Soraya Chemaly

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Soraya writes about gender, feminism, and culture for The Huffington Post, RHReality Check, and Alternet, and has appeared on NPR's Talk of the Nation and Sirius XM radio. Her work brings academic feminism into mainstream critiques of pop culture through satire and news analysis. She is interested in how systems of oppression are transmitted to children via media and religious cultures. She has a BA in History from Georgetown University, where she founded the feminist undergraduate journal The New Press. Soraya tweets from @schemaly.

Recent blog posts written by Soraya Chemaly

No Mother’s Day: Every 90 Seconds a Woman Dies Becoming a Mother

Every 90 seconds, somewhere in the world, a woman dies from a pregnancy-related complication. This isn’t just a “third world” problem. The United States currently ranks 50th in the world for maternal health. It is safer to give birth in Bosnia or Kuwait than in California. But what we do here ultimately affects women everywhere. […]

Why March? Because “Equal Enough” for Women is Unacceptable

American women need to be recognized as full citizens. Yes, women in this country. It’s me again, sitting in my office, by myself, saying that “equal enough” is NOT. But, I am not alone. Tomorrow, Saturday, April 28th, thousands of women and men will participate in 53 marches and rallies for women’s rights in 45 states and […]

3 Videos Everyone Who Assumes Women Are Free Should See

Most women (and their spouses), whether personally comfortable with abortion or not, don’t automatically think about whether or not they might end up in jail, arrested while in labor or strapped to a hospital bed to undergo a forced Caesarian when they get pregnant. Laura Pemberton certainly didn’t before it happened to her. And what […]

Women: A Helpful Chart for Determining What to Trade Your Fundamental Rights For

What are you, as a woman or a man related to one, willing to trade when you vote for a presidential candidate who signed the Personhood Pledge or supports anti-choice “personhood” bills? Personhood USA, the center of the movement, believes that a fertilized egg, from the moment of conception, is a fully human person with […]

Legislators: Women Are Not Cows and Pigs

This week the Georgia State Legislature debated a bill in the House, that would make it necessary for some women to carry  stillborn or dying fetuses until they ‘naturally’ go into labor. In arguing for this bill Representative Terry England described his empathy for  pregnant cows and pigs in the same situation. I have a question […]

What Do Artificial Wombs Mean for Women?

This piece is cross-posted with permission from RH Reality Check What happens when women, like men, can be parents without bearing children?  Does one form of gestation become a status symbol? Another a stigma? Who decides which gestation environment is healthier or more economical? You? Your gamete-partner? Your priest? Your employer? Your insurance company? If […]

What “Rape Sonograms” Are Really About

This week, the Virginia State Legislature – joining Texas, Oklahoma, Iowa – passed two of the country’s most restrictive abortion bills. One, a personhood anti-abortion bill and the other, mandating a coercive mandatory transvaginal probe for women seeking abortions. This week’s momentum of the “personhood” movement is not surprising in that it is closely tied […]

The Superbowl and the Sex Trade

Is the Super Bowl the largest child sex trafficking event in the U.S.? The Big Game is known for the bacchanalia that surrounds it. However, we don’t typically think of the illegal prostitution of minors at the same time. It’s a buzz kill if ever there was one. But, the Super Bowl probably has a […]

Women Can Play Football If They Do It In Lingerie

There is hardly a more garish example of hyper-gendered and sexualized display in sports than American Football. A game the whole family can enjoy. Not just the uber-masculinity of the game itself, but the uniform alone: it is the quintessence of machismo, a celebration of extreme he-ness, a veritable sartorial orgy of male sexual characteristics […]

The Iowa Caucus, What’s in it For Women?

The U.S. ranks 40th in the world for women’s political empowerment and we’re losing ground. Fortieth. This ranking, based on 2010 data, is a comparative measure of the gap between men and women in political decision-making at the highest levels. (Here is the entire report.) Not 1st. Not 12th. Not 19th. Not 32nd. And, that’s […]