Shooting Blanks: The Problem Of How We Talk About Mass Shootings

by Mark Cohan

Thursday, June 5, 2014 marked the closest I have ever come to being involved in a campus shooting. Lucky for me, it wasn’t close at all. I teach at Seattle University, which is five miles from Seattle Pacific University, where, on that day, a lone gunman killed one student and injured three others. Still, the relative nearness of the event, its sheer randomness (reports indicate the shooter chose his target school for no reason other than he wanted to shoot one up), and the connection I feel with my own students, left me feeling scared and vulnerable. This latest (at the time) enactment of masculinity and violence wasn’t just academic; it was a part of my real life. Continue reading

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Filed under Masculinities, Uncategorized, Violence

How Race/Ethnicity Shapes Health Care Coverage, Costs and Access

by Natalia Deeb-Sossa

In Olga Khazan’s article “All the Reasons Women Don’t Go to the Doctor, Other than Money,” published in The Atlantic, she highlighted, using a 2013 Kaiser Family Foundation survey of 2907 women and 700 men ages 18 to 64, how women were more likely than men to delay health care due to cost; cost which uninsured women were more likely to face than either insured women or those on Medicaid. Continue reading


Filed under Health/Medical, Inequality, Race/Ethnicity

Unpredictable Laws or Discrimination?

by Kristy Watkins

Despite the fact that a recent study concluded that children raised by same-sex couples fare better than their peers, gay, lesbian, and bisexual parents are still denied many legal rights in the United States. This fact becomes clear in a recent Texas case involving same-sex parents. Joe Riggs and Jason Hanna, a gay married couple, are the parents of twin boys, who were born using a gestational surrogate, an egg donor, and sperm from each of the men. DNA testing revealed each of the men’s paternity status, and the gestational surrogate signed the documents relinquishing her legal rights to the children. Continue reading

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Can We Pull Back the Curtain on Old-Fashioned Assumptions?

by Sarah Thébaud

Time recently reported the latest statistics on the ways that American men and women spend their time. Unfortunately, the findings in this “news” story aren’t news to social researchers: like last year and the few years before that (and the few years before that), men are slowly increasing their time spent on housework and childcare, but women still do the lion’s share, especially the least enjoyable chores like cleaning the bathroom. And, even though men spend more time doing paid work than women, they also have more time for leisure, like playing sports. Continue reading

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Filed under Care Work, Family, Inequality, Work & Family

Putting Hobby Lobby in Context: The Erratic Career of Birth Control in the United States

by Carole Joffe

This entry is cross-posted from The Society Pages with permission.  To view the original piece, click here

Nearly 50 years ago, in the 1965 Griswold v Connecticut case, the Supreme Court declared birth control legal for married persons, and shortly afterwards in another case legalized birth control for single people. In a famous study published in 2002, “The power of the pill,” two Harvard economists reported on the dramatic rise in women’s entrance into the professions and attributed this development to the availability of oral contraception beginning in the 1960s. Several years ago, the CDC reported that 99% of U.S. women who have ever had sexual intercourse had used contraception at some point. So the recent controversial Hobby Lobby case no doubt appears somewhat surreal to many Americans who understandably have assumed that contraception—unlike abortion–is a settled, non-contentious issue in the U.S. Continue reading

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Filed under Health/Medical, Law, Reproduction

When Migration Is Crisis, “It Is The Women Who Run Things”

by Abigail Andrews

In the Mexican village of San Miguel, Mexico, women’s effort to protect an alternative to living in the United States brought them to the center of local politics.

Until 1995, women in the Mixtec village of San Miguel, in the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico, were not permitted to engage in politics. On the contrary, despite San Miguel’s tradition of participatory self-governance, it was known for excluding women. While their husbands and fathers conducted civic affairs, women were expected to stay in the home. Yet, today, as one resident put it, “It is the women who run things.” In less than a decade, women, who previously could not even approach the town hall, came to be in charge of school committees, health committees, and government social programs – voting and voicing their opinions publicly for the first time. They did so in the context of mass migration to the United States. To understand the connection, I spent a year living in both San Miguel and among its migrants in the United States, and I conducted in depth interviews with more than 50 men and women, both in the home village and in the United States. I found that migration played a central role in driving women to take on these new roles. It did so not by inspiring them to echo US gender practices, but instead because they saw migration as a “crisis,” threatening their valued ways of life. Changing gender roles offered one way to respond. Continue reading

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Filed under Migration & Citizenship, Politics/State/Nationalism

Witches, Tea Plantations, and Lives of Migrant Laborers in India: Tempest in a Tea Pot

by Soma Chaudhuri

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat connection does tea and women being raped, stripped, tortured and killed in the name of witch hunts have? The book Witches, Tea Plantations, and Lives of Migrant Laborers in India: Tempest in a Tea Pot, explores the connections between tea production and village level conflicts among the plantation workers that lead to women being targeted and persecuted in the name of witches. The setting of the book is in the tea plantations of Jalpaiguri, India where adivasis (tribal) were brought over from neighboring states to work as plantation laborers. It is within this labor community that witchcraft accusations take place where the primary targets are adivasi women. Continue reading

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Filed under Migration & Citizenship, Violence, Work & Organizations