarily disarmed today, but the threat posed by the Supreme Court’s patriarchal agenda remains a loaded weapon.

Racist Graffiti on Angela Alsobrooks’ Campaign Sign Is a Reminder of the Threats Black Women in Politics Face

The recent defacement of Maryland U.S. Senate Democratic candidate Angela Alsobrooks’ campaign sign with hateful and threatening messages highlights the persistent racism and abuse that women—especially Black women—endure when seeking to run, win, serve and lead in our politics. Such acts, including the brandishing of “KKK” by vandals and a target drawn on her forehead, assault both individual dignity and democratic principles.

Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey Signs Coercive Control Bill Into Law

Massachusetts just became the seventh state in the country to pass legislation classifying coercive control as a form of domestic violence.

Attorney Jamie Sabino of the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute said the survivor and expert testimony that influenced legislators “spelled out the lifetime and generational harm caused by coercive control. Non-physical abuse like revenge porn, which is a form of technology abuse, is typically a precursor to more serious and violent acts, including sexual and physical assault or homicide.”

‘Sharing Our Stories Loosens the Grip they Have on Us’: Watching Students Claim Voice to Power

I have been a professor for almost 25 years and can’t imagine any other job. One of the most gratifying parts is being there for my students, but by June of every year, I’m tired. Especially after teaching The Power of Feminist Writing.

Misogyny induced pain and trauma shouldn’t only be acknowledged and validated in a gender studies classroom. The students and I should feel confident that *anyone* would believe our trauma is real. But we all know that is not the case, which is why many of us were sad to see the class end.