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Maya H. Weinstein

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This Valentine’s Day, we must talk about consent.

We have a cultural problem. It’s time to face the reality that we can’t talk about consent without talking about sex. The inability of society to talk openly and honestly about consensual sex makes it even more difficult to talk about nonconsensual sex and isolates us in our experiences.

Often, we aren’t comfortable having necessary conversations, even with our partners, because sex and desire are still so taboo. Consent is a continuous effort to have a positive, healthy intimate experience. Thinking about it shouldn’t...

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Two smiling woman in army uniforms

For years, members of the United States military were fighting a silent, internal battle: Sexual assault was rampant, and the military was covering it up. The hidden epidemic was exposed with the premiere of The Invisible War at Sundance Film Festival in 2012. The groundbreaking documentary revealed the military’s systemic mishandling of sexual assault reports and the constant retaliation against servicemembers who reported.

Through interviews with victims of military sexual assault and high-level officials, the nation quickly learned that the culture and structure of the military...

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person standing on crossroads of arrows

Reproductive rights refer to the freedom to choose when, if and how to have a family. While many associate the phrase exclusively with abortion, it encompasses much more. Included in reproductive rights are access to abortion counseling and services, birth control and contraceptives, sexuality education, access to post pregnancy options (including adoption), and issues around parental notification and consent to reproductive health care. It is an issue that impacts all people, but perhaps most directly affects those who can get pregnant (which is not just women!).

Access to all the...

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women in military in uniform

For years, members of the United States military were fighting a silent, internal battle: sexual assault was rampant and the military was covering it up. The hidden epidemic was exposed with the premiere of The Invisible War at Sundance Film Festival in 2012. The groundbreaking documentary revealed the military’s systemic mishandling of sexual assault reports and the constant retaliation against servicemembers who reported.

Through interviews with victims of military sexual assault and high-level officials, the nation quickly learned that the culture and structure of the military...

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winding mountain road on a sunny day

In Parashat Mas’ei, the last reading of the Book of Numbers, which we read last week, Jewish text examines and exalts the importance of journey. In this parashah, the Israelites are concluding their expedition to the Promised Land – but, instead of bringing them straight through to their destination, the text spends 46 lines reviewing the stops our ancestors made along the way. Interestingly, these locations are not described as the ending places of shorter pieces of the trip, but as the starting points of the next leg of the trip. This distinction is clear in the way the text reads, “…...

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