Defamation Lawsuits: Another Tactic to Silence Survivors

Due to a culture of stigmatization and shame, fueled by deficient laws and a criminal justice system that rarely takes victims of sexual abuse seriously, survivors are often reluctant to come forward with their experiences. Recently, a worrying trend has further raised the stakes for survivors who choose to speak out: the weaponization of defamation lawsuits. This happens when the person accused of sexual violence attempts to use the courts to punish the survivor for having spoken out about the abuse she allegedly experienced—even, in some cases, after an official confirmation of the abuse has been made.

Kids Learn About Sex From Porn. Comprehensive Sex Ed Could Help Change That.

For decades, Howard Stern has used his celebrity status to normalize porn and misogyny. Last month, Billie Eilish, only 20, made a shocking revelation on Stern’s show: “I used to watch a lot of porn. I think it really destroyed my brain.”

Eilish is right—research shows conclusively that pornography is harmful for young people and, indeed, all brains. But kids take to porn because they find the sexual education offered by their schools and parents to be unhelpful and unreal.

“Tracking the Backlash”: Feminist Investigative Journalists Uncover Organized Opposition to Reproductive Rights

openDemocracy’s “Tracking the Backlash” uncovers the organized opposition to sexual and reproductive rights including from religious right, far-right and other ‘anti-gender’ movements—in lockstep with the United Nations’ 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence.

“Our 15 feminist investigative journalists produce ambitious, cross-border journalism and impactful storytelling that challenge sexism, homophobia and racism worldwide—and in the media,” said Tatev Hovhannisyan, editor Europe and Eurasia on openDemocracy’s “Tracking the Backlash” project.

Pushed to be Betty Draper, I Was Always More Like Don

Despite growing up in the age of Mad Men, as a child, I was more like Don Draper than his wife Betty. At 16, it was in the pages of Ms. magazine that I realized I didn’t have to be either one.

Ms. gave me my first feminist click, that moment of recognition and I had a name for what I long felt. Feminism. Like their first cover girl, any one of us could be Wonder Woman. Or a cover girl. The pages were filled with women filmmakers, athletes, sculptors, writers, lawyers and activists. In time, I discovered I didn’t have to be someone I wasn’t in order to be who I was.