“Take this child”: Why women abandon their infants in Bangladesh


In this article the author discusses the reasons why women either abandon or kill their children in developing countries, especially Bangladesh. Through in-depth interviews and data analysis, Wilson (1999) not only provides statistics on infant abandonment but also finds the social pressures and emotional trauma women go through in developing countries after giving birth out out of wedlock.

Due to being chastised by social peers and disgracing their family, young mother will often give up their children to orphanages for the survival of themselves and the child. In many developing Asian countries, disgracing your family with a pregnancy/birth out of wedlock is known to result in complete abandonment of the female and her child. A young female who has been “cut off” by their family will face many extreme difficulties surviving, with a child in the picture those difficulties only multiply.

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African American Misogyny, Domestic Violence, and Adultery

Institutional and internalized racism significantly contributes to African American misogyny, domestic violence, and adultery. The problem is as old as African American slavery. The 19th century Freedmen’s Bureau (Hubbert 2011:129) contains a list of complaints about domestic violence and adultery from African American women by their husbands and boyfriends. The current ratio of adultery by African American men to White American men is over 2 to 1 (Utley 2011:67).  African American women also experience domestic violence 35% more than White American women (Hampton, Margarian, and Oliver 2003:536).

African American women have always been considered as a substandard group in the United States (U.S.), and internalized racism influences many African American males to look down upon them. Additionally, institutional racism promotes clinical depression and other mental health issues. This, alongside of poverty and high unemployment rate, directly leads many African American women to experience domestic violence and the backlash of adultery.

So what currently maintains the stability of African American misogyny, domestic, violence, and adultery? Movies, music lyrics, influential misogynist celebrities, White and internalized African American racists constantly send out offensive messages against African American women. This problem stems from slavery, when the U.S. population were expected to hate and mistreat African American women (Gourdine et al. 2011:58).


Gourdine, Ruby M., and Brianna P. Lemmons. 2011. “Perceptions of Misogyny in Hip Hop and Rap: What do the Youths think?.” Journal Of Human Behavior In The Social Environment 21:57-72. Abingdon, OX: Taylor & Francis Group. doi: 10.1080/10911359.2011.533576.

Hampton, Robert, Lucia Magarian, and William Oliver. 2003, May. “Domestic Violence in the African American Community: An Analysis of Social and Structural Factors.” Violence Against Women 9(5) 533-557. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Pubications. doi: 10.1177/1077801202250450.

Hubbert, Paulette D. 2011, May 11. “Transforming the Spirit: Spirituality In the Treatment Of the African American Male Perpetrator of Intimate Partner Violence.” Journal Of Religion & Spirituality In Social Work 30:125-143. London, UK: Routledge. doi: 10.1080/15426432.2011.56711.

Utley, Ebony A. 2011, Spring. “When Better Becomes Worse: Black Wives Describe their Experiences with Infidelity”. Black Women, Gender, and Families 5:66-89.

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“This has got to stop” Women game developers fight sexism in industry


Published on August 13, 2015, Zoe Quinn talks about her experience of on-line harassment after the GamerGate incident. At the end of a short relationship, Quinn’s partner released personal and intimate information about her in a blog which was quickly utilized by anonymous users to attack Quinn emotionally and professionally.   The article goes on to discuss how the video game industry has been largely male dominated, and has led to a hostile environment for women gamers. The article briefly touches upon a misogynistic switch in the gaming environment following the industry crash in 1983. However, Quinn and other female gamers and developers that were interviewed remain hopeful that the gendered problem will be resolved as video games continue to grow in popularity.

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“Ze” Instead of “He/She”, UT’s Office of Diversity & Inclusiveness Requests Use of Gender-Neutral Pronouns.


I found this article extremely interesting because it deals not only with gender identity but also with higher education and politics. The University of Tennessee’s Office of Diversity and Inclusiveness is under fire for requesting that students and faculty use “gender-neutral” pronouns such as “ze” rather than “he”/”she”. The pronouns were offered to help create a more inclusive campus for the LGBTQ community.

The Senate’s Education and Government Operations committees have been called to investigate and review the situation by Senate Speaker Bo Watson. Watson criticizes the university’s use of taxpayer dollars to achieve political correctness, suggesting a lack of institutional control because he believes UT officials must have signed off on this “ridiculous” matter. David Folwer, President of the Family Action Council of Tennessee, has said of the matter “It reflects the new worldview running higher education in Tennessee, namely the view that there are no differences between men and women and that sex is not binary based on x and y chromosomes, but some kaleidoscope of variations imagined in one’s head.”  This comment, ignorant and hateful as it is, raises some interesting questions. How should public universities respond to the needs of students without infuriating taxpayers/ residents simultaneously.

A university spokesperson has said that there is no mandate or official policy to use the language. After reading this article I am left wondering how ECU compares with other state universities across the nation with regard to inclusiveness and use of language. Also, to what extent are our programs’ goals and initiatives supported by the university?

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Louisville Med School eQuality Program


This article appeared on the Vice News webpage last month. It discusses the University of Louisville School of Medicine’s decision to adopt the nation’s first LGBT pilot program for med schools. The program is called “eQuality” and focuses on teaching students to treat lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender patients. There are certain health problems and issues that are more frequent in the LGBT community, which are discussed in more detail in the article. By increasing med student’s awareness and exposure to these health concerns, they will be able to provide better care to LGBT patients and reduce problems such as misdiagnosis or simply unfamiliarity with LGBT-specific health concerns.

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China: The Legal Position and Status of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People in the People’s Republic of China

Although thousands of years,although the feudal ruling class acquiescence of  homosexual behavior,but in the majority of  the people,it has been treated as a non-moral turpitude, which makes homosexuals in all aspects of life have been influnced.(1)family discrimination,this discrimination is not only from parents sibling,but also from traditional marriage to deceive the public and forced to choose.since sexual orientation openly gay often experience family discord,they rejected various setbacks and failures.(2) school,workplace discrimination.Almost half of homosexuals show their almost daily verbal abuse by students;another study showed that many homosexuals are rejected by school,isolation,abuse. For adult  homosexuals,since the private life of secrecy,it is difficult them to establish a good working relationship network with colleagues,which is very disadvantageous for career development .

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How Menstrual Cups Can Improve Educational Outcomes For Girls In Africa

Menstruation is an often overlooked factor in understanding poor educational outcomes for girls in parts of Africa and other developing areas.  Without access to sanitary products, many girls (and women) are often forced to use items like unsanitary rags, leaves or old newspapers to cope with their periods.  Due to the lack of sufficient sanitation facilities at schools as well as an inability to purchase proper sanitary products, many girls can miss up to 6 weeks of school per year.

Project Dignity is one of several organizations devoted to providing access to sanitary products.  For each box of menstrual cups purchased at participating locations, they promise to provide a free 3 month supply of menstrual cups to a girl in one of these developing areas.  By providing access to sanitary products, projects like this can help increase educational outcomes for girls as well as addressing a public health issue.

RH Reality Check – Menstruation can be a curse

WomenCare Global – Project Dignity


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Anti-Transgender Violence Grows Despite “Star Power” Op-Ed

By now we are all well aware of the transformation of Bruce Jenner into Caitlyn Jenner. If you’re like me your Facebook timeline, Instagram page, and Twitter feed has been inundated with her Vanity Fair layout as well as various captions (both negative and positive) directed towards not only her process of transformation but also the trans-gender community as a whole. We’ve also seen in the news the recent confirmation of Pennsylvania’s news physician general, Dr. Rachel Levine, the highest ranking openly transgender person in that states history. 2015 was a great year for the transgender community, with many mentions and accomplishments by various people.

That is not to say that this is the norm. That is what this article discusses. Just because celebrities and those of high positions are having great success, let us not forget the 9 transgender people who have been murder so far this year alone. Most recently was 17 year old Mercedes Williamson who was found murdered an hour and a half away from her home in Mississippi. In reality, in a report released by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs , “ hate motivated violence against trans-gender individuals rose by 13 percent in 2014” but dropped 32 percent against gays, lesbians, and bisexuals. 20 LGBT individuals total killed in 2014 simply because of hate. Another issue is that of the 13 transgender people killed in 2014 all but one of them was a person of color.

With all the attention that has been giving to recent celebrities including Orange Is The New Black star Laverne Cox, and the seemingly(mostly) receptive audience that this attention has garnered in Hollywood and social media, why are we still seeing an increase in violence against trans-gender and what can be done to prevent it? One thing that has to change is legislation that supports those who commit these heinous crimes rather than efficiently punishing them. In Mississippi for example, hate crime laws do not cover gender identity. This leave members of the transgender community exposed and at risk. Tackling discrimination against trans-people would aid them to do simple things like open a banking account or get a proper ID so that they can get jobs.

With any hope, breakout stars like Caitlyn Jenner and Lavern Cox will bring attention to Trans-issues and help to spearhead serious change in legislation as well as public perception of transgender people as normal people who just want to live their lives in peace and harmony just like everyone else!

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Acquaintance Rape


Acquaintance rape or date rape (as it is also related to) is a sexual assault or rape by someone who the victim knows. Acquaintances can include persons related to the victim, a workmate, classmate, religious leader-virtually anyone who is already known by the victim. Acquaintance rape is used interchangeably with date rape because it can also include someone the victim is romantically or sexually involved with. Acquaintance rape crosses all racial, age, economic, and social lines.
When pinpointing a date of origin for the term Acquaintance rape one has to begin with the studies involving acquaintance rape which began back in the 1950s. This study, which examined police files from 1958 and 1960, showed that half of all those accused of rape were men who knew the women. Diana Russell, an author, first used the term in print in 1978. Then, in 1988, Robin Warsaw published the first book on acquaintance rape called, I Never Called It Rape.
Acquaintance rape is prevalent in many societies including the United States but it is different in different cultures. In Ethiopia, for example, nearly “all sexual violence is perpetrated by the husband or boyfriend of the victim”, according to a 2005 study done by the World Health Organization. In Johannesburg, South Africa, a 1992 study revealed that nearly 80% of rapes by adult women were by strangers. In India, Acquaintance rape is called custodial rape, meaning the man has a higher status than the woman he raped. In the US acquaintance rape usually takes the form of date rape or even gang rape. So, acquaintance rape takes different forms in different cultures.
Just like with the prevalence of acquaintance rape, the reasons WHY perpetrators commit this act is just as varied. Researchers, however, say that there are common characteristics that acquaintance rapists share. These include being able to enjoy sex while the victim is intoxicated, crying, pleading, or even unconscious! Another study found that some common family backgrounds of perpetrators include having fathers who were emotionally and physically distant, extreme hostility towards women and a strong desire to control women, and also have “hyper masculine attitudes”. Still researchers say the primary motivation is sexual gratification and seduction.
The peak age for being a victim of acquaintance rape is late teens to early twenties. The effects of acquaintance rape of date rape in most cases are lifelong. Emotional, psychological effects can impair future romantic and non-romantic relationships. Self-loathing, low self-esteem, depression, unwanted pregnancy, and even suicide are the result of acquaintance rape. However the majority of victims of acquaintance rape do not sustain injuries at all, other than penetration.

One reason for the severe psychological effects of acquaintance rape is due to lack of response from the proper authorities after victims report such violence. Some victims even refuse to come forward due to pre-perceived views as to how they will be viewed by others and even because they feel they will not be believed but called liars. Some researchers have found that jurors are less likely to convict in acquaintance rape/date rape cases than they would if it were a “stranger rape” case. In other cases, even with the overwhelming amount of physical evidence, jurors have been influenced by whether or not the woman used birth control, had pre-marital sex, was scantily dressed or even whether she had engaged in drug and/or alcohol use. In these cases greater responsibility has been placed on the woman for her actions and less on the man and therefore he receives little if any punishment.
There is however hope for victims of acquaintance rape/date rape. As better awareness is brought to this issue more can be done for victims in terms of counseling and treatment both short term and long term. Title IX legislation makes it clear: “The sexual harassment of students, including sexual violence, interferes with students’ right to receive an education free from discrimination and, in the case of sexual violence, is a crime.” This will hopefully have a huge impact on college campuses across the nation in bringing not only sexual violence awareness but also spearheading prevention.
There is an anti-rape movement gaining momentum, especially with recent sexual assault cases around the nation. This movement originally came out in the 1960s/1970s along with the second wave feminism. It has grown over the years and not its goals include fighting sexual violence against women, changing attitudes of victim blaming, and also discouraging women from blaming themselves. Its focus is outreach and support and working towards building a society in which rape (of any kind) doesn’t exist.
Parrot, Andrea (1998). Coping With Date Rape and Acquaintance Rape. Rosen Publishing Group. p. 30. ISBN 0823928616.
Chancellor, Arthur S. (2012). Investigating Sexual Assault Cases (Jones & Bartlett Learning Guides to Law Enforcement Investigation). Jones & Bartlett Learning. p. 167. ISBN 144964869X.
Warshaw, Robin (1994). I Never Called It Rape (Harper Perennial ed.). New York: HarperPerennial. p. 11. ISBN 978-0-06-092572-7.
Reeves Sanday, Peggy (1997). A Woman Scorned: Acquaintance Rape on Trial. University of California Press. pp. 186–194. ISBN 0520210921
“WHO Multi-country Study on Women’s Health and Domestic Violence against Women: Initial results on prevalence, health outcomes and women’s responses” (PDF). World Health Organization. 2005. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
Kumbhare, Arun R. (2009). Women of India: Their Status Since the Vedic Times. iUniverse. p. 136. ISBN 144015600X.
Violence Against Women in South Africa: State Responses to Domestic Violence and Rape. Human Rights Watch. 1995. p. 53. ISBN 1564321622.
Chancellor, Arthur S. (2012). Investigating Sexual Assault Cases (Jones & Bartlett Learning Guides to Law Enforcement Investigation). Jones & Bartlett Learning. p. 167. ISBN 144964869X. Flowers, R. Barri (2000). Domestic Crimes, Family Violence and Child Abuse: A Study of Contemporary American Society. McFarland & Company. p. 85. ISBN 0786408235.
Eriksson, Maria (2011). Defining Rape: Emerging Obligations for States under International Law? (The Raoul Wallenberg Institute Human Rights Library). Martinus Nijhoff. pp. 157–158, 166. ISBN 9004202633.
Ward, Colleen (1995). Attitudes toward Rape: Feminist and Social Psychological Perspectives (Gender and Psychology series). SAGE Publications. ISBN 0803985940

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Rape Culture Wikipedia Entry

Rape culture

Rape culture is used to describe a society that tolerates sexual assault and violence against women. Rape culture is a relatively new term that expresses how our culture perpetuates rape in different parts of our lives. According to Susan J. Douglas (2015), rape culture is more than just our values. It is the way we live our everyday lives and the beliefs that run our media, institutions, religion, work, and entertainment.

There are many ways that rape culture shows in the United States. We can see that higher education is being affected by our rape culture because one in five women are sexual assault victims. Douglas (2015), also said that twenty-six thousand soldiers in the military were sexually assaulted in 2012. TV and video games perpetuate crude behavior that could lead to sexual harassment or assault. All of these examples show that our culture has a tolerance for sexual harassment and rape.

Media is one of the best ways to show our society has a rape culture. Women and even men are seen as objects for sex instead of human beings. According to Pearson (2000), movies and TV shows show that rape scenes are about lust and are seen as sexy rather than violent and about power. If our society cannot overcome the media’s portrayal of rape, sex, women, and men, then rape culture will continue.



According to Skinner (2012), evidence that supports that the United States has a rape culture is the amount of rapes reported versus the amount of arrests and convictions. Forty-four percent of victims are under age eighteen (RAINN). Sixty-eight percent of rapes go unreported and ninety-eight percent of perpetrators go free (RAINN). Most sexual assaults happen on college campuses.



Rape has been seen all throughout history as a violent act of victory in wars. Cyril J. Smith (1974), The Legend of Troy, the fall of Constantinople, and the rape of Nanking are only a few examples of history throughout the world that shows rape has been around for a long time.

The first written laws to prevent rape were written in the Code of Hammurapi which was written in the 17th century. Smith (1974), states that this law prevented men from raping virgin women who were intended to be married and the consequence of breaking this law was death.

The earliest English common law was enforced by Aethelbert of Kent, who was the first king of England in 597.  According to Smith (1974), the consequence for rape during these times was giving the woman at least 60 shillings.

Eventually English common law gave a definition of rape that had not previously been considered. Smith (1974), states that the three key factors were using force, lack of consent, and penetration. If penetration did not occur, then it was not considered rape. These laws made penetration while a woman was unconscious rape as well. These laws also considered a man drugging a woman without her knowledge and then having intercourse is rape.



Anti-rape campaigns have been targeted towards women and how to prevent themselves from being assaulted rather than putting the blame on the perpetrators. This leads to victim blaming and questions about what the person was wearing or how much they had to drink. Skinner (2012) states that in the last ten years the new anti-rape campaigns have been targeted towards men and the role they play in rape culture. MyStrength and Don’t Be That Guy are two of the campaigns that are targeting men to help end rape culture. These campaigns are a step in the right direction, but they lack a feminist approach to promote affirmative consent and to demote violence. The Don’t Be That Guy campaign raises awareness by creating posters that say something like, “Just because you take her home, doesn’t mean you can help yourself.” This campaign focuses on masculine stereotypes that promote men as being “manly” if they protect women. Both campaigns focus on heterosexual couples as the focus of their posters. Both of these campaigns have tried to raise awareness and target men into helping end rape culture, but they still promote heteronormativity. According to Skinner (2012), these campaigns promote male power and privilege over women, so there is still more that needs to be done.

According to Skinner (2012), “Yes Means Yes” and “Communication Is Sexy, So When I Wasn’t Sure, I Asked For Consent” needs to replace “No means No”. Each partner has to give consent throughout the entire time intercourse is going on through words and gestures. Each of these statements allow for all genders and sexual orientations to be considered and not left out in the campaigns.


Skinner, L. (2012, Summer). RAPE CULTURE AND MASCULINITIY. Fuse Magazine, 35, 6-7. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.jproxy.lib.ecu.edu/docview/1030755104?accountid=10639

Douglas, S. J. (2014, 07). Rape culture reality check. In these Times, 38, 15. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.jproxy.lib.ecu.edu/docview/1540457736?accountid=10639

Smith, Cyril J. (1974). History of Rape and Rape Laws. 60 Women Law Journal. 188. Retrieved from http://jw3mh2cm6n.search.serialssolutions.com/?ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&ctx_enc=info%3Aofi%2Fenc%3AUTF-8&rfr_id=info:sid/summon.serialssolutions.com&rft_val_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:journal&rft.genre=article&rft.atitle=History+of+Rape+Laws&rft.jtitle=Women+Lawyers%27+Journal&rft.au=Smith%2C+Cyril+J&rft.date=1974-01-01&rft.issn=0043-7468&rft.volume=60&rft.issue=4&rft.spage=188&rft.externalDBID=n%2Fa&rft.externalDocID=a32100680006&paramdict=en-US

Pearson, A. (2000, Aug). Rape culture: Media and message. Off our Backs, 30, 13. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.jproxy.lib.ecu.edu/docview/197128320?accountid=10639


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