Barbara Boxer earned a reputation as a powerful voice for liberal causes by leading the charge on issues like sexual harassment, the Iraq War, and marriage equality. Boxer majored in economics and put her husband through law school by working as a stockbroker before the Vietnam War and the 1968 assassinations convinced her to turn her energy to forming grassroots organizations for peace, education, and women’s rights. Elected to Congress in 1982, Boxer focused on feminist issues such as abortion. In 1991, Boxer led a group of seven female Representatives to demand the all-white, all-male Senate committee reopen Clarence Thomas’s confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court to consider Anita Hill’s testimony of sexual harassment. Boxer was elected to the Senate herself the following year, taking strong stances for gun control and environmental issues, as well as being one of only fourteen senators to vote against the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act and arguing against the 2002 invasion of Iraq. She serves on the Senate committees for science and technology, the environment, foreign relations, and ethics, among others.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Barbara Boxer." (Viewed on February 26, 2021) <https://jwa.org/people/boxer-barbara>.