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Ms. Puts Obama on its Winter 2009 Cover

It's not every day Ms. puts a man on its cover (Winter 2009, on newsstands 1/27/09 ). In choosing the cover of its special Inaugural issue, Ms . wanted to capture both the national and feminist mood of high expectations and hope as the 44th President of the United States takes the oath of office.

Expectations have only grown since the election, with President-Elect Obama now enjoying over 80% of the public's support. Most people wish him well, and indeed hope he does "save" us from economic disasters, unending war and occupation, global warming, the decline in our international reputation, and relentless attacks on women's rights, civil rights, human rights, science, and privacy.

When the publisher of Ms. , Eleanor Smeal, and the chair of the Feminist Majority Foundation board, Peg Yorkin, met Barack Obama,

he immediately offered "I am a feminist." Obama ran on the strongest platform for women's rights of any major party in American history. Feminist Karen Kornbluh, the platform's principle author, ensured women's rights, opportunities, advancement, and issues were addressed throughout the historic document.

As Smeal says in her introduction to the Inaugural feature, "Never has it been easy fighting for equality and social justice. We have spent far too many years fighting to hold the ground we had already gained. Now is the time to move forward.

"But we are not giving President-Elect Obama a blank check. For our hopes to be achieved, we must speak out and organize, organize, organize to enable our new president's team to achieve our common goals. Ultimately, we must hold our leaders' feet to the fire or, to put it more positively, uplift them when they are caught in the crosscurrents of competing interests."

In this spirit, the editors of Ms . asked its readers, feminist leaders, experts, and activists to share their visions of what must be done to move forward at this extraordinary time. The cover story features Kim Gandy, bell hooks, Margaret Cho, Alice Walker, Ani DiFranco, Cynthia Enloe, Dolores Huerta, the editors of Feministing.com, and many others. In the current issue of Ms. , read their visions for change.

Note to editors: Ms. Executive Editor Katherine Spillar and Publisher Eleanor Smeal are available for interviews .