Carceral solutions to sexual violence won’t deliver justice. We need investments in public services that will actually reduce sexual violence.
In the last few years, the #MeToo movement has brought renewed attention to sexual harassment, sexual abuse, and the ways they are used by mostly powerful, wealthy men to maintain social and economic hierarchies.
At the same time, the push for decarceration and opposition to policing have exploded into a national movement. For leftist feminists, these two movements raise urgent questions about how to fight sexual violence without swelling the carceral state.
The journalist and activist Judith Levine and scholar and activist Erica Meiners have thought long and hard about these issues, drawing on both scholarship and practice in their new book The Feminist and the Sex Offender. They recently spoke with Laura Tanenbaum, who has written for Jacobin on numerous topics related to feminism and sexual politics. This conversation was edited for clarity.