Yes, it’s essential that black women have the choice about whether to conceive and give birth. But this choice, without the ability to protect a child from violence, rings hollow. That’s why it’s important to understand that the fight for reproductive justice and the fight to end police brutality go hand in hand. State violence and control, whether through racist policing, the criminal justice system or the welfare system, are all issues at the core of reproductive justice. They are fundamentally about whether you, or the state, has control over your own body and destiny.
It wasn’t until April 1975 that women had a word for talking about what their male bosses were doing to them.It was that month that I first used the phrase “sexual harassment” in public, during a hearing on women in the workplace by the New York City Human Rights Commission, at which I was testifying as an instructor at Cornell University. The New York Times covered the hearing in an article that was reprinted across the country. And thus, a concept was born.
There was this incredible love story at the origin of what Wonder Woman would come to be. The Marstons were psychologists, and they really thought that if you could change hearts and minds, you could change the world. Marston called Wonder Woman “psychological propaganda” to try to get young boys and men to respect powerful women and find their power attractive. And he had this notion that if women ran the world, the world would be a better place.
In this moment of backlash and retrenchment, the type of “You go, girl” feminism obsessed with professional cheerleading and pop culture affirmation has come to feel as dated as shoulder pads. Feminism’s energy has shifted left, toward women who want to dismantle the ruling class, not diversify it. When “broader female access to executive perches in Wall Street and Silicon Valley gets treated as some sort of movement-wide victory, then something clearly has gone wrong in our understanding of what feminism is and can do,” Jessa Crispin wrote in The New Republic.
While American companies are primarily the ones in the spotlight, they have a global reach, not just because of their size, but because of the ways their actions resonate around the world. And even if gender issues elsewhere don’t make headlines, women on both sides of the Atlantic point to similar problems — although political and cultural disparities create different challenges and opportunities.
The New York Times asked some of the participants at last week’s global meeting of the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society in Paris to look both backward and forward — backward at what they would have changed as they climbed up the career ladder and forward to what needs to change to create greater gender equity.
When Abulfazl was young, she said, she heard people whisper that her father, who worked in government, could be more powerful if he had more sons instead of so many daughters. They’d say, “Too bad for him,” and Abulfazl often wondered why that had to be true. Why couldn’t daughters be powerful, too?
"I entered the Hollywood machine in 1986 as a prominent-nosed, awkward, geeky, Jewish 11-year-old — basically a scrawnier version of the person I am today. Back then we didn’t have the internet or social media or reality TV, but I didn’t need any of that to understand that I didn’t look or act like other girls in my industry, and that I was immersing myself in a business that rewarded physical beauty and sex appeal above all else..."