Women's Rights


“Even though we have helped organize so many women, we believe that rights are not enough."

Illustration by Johanna Goodman

Firing questions at Richards, and then interrupting her answers, the members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee seemed intent on demonstrating their contempt.


"Rose-Sanderson-Votes-for-Women" by Bain News Service

Looking back at the August 1920 issue of La Follette's Magazine gives me goosebumps.


It's pretty exciting to read that "17 million American women" are "fully enfranchised."

For the first time in American history, women may vote in every state in the Union for candidates for all offices...and women may hold any office now held by men, whether appointive or elective.


With all the certainty of a graying obstetrician, Scott Walker declared that the question of aborting a pregnancy to save a woman's life is a hypothetical that doesn't need discussing, because it’s a situation that just never happens.

"It's a false choice," said Walker. "There's always a better option out there. I've said for years, medically, there's always a better choice than choosing between the life of an unborn baby and the life of the mother, so that's just a false choice out there. That's my point. There's always better choices out there. Medically, that's just a non-issue."

Meet Cecily Kellogg.

When I went to work as the legislative director for Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin in 2003, I was unprepared for the attacks this venerable women’s health-care group experiences on a routine basis. There are organizations solely dedicated to shutting down Planned Parenthood, and more pop up every day. Even before the 2010 Tea Party takeover in state capitols around the country, including ours, the relentless legal and political attacks on Planned Parenthood were unending.

My mother Anne Nicol Gaylor directed that when she died, a “small tombstone” should be inscribed with her name and the words “Feminist—Activist—Freethinker.” My three brothers and I had long teased her that when she died we’d instead put on her tombstone: “Here lies 238-3338.”

Slider photo by John Premble

Photo by Tanner Cole — Wisconsin citizens testify on Wisconsin Assembly Bill 237 during its public committee debate on June 2.

Kate Clinton with party favors and boa

On the women's movement, Ted Cruz, the Teahadists, and why we can't all just be Amish.

Tanya Mitchell in visiting area

When we hear stories about domestic violence, one question seems to rise to the surface again and again: If the abuse is so bad, why didn’t she leave?


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Helen Caldicott, a co-founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility, calls this “one of the most frightening books...


This time we’ve got some advantages.

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.

Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

Public School Shakedown

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