#MeToo must avoid “carceral feminism”

Our country has an ugly history of using police and prisons to stop sexual violence. “Our Constitution does not allow for cruel and unusual punishment. If it did … I would allow some or many people to do to him what he did to others.” These are the words of Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, who presided […]

(re)Thinking Sex Positivity, Abolition Feminism, and the #MeToo Movement: Opportunity for a New Synthesis

Sexism, gendered harassment, and sexual assault are so common in our culture that they constitute norms; the phrase “rape culture” puts a name to this phenomenon. While assault and harassment remain rampant, a renewed sexual conservatism—consonant with the current right-wing power-grab and evacuation of the already ravaged social safety net—reproduces systematic inequity through an overt […]

Will Feminism’s Past Mistakes Haunt #MeToo?

Women’s fight for the right to work free of sexual insult or molestation has been a long, long one. For nearly two centuries, in labor strikes and broadsides, speak-outs, marches, and now in social media, women have protested the ubiquity of sexual harassment and the impunity of its perpetrators. But the #MeToo moment is also […]

Against Carceral Feminism

Cherie Williams, a thirty-five-year-old African-American woman in the Bronx, just wanted to protect herself from her abusive boyfriend. So she called the cops. But although New York requires police to make an arrest when responding to domestic violence calls, the officers did not leave their car. When Williams demanded their badge numbers, the police handcuffed […]

How Anti-violence Activism Taught Me to Become a Prison Abolitionist

Sometimes we learn our most profound political lessons in the contours of our everyday activism.  This is certainly the case for me as I recount my journey as a Black feminist activist working to end gender violence for the past 20 years, during which the United States was engaged in building itself up as the […]

Disrupting the Relationship between the Anti-Violence Movement and the PIC

Two weeks ago, more than 1200 people attended the National Sexual Assault Conference (NSAC) in Chicago. I attended all three days of the conference and had the privilege to co-facilitate a workshop with my friend and fellow Chicago PIC Teaching Collective member Jane Hereth. Jane and I both have worked in the sexual assault and […]