News you can relate to

Some stories that caught our eye this week:

Cherelle Baldwin: Woman Accused of Killing Abusive Boyfriend is Freed After Three Years Behind Bars “Brown had cut up her tires, stalked Baldwin’s mother, broken a window in her house, choked her, and pulled her by her hair during an altercation. Ten days prior to his death, Brown had been told by a court to stop issuing threats or committing acts of violence against Baldwin. He remained unperturbed by the court order and, on the day of his death, had sent Baldwin an ominous text that said “DOA on sight,” meaning “dead on arrival.”

Women in Jail Are Being Denied Tampons, Pads, and Basic Human Dignity “Jail guards are “consistently inconsistent” with giving incarcerated women access to menstrual products. Sometimes it’s because they’re not enough of pads to go around. Most times, however, it’s because guards want to punish an inmate.”

‘Abortion Pill’ Gets New Label: 5 Things to Know About Mifepristone  “The FDA’s approval of the new Mifeprex label means that medication abortion [using drugs to end a pregnancy] can once again be provided everywhere in the U.S. in accordance with what research shows is safest and most effective,”

News you can relate to

Some news stories that caught our eye this week:

As Marissa Alexander was released from jail this week, The Nation examines why our legal system turns women into criminals for trying to stay alive.

Lindy West, a writer who is regularly harassed by trolls online, has a deeply moving piece on This American Life about confronting one of them.

Janet Mock, known for her memoir Redefining Realness, has a new talk show centering the voices of women of color. The show’s discussion of Bill Cosby and Phylicia Rashad is captivating.

News you can relate to

Some news stories that caught our eye this week:

Echoing Florida’s shameful treatment of Marissa Alexander, prosecutors in South Carolina are arguing that “Stand Your Ground” laws don’t apply to women defending themselves from abusers.

Seattle Police couldn’t be bothered to actually look at a picture of a man taken by the woman he groped until she shamed them on Twitter.

A misogyny-fueled threat of violence coupled with aggressively lax gun laws, left Utah police completely unable to keep feminist activist Anita Sarkeesian safe.

Trayvon Martin + Marissa Alexander =?

What do Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander have in common? The Stand Your Ground law, a Florida prosecutor named Angela Corey and, heartbreakingly, no justice. Trying to figure out the legal technicalities and how they broken-gavelcollided with race and gender in Florida sends me spinning.

Growing up in southern Virginia I have felt the sting of anti-Semitism from middle-school classmates who called me “Jesus-killer” to adults who felt uncomfortable working with Jews. As a white, Jewish woman I was taught skepticism and understanding of how rules and laws don’t play out the same way for everyone. I observed people in power bend rules and laws to their liking. Whether it was school policy that wouldn’t let me make up a test if I was absent for a Jewish holiday or bank lending practices that prohibited my family and my African-American friends from buying homes in certain neighborhoods.

In neither the Zimmerman or Alexander case was their history of domestic violence taken into account. For Zimmerman, this meant that his documented history of abuse was not admissible in court. Even worse, the legal system didn’t consider if his past abusive behavior was an indicator of possible future violence and take steps to address that, such as taking his guns away.

For Marissa Alexander the past history of abuse from her husband also didn’t count in court, but the outcome was very different. She was denied the use of the Stand Your Ground law in her defense, and was sentenced to 20 years. And she’s not alone. We know that it’s way harder to get justice if you’re a black woman dealing with domestic violence. I asked one of my daughters what she thought of Marissa Alexander and her prison sentence. She said “She didn’t hurt anyone—no one got hurt. She was trying to defend herself. I don’t understand it.”

In my job, I work every day to help create a better world for my children, and yours. I am inspired by Move to End Violence’s call to “create a world that is safe, loving and respectful of everyone’s inherent human dignity.” I can’t give up even when I see how broken our system is. Really, what else am I living for?