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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

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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