Dealing with Complicated Feelings Around Abusers

Recently, a man I know was outed as a serial sexual harasser. I say “know” in a rather unfortunate sense: I’d been approached online by, went on a date with, and even kissed the guy a couple years ago. His too-forward sexual advances had always left a bad taste in my mouth. When the revelations…

One Year After #MeToo

The day after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified before congress about her experience of sexual violence in relation to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) received the highest number of calls in its 24-year history. More than 3,000 people connected with the network on September 28, part of a record-breaking increase in…

Chokhri, a New Sexual Health Project, Maps Marital Rape and Abortion in India

There’s a scene about birth control in the questionably feminist 2017 Hindi flick Lipstick Under My Burqa that stuck with me. Shireen, whose abusive husband rapes her and refuses to use condoms, goes to the gynecologist for another abortion. The gynecologist tells her she can’t keep having abortions and using the morning after pill, and the only other form of available birth control…

Is There a “Gray Zone” in Consent?

If you’ve ever made a formal complaint of gendered violence, you might have felt that translating raw experience into the language of law is like describing a walk through the forest using only the formal scientific names of the trees. Whereas in lived reality, you saw the sunlight filtered green through the leaves, noted the precise…

My abusive partner promises they’ll change. Will they?

“I promise I’ll change.” These are four words most people in a relationship with an abusive partner have probably heard. Longed-for yet dreaded, the words can offer both hope and disappointment. Hope that things really will get better this time, and disappointment when, inevitably, the abusive behavior—whether emotional, physical, or verbal—begins all over again. We’ve all…

Is #metoo a moral panic? Not if we’re clear about our values.

Last month, in response to a profile of pornography literacy programs, conservative New York Times columnist Ross Douthat wrote an op-ed entitled “Let’s Ban Porn.” In it, Douthat argued that banning porn was not just feminist but also the logical conclusion of the #metoo movement’s quest for better sex. After all, Douthat argues, “It was only a generation…

No, the #metoo movement is not about women “playing the victim”

Check out the original article at Feministing. You’ve been stuffed into a box your whole life. You contort yourself to fit. Twist your legs. Chop off your arms. Breathe shallower. Then one day you realize—we realize, together—the box has seams in it. After lifetimes of contortion, we realize: Explode the box. It’s easier said than done, but…