Ladies, I’m sorry to have to inform you that the War on Women persists and you have been drafted into the fight whether you like it or not. The latest battleground to see action is the American college campus – a space that is supposed to foster our educational and personal growth, preparing us to be the leaders of tomorrow. Instead, colleges across the country are increasingly in the news for the sexual assaults occurring on their campuses. While campus sexual assault is nothing new, the complicity by college administrations in downplaying, mishandling, or covering up these crimes has fallen to a new level of shamefulness.
Trayvon Martin. Remember him? A lot has transpired in the world since the 17-year-old was shot and killed by George Zimmerman but the case against his killer is not over — attorneys for both sides are still filing pre-trial motions and a hearing on the “stand your ground” self-defense immunity has yet to occur. The impact that Martin’s death has had on communities across the country is not over either, with many young people, people of color, and others donning hoodies of their own in solidarity with the teen whose own hoodie was cited as cause for suspicion and likelihood of guilt. In the days and weeks after Martin’s death, everyone from Howard University Law School students and representatives of Congress wore their hoodies. Today, the deep meaning and symbolism of a person of color in a hoodie is being carried right into the voting booth by a grassroots movement called Hoodie Vote.
Tony Farmer, a top basketball recruit out of Ohio, was recently sentenced to three years in prison for assaulting his ex-girlfriend, Andrea Lane.Footage of Farmer, who pled guilty to robbery, kidnapping, felonious assault, and intimidating a victim, receiving his sentence has gone viral.
Pro-choice advocates all over can breathe a tepid sigh of relief. U.S. District Judge Daniel Jordan has extended a temporary order to allow Mississippi’s lone abortion clinic to stay open, despite efforts by that state’s government to close it’s doors. It’s not a total win – we won’t really be able to relax until the judge completes his review of how Mississippi plans to administer the law. Fingers are crossed that the ultimate ruling reflects the fact that this law, House Bill 1390, imposes undue burdens upon the state’s only abortion clinic and by extension, the women of Mississippi. Had things gone the other way, Mississippi would have become a shining example to anti-choice forces in similarly-situated states looking to ban abortion by targeting the sole facilities providing that service within their borders. Since that’s still a possibility, you should understand what this is all about?
It’s widely recognized that domestic violence is a serious human rights violation that affects women, children and families worldwide. Violence against women* impacts the stability of families, increases the burden on our bursting-at-the-seams healthcare system, and negatively impacts our economy. Violence against women can result in the loss of one’s home, job, and dignity or, in some cases, life. So you would assume that most people are all for ending violence against women, right? If by most people you’re including Republican leaders in Congress, you’d be wrong. With the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) up for reauthorization, there are forces within the GOP who would oppose this legislation simply because it contains provisions to protect LGBT and immigrant victims and recognizes tribal authority to prosecute domestic violence crimes against Native Americans.