Moving Beyond the Gender Symmetry Debate: Ongoing Opportunities for IPV Research

By Wendi Johnson

One cannot begin to enumerate the number of articles, papers, and book chapters that have addressed the gender symmetry debate within the literature on intimate partner violence (IPV).  Yet the academic sparring between family and feminist scholars has led to a circular argument with no clear winner and has ultimately hindered progress on IPV research.  Thus, this entry will not be another weighing in of the debate, but instead I will focus on providing several suggestions to IPV researchers. While most of my comments are likely to reflect my quantitative orientation, by no means are they meant to exclude qualitative researchers.  I do not claim credit for any of these ideas, as they have been introduced previously in other outlets.  Rather, this is meant to simply serve as a reminder to myself and other IPV researchers of areas that could benefit from scholarly attention. Continue reading “Moving Beyond the Gender Symmetry Debate: Ongoing Opportunities for IPV Research”

No Place for a Feminist: Intersectionality and the Problem South

By Wanda Rushing

Each generation of feminism produces new questions, responses, debates and critiques. Yet, old perceptions of the South as no place for a feminist continue to dominate popular culture and negatively affect academic researchers. From my standpoint as a white southerner, a feminist, and a sociologist, I want to challenge perceptions about feminism and the South. I suggest using a framework that considers the importance of place or locality.  A place framework may potentially change understandings of social actors in particular places, not only in the American South but also in other regions. It also may affect perceptions and studies of feminism. Paying attention to intersectionality, region, and place offers an additional level of complexity and explanatory power for understanding gender, sexualities, and social movements, as well as southern feminism. Continue reading “No Place for a Feminist: Intersectionality and the Problem South”

Hints of the Coming of the Women’s Marches

By Jo Reger

As someone who studies the contemporary U.S. feminist movement, I should not have been surprised by the global outpouring of protests on January 21, 2017. After all, you could feel the rumblings coming during the Clinton-Trump campaign. The outright misogyny of Donald Trump’s casual evaluation of women, in contrast to the empowered women rhetoric of Hillary Clinton. Emotions were running high, insults were being flung, and once agreeable neighbors began to argue with each other’s choice of yard signs.


But stepping back from the heat of those moments, there were seeds planted for the global spread of women’s marches long before Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton threw their hats in the electoral ring.  Drawing on the old adage “hindsight is twenty-twenty,” I offer a few examples that offered hints of the women’s marches to come: Continue reading “Hints of the Coming of the Women’s Marches”

The importance of feminist research

By Jo Reger

Thursday morning, I had just come back from my Methods of Feminist Analysis class where I ended class by asking students if they wanted to talk about the election. It had been a pretty somber meeting and we had just finished talking about community action and participatory research. Their question was “What can we do?” It was more than the class context that led me to answer, “We need to keep researching.”

As the editor of Gender & Society, I am so proud of the work that we publish six times a year but I am even more proud of all the work that crosses my desk, much of which we cannot fit into the journal. I see research daily on the major issues of this world – poverty, discrimination, persecution, lack of education, the deficit of basic needs for survival, and more. I also see research on how we fare in social institutions from the systemic issues that plague our country to the micro analyses for how we interact and come to understand one another.

What I see in all of this amazing work is love – yes, love. Love as a verb that draws us to understand the world and make it a better place. Love that brings us together to ask the questions that need to be asked. I see love in the research questions, the data collection and the analysis. I see love in the thoughtful and detailed peer reviews. I see love in the willingness to take on this work to make a better world.

Now more than ever the work we are drawn to do is essential for the world we want to live in. I am humbled that I get to play a role in helping bring that to world.

For my daughter and your children, for my family and your family, for my colleagues and your colleagues, for my community and your communities, let us continue to work and love.