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Welcoming babies in the Senate

The U.S. Senate voted unanimously to allow members to bring their newborns on the chamber floor. Some older male senators were reluctant at first because they feared their colleagues would breastfeed or change diapers in the Senate chamber, Ms. magazine reported in its summer 2018 issue. Because of this rule change, Senator Tammy Duckworth can […]

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The right to drive

Saudi Arabia finally lifted its ban on women driving. However, Human Rights Watch reminds us that Saudi authorities arrested and still detain a handful of men and women who campaigned to end the ban. “There can be no real celebration…while the women who campaigned for the right to drive and their supporters remain behind bars,” […]

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Miss America in an evening gown

“As long as Miss America requires contestants to look good in an evening gown while strutting in high-heeled shoes, it’s unlikely women in the United States will achieve gender equity,” wrote Catherine Cuellar in an article in the June 11, 2018, issue of The Dallas Morning News. “But from the composition of corporate boards to […]

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Miss America without her swimsuit

The Miss America pageant is scrapping the swimsuit competition, according to an article in the June, 6, 2018, issue of The Dallas Morning News. “We are not going to judge you on your outward appearance,” explained Gretchen Carson, chairwoman of the Miss America Organization. Instead, the organization will focus on women’s talents, intelligence and ideas. […]

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Redefining the word princess

Meghan Markle is a biracial, divorced, 36-year-old American feminist, says Sophie Gilbert at TheAtlantic.com. Millions may have tuned in because of fascination with royal tradition, but what we witnessed was “the redefinition of the word princess.” It’s about time we redefined the word!

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When birth control was illegal

I think I knew this, but I was astonished to be reminded by Cecile Richards in her new book that birth control was technically illegal in many states until 1965. That’s when the Supreme Court ruled in Griswold v. Connecticut that people have a constitutional right to “marital privacy.” That’s right. The date was 1965. […]

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A woman’s mind

Lucy Hayes, whose husband was president of the United States from 1877-1881, was the first presidential spouse to earn a college degree. She was hailed as a “new woman”—although she didn’t support women’s suffrage. “A woman’s mind is as strong as a man’s…equal in all things, superior in some,” she once said. Hayes is one […]

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A seat at the table

Women now make up a quarter of the state legislators in the United States. Today, 1,865 or 25.3 percent of the 7,383 state legislators are women. That compares to 344 or 4.5 percent in 1971, according to the spring 2018 issue of Ms. magazine. We’ve made progress, but we still have a long way to […]

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The system of patriarchy

After 3,000 B.C.E., men engaged in warfare on a grand scale, says Walter Wink in his book The Powers That Be. “Social systems became rigidly hierarchical, authoritarian and patriarchal. Women were deprived of the right both to speak their minds and to control their bodies. “The earliest documented effort to establish basic legal rights for […]

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Violence against women

Women still face a number of challenges today, emphasized Judy Norsigian, an author and editor of all nine editions of Our Bodies, Ourselves, in a recent presentation at Southern Methodist University. Norsigian listed three challenges: • The increasing sexualization of women and girls • Violence against women, including the trafficking of women • Threats to […]

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