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300 years to equality?

The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, in a report issued in March 2023, warns that progress won over decades is vanishing because “the patriarchy is fighting back.” Women’s rights are being “abused, threatened and violated” around the world and gender equality won’t be achieved for 300 years if we stay on the […]

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Women are people, too

Someone asked Fredrik Backman, the Swedish author of The Winners, how he does such a good job creating women characters. “I write with the assumption that they’re people, too,” Backman told the audience at an Arts & Letters Live presentation on October 3, 2022. Later, he added, “I don’t understand women. I don’t understand humans. […]

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My bodily autonomy?!

Former Vice President Pence wants to implement a nationwide ban on abortion and to continue the fight “to restrict bodily autonomy.” Bodily autonomy is “the right to governance over one’s own body.” Yikes! Former Vice President Pence has no right to restrict my bodily autonomy—or the bodily autonomy of any woman. –Joy

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All-Black, all-female

An all-Black, all-female crew flew an American Airlines flight on August 8, 2022, in honor of Bessie Coleman, the first Black woman to earn a pilot’s license. From the pilots and flight attendants to the cargo team members and aviation maintenance technicians, the women were in charge of every aspect of the flight from Dallas […]

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Pants only!?

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit ruled that a North Carolina charter school can’t keep girls from wearing pants—and force them to wear only skirts, skorts or jumpers. The school founder claimed that the uniform rules promote chivalry “based on the view that girls are fragile vessels deserving of gentle treatment by […]

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Hell on women and horses

It’s hot in Texas this summer, which reminds me of some wise words from the writer Molly Ivins. In an article in the August 1987 issue of Ms. magazine, Ivins wrote: “They used to say that Texas was hell on women and horses. Don’t know why they stopped. It still is.” –Joy

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Major battles for women’s rights

“One thing is certain,” the Ms. Foundation declared in a mailing. “Whether we’re dealing with the overturn of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court stacked with Trump-appointed justices—or overcoming the final barriers to enshrining the Equal Rights Amendment in the Constitution, we simply must be prepared for what is nothing less than major battles […]

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I have a new t-shirt. On the front are these words: “Pro-choice–The radical notion that women are people and can make their own decision about their body. See also: My body. My choice.” –Joy

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Too educated, too strong

In 1979, Wangari Maathai’s husband filed for divorce. He was quoted as saying that he wanted a divorce because his wife was “too educated, too strong, too successful, too stubborn and too hard to control.” It was Wangari Maathai who started the Green Belt Movement in Kenya. That movement has planted more than 50 million […]

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Educate all of the girls

Wangari Maathai was born in Kenya in 1940—when girls were not supposed to be educated. Fortunately, her father decided to send her to boarding school when she was 11. Four years later, she started high school. It was a big deal for a girl in Kenya, and the local shoemaker made Wangari her first pair […]

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