Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation: Women in Congress Lead Committees That Control U.S. Spending; Celebrating Suffragists of Color

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

This week: The leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees are all women, as is the top White House budget official—the first-ever all-women team to lead the congressional committees that control government spending; new research about women of color involved in the suffrage movement; the power of knitting; and more.

How ‘Fleishman Is in Trouble’ Made Me a More Empathic Doctor

Watching the novel-turned-television show Fleishman Is in Trouble now, I am struck by how Rachel’s traumatic birth left the Fleishmans in trouble. Her birth story helped me realize how much my own traumatic birth transformed me as a doctor.

The show helps us feel the absurdity in insinuating that Rachel could have moved on from her delivery simply and gracefully, content to be alive and physically unscathed, perhaps attending therapy to help her cope. Taffy Brodesser-Akner shrewdly summed this all up when she wrote, Rachel “was what this doctor thought she was. She was nothing. She was just a woman.”

The Pioneering Black Sci-Fi Writer Behind the Original Wakanda

MIT rarely allows Hollywood films to be shot on their campus. So it was a surprise when an email went out in 2021, alerting students that a film titled Summer Break would be filming at the school. Turns out, this was the working title of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.

But something else was special about Wakanda Forever’s filming location. The MIT scenes were shot a stone’s throw from where, a century before, Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins worked at the Institute. Hopkins is credited with inventing the setting that eventually became Wakanda in her science fiction, but her name isn’t widely known.

“She was a powerhouse, an innovator and an intellectual dynamo.”

What Our Primate Ancestors Can Teach Us About Dismantling the Patriarchy: The Ms. Q&A with Diane Rosenfeld

A new book shines an intriguing new light on the possibilities for alliances among women in the ongoing struggle to end men’s violence against women by examining the social organization of one of our closest primate relatives. In The Bonobo Sisterhood, Harvard Law School professor Diane Rosenfeld shows how we have much to learn from the bonobos about how to eliminate male sexual coercion.  

“Patriarchy is not inevitable; the bonobos are living proof of that.”

Join Ms. and Learn to Take Charge of Your Own Reproductive Healthcare

Learn everything you ever wanted to know about birth control, including things your doctor might not even know.

This free conversation will feature Dr. Sophia Yen, CEO and co-founder of Pandia Health, the only women-founded and women-led birth control delivery and telemedicine company. Yen will outline everything she thinks we need to know about birth control, emergency contraception, periods, abortions pills and more. (This event is back by popular demand!)

Demystifying Cyber: Tennisha Martin, the Ethical Hacker Who Founded BlackGirlsHack

It will take a paradigm shift to defend our national security moving forward. Women and people of color should be at the forefront of this effort. Demystifying Cybersecurity drives a critical conversation on race in the cybersecurity industry, and shining a light on Black experts in their fields.

This month: Tennisha Martin, the executive director and founder of BlackGirlsHack, a national cybersecurity nonprofit dedicated to providing education and resources to underserved communities and increasing diversity in cybersecurity.

From the Vault: ‘Math Anxiety’ by Sheila Tobias (September 1976)

In 1976, in the pages of Ms. magazine, Sheila Tobias explored the topic of “math anxiety:” the tendency of women to avoid mathematics as it became more difficult, which stemmed, in part, from gender roles in academia.

“A culture that makes math ability a masculine attribute, that punishes women for doing well in math, and that soothes the slower math learner by telling her she does not have a ‘mathematical mind.'”

With SisterMentors, Dr. Shireen Lewis Is Building a Fierce Future for Women and Girls of Color in Education

Two decades ago, Ms. had the honor of interviewing the founder of SisterMentors, Dr. Shireen Lewis, in its Summer 2000 issue—and here we are again, just as SisterMentors celebrates its 25th anniversary.

Lewis has dedicated her entire professional life to creating and growing SisterMentors, a nonprofit organization that helps women and girls of color in the education system. Through her work, she is empowering young women and girls of color to overcome deep-seated institutional inequities in the education system.

“I see Black and Brown women and girls as having a major role to play in helping to save the world. And we’re not just talking academia, but leaders in the public and the private sector.”

ICYMI: ‘Everything You Need to Know About Birth Control’ with Dr. Sophia Yen

In this time of crisis, Dr. Sophia Yen says it’s essential we take charge of our own reproductive health. Yen is the CEO and co-founder of Pandia Health, the only doctor-led and women-founded and -led birth control delivery company. She is a board-certified physician with a focus in adolescent medicine, and serves as a clinical associate professor at Stanford Medical School in the Department of Pediatrics.

In a Ms. webinar on Tuesday, “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Birth Control,” Yen broke down the best forms of birth control and emergency contraception, why you should consider skipping your period, how to get abortion pills (even if you live in a state with a ban), and more.