Partnering with Men for Feminist Change

C.Hayes photo 2012The American women’s movement is at a turning point. Roughly 45 years into feminism’s second wave, after decades of social change work dedicated to leveling the playing field for women, activists are coming back around to an old idea that’s been with us since the 1970s: the frequently cited maxim that “feminism is for everybody,” men and women alike. [Read more...]

Governments Must Invest in Violence Prevention

SacBee Logo2In October 2012, a man opened fire in a Wisconsin beauty salon killing three people and wounding four before fatally shooting himself. On April21 of this year, a 27-year-old in Seattle shot and killed four residents of an apartment complex before dying in a firefight with police. On June7 in Santa Monica, a gunman killed five people, three of them on a college campus, then was fatally shot by police. [Read more...]

Injustice Against Women Hidden for Too Long

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DUBLIN, Ireland – On paper, Martina Keogh’s life reads like a tragedy – but don’t tell her that. When you meet her in person it’s hard to reconcile the facts of her early life, which included her quasi-legal incarceration in one of Ireland’s notorious Magdalene laundries, with the warm and funny grandmother she is today. I met Martina on a recent trip to Ireland, when she agreed to talk to me about her experiences in one of the slave-labor workhouses operated by the Catholic Church – with an as-yet-unknown degree of government complicity – from 1765 to 1996. [Read more...]

What I Did on My Summer Vacation, Part 2

Justice for Magdalenes

 Read Part 1 here.  I hear Martina Keogh before I can see her. She’s yelling at her two small dogs, Princess and Tilly, to pipe down and they are happily ignoring her, an interaction that will replay several times over the course of our two-hour conversation. The dogs, plus a two-week-old kitten she’s fostering for the local animal rescue, keep us company that day. Their periodic interruptions—begging for attention, meowing to be fed—relieve some of the darkness of the story I’ve asked Martina to tell. [Read more...]

Court Closures Pose Safety Risk for Domestic Violence Victims

 

C.Hayes photo 2012While the rest of the country celebrates the arrival of spring with baseball season openers, picnics and cherry blossom festivals, for Sacramento political types the warmer days and budding foliage herald a different annual rite: budget season in California. All this month and into May, legislative budget subcommittees are meeting to determine what the state can afford to fund, and which services will need to be scaled back or eliminated. [Read more...]

Dear Mr. President, Please Put a Sock in It

Kamala-HarrisIt took me five attempts to decide on the title of this post, with each version growing progressively less snarky and more measured. Though I’m feeling rather put off by Obama’s boneheaded comments about California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ looks yesterday (note to POTUS: if the brain trust at Fox & Friends takes your side, consider it a bad sign) on balance I think President Obama is a friend to the ladies. [Read more...]

The Kool-Aid is Not for You

So! That election. Funny how it wasn’t even close. And please don’t start yammering at me about the popular vote, because if we decided elections that way both sides would have run totally different campaigns (e.g., no one would have gone to Ohio, ever), and there are compelling reasons to think that Obama’s team would have been just as effective under those circumstances, and that Mitt Romney would still have been Mitt Romney, which carries its own consequences. [Read more...]

Chris Brown and the Uses of Compassion

Welcome back, Chris Brown! Honestly, I thought we’d finished with you when you completed your entirely inadequate community service sentence for 1. beating Rihanna to a pulp and 2. repeatedly demonstrating that you had no real understanding of, let alone remorse for, what you’d done. Though the story’s ending was unsatisfying, I was just glad when it was over. But then you went on GMA and got asked a couple of totally softball questions about your lady-smacking ways, and you threw a tantrum, and broke a mirror, and also ripped your shirt off because sometimes, when The Man is keeping you down, the only thing left to do is show him your pecs. So much for the anger management classes, and hey, good to know you don’t limit your violent outbursts to women you’re dating. Female morning show anchors: check yourselves.
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