When Women Were King

The Woman King, a new film starring Viola Davis, reclaims the narrative of the fiercely resistant African “Amazons.”

“My hope is that young African-descended girls and women see themselves in these powerful women. I hope they too will aspire for greatness.”

Don’t Draft Our Daughters—or Our Sons

From a feminist perspective, it is clear that it would be unjust to draft women against their will—not because “women are fragile” or in need of paternal care, but because we should not force anyone, regardless of gender, into war-fighting without their full consent. Instead of arguing about women joining the Selective Service, Democrats should join the bipartisan effort to abolish the Selective Service once and for all.

War on Women Report: Texas Teen Raises $2.2 Million for Abortion Funds; 43 Abortion Clinics Closed; WNBA’s Brittney Griner Sentenced to Nine Years

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 week: State courts are shaping the future of abortion; Texas teenager raises $2.2 million for abortion care; WNBA star Brittney Griner has been sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison; and more.

‘Leap and Hope You Grow Wings’: WWII Woman Aviator Speaks About Her Journey

Alyce Stevens Rohrer is one of the few living Women Air Service Pilots of WWII. Rohrer grew up impoverished with two brothers and two sisters in Provo, Utah, squished into a two-bedroom home on a tiny farm. Everyone worked the farm as soon as they could walk. 

“I knew I wanted more,” she told me. “I wanted freedom. As a little girl I would work the fields and watch a plane fly over. The first time I saw one I lit up. I knew I would be a pilot one day, and no one could stop me.” 

Keeping Score: Capitol Statues Honor RBG and Sandra Day O’Connor; Military Survivors Launch Campaign to Address Sexual Assault

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: Michigan governor appeals to state Supreme Court to enshrine abortion rights in constitution; track star Allyson Felix plans to retire; Florida and Oklahoma move to criminalize abortion; Ukrainian refugees face a lack of sexual and reproductive healthcare; U.N. funds Bilan Project to give a voice to female journalists in Somalia; and more.

Pro-War Rhetoric Around Ukraine Perpetuates the Patriarchy and Plays Right Into Putin’s Hands

Watching cable news coverage of the tragic events in Ukraine, I hear again and again how brave the Ukrainian men who are staying to fight are. But we should be very careful about who we worship because fetishizing the masculinist and militarist response of war will hurt women and LGBTQ people for decades to come.

Putin is a madman, but his regime depends on these century-old notions of binary gender and “normal” sexuality. The way the U.S. mainstream media is covering the illegal invasion of Ukraine is doing similar cultural work.

As a Black American, I Am Tired. We Are Tired.

When I woke up on Tuesday, Feb. 1, I found myself scrolling through Instagram and seeing every other post celebrating Black History Month—from brands and organizations to politicians and friends in my feed. Three days later, in the early hours of the morning, Minneapolis police killed Amir Locke in his sleep while serving a no-knock warrant—the same type police used to kill Breonna Taylor in her sleep, and the same Minneapolis police that killed George Floyd in 2020 in front of all of our eyes. As I tried to understand why I was feeling incredibly cynical, I realized the reason: I am tired. We are tired. 

Yet, despite being tired, we must keep going. We have to keep fighting. We have to keep organizing. Together we must continue to press forward, turning pain into purpose and purpose into power. 

“Harriet” and the Combahee River Raid

Most Americans know of Harriet Tubman’s work on the Underground Railroad. But there are still many things about Harriet Tubman’s extraordinary Civil War service that Americans do not know—including being the first woman in U.S. history to lead men into battle, in what became known as the Combahee River Raid.

In 1974, Tubman’s incredible victories and sacrifices to free the most oppressed inspired a group of Black feminists to build coalitions and engage globally in political activism to free Black women from capitalism, racism and patriarchy: the Combahee River Collective.

Keeping Score: Democrats Demand Repeal of Global Gag Rule; Sexual Harassment Is Now a Military Code Offense; Black Voters Eager to See First Black Woman to Supreme Court

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: Mississippi abortion ban threatens future of Roe v. Wade; McDonald’s employees pursue anti-sexual harassment and discrimination training; Democrats demand permanent repeal of global gag rule; California signs Equal Pay Pledge; same-gender couples face $30,000 income gap; and more.