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.

Beyoncé’s Ode to Black Joy: Merging Past and Future in ‘Renaissance’

Renaissance, Beyoncé’s seventh solo album, offers a much different vibe and one that also represents an intergenerational inheritance engulfed in the pleasures of Black dance music vibrating across the various subcultures of Black communities around the world.

Black women—across genders, sexualities and communities—have been the blueprint, and Beyoncé’s Renaissance proves that.

We Heart: P!nk’s New Protest Anthem, ‘Irrelevant’

On July 18, the music video for P!nk’s new song, “Irrelevant,” dropped and has since been deemed a ‘protest anthem.’ She explained, “As a woman with an opinion and the fearlessness to voice that opinion, it gets very tiring when the only retort is to tell me how irrelevant I am. I am relevant because I exist and because I am a human being. No one is irrelevant. And no one can take away my voice.”

The proceeds from the new track will be donated to Michelle Obama’s national, nonpartisan voting initiative When We All Vote.

Ms. Global: Iranian Women Unveil in Protest; Hungary Sued Over Anti-LGBTQ Law; Sierra Leone Overturns Abortion Ban

The U.S. ranks as the 19th most dangerous country for women, 11th in maternal mortality, 30th in closing the gender pay gap, 75th in women’s political representation, and painfully lacks paid family leave and equal access to health care. But Ms. has always understood: Feminist movements around the world hold answers to some of the U.S.’s most intractable problems. Ms. Global is taking note of feminists worldwide.

Half a Century of Data on American Women and Politics

At the time of the Center for American Women and Politics’ founding, there were so few women in politics that some male colleagues wondered aloud what the organization would even study.

Five decades later, in a year marked by critical milestones and mixed outcomes for women’s rights and representation, the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers Eagleton Institute of Politics is celebrating its anniversary as the original and preeminent source for data, research and resources regarding women in American politics and public life. Ms. spoke recently with Debbie Walsh, CAWP’s director for the last two decades, about the significance of that half-century mark.

The Return of Essence Festival of Culture: ‘It’s the Black Joy for Me’

After an in-person hiatus of two years, Essence Festival of Culture returned to New Orleans for its annual festival dedicated to celebrating and uplifting Black women.

The return of Essence Festival in person during this critical social moment was vital. With the theme “It’s the Black Joy For Me,” it was a moment for Black women to take time for themselves and each other, despite what’s currently happening in the world.

‘Good Luck to You, Leo Grande’: Pleasure as a Path to Wholeness

Good Luck to You, Leo Grandestarring Emma Thompson as Nancy Stokes and Daryl McCormack as Leo Grande is an exploration of whether women, due to internal and external messaging, are allowed to pursue and attain sexual fulfillment. The fact that Nancy has never had an orgasm answers that question.

In a world where we’ve started discussing the critical importance of sexual consent, and in the wake of MeToo, we must address women’s pleasure—making this film not only entertaining, but necessary.

Keeping Score: U.S. Gymnasts Sue FBI for Failure to Investigate Nassar; SCOTUS Expands Religious Liberty Rights; Physicians Fear Post-Roe World

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: Physicians fear for their patients’ health outcomes without abortion access; Supreme Court rules to protect federal officers’ immunity over Fourth Amendments rights; U.S. women gymnasts sue FBI for failure to investigate doctor Larry Nassar; House passes legislation to ban purchase of semiautomatic weapons before age 21; first transgender performer is nominated for a Tony, and first non-binary composer wins for best original score; and more.

Lucia Small’s Film ‘Girl Talk’ Explores Gender Bias Within High School Debate Teams: ‘A Powerful Team With Powerful Girls’ Voices’

Perhaps it should come as little surprise that many prominent female public figures—Sonia Sotomayor, Kamala Harris, Oprah Winfrey, the list goes on—were all high school debaters. In that arena, each of them overcame the odds stacked against them—girls are less likely to participate than boys, less likely to continue year-after-year, and even less likely to win.

Filmmaker Lucia Small’s latest film Girl Talk explores the microcosm of gender bias within high school debate competitions by following five girl debaters through their high school years. In this interview, Small talks about her inspiration for the film and how it speaks to larger issues of how girls and women articulate themselves in arenas from politics to filmmaking. She hopes the film will inspire discussions about gender bias in the debate world—and beyond.