California Law Eliminates Spousal Rape Exemption—But “Patriarchy Still Dies Hard”

Up to 14 percent of married women experience marital rape. Last week, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill mostly eliminating an antiquated distinction in California law between “spousal rape” and rape, which has for years resulted in more lenient penalties for perpetrators who rape their spouses.

“The first question a rape victim is asked should not be whether or not they are married.”

Better Start Opening Your Husband’s Mail, Ladies

Economic Impact Payments (EIP) to American families started rolling out at the end of December, but there’s a big surprise in store for eligible tax-paying women who file jointly with a male spouse: your check will likely be addressed to your husband only.

For most women in straight couples, this invisibility isn’t new or surprising. As humans, as citizens, as tax payers, and as bread winners, we’re used to being regarded as someone else’s appendage.

There’s a Simple Solution to End Child Marriage in North Carolina

New studies by the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) reveal the grim consequences of child marriage in the U.S., which occurs at particularly high rates in North Carolina. North Carolina is becoming a common destination for adults to take children when their marriage is illegal in their home states. Between 2000 and 2015, almost 9,000 minors were listed on marriage license applications in North Carolina.

But there’s a simple solution: Set the minimum age of marriage at 18, without exceptions.

Tools of the Patriarchy: The Naming Tool

“Tools of the Patriarchy” is a biweekly column on the tools that establish men’s dominance in society, or, in other words, uphold the patriarchy. Whether or not these tools are used intentionally, they contribute to a world in which women are not equal to men.

The naming tool is a long-standing tradition dictating that after marriage, a woman should give up her birth name and take on her husband’s last name. Children also frequently take their father’s last name, carrying the tradition on into the next generation.