#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 It exposed how our decades-old workplace anti-harassment laws were outdated and often ineffective.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.”

Ms. Global: Scotland Eliminates Period Product Fees; Poland’s Pride March; Nonbinary Joan of Arc Debuts at Globe Theatre

Ms. has always understood: Feminist movements around the world hold answers to some of the U.S.’s most intractable problems. Ms.. Global is taking note of feminists worldwide.

This week: Scotland paves way for period poverty movement; volunteers provide menstrual products in Pakistan, amid floods; Pride marches in Poland; Spain passes “yes means yes” consent law; and more.

Survivors Face Backlash For Reporting, 50 Years After Title IX. What Does Justice Look Like For Them?

Title IX created much support for survivors of sexual harassment and sexual assault on the basis of sex discrimination, requiring institutions to address such harms in the workplace and in schools.

Ms. spoke with Alexandra Brodsky, civil rights lawyer and co-founder of Know Your IX, about the new backlash survivors still face coming forward, and the new ways activists are fighting for change and survivor-informed support.

Moving Beyond the ‘Pink High Heels’ Defense Shaming of Survivors

Survivors deserve to be taken seriously and viewed as human beings worthy of respect and safety regardless of the clothes they wear—if they’ve been drinking, or if their heels happen to be pink. While I am realistic about how much change is possible, a new day has arrived in which taking the avenue of “but look at the pink high heels she was wearing that night” will put the accused in only greater jeopardy in the eyes of the court and the public.