Underwear Under Siege

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Picture this: You’re on your way to work, it was particularly warm, so you decided to wear a dress. The train, subway or bus you are riding is crowded. You glance over to the man sitting in front of you and realize his camera is pointed up your dress. Disgusted, you contact the police for […]

Of Frats, Rape Culture and #TFM

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Freshman year of college, as I was on my way to my first fraternity party, I remembered the rule: Don’t bring any guys. Only girls would be let in to drink the free “jungle juice,” concocted by the fraternity guys. Looking back, I now realize what this rule was for: more chances for the frat […]

Jim Crow of the 21st Century

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We haven’t seen proposed laws this jaw-droppingly discriminatory since Jim Crow of the 19th and 20th century. Even more recently, these proposed laws reflect the men’s only business clubs, such as Kiwanis, Rotary and Lions, that have largely disappeared from sight in the 90s. Arizona is the first state to pass a “religious rights” bill  […]

I Wish the Pope Would Step Up

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The first time I spoke publicly about being repeatedly raped by a priest when I was between the ages of 14 and 15 was when we announced the settlement of my case—one week before I went to join advocates filing a complaint against the pope with the International Criminal Court at The Hague. I was […]

Bans Away! Same-Sex Marriage Rulings Lean Toward Equality

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The tide is turning in Virginia and other states, whether some like it or not. Last week, U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen declared Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional, beginning her opinion with a quote from Mildred Loving, the plaintiff in the 1967 Supreme Court case that successfully challenged the state’s ban on interracial marriage. […]

Blowing the Whistle on Campus Rape

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This is an excerpt from the cover story of the latest issue of Ms. magazine, now available on newsstands and by subscription digitally or in print. During her second weekend as a freshman on a California campus, Kerri accepted an offer from Mitch, a popular senior who held student office, to walk her back to her […]

The Rusty Taste of Shame

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The new issue of Ms. magazine is “Blowing the Whistle on Campus Rape”–the title of the cover story by Occidental College professors Caroline Heldman and Danielle Dirks. Here, a professor at the University of Oregon joins the chorus of activists breaking the silence on sexual assaults—which 1 in 5 women students will experience in their […]

California Takes on Campus Rape — And So Does Ms.

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If a bill proposed in the California legislature passes and is signed into law, it won’t be enough for a campus sexual assault perpetrator to defend himself by claiming, “She didn’t say no!” Rather, he’ll have to prove that she said “Yes!” Co-authored by state Sen. Kevin de León, state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) […]

Childhood Sex Abuse: Ending the Silence

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TRIGGER WARNING: SEXUAL ABUSE What if every survivor of sexual abuse picked up the phone, called their abusers and confronted them like this woman did? (Or wrote an “open letter” in The New York Times like this woman did?) That would be a lot of calls. One in 3 girls and 1 in 7 boys have […]

Remembering the Women Murdered in Albuquerque

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Five years ago, on February 2, 2009, investigators unearthed a mass grave on the west edge of Albuquerque, N.M. In it were the bodies of 11 women, some of whom had been missing for more than five years. The women had been murdered, then buried on the mesa. I reported half a dozen stories about […]