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Welcome to The Meteor newsletter, where we deliver enlightening, surprising, and (whenever humanly possible!) fun perspectives direct to your inbox every Wednesday and Saturday. We promise to never send you junk, but to always bring you exclusive essays, interviews, and dialogue with The Meteor’s collective members—like authors Jennifer Finney Boylan, Rebecca Carroll, and Amber Tamblyn—as well as news, culture, the latest from UNDISTRACTED podcast host Brittany Packnett Cunningham, and more, all with an eye towards gender justice and bones-deep desire for a more equitable future.


THE FIRST WEEK WITHOUT ROE V. WADE

The July 4th weekend is upon us. "And if we just absorb the loss of Roe and integrate it and then move on and don't turn it into the most urgent, existential fight of our lives, this is not going to end here," says Dahlia Litchwick.

Could Title IX be next?

It's so crucial to celebrate the victories we've already won, while we still have them. To understand what the 50th anniversary of Title IX means—and whether it, like Roe, could be at risk—we spoke to Alexandra Brodsky author and founder of Know Your IX.

They’ve lived under abortion bans

So the question for Americans who value reproductive rights is: What happens now? How do we help each other, help our friends, and, ultimately, win back our freedoms?

People are trying to get abortions today

It's not too late to help patients trying to get abortions right now.

What to do when SCOTUS rules on Roe

Does anyone else feel like SCOTUS is angling for a daytime Emmy with all of the drama the justices are building up over the release of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision?

The real meaning of Juneteenth

Leave it to Texas to pretend they didn’t hear that slavery was over. While the Emancipation Proclamation was passed in 1863, the then-still border state of Texas was like, “What? No, uh-uh. We don’t know her.”

“Black people feel less pain” and other lies

Writer,and professor Syreeta McFadden talks to award-winning journalist Linda Villarosa about her new book, Under the Skin, and what she’s learned in her years as a health reporter.

A Muslim superhero with a magic bangle?

The series premiere of Ms. Marvel is everything fans could have hoped for. It is visually stunning, a testament to the artwork that made the comics stand out on the shelf. It’s lighthearted and funny and is about so much more than a journey to superherodom.

The supposed “death of #MeToo”

The Amber Heard/Johnny Depp trial inspired an orgy of hate against Heard, and in this issue, Meteor editor-at-large Rebecca Carroll sat down with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, scholar, and activist Salamishah Tillet to understand what it all meant—for the legal system and for survivors. 

“Happy” Pride?

So how do you celebrate Pride during a prolonged nationwide attack against trans folx? We called some friends to find out.

Who hurt you GOP? It wasn’t trans people

How we moved from the great transgender “tipping point” to the “tripping point”—with over 300 laws introduced to restrict our rights this year alone—is the story of how the increased visibility of trans and nonbinary people became the very thing that inspired conservatives to try to erase us.……

We just hate believing women

While we've watched the bafflingly un-nuanced reaction to the Johnny Depp/Amber Heard defamation trial unfold, there’s one person we've really been wanting to hear from—Jaclyn Friedman.

Not ending gun violence is a choice

Uvalde is the third mass shooting in a week; there have been 212 in the United States alone this year and 27 of them have been in schools. Every shooting, we are told, is the “tipping point” that will change the will of politicians on guns. But Congress has yet to pass any meaningful gun control…

The key to *actually* unplugging

For some disengaging from the news cycle is merely a privilege, but for others, it can be the only way to get through a day. Or even save us from utterly losing hope. 

Could the ERA get us out of the abortion rights disaster?

Some legal scholars argue that the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)—the constitutional amendment guaranteeing sex equality—could be a powerful tool in protecting abortion rights. But what would it take to make that happen?

In Palestine, a catastrophe that won’t end

Between 1947 - 1949 the people of Palestine lived through Al-Nakba, a violent displacement carried out by Zionist militias. In 2022, the violence continues, but under a different name. But every year on May 15th, the Palestinian community stops to remember those lost and those sent into a lifelong…

Anti-Asian violence more than tripled in 2021

In today’s newsletter, in honor of AAPIHM, we are excited to share with you a conversation with award-winning author Min Jin Lee. In light of high rates of AAPI violence, she talks to Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated actor, author, and director Amber Tamblyn. 

“Becoming a mother radicalized me”

Author Angela Garbes talks about the unpaid labor that keeps the world turning and her latest book "Essential Labor: Mothering as Social Change."

“We don’t stop moving”

I’m angry. You’re angry. Entire pockets of the country are angry. So what’s left to do? Rebecca Traister has a few answers.

It’s all fun and games until Elon Musk buys Twitter

Maybe you don't care about the new owner of Twitter, but he certainly cares about you. Elon Musk paid $45 billion for all your bad tweets and the data that goes along with them. So what now?

You’re on your own, kid!

The latest back and forth on masking policies has everyone wondering if America is the land of the free or just the land of the self-centered. But it turns out "toxic individualism" is as American as apple pie.

The unsung heroes of the labor movement

The stories we know about union efforts in America are missing a few key characters. Kim Kelly's latest book looks to rectify that oversight.

Meet the women blazing trails for cannabis

Cannabis consumption is for everyone but legal sales and profits from the industry have long been closed off to women and people of color. Things are finally starting to change but, of course, it's a slow burn.

Name that tune

"It’s so difficult for people to just hold Black women in esteem. Black women are on a continuous journey of trying to make it clear–I am who I am, and I said what I said"

The key to saving more Black mothers

We all need to understand how and why so many Black mothers giving birth are three times more likely to die from pregnancy complications than white women

It only took 233 years

We're still celebrating Ketanji Brown Jackson's confirmation. But now we have questions. What will her nomination mean for the courts? How soon will she make her mark on upcoming cases?

A winning week for workers

This week was a heartening, electric moment for anyone invested in holding powerful corporations accountable for the well-being of workers.

Muslims are not a monolith

Ramadan is a beautiful time full of reflection and rich traditions. But not a single drop of water so please stop asking about that.

“Our bodies are not public domain”

Abortion should be federally funded—and Biden's 2023 budget shows there's a path to making that a reality.

The long known truth behind the KBJ hearings

Black women aren’t just forbidden from being “the best,” we are simply not allowed to have or hold the word and its meaning.

The best (and worst) parts of the KBJ hearings so far

In the last 48 hours, I have watched approximately 324 hours of confirmation hearings for Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson. The Republican line of questioning was so much more absurd than I anticipated

“You sound like a white girl”

Mexico introduced me to the lies of whiteness, but it was the United States that taught me just how corrosive white supremacy truly is.

The woman I flew 2,486 miles to vote for

How it felt voting for Francia Marquez, Colombia’s most progressive political candidate in years 

The GOP’s latest tactic for targeting trans kids

Lawmakers’ repeated invocation of the ugly history of forced sterilization to justify their anti-trans campaigns has been especially disturbing over the past few weeks

Sex tapes were never really about sex

Tracy Clark-Flory looks at the misogynist legacy of the celebrity sex tape and Carrie Goldberg explains how current laws protect and in some cases don't protect victims of revenge porn

There’s no vaccine for stupid

The crisis ought to have been a time when we got to see how good people can be, and we did. But so many others showed their cruel, narcissistic sides instead.

Reinventing the girlboss

Netflix's Inventing Anna functions as a bit of a Rorschach test: Is the viewer looking at a criminal or just a misunderstood girlboss? 

When your existence is illegal

What’s happening in Texas is deeply cruel, but trans people have always existed despite cruelty. The kids are going to win, even if it’s really fucking hard

How equal-pay victories really happen

Six years, two medals, one documentary, and several hundred pages of legalese after the United States Women's National Team sued their employer for gender discrimination, equal pay is finally on the horizon

What book bans are doing to kids

"Each of our students needs to be able to see themselves in books and have that representation. It’s extremely important, and personally, to me, this is a life-or-death situation for some of our kids."

Still Surviving the White Gaze

Every memoir writer knows that mining the truth can be a fraught and risky endeavor. But I could not have imagined how keenly the response from my family would reflect the truth of America

The deadly act of telling the truth

Two Afghan journalists discuss leading a women-run news outlet under Taliban rule, plus a look at France's ban on hijab in sports

The Great Unionization

A conversation with Flight Attendants Union President Sara Nelson about the future of organizing

NOT just like that

How "Sex and the City" presaged the rise of girlbosses, maybe even set the stage for them. Plus: America's most benevolent billionaire

Who gets to be glorious?

Former Olympian Casey Legler is not buying the "level playing field" arguments against trans athletes.

Who is Black History Month actually for?

Black History Month is rooted in a tradition of Black people writing themselves into history in ways that reject the logic of white supremacy.

The start of something new

We believe in something as impossible as the power of love to heal grieving souls, or—who knows?—as glorious as the sight of a wild comet in a cold sky.

The radical act of rest

The holidays are the perfect time to revisit this smart advice from the "Nap Bishop" Tricia Hersey, plus 24 last-minute donation ideas (because Santa is a feminist)

What happens after Roe? Two legends discuss

Brittany Packnett Cunningham sat down with Gloria Steinem and Renee Bracey Sherman to discuss what happens if Roe v. Wade is overturned in this week’s episode of UNDISTRACTED, plus catch up on our latest briefing

Professor Crunk on SCOTUS, white women, and more

New season of UNDISTRACTED! Professor Brittney Cooper is this week’s guest, plus catch up on our abortion access briefing

Roe on the line: An abortion access briefing

Join The Meteor this Monday, November 29 for a free virtual briefing about what the fight for reproductive freedom will look like in 2022 and beyond

One year till the midterms: Come learn what’s ahead

Join The Meteor this Monday, November 8 for a free virtual briefing on voting rights—one year out from the 2022 midterms

Listen: Professor Anita Hill & Dr. Christine Blasey Ford

For the third episode of "Because of Anita"—our podcast about the legacy of Professor Hill’s 1991 testimony in the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Clarence Thomas—Professor Hill and Dr. Ford sat down for their first-ever public conversation.

Because of Anita: Highlights from our hosts

Our new podcast about the lasting impact of Professor Anita Hill’s testimony is out today. Here, hosts Dr. Salamishah Tillet and Cindi Leive share highlights of their conversations with Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw, Jane Mayer, and more

Because of Anita: A podcast about the testimony that changed everything

Our new podcast “Because of Anita” examines the legacy of Professor Anita Hill’s testimony, featuring conversations with Professor Hill herself, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, Kerry Washington, Tarana Burke, and more

Abortion access after Texas: Come learn what’s ahead

Join The Meteor and the Center for Reproductive Rights this Monday for a free virtual workshop on Texas, the Supreme Court, and the future of abortion access

“Disability is part of the human experience”

Emily Ladau—writer, activist, and founding member of The Meteor—shares an excerpt from her new book, “Demystifying Disability.” And don’t miss our highlights from Season 1 of UNDISTRACTED.

Tarana Burke on the past, present, and future of #MeToo

The founder of the Me Too movement is this week’s guest on the season-finale episode of UNDISTRACTED, plus journalists to follow on Afghanistan.

Real talk: Should the Olympics be saved?

Sportscaster Jemele Hill breaks down everything about this year’s complicated games on UNDISTRACTED, plus powerful stories from Drew Dixon and more.

What will it take to stop violence against Native women?

Brittany Packnett Cunningham talks with award-winning Cree journalist Connie Walker about the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women on this week’s episode of UNDISTRACTED.

Tomorrow! Join Drew Dixon, Jasmine Mans, and more for a powerful evening

Come celebrate the launch of The Meteor’s new audio program, “In Love and Struggle: A Black Woman Grows in America,” plus legal scholar Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw is this week’s guest on UNDISTRACTED.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand on the bill she’s worked 10 years to pass

This week on UNDISTRACTED, the New York Democrat talks about her 10-year campaign to ensure more accountability for military sexual assault—and why justice may finally be on the horizon.

Your Pride read, watch, and listen list

We’ve got recommendations for your summer downtime from The Meteor Fund’s "21 For ’21 Syllabus." Plus, the ACLU’s Chase Strangio is this week’s guest on UNDISTRACTED.

Hillary Rodham Clinton and more 21 For ’21 highlights

There's still time to watch our virtual gathering 21 For ’21: Visions For a Feminist Future, plus "Queen Sugar" author Natalie Baszile is this week's guest on UNDISTRACTED.

Real talk from Yvonne Orji, plus new speakers at 21 For ’21

If laughter is the best medicine, then this week’s episode of UNDISTRACTED is the drug we all need. Brittany Packnett Cunningham sat down with actress and comedian Yvonne Orji.

Join Gloria Steinem, Amanda Nguyen, and more at 21 For ’21

Come join us at 21 For ’21: Visions For a Feminist Future—a free virtual gathering on May 18 of artists and activists from different disciplines, all sharing their visions of the future for women, girls, and nonbinary people in 2021 and beyond.

Oscar nominee Andra Day on protest, power, and Billie Holiday

It’s been over 80 years since Billie Holiday first recorded “Strange Fruit,” about a lynching in the South, and yet in a week that saw multiple Black and brown people killed by police, the song—and the activism that Holiday brought to it—remains painfully relevant.

Are the new abortion bans “the last gasp of patriarchy”?

It’s only April, but state lawmakers have already introduced over 500 bills restricting abortion—500!—in 2021 alone. What’s the connection between these various assaults on human rights? Why are they escalating now—and how can we stop them?

Amber Ruffin on what’s so funny about racism

Need a laugh after the week we just had? (Or, perhaps, the year?) So did we, so for the latest episode of UNDISTRACTED, Brittany Packnett Cunningham sat down with Amber Ruffin to talk about the TV host’s brilliant blend of social justice commentary and comedy.

Lisa Ling on the movement to stop anti-Asian violence

You’ve heard the stats: Anti-Asian hate crimes are up, more than doubling over the course of the last year. And you may have seen the disturbing videos, since so many of the violent attacks have been captured on film. How did we get here? And how can we create a safer future for Asian Americans?

Rep. Ayanna Pressley: “The Squad is big, y’all”

Data is showing that white people are getting vaccinated at much higher rates than Black and Latinx people. How can we prevent the vaccine rollout from becoming yet another way systemic racism literally kills Black and brown people? Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) has a plan.

Raquel Willis on the future of feminism

President Biden may have signed new protections for LGBTQ people, but there’s anti-trans legislation being proposed in over a dozen states—and trans and gender-nonconforming people still face dangerous realities everyday.

The radical act of rest

This week feels like go time. “There is so much to get done in this new administration,” Brittany Packnett Cunningham says in this week’s episode of UNDISTRACTED. “Let’s get moving. Everyone is talking about what we need to get done in the first hundred days.”

Special: Brittany Packnett Cunningham & America Ferrera

It was a week of whiplash: the jubilation of victories in Georgia followed by the toxicity of a white-power insurrection at the Capitol. So if you’re trying to process it all—trying to figure out how much joy we can feel in the face of all this un-joyous madness—well, so are we.

Justice for Mothers in 2021: Come learn what’s ahead

The U.S. has the highest maternal death rate in the developed world, and Black and Indigenous moms are hit the hardest, dying at rates that are far higher than their white counterparts. The majority of these deaths are preventable...

Reproductive Rights and Justice in 2021: Come learn what’s ahead

The election is behind us—but abortion access, reproductive justice and maternal health are still on the line, and will be front and center in 2021. With a record number of recent conservative appointments to the federal judiciary and the most conservative Supreme Court...

Rebecca Traister on why we’re afraid of full-grown women

This week is heavy on contradiction. With news of a COVID-19 vaccine on the horizon, we’re facing a record surge in cases. As pie photos flood Instagram, food insecurity across the country is spiking, with women and children, particularly BIPOC families, hit hardest.

How Black women won the election

America has emerged from Election Week, and two things are clear: One, we saw massive, record, historic turnout with more people voting in this election than in any in over 100 years. (You did that.) And two, the victory for the Biden-Harris ticket—a ticket that breaks a 231-year run of white male…

Listen now to our new podcast: UNDISTRACTED

If you’re getting this email, it’s because you signed up to hear more about The Meteor. And hello! We’re a group of creative people using the power of storytelling, journalism and art to advance gender and racial equity.