“How Do We Dismantle a Culture of Sexual Violence?” on Ms. Magazine Podcast, “On the Issues With Michele Goodwin”


On the Issues with Michele Goodwin is a popular, issues and policy focused podcast featuring feminist analysis, insightful conversations and exciting guests. This is the first podcast from Ms. magazine, a legacy feminist publication. In each bi-weekly episode, host Dr. Michele Goodwin and special guests will tackle the most compelling issues of our times, centering feminist concerns about rebuilding our nation and advancing the promise of equality.

A new episode—How Do We Dismantle a Culture of Sexual Violence? (with Terrion Williamson and Carmen Balentine)—is available now on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and MsMagazine.com.

Gender-based and sexual violence are pervasive symptoms of a larger concern in this country. This reality is exemplified by recent reports that some insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol on January 6 have histories of violence against women, including domestic violence and sexual assault. Of course, we also remain in mourning for the lives lost to gun violence in America—most recently the horrific killings of eight people, including six women of Asian descent, in Atlanta, and 10 people at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado.

This week, Dr. Goodwin and her guests ask: What do these events convey about the U.S. and our culture of sexual violence? What connections can we make from gender-based violence and sexual violence to a broader culture of violence in the U.S.? How does gender-based violence intersect with race and racism? What can we do to begin to disrupt this culture?

Dr. Goodwin is joined by Carmen Balentine, founder of CVB Wellness and Dr. Terrion L. Williamson, associate professor of African American and African studies at the University of Minnesota and Ms. contributor.

Their conversation covered a wide range of topics; you can find a full transcript here, as well as a few excerpts below:

“[O]ne of the things that I thought a lot about in terms of this conversation is power, who has the power, and when you are from a community that I believe is either looked upon as marginalized or a fringe community or some community that isn’t accepted as a normal community or traditional community, I think, oftentimes, when it comes to police training, police education, and police awareness, I believe circumstances happen where the police aren’t sensitive to the community needs.” —Carmen Balentine

“I find it interesting when you see the word sexual violence because one of the things that can happen with individuals that are sexually abused is that using the word violence sometimes can feel like a contradiction because I was never physically threatened and forced, but there was a lot of coercion, a lot of grooming, and one of the things that’s challenging for I think survivors is sex itself can be pleasurable.” —Carmen Balentine

“[P]art of what I’m trying to do in the work is think about serial murder in this sort of broad, extended kind of way, which is not just about what we typically think of as serial murder—one person who is stalking a particular population of women, which is what happened in my hometown—but thinking about it as a broader kind of thing.” —Dr. Terrion L. Williamson

“[T]rans women are often misgendered and misnamed, and so it can become particularly tricky to understand what’s happening . . . and then it doesn’t get archived in a way that makes us able to really be able to talk about it in a robust way, so there’s the historical issue as well as the sort of contemporary issues around who we’re valuing and how we’re valuing.” —Dr. Terrion L. Williamson

Meet the Host of On the Issues: Dr. Michele Goodwin is a frequent contributor to Ms. Magazine and on MsMagazine.com. She is a Chancellor’s Professor at the University of California, Irvine and also serves on the executive committee and national board of the ACLU. Dr. Goodwin is a prolific author and an elected member of the American Law Institute, as well as an elected Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the Hastings Center. Her most recent book, Policing The Womb: Invisible Women and The Criminalization of Motherhood, is described as a “must read.”

About Ms. Magazine: Co-founded by Gloria Steinem in 1972 and published by the Feminist Majority Foundation since 2001, Ms. magazine has been a trusted, popular source for feminist news and information in print and online for nearly 50 years. Ms.’s time-honored traditions of an emphasis on in-depth investigative reporting and feminist political analysis have never been more relevant, bringing a new generation of writers and readers together to share news, analysis, research and strategies for fighting back and moving forward, for shaping the future.


If you would like more information on the On the Issues with Michele Goodwin podcast, or to schedule an interview with Host Michele Goodwin or Executive Producer & Ms. Executive Editor Katherine Spillar, please email press@msmagazine.com.

Launched in 1971, Ms. is the most trusted, popular source for feminist news and information in print and online with a tradition of in-depth investigative reporting and feminist political analysis. Ms. is wholly owned and published by the Feminist Majority Foundation.