Our Gilded Progress: ‘Great Gowns,’ Pop Culture and Reproductive Freedoms

This year’s Met Gala invited A-list celebrities in the midst of an ongoing pandemic, racial divides, rising inflation costs, and the widening gap between the top 1 percent and everyone else. 

During this event a leaked draft of the majority opinion from the Supreme Court immediately sent shockwaves, as the public learned that our highest court intends to overturn Roe v. Wade, which guarantees the right to abortion. Suddenly, the extreme wealth on display at the Met Gala seemed to represent all the “gilded” hubris of an historical era that seemed more “golden” than it really was—as we are now thrust back to a dystopian and despairing future we must confront and resist at all costs. 

Gender Is Still Burning: The Ms. Q&A with Jennie Livingston

When filmmaker Jennie Livingston stumbled upon drag ball culture in the late 1980s, they had no idea how much the resulting film would resonate. Released in 1990, Livingston’s first documentary Paris Is Burning showcases drag balls during the late 1980s in Harlem, New York City, and features interviews with numerous queer and trans Black and Latinx performers who comprised the various “houses” in competition at the balls. Decades later, the film continues to resonate.

What Kate Tsang’s ‘Marvelous and the Black Hole’ Can Teach Us About Magic, Connection and Coming of Age

When Marvelous and the Black Hole premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, I was instantly charmed by its clever, unique story and excellent performances—from both relative newcomer Miya Cech and the always unforgettable Rhea Perlman. The film is coming to theaters on April 22—the perfect opportunity to revisit the film and speak with writer and director Kate Tsang about her powerful debut feature.

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Unwavering Composure: Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation

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

This week: Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was a “model of composure” in the face of “egregious behavior” from some Republican senators; the “exhaustion of being the first Black women”; the impact of switching from gender ‘discrimination’ to gender ‘privilege’; women’s representation in post-Soviet states; how the Oscar winner for Best Picture will be decided using ranked-choice voting; rest in power Madeleine Albright, who knew how to “move beyond her talking points and to engage her counterparts in frank oval-table bargaining”; and more.

The Movie Star and Madame Salon: The Friendship of Anna May Wong and Bernardine Szold Fritz

In the mid-1930s, Anna May Wong was Hollywood’s preeminent Asian American starlet frustrated by a racist film industry. She connected with Bernardine Szold Fritz, a Jewish American writer and American salon hostess in Shanghai.

Today, 100 years after Anna May starred in her first leading role, The Toll of the Sea, stereotypes and casting white actors for Asian roles are still all too prevalent. Outside Hollywood, the U.S. is just beginning to recognize her groundbreaking achievements—Anna May Wong will be one of five American women to be featured on a U.S. quarter this year. It’s a start.