When did women get the right to inherit property and open bank accounts? How long did it take until women won the legal right to be served in UK pubs?

Our timeline traces women’s financial rights from ancient societies to the present day

Leading supporters of the Equal Rights Amendment march in Washington, 1979. Photo: Dennis Cook/AP

“Those boys took my body and they broke it. And so, when I ate, I got to make my body into what I wanted it to be, which is a fortress”

Roxane Gay, “the bad feminist”, is 39 now, and over the last 18 years she has published countless pieces of fiction and non-fiction, only to find herself described in recent months as an overnight sensation. This tickles her; she thinks of herself as a shy person, and when you praise her work, a self-conscious hand rises to cover her eyes and smile.

» Read the full interview 

Roxane Gay: meet the bad feminist

She likes pink, will dance to Blurred Lines, occasionally fakes an orgasm … and worries that the sisterhood would not approve. America’s brightest new essayist talks about the dark side of her fierce, funny writing 

Read the full interview • Extract: the bad feminist manifesto

Photo: Jennifer Silverberg for the Guardian

“Denying that women are a victimized class is simply wrong. What else would you call a segment of the population who are systematically discriminated against in school, work and politics? How would you describe a population whose bodies are objectified to the point of dehumanization? Women are harassed, attacked and sexually assaulted with alarming regularity in America and around the world, and now even more of them live in states where, if pregnant, they can be refused medical attention or arrested for refusing C-sections.

People who are on the shit end of oppression are oppressed. Accurately describing this is not a matter of politics, but of truth.”
Feminism makes women ‘victims’? I think you’ve mistaken us for the sexists, my latest at the Guardian (responding to #WomenAgainstFeminism)
“Female voters in the US have been called “soccer moms” and “security moms”. In 2004, single women were “Sex and the City voters”. Now – because apparently women can’t ever just be “citizens” or “voters”, or more likely because conservatives prefer to call us names instead of delving too deep into women’s issues – we are “Beyoncé voters”. Bow down, bitches.

Most single ladies would generally be thrilled with a comparison to Queen Bey in any way, shape or form, but the cutesy nicknames for politically-engaged women need to stop. Surely pundits and the political media culture can deal with the collective electoral power of the majority voting bloc in this country in some better way than symbolically calling us “sweetheart”, complete with head pat.”
Jessica Valenti: Nick-naming women ‘Beyoncé voters’ is exactly why we don’t vote Republican

This portrait was removed from a major gallery after it was deemed ‘pornographic’. Why does women’s pubic hair cause such outrage? asks Rowan Pelling

It seems retrogressive, bordering on insane, that any corner of the art crowd should view a lush lady-garden as offensive at a time when celebs such as Gwyneth Paltrow talk about sporting a 70s vibe, while the writer Caitlin Moran writes about “finger-combing” her “Wookiee”. Read more

Portrait of Ms Ruby May, Standing by Leena McCall.

Wonder Woman’s feminism matters. So why would the comic industry reject it? 

If feminism can be re-packaged to sell Sheryl Sandberg’s neoliberalism, feminism can remain one of Wonder Woman’s heroic traits – and a fight for what is just and fair and right. 

Read more here

Photo: Everett Collection / Rex

“From boardrooms to the streets, women’s anxiety to keep our body mass as low as possible is based on legitimate fears that we will be punished if we attempt fully to enter patriarchal space. No wonder so many of us are starving.”
— In this exclusive extract from her new book, Laurie Penny talks about her eating disorder, the pressure on girls to be beautiful and why weight is a political issue. Read it here
“While street harassment is just one of many violations that American women endure, its prevalence is a clear message to women and men: there are no safe spaces for women. We need to be able to walk the street and simply be in public without fear. Not just for equality, but because, one day, I’d like my daughter to take the subway to school.”
Jessica Valenti: The end of hisses, whistles and stares: we need to walk the streets without fear
“Do we live in a society that’s simultaneously sex-obsessed and puritanical? Why, yes. Could the United States stand to work on some of these issues? Sure! It would be great if the virgin/whore dichotomy would just realize it’s drunk and go home.”
Jamie Peck: Scout Willis’s topless Instagram protest draws more eyeballs than action