As Long as We Have Racism, We’ll Have Sexism—and It Starts With Our Word Choice

We not only mistreat people of different colors—but we also use those same techniques to keep women in ‘their place.’ One of the things we use most thoughtlessly is words. Whoever said, “Words are the most powerful weapon devised by humankind” was right.

So let’s look at a few words used by racists and see if their use can be compared to the words used in sexist literature.

A Devastating Supreme Court Decision on Sexual Assault Shows Why the U.S. Needs the ERA Now

When she was a college freshman in 1994, Christy Brzonkala was gang-raped by two students at Virginia Tech. Brzonkala turned to a law newly passed called the Violence Against Women Act—and her case made it to the Supreme Court, where women’s right to equal protection from violence ultimately died.

When passed, the Equal Rights Amendment would spark Congress to enact new laws on gender violence, including redrafting the Violence Against Women Act civil rights remedy, and chart a path to overturn Brzonkala’s devastating decision.

Rest in Power: Kamla Bhasin, Feminist Icon of India

Kamla Bhasin, an early leader of the women’s movement in India, died in New Delhi on Sept. 25 at the age of 75. Bhasin played an integral role in the second wave of feminism and was a prominent voice in the women’s movement in India and other South Asian countries from the 1970s to the present. Her impact will live on for years in the songs, poems, art and music of the thousands of people that she inspired across South Asia.

California Leads the Way in Educating Students on Racial History—But Vigilance Is Still Needed

When it comes to progressive politics, the Golden State can’t be messed with, historically leading the way in many areas including the environment, labor and education.

But while the state is known for liberal, progressive politics, we should not be lulled into thinking that those politics are without blemish. In California in 2019, Black teenagers accounted for 60 percent of the deputy contacts on campuses—but made up only about 20 percent of the enrollment in those schools.

Anti-Racism Should Be Taught to Students—And Their Parents: “This Is About the Future of Our Schools”

It was an important step forward when the North Kingstown School Committee in Rhode Island unanimously approved the creation of a Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity (DEI) Subcommittee. But by the time it held its third meeting, it was already under fire.

We must allow children to think critically, ask questions and draw conclusions for themselves—even in topics that do not reflect proud moments of history.