‘Where Is Nancy?’: How Threats Against Women in Power Are Tied to Threats Against Democracy

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is second in line to the presidency, has long been the focus of negative political ads and campaign rhetoric. But the attacks have become more layered with threats of violence and misogyny, and social media has allowed them to spread more easily.

“It’s about people saying, ‘We want to keep women from getting to a position of power.’ And in the long term, it will have a deeply chilling effect.”

#MeToo, Five Years Later

In the five years since it took off like wildfire, the #MeToo campaign has made widespread sexual abuse in the U.S. visible for the first time and inspired a record number of sexual harassment lawsuits against employers. It exposed how our decades-old workplace anti-harassment laws were outdated and often ineffective. In the last five years, 22 states and the District of Columbia passed more than 70 workplace anti-harassment bills in the last five years—many with bipartisan support.

Even still, U.S. rape culture persists and creates an environment where women and girls are disbelieved, survivors are discouraged from reporting abuse, and male abusers are forgiven—or even rewarded—for sexually abusive behavior. Congress must do more.

Empowered: Women Tell Family Court Judges of Experiences With Coercive Control Using New Domestic Abuse Law

Connecticut’s new Jennifers’ Law, which went into effect last October and expanded domestic abuse to include coercive control, addresses the way perpetrators weaponize the court system.

“We’ve faced trauma and been dismissed in our marriages—then we’ve seen the truth dismissed in court. We tell people to leave an abusive marriage and go to get help and be protected, but then the judicial system has to step up to protect us. I hope women hear our stories and are empowered to speak up about Jennifers’ Law too.”

What Our Primate Ancestors Can Teach Us About Dismantling the Patriarchy: The Ms. Q&A with Diane Rosenfeld

A new book shines an intriguing new light on the possibilities for alliances among women in the ongoing struggle to end men’s violence against women by examining the social organization of one of our closest primate relatives. In The Bonobo Sisterhood, Harvard Law School professor Diane Rosenfeld shows how we have much to learn from the bonobos about how to eliminate male sexual coercion.  

“Patriarchy is not inevitable; the bonobos are living proof of that.”

The Bonobo Sisterhood Versus White Supremacist Patriarchy

Diane Rosenfeld’s new book The Bonobo Sisterhood: Revolution Through Female Alliance is a call to action, a way forward and societal shift that can free us from the grips of patriarchy.

“The bonobos are peaceful, loving, food sharing, freely sexual and xenophilic, meaning they love strangers, they do not fear them,” because “they have nothing to fear,” she writes. In the bonobos, Rosenfeld finds proof positive that “patriarchy is not inevitable.”