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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

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Colleges see big drop in foreign-language enrollment; Kentucky advocates say it's time to bury medical debt; Young Farmers in Michigan hope the new farm bill will include key benefits regarding land access.

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The White House presses for supplemental Ukraine aid. Leaders condemn antisemitic attacks during Gaza ceasefire protests. Despite concerns about the next election, one Arizona legal expert says courts generally side with voters and democracy.

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Congress has iced the Farm Bill, but farmer advocates argue some portions are urgent, the Hoosier State is reaping big rewards from wind and solar, and opponents react to a road through Alaska's Brooks Range, long a dream destination for hunters and anglers.

Ms. Magazine looks back on its first 50 years

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Wednesday, September 20, 2023   

This week, feminism passes a milestone of sorts as the iconic publication, Ms. Magazine, looks back on its first fifty years.

A new book has just come out, called "50 Years of Ms.: The Best of the Pathfinding Magazine That Ignited a Revolution." It features articles from each decade and traces the evolution of what was once known as the "women's liberation movement."

Kathy Spillar, executive editor of the magazine, noted the first issue looked at the abortion controversy, a topic just as highly relevant today.

"A year later, Roe versus Wade came down from the Supreme Court, and all of the mobilizing since has resulted in one of the largest movements of this time," Spillar recounted. "With the court now reversing Roe, women are outraged, and we're watching their political power become even more decisive, in election after election."

Other issues highlighted over the years include the role of working women, LGBTQ+ rights, the fair division of household labor and Title 9, which led to a big expansion of women's sports. The magazine also exposed the harm caused by sexual harassment, some 40 years before the "Me too" movement.

The U.S. is currently seeing a reactionary backlash to the progress made since the 1970s on gender and racial equality, with books being banned in school districts across the country, and college programs on African American History and Gender Studies coming under attack in Florida. Spillar predicts the tactic will fail.

"They can't put a genie back in the bottle," Spillar contended. "They can create a lot of damage, but they cannot stop the forward march of progress. Because too many women have seen the benefits of laws that prohibit discrimination, and are simply not going to go back."

The magazine and its associated website and podcasts are now published by the nonprofit Feminist Majority Foundation, with offices in Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles.

This story was produced as part of the Ms. Magazine-Public News Service Collaboration

Disclosure: Ms. Magazine contributes to our fund for reporting. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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