Women’s Health Is in the Hands of the Supreme Court

shutterstock_289568570

OK, I admit it. I’ve become obsessed with SCOTUS Blog. During the last week, I’ve spent hours at my computer, watching lawyers live blog as the Supreme Court announced its decisions. I’m a passionate women’s health activist, and this is not where I wanted to be spending my time. No complaints about SCOTUS Blog itself. […]

Passing the Test: Cities Chip In to Reduce the Rape Kit Backlog

Picture-72

The following is from the latest Ms. To read the entire issue, get a print or digital subscription today! Helena Lazaro was washing the vintage Volkswagen Rabbit she had been gifted for her 17th birthday when a man appeared next to her, brandishing a knife. He forced her into the car and made her drive […]

Say Their Names

18915472726_2a2f63b57c_z

I’m still reeling from the shock of the massacre that occurred at Emanuel A.M.E Church in Charleston, South Carolina. One of the oldest black churches in this nation, its history is one of resistance and solace. And this history continues to bear witness to the horrors of white supremacy with the recent murders of nine African […]

A Girl Child Ain’t Safe

shutterstock_286515440

“I had to fight my uncles. I had to fight my brothers. A girl child ain’t safe in a family of men.” So said Sofia, the hefty, feisty woman in Alice Walker’s The Color Purple (and immortalized by Oprah Winfrey in the film adaptation). In a novel highlighting protagonist Celie, an incest survivor who ultimately […]

Oppression vs. Discrimination: How the Law Failed Ellen Pao

18330449416_09d8476314_z

When is a gender discrimination lawsuit not about gender discrimination? Always. Gender discrimination cases are proxies for challenges to existing social norms that support unearned privilege. A claim of gender discrimination is a charge that there is bias, both conscious and unconscious, that perpetuates the status quo. Ellen Pao’s suit against the venture capital firm Kleiner, […]

McKinney and the History of Policing Black Women’s Bodies

4677803828_9e490e433d_z

Last Friday, a white police officer in McKinney, Texas, Cpl. Eric Casebolt, responded to a call about an incident at a teenage pool party. While there, he grabbed—by the hair—bikini-clad Dajerria Becton, a 15-year old African American girl who was a guest at the party, wrestled her to the ground and held her there with […]

What the Supreme Court Didn’t Decide This Week

2391747442_e64c8d28b3_o

The most important thing to know about the Supreme Court’s decision on June 1 in Elonis v. United States is that it does not resolve the question of when the First Amendment allows people to be punished for speech threatening others. Facebook and other social media have made it much more common for people to make […]

Say Her Name: Remembering Black Women and Girls Killed by Police

1432145109373

Aiyana Jones. Rekia Boyd. Tarika Wilson. Duanna Johnson. Kayla Moore. The list of black women and girls victimized by police violence stretches on endlessly. The simple act of speaking their names has power. It symbolizes a refusal to forget these women and who they were. It honors the lives they lived and the loved ones […]

The Police Sex-Discrimination Case We Should Be Talking About

shutterstock_56280433

In December 2013, Colorado Springs’ Chief of Police Peter Carey introduced a physical abilities test (also known as a PAT) that all officers were required to pass. It involved push-ups, sit-ups and running exercises. The stated goal of the test was to create a “culture of fitness” on the force and to reduce work-related injuries, ostensibly […]

Marriage Equality Forecast: Victory Is Near!

8597018772_3ec87d5d3a_z

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has taken up the broad question of whether marriage is a constitutionally protected right for same-sex couples, a nationwide victory may be less than two months away. There were no surprises in last week’s hearings. Opponents of marriage equality had nothing new to say. They made the same unconvincing claims that […]