President Obama: “It’s On Us” to Prevent Campus Rape

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In a further attempt to bring campus sexual assault into the national conversation, President Obama launched the It’s On Us campaign Friday, a national public service campaign that urges college students to combat sexual assault on their campuses. Calling for a “fundamental shift in our culture,” Obama, joined by Vice President Biden in the East Room […]

Thirteen Years After 9/11: How Expensive is Guantánamo Justice?

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Imagine how the billions being spent by the U.S. on the never-ending imprisonment and proceedings against alleged 9/11 terrorists could be used to support health care and other social services in the U.S.—a first-hand report on what’s happening in Cuba. After spending a week at Guantánamo Bay Naval Base (GTMO, or Gitmo) serving as an […]

Of Ray Rice and Aunt Gracie’s Black Eyes

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TRIGGER WARNING: VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN My Aunt Gracie is one of my mother’s 10 sisters, the one with the gentle half smile. She’s always been a favored sister and aunt, beloved in our family for her sweetness and generosity and her quiet, seemingly eternal good nature. But sealed in my mind’s eye is an image […]

How Prison Killed Sex Worker Marcia Powell

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In 2009, filmmaker PJ Starr received an email from a friend bringing news of the horrific and unnecessary death of Marcia Powell. Powell had been serving a 27-month sentence for solicitation of prostitution. While in Perryville Prison outside of Phoenix, corrections officers left her out in a metal cage for four hours in searing heat. As a […]

Will the NFL Ever Get it Right About Violence?

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TRIGGER WARNING: VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN. Today, the Baltimore Ravens professional football team terminated the contract of running back Ray Rice. Soon after, he was suspended indefinitely by the National Football League (NFL). We would be cheering heartily for these actions—because Rice punched out his soon-to-be-wife, and such off-the-field violence should have serious consequences. But we’re […]

Where Are the Women Police in Ferguson?

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Images from Ferguson, Missouri, have filled TV and computer screens around the country since the tragic killing of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson—everywhere we’ve looked we’ve seen vulnerability and anger, chaos and peaceful resistance, tragedy and triumph. But we couldn’t help but notice there seems to be one thing missing in the deluge […]

Steubenville and Girls’ Futures

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Remember when the mainstream media wrung their hands over Steubenville, Ohio, football players and convicted rapists Ma’lik Richmond’s and Trent Mays’ futures? Reporters at CNN and NBC, in particular, fretted over their guilty verdicts on air. The outcome of the case entailed not a triumph of justice for the 16-year-old Jane Doe who was raped, […]

Feminism Is Not Just About Women’s Oppression

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A community in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis, continues to mourn and protest the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager shot dead by the police on Saturday. The details of Brown’s death are still unfolding as witnesses come forward and the Justice Department pursues a federal investigation. But there is one […]

Justice for Renisha McBride

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Justice was carried out for the late Renisha McBride Thursday when a jury found Theodore Wafer guilty of second-degree murder and manslaughter in the shooting death of the 19-year-old. In the early morning hours of Nov. 2, McBride crashed her car on the west side of Detroit, Michigan, not far from Wafer’s Dearborn Heights home. […]

When 9-1-1 Can’t Find You: How Wireless Providers Can Save Women’s Lives

Last month, Michelle Miers was shot and stabbed at her home by an attacker. Still breathing but in need of urgent medical care, she picked up her cellphone and dialed 9-1-1. Like most Americans, Miers probably presumed that calling 9-1-1 guaranteed help was on the way. For the 26-year-old mother of two, however, help would come too […]