On the Power of Choice and Imagination: The Ms. Q&A with ‘Women Talking’ Producer Dede Gardner

Already showing in select theaters and releasing nationwide on Jan. 27, Women Talking is both beautiful and harrowing: an ideologically captivating drama about how a group of women with very little agency navigate making a choice that will have profound effects on their lives, their children’s lives and their community. This extraordinary film features an equally extraordinary ensemble cast, including Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, Jessie Buckley and Judith Ivey, with Ben Whishaw and Frances McDormand.

The film takes place in 2010 in an isolated religious community, where it’s been discovered that men and boys have been drugging and raping the women and girls while they sleep; the story concentrates on the small group chosen to make a crucial decision for all the women and girls in the colony: stay and fight back, or leave. Ms. had the opportunity to speak with producer Dede Gardner about her work on the film and its reflection of the power of community, of choice, and of imagination.

Rest in Power: Barbara Walters—Legend, Inspiration and Friend

The death of Barbara Walters is such a loss. We were professional colleagues and towards the end of our sometimes overlapping journeys as women in media, we became friends … not the kind of ‘share everything with’ friend, but a friendship based on the recognition that we had faced similar challenges and learned along the way the importance of showing up for other women.

I never aspired to ‘be’ Barbara, but like every woman in media then and now, I benefited from the battles she took on, the challenges she met and overcame, and the sacrifices she made to do the work she loved. I miss her on television and in my world.

Jennifer Baumgardner’s New Journal ‘LIBER’ Marries Women’s History and Contemporary Feminism

Jennifer Baumgardner, founder and editor of LIBER: A Feminist Review, believes that a literary journal can be a place where women’s history intersects with today’s most pressing feminist debates. Baumgardner and Charis Caputo, LIBER’s senior editor, aim to include “a lot of diferent perspecives and be a big feminist tent for as many people as possible.”

‘We Stand With You, Megan’: Feminist Leaders and Women in Music Rally Around Megan Thee Stallion

The Southern Black Girls & Women’s Consortium has published an open letter in support of rapper Megan Thee Stallion, denouncing violence against women.

“There is no amount of power or prestige that can prevent a woman from becoming a victim of violence and there is no level of achievement that exempts women from our society’s complacency with that violence.”

The War on Women Report: Anti-Abortion Movement Says It’s ‘Pro-Woman’; Kanye West’s Misogynistic Slurs; Brittney Griner’s Appeal Rejected

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.

This month: The anti-abortion movement frames its tactics as “pro-woman,” Kanye West claims Black women are engaging in genocide, the House Committee votes to subpoena Trump, Brittney Griner’s appeal is rejected and more.

Keeping Score: Women Protest Hijab Law Across Iran; SNL and Sesame Street Casts Make History; U.S. Government Scores C+ on Repro Rights

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 in this biweekly round-up.

This week: Saturday Night Live and Sesame Street hire first nonbinary and Black woman cast members, respectively; Kelley Robinson hired as first Black woman director of the Human Rights Campaign; California becomes sanctuary state for trans youth; U.S. Soccer Federation documents rampant abuse; 80 percent of pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S. are preventable, and more.

Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation: Black Women Win Big at the Emmys; U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Officially Scores Equal Pay

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

This week: U.S. women’s soccer team officially secures equal pay; Black women win big at the Emmys; how ranked-choice voting would help women candidates compete in New York City; and more.