5 Questions To Ask Defenders of DOMA

Opponents of marriage equality have grown so accustomed to parroting the same arguments over and over again that they don’t seem to notice the ground shifting under their feet. Such is the point of a brief (PDF) filed at the end of last week by the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD), a New […]

Am I Troy Davis? A Slut?

1. On September 21, 2011, I joined hundreds of my friends and millions of people around the world to watch, through tears and in abject horror, as Troy Anthony Davis was executed by the State of Georgia. In the 20 years between Davis’ trial for the murder of police officer Mark McPhail and his execution, Davis maintained his innocence […]

Troy Davis Is Gone, But the Struggle Goes On

Like many, I was glued to Democracy Now’s live broadcast on the night of Wednesday, Sept. 21, from 6 p.m. until shortly after 11:08 p.m., the time that Troy Davis was killed by the state of Georgia, where I reside. Suddenly, the students’ essays that I was supposed to be grading or the dinner I […]

A Cheerleader’s Rape in a Small Texas Town

Maybe it’s the cheer that makes this one rape among hundreds of thousands that occur in the U.S. each year so resonant. As Rakheem Bolton came to the free throw line during a February 2009 basketball game, the Silsbee High cheerleading squad had a rhyme at the ready: two, four, six, eight, ten, come on Rakheem, put it in. Four months earlier, cheerleader Hillaire S. had alleged that Bolton had raped her at a house party. And now she was being asked to gleefully urge him to “put it in.”

Accused Rapists Released in Notorious Pakistani Case

It was shocking when Mukhtar Mai was gang-raped by half a dozen men nearly a decade ago, but what surprised the world even more was the courageous decision by this Pakistani woman from the remote village of Meerwala to go public with her rape, breaking a stigma of silence in Pakistan. Mai’s fight for justice […]

What’s That Silver Ribbon You’re Wearing?

When Barack Obama was on the campaign trail, running for Senator of Illinois, he met Dr. Sophia Yen–a pediatrician and women’s health activist–who had one very important question: “Where do you stand on reproductive rights?” To which Obama simply replied, “I trust women. Period.” That one simple phrase ignited a movement to make reproductive rights […]