Once Again, Media Asks Wrong Questions and Blames Victims

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“The big question is, ‘Why didn’t they leave earlier?’” I heard Elizabeth Vargas ask on the morning news last week, not even 24 hours after the country learned that three women were free after a decade of captivity. I could feel the heat under my skin making my neck red and my face blotchy. “So many […]

The Merseyside Model–Why Crimes Against Prostitutes Are Hate Crimes


When prostitutes are made to disappear, most of society does not care, and most of the cases remain unsolved. Women in prostitution suffer higher rates of murder (the mortality rate for women in prostitution in London is 12 times the national average —according to Home Office, a UK government agency that deals with crime and policing), higher rates of […]

Calif. College Betrays Own Sexual Assault Policy

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Earlier this year a coalition of students and faculty at my institution, Occidental College in Los Angeles (an alma mater of President Obama), convinced the administration to make several changes to its sexual assault policy. One of these changes involved adding sexual assault reports to our OxyAlert system.  This meant that any time there was […]

Cardinal Mahony Should Stop Whining


In the past few weeks, Los Angeles has been awash with news about decades of priest abuse after of the release of thousands of internal documents from the local Catholic archdiocese showing that former Archbishop (now Cardinal) Roger Mahoney had shielded abuser priests from law enforcement. In response, current L.A. Archbishop José Gomez relieved Mahony […]

L.A. Church Officials Tried to Cover Up Priest Abuse


Confidential letters between Los Angeles Catholic church officials that had been withheld for decades–despite long efforts by victims to obtain them and stonewalling by the Church–were released Monday after becoming part of a civil court case against a priest accused of molesting 26 Los Angeles children in the 1980s. The notes from then-Archbishop Roger M. Mahony […]

Why Won’t We Talk About Violence and Masculinity in America?


As I listened along with the rest of the world to the unfolding horror of what transpired at Sandy Hook Elementary School, I was struck by the persistent lack of commentary and analysis discussing the fact that mass shooters are almost all angry, male and white. What will it take for us to have widespread, […]

Football Star Lawrence Taylor Gets Off Again


Never mind that Cristina Fierro was 16 years old. Never mind that she had been beaten by her trafficker, with fresh marks on her face, and was in a state of panic. Football Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor paid $300 to have sex with the teen in 2010, then twirled the used condom over his head […]

The Return of the Headless Woman

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While living in North Carolina, I couldn’t help but notice the logo of a chain of local strip clubs—a graphic featuring the high-kicking silhouetted torso of woman within a circle—sans head. Not terribly surprising that a “gentleman’s club” would focus on women’s bodies while deliberately leaving out the part of us featuring face and brain, […]

Arizona Cop Gropes Woman, Victim-Blaming Ensues


A police officer walks into a bar, flashes his badge and gropes a woman. Who gets the strict talking-to in court? The assaulted woman, of course. Robb Gary Evans, a 43-year-old Department of Public Safety officer, was convicted of groping a woman at a Flagstaff bar, the Arizona Daily Sun reports. According to prosecutors, Evans […]

Will NYC Cabbies Be Forced To Profile Sex Workers?

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We’re told that being a prostitute will mark a woman for life. Yet after several millennia of practice, lawmakers and social reformers still struggle to identify what a sex worker looks like. “You know,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said (in a June 15 appearance on WOR’s perfectly named “The John Gambling Show”) when asked what might […]