Marriage, Violence and Choice: Understanding Dalit Women’s Agency in Rural Tamil Nadu

By Nitya Rao

Within development policy and practice, women’s agency has been equated with the ability to make decisions, with freedom of movement and access to resources. It is rarely seen as including the more subtle processes of bargaining, negotiating and resisting, or the more intangible, cognitive processes of reflection and analysis. Agency is framed in terms of positive action rather than patience or endurance, as reflected in the image of an ‘assertive, modern woman’, who speaks rather than remains silent, who goes out and works rather than stays at home with the children, who is schooled rather than not literate, and so on. Continue reading

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Filed under Family, Gender & Class, Global/Transnational

Menstrual Hygiene Explored Keeping Our Eye On The Wider Context

By Chris Bobel. Originally posted on the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research Blog re:Cycling (here).

Editors Note: This piece is being cross-posted in response to the recent media campaign #JustATampon.

This summer, I bought a new camera. I needed it to snap pictures during a research trip to India where I explored diverse approaches to what’s called in the development sector, Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM). I chose a sleek, high tech device with a powerful, intuitive zoom.

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Filed under Body & Embodiment, Economy, Global/Transnational, Health/Medical, Inequality

Intersectionality Without Women Of Color

By Michael Messner. Originally posted (here) at Girl w/ Pen! The piece is cross-posted with permission.

A book should never be treated as a statement of some final Truth. Instead, a book is best put to use as moment of condensed insight that focuses and clarifies ongoing conversations. Still, when you are the author of a book, and engaging in such public conversations, you sometimes learn things in the give-and-take that you wish you had known while writing. This has been so in my recent talks with groups of feminist academics and antiviolence activists about Some men: Feminist allies and the movement to end violence against women, my recent book with Max Greenberg and Tal Peretz.Some Men Michael Messner

In my presentations, I outline a central story in Some Men: Inspired by the women’s movement, the field of men’s anti-violence work was constituted in the late-1970s primarily by white men (many of them Jewish), whose work with boys and men was limited by their white and middle class origins. As anti-violence work became increasingly institutionalized in the 1990s and beyond, women activists welcomed men’s growing participation, but the growing visibility of men in the field risked eclipsing feminism, and rendering women less visible. On the other hand, the field was expanding to include more men of color, in part due to a public focus on targeting anti-violence programming to “at-risk youth” (often code for boys of color). The young men of color bring to the field different experiences with race and social class, with man-on-man street violence, and with police and other institutional violence against men of color. As such, they introduce to gender-based violence prevention what we call “organic intersectionality,” an approach that helps to re-infuse social justice values into a field that has become increasingly flat in its politics. Continue reading

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Filed under Gender & Class, Inequality, Masculinities

Another Tool in the Gendered Toolbox: Guns, Masculinity & Socioeconomic Decline

By Jennifer Carlson

Since the 1970s, there’s been a major legislative shift in most US states: Americans not only can legally own guns – they can also legally carry them on their persons as they go about their daily lives thanks to new “shall-issue” laws. Over 8 million Americans – the vast majority of them men – are licensed to carry guns concealed, and protection is now the number-one reason Americans give for owning guns, surpassing hunting. Continue reading

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Filed under Gender & Class, Inequality, Masculinities

New Data on Gender-Segregated Sociology

By Philip Cohen. Originally posted at Family Inequality (here). The piece is cross-posted with permission.

Four years ago I wrote about the gender composition of sociology and the internal segregation of the discipline. Not much has changed, at least on the old measures. Here’s an update including some new measures (with some passages copied from the old post).

People may (or may not) want to be sociologists, they may or may not be accepted to graduate schools, thrive there (with good mentoring or bad), freely choose specializations, complete PhDs, publish, get jobs, rise to positions of leadership, and so on.  As in workplaces, gender segregation in academic sociology represents the cumulative intentions and actions of people in different institutional settings and social locations. It’s also the outcome of gender politics and power struggles. So, very interesting!

A report from the research folks at the American Sociological Association (ASA) got me thinking about this in 2011. The conversation revived the other day when someone asked ASA Vice President Elect Barbara Risman (a friend and colleague of mine), “What do you make of the fact that increasingly the majority of ASA election candidates tend to be women?” As we’ll see, the premise may be wrong, but the gender dynamics of ASA are interesting anyway.

#1: ASA leadership

The last four people elected president of ASA have been women (Ruth Milkman, Paula England, Annette Lareau, and Cecilia Ridgeway), and the the next winner will be either Michele Lamont or Min Zhou, both women. That’s an unprecedented run for women, and the greatest stretch of gender domination since the early 1990s, when men won six times in row. Here is the trend, by decade, starting with the decades before a woman president, 1906 through the 1940s:

sociology segregation.xlsx Continue reading

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Filed under Education, Gender & Class, Inequality

Same Sex Marriage: Sipping Homonormative Kool-Aid?

By Mary Bernstein

As the U.S. awaits the imminent decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges which might legalize same-sex marriage throughout the country, it is important to take time to consider what this means for the LGBT movement, LGBT identities, and LGBT communities.  Despite enormous grassroots support among LGBT people for same-sex marriage, there has been much criticism of the pursuit of same-sex marriage by queer activists that stems from concerns that many groups of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) are being left behind, while those who are most “homonormative” become accepted and, as a result depoliticized.  This concern is translated into fear that LGBT people are marching en masse to the suburbs where they will be enclosed behind white picket fences, sipping homonormative Kool-Aid and failing to realize that heteronormativity and homophobia are alive and well.kool aid Continue reading

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Filed under Family, Inequality, Law

Results of Turkey’s General Elections: A Brief Gendered Analysis

by Özlem Altıok

Like millions of others in Turkey, I went to the ballot box on Sunday, June 7, 2015. Eighty-six percent of eligible voters participated. Grassroots organizing against electoral fraud was extraordinary. I saw more excitement and engagement on Sunday than I had seen in any other election in my adult life.

The results of the election are mixed.  First, the bad news:

Justice and Development Party (AKP), which has ruled Turkey since 2002, received nearly 41 % of the vote. The center-left Republican People’s Party (CHP) received only 25% of the national vote, a slight decline compared to 2011 elections. The right-wing Nationalist Action Party (MHP) increased its vote by 2 %.

Turkey Election Results

Source: BBC

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Filed under Global/Transnational, Law & Social Control, Media & Communications