Category Archives: The Femo

The Femo: What recent sexual assault should teach us about women and the media

by Sarah Rubin

The prosecution of two male high school students in Steubenville, Ohio, for the rape of an unconscious 16-year-old girl further heated tensions in recent conversations about rape and sexual assault in the U.S. The Steubenville case joins a series of recent occurrences centered around rape, including the appearance of Zerlina Maxwell on Sean Hannity’s television show, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-N.Y.) statements to military officials about their handling of sexual assault cases in the armed forces at the Senate Committee Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel hearings. It does not take very much to realize that this country has a rape problem.

The Femo: New directions for gun control debate

by Ashleigh McEvoy

Recently, the Senate Judiciary Committee has passed four gun control measures. The committee approved along party lines — with all eight Republicans voting no and all 10 Democrats voting yes — a bill that would extend background checks to private gun sales. The Obama administration has estimated that many as 40 percent of gun sales go unscreened under current law — mostly sales between private individuals. Also passed was a bill that would increase grant money for school security and that would draw from the Justice and Education Departments to form a task force on the subject. This bill has enjoyed bipartisan support.

The Femo: House Republicans to determine fate of Violence Against Women Act

by Ashleigh McEvoy

On Feb. 12, the Senate voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act by a bipartisan majority of 78 to 22. Vice President Joe Biden spearheaded the original legislation, which was passed as part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act and signed into law by former President Bill Clinton in September 1994. The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act also included the much-discussed Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which expired in 2004.

The Femo: Obama’s Contraceptive Compromise

by Sarah Rubin

I started using the Pill during the spring of my senior year of high school. For me, the Pill marked my commencement into responsible college life and adulthood. It was empowering to feel in control of something so important — a declaration of my ability to be organized, protected, and prepared. But it didn’t prove to be so easy.

The Femo: Hillary 2016?

by Olivia Conetta

Though the 2012 election is long over and the most pressing issue on most politicians’ minds is the looming fiscal cliff, some news outlets are already thinking ahead to the 2016 presidential election. A recent ABC News/Washington Post poll released in early December demonstrated that if Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were to run for president in 2016, 57 percent of respondents would support her. At 66 percent, her support among women is even higher, and 65 percent of moderates would back her candidacy as well.

The Femo: Bipartisan plans for immigration reform disappoint LGBT advocates

by Ashleigh McEvoy

This past week, a bipartisan group of eight senators — four Democrats and four Republicans — unveiled their plan to reform immigration policy and provide a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States. The lawmakers at the helm include Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), and Richard Durbin (D-Ill.). However, their proposition disappointed LGBT advocates, as it did not address the issue of citizenship for same-sex, binational couples.

The Femo: What women wear

by Sarah Rubin

In early December, I happened upon an article tweeted by one of my favorite political science professors at Brown. In the throes of my most intense homesickness in Italy, I clicked on the link, nostalgic for some semblance of my normal routine and eager to see what kind of wisdom she was imparting to the world that day.

The Femo: AIDS and the fiscal cliff


by Ashleigh McEvoy

AIDS activists were arrested in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 27 after conducting a naked demonstration in the office of Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio). Three women and four men ditched their clothing to protest funding cuts for HIV/AIDS programs that would result from the impending sequestration — automatic spending cuts and tax increases that will begin in January if Congress cannot agree on an alternative budget.

The Femo: A war on two fronts

by Sarah Rubin

This week, the Senate is set to debate the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, which authorizes federal money to be spent on the military and Department of Defense. But this fiscal year’s defense bill is carrying something else important: the Shaheen Amendment.

The Femo: Female perspectives on the GOP’S “women problem”


by Sarah Rubin

Amid internal and external criticism of the Republican Party’s strained relationship with American women, House Republicans elected Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA.) to head the Republican Conference. McMorris Rodgers thus occupies the 4th top leadership position amongst House Republicans.