The Ms. Feminist Gift Guide: 2023 Edition

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This holiday season, many people are seeking options for gift shopping outside of monstrous global conglomerates—opting instead to shop from small, more ethical brands that align with their core values. This year, we are curating a list of small, diverse businesses you can support this holiday season. Gifts also don’t always have to break the bank (or involve wasteful packaging and carbon-costly shipping!)—so we’ve come up with some fun ideas for low-cost gifts as well.

Make gifting a more fun and joyful experience this year, with our feminist gift guide!


Gift of snacks

Fishwife is a 16th-century term that originally referred to “the daughters or wives of fishermen who sold” their daily catch at the market. The meaning of the term changed with time and eventually was a gendered insult used against women who were “brash, foul-mouthed and brassy.” Fishwife CEO Becca Millstein could relate and kept the spirit of 16th-century fishwives alive when she started the tinned fish brand. Fishwife is a premium tinned fish brand that aims “to make ethically-sourced and delicious tinned seafood a staple in every cupboard.”

The company offers a variety of subscription boxes, tinned fish, and dinnerware, all of which are great for the adventurous foodies in your life.


Rep your support for abortion

Give your friend a gift that lets them stay warm while letting the world know that abortion bans suck with this cute beanie—proceeds benefit the Midwest Access Coalition, which helps support travel for abortion seekers.

Or, if headwear isn’t their speed, buy them a nice set of these cute glasses that support the National Network of Abortion Funds. NNAF is also currently selling these excellent rhinestone hairpins that say “Fund Abortion”—perfect for the friend who loves to express their politics with a little flair.

(National Network of Abortion Funds)

Experiences

In the United States, the holiday season has become synonymous with waste; in fact, on average, Americans throw away 25 percent more trash over the holiday season. This waste amounts to an extra one million tons of garbage per week. One way to circumvent adding to the trash piles is by opting to support your local venues and theaters.

Many indie music venues are still recovering from the COVID-19 shutdown, and we can directly support our communities by supporting our local creators and performers.


For your favorite kitschy friend

Costume designer (Gossip Girl, Dr Death) Olivia LaTronica started Haunted Doll Face when she stuck a vintage doll into a thrift bag. During the dual strike, LaTronica found herself with ample free time. After she created her first bag, so many people reached out, and she realized that “there might actually be a market for” her “weird bags.” As her bags got more & more ridiculous, her feedback became more positive. LaTronica sees fashion as an outward way to express who you are and as a means of personal empowerment. “As silly & fun as these bags are, I also see them as a rejection of tradition & a way to be a little bit more unapologetically yourself,” said LaTronica. Each bag is made with secondhand bags, making them fun and sustainable.

A Shop of Things is a curated online store of “edgy and sassy, empowering and adorable” objects for the modern adult. Their goal is to make everyday items a lot cuter. Founded in 2015 and women run, A Shop of Things is based in Nashville, Tennessee, and 2 percent of their profits annually to Abortion Care Tennessee and the Last Prisoner Project.


A new kind of card game

Creator of Radical Queer Witches, Yas wanted to fill a necessary void for those of us that love card games but hate having to sift through racist, sexist, and terribly outdated prompts. Radical Queer Witches is a prompt and response card came that has nothing against marginalized people—no homophobia, racism, transphobia, fatphobia or ableism. Yas aimed to “create fun, party games that are inclusive, relatable, and do not include offensive material towards marginalized peoples and instead incorporate accountability into humor.” The game is available to pre-order, and there is even a downloadable PDF option.

(Radical Queer Witches)

Give to a good cause

If you want to circumvent traditional gift-giving entirely, consider donating in the name of your friends and family instead.

The Brigid Alliance is a national organization that provides support and travel for people seeking abortion. The average Brigid Alliance client travels more than 1,300 miles to receive abortion care, which costs over $2,300 on average. Since its founding in 2018, the Brigid Alliance has helped 4,579 people, and since the fall of Dobbs, the need for the Bridge Alliance has “skyrocketed.”

Emma’s Torch is a NYC (and D.C.) based nonprofit that provides refugees with in-depth culinary training and assists them with job placement. The kitchen can provide students with more than just job training, but is a space to practice language skills and connects them to a community of other refugees through shared experience. Their vision is to create “a country where survivors of forced migration are welcomed as drivers of the economy and enhancers of our communities.”

Each year, Emma’s Torch, in collaboration with Fountain House—a NYC nonprofit that helps people impacted by mental illness—curates a gift box that “embodies the spirit of the holidays.” Each box has a selection of snacks from Emma’s Torch and a handcrafted candle.

A groundbreaking series in Ms., Front and Center offers first-person accounts of Black women living in extreme poverty, who are taking part in the Magnolia Mother’s Trust which gives recipients a guaranteed income of $1,000 per month for 12 months. In Front and Center, these mothers speak on their struggles, their children, their work, their relationships, and their dreams for the future, and how a federal guaranteed income program could change their lives. Donate to the trust this holiday season, in honor of a mom you know and love.


Celebrate Ms.

This year, Ms. Magazine celebrates 50 years of trailblazing feminist reporting—and you can too, with our new book 50 Years of Ms.: The Best of the Pathfinding Magazine that Ignited a Revolution. For 50 years, Ms. has housed revolutionary storytellers, poets, and journalists. The book includes pieces written by Toni Morrison, Alison Bechdel, Audre Lorde and many more.

Or, if your favorite feminists already have their copies, why not give the gift of the magazine that inspired it all? Use the code MSGIFT23 in the Ms. store for $10 off a one year gift membership (valid for U.S. subscriptions only). And you can pick up one of our “f*ck the patriarchy” t-shirts or a tote bag for yourself while you’re at it—because you deserve fun presents too!

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