It makes sense for public health departments to invest in distributing free condoms. But why would a city spend a million dollars a giving out free condoms—then allow police to use those very same condoms as evidence of prostitution? This may sound ridiculous, but this has been the reality in New York City.
Lilly Ledbetter is an icon of the fight for equal pay. In person, she’s a very polite and friendly woman whose Alabama drawl draws audiences through complicated subjects like the politics behind the Paycheck Fairness Act and the realities of gender discrimination on the job.
A Texas protester rallies against the state's recent abortion rights restrictions. Photo by Mirsasha.
Is it possible to advocate for fetuses and babies without advocating for pregnant women?
Such a question might not even have been possible a generation ago. But over the past few decades a trend to treat fetuses as if they exist separately from pregnant women has reverberated throughout our culture and legal system, resulting in all sorts of illogical, surprising, and decidedly unfeminist positions.
A Texan succinctly protests the state's restrictive anti-abortion access laws last year. Photo by Mirsasha (Creative Commons).
Texas has been in the national spotlight for its restrictive new laws that have closed two-thirds of the state’s abortion clinics. But another insidious way the state is trying to control women’s reproductive rights has gotten less attention: local prosecutors locking up pregnant women who test positive for drugs.
American prisons have a dark history of forced sterilization: Louisville residents protested forced sterilizations in 1971. Photo from the Southern Conference Educational Fund via the History News Network.
When I first caught sight of a Madeline Burrows, the writer and performer at the center of new play Mom Baby God, I wanted to head straight for the bathroom and hide. She was sporting a side ponytail and pink hoodie, chatting up theatergoers with a chirpy valley girl lilt about some sort of “Students for Life Conference.” Just as I was about to make a beeline for the can, she caught me in her weird immersive-theater snare.
Why does rape happen? Because a rapist chooses to rape someone. Because someone felt so entitled to sex, they didn’t care whether their selected partner was able or willing to consent. No one is disagreeing there. But why does that choice happen? Where does that sense of entitlement come from?
If you ask RAINN or TIME magazine, they wouldn’t be able to give you an answer.
Monica Jones is a sex workers' right advocate in Phoenix, Arizona, a trans woman of color, and a social work student. On Friday, March 14th, she’ll go on trial for “manifestation of prostitution.”
Jones's arrest and prosecution is a collision of two dicey issues: the history of "rescuing" sex workers by locking them up and the pervasive police profiling of trans women—particularly trans women of color—as assumed prostitutes.