Author Archives: Susan Pearce

Mx.? Journalists take up the gender-neutral salutation issue

The New York Times made headlines so to speak by referring to a transgender individual in one of their stories with the salutation Mx. chosen by this individual. They then wrote this commentary about it:

It reminds me of when they finally started using Ms. in the 1980s; it took them a long time to drop the Mrs. and Miss conventions. I wrote a letter to the editor about it, though the one they published was by a well-known feminist. It seemed they wanted to follow trends, not set them. This seems to be happening again.

Also, the Washington Post announced it would start using “they” for people who do not identify as male or female.

U.S. Aid Policy Abroad — Should it change?

See this article about current US aid for women’s health care internationally. Due to the Helms amendment (for late NC senator Jesse Helms), any service that receives aid from the US government cannot provide abortion services. The article describes how this policy may unintentionally contribute to unsafe back-alley abortions by rape victims, including those girls kidnapped by Boko Haram and repeatedly raped with the intention of impregnating them. What are your thoughts about this?

Susan Pearce


Since I study immigration and women, and how they experience intimate partner violence, this short op-ed by a North Carolina doctor was very interesting. What are your thoughts? It is entitled

“A Typical American Life, a Very American Death”

North Carolina and Intimate Partner Violence

and reflects on the fact that more than half of the women who die in North Carolina  from homicides are from intimate partner violence.

Susan Pearce



Mass Shootings and Masculinity: thinking sociologically

See this analysis of how our public discourses about mass shootings focus on individual issues like mental health (though important) and do not consider factors such as socialization, culture, etc. In addition to our country as having a violent gun culture, how are these shooters representing an “over-conformity” to masculinity norms?

Warped View of Masculinity

Another under-recognized gender connection is the relationship between private and public violence. The sniper in the DC area in 2002 had a history of domestic violence toward his spouse.

Susan Pearce

Marines confronting Afghan police abuse of boys

This just came out in the New York Times today. It has some quite disturbing reports in it about Afghan police practicing “pederasty,” or the practice of men having sex with boys. American marines who noticed this, particularly the use of boys as sex slaves, including chaining them to beds, ran into trouble when they tried to confront it. One Marine was killed by some young boys, and his father thinks it is related to his confrontation of the Afghan police. See more in the article:

Marines confronting Afghan police abuse of boys

Susan Pearce

Courtney Williams: post on the arrest of Chicago Bears player Ray McDonald


The article I chose was about the arrest of Chicago Bears player Ray McDonald. In the article the arrest of McDonald for domestic violence is talked about. McDonald, who was released from the 49ers in December for another case of domestic violence, was just picked up not to long ago by the Bears as a “second chance.” However, due to his recent arrest his second chance has been taken away from him and he has been released from the team.


The event that led to the arrest of McDonald occurred Monday at approximately 3:48am; McDonald got into an altercation with his ex-fiancé and assaulted her while she was holding their child. McDonald then fled the scene but was arrested around 6am at a friend’s house.


This case reminds me a lot of the Ray Rice case, which was discussed heavily in my social policy class earlier this year. The main perpetrator is a well-known football player who assaults his significant other, and almost gets away with it. As a matter of fact in McDonald’s case he did get away with it the first time. This is the second time McDonald has been arrested for domestic violence, and he has even gone to trial for an accused sexual assault. However, even after being released from one team he was picked up by another, proving that violence against women is okay in our society.


I believe the only reason both McDonald and Rice were cut from their teams is because of the uproar of society. The NFL is not interested in protecting women, but they are interested in protecting their players and doing what’s best for their teams despite the actions of the players. If it was not for society banning together to say “hey, domestic violence isn’t okay” I believe both Rice and McDonald would still be playing today.

Courtney Williams

Rape cultures on campus

College Policies Support Rape Cultures

Take a look at this article, reflecting on an experience from the 1970s: How does her personal experience illuminate the many ways that rape culture may be tolerated or perpetuated on campus? See this point for an illustration of the point I made in our first lecture on taking a sociological imagination to understand the problem:

“I don’t think my former boyfriend was an evil person. He certainly was not mentally ill. He read feminist texts; he liked strong women. He was self-centered in a typical way that the racism and sexism of the era encouraged him to be. He was very, very entitled socially, and the sex culture on campus supported that sense of entitlement in myriad ways.”

Across the past couple of years, campus activists, the federal government, and campus administrators have begun to give stronger attention to this problem, which pervades campuses in our society and in other countries. See all of the ways this can fall between the cracks on campuses, including on study-abroad programs. I have known of cases on other campuses where I have taught, in addition to here at ECU. What thoughts do you have about this?


An Immigrant Woman Could be your Boss

An Immigrant Woman Could be your Boss

Here is an article in the Huffington Post, by a blogger who interviewed me about immigrant women entrepreneurs. I have published 2 reports on this growing phenomenon with the Immigration Policy Center, and we have a chapter about it in our book, Immigration and Women.

It will be interesting to follow her coming series of interviews with each of these women.

As we argue in our book, the prevailing stereotype of the immigrant entrepreneur is that it is a man. Do you think that this image continues to be prevalent? Why do you think this is the case?

Susan Pearce

Grounding Cosmopolitanism Conference Program

Grounding Cosmopolitanism: Theory and practice through the prism of women’s rights Bahçeşehir University, March 18-19, 2013
Çırağan Caddesi, Beşiktaş
Conference Program

March 18:

12:45-13:15 Welcome (Fazıl Say Conference room)

Nora Fisher Onar and Hande Paker

13:15-14:45 Panel 1: Cosmopolitan and Colonial I: Between European and local readings of women’s rights (Fazıl Say Conference room)

Susan C. Pearce, ‘Colonization Light? Southeast Europe meets transnational gender regimes’

Carolyn J. Eichner, ‘French Women’s Rights in Colonial Algeria: Roots of cosmopolitanism?’

Kennan Ferguson, ‘Are Cosmopolitans Free?’ Chaired by Ayşe Kadıoğlu

15:00-16-:45 Panel 2: Cosmopolitan and Colonial II: Between European and local readings of women’s rights (Fazıl Say Conference room)

Val Vojdik, ‘Beyond Intersectionality: Cosmopolitanism, human rights, and the elimination of violence against women’

Karina Eileraas, Sex(t)ing the Revolution?: Sexuality, cyberspace, & the politics of transnational feminist solidarity

Ayşe Gül Altınay and Begüm Başdaş, ‘2. wave feminist movement, sexuality and interactions between the LBGT and feminist movements in Turkey’
Chaired by Çiğdem Balım Harding

17:00-18:00 Break-out sessions (simultaneously)

1.National stories (D 401)
Daniela Antonovska (Macedonia) 
Ana Rajkovic (SBWA, Montenegro)
Senka Sekulic Rebic (B.a.B.e, Croatia)
Nigar Göksel (Turkish Policy Quarterly, Turkey)

2.Mobilization across boundaries (D 402)
Zlatiborka Popov Momcinovic, ‘Women’s Movement in BIH: Building bridges, requestioning the strategies’
Zozan Özgökçe (VAKAD, Turkey)

March 19:

8:45-10:45 Panel 3: Action-oriented Cosmopolitanism: negotiating solidarity and difference I

(Fazıl Say Conference room)

Ina Merdjanova, ‘Grounding Interreligious Dialogue for Peacebuilding: A gender perspective from the Balkans’
Fotini Tsibiridou, ‘From Cosmopolitanism to Cosmopolitics: gender and religious trouble in female activism’

Begüm Başdaş, ‘Cosmopolitanism and Indifference: women’s everyday narratives on sexuality and gender in Beyoglu, Istanbul’
Yeşim Arat, ‘KAMER in Turkey and cosmopolitanism’
Chaired by Ayşe Gül Altınay

11:00-12:30 Panel 4: Action-oriented Cosmopolitanism: negotiating solidarity and difference II

(Fazıl Say Conference room) Nelia N. Hyndman-Rizk, ‘

Chaired by Nadje Al-ali

12:30-13:30 Lunch- speaker: Nebahat Akkoç (KAMER)

(D terrace)

13:30-16:30 World cafe (moderated exercise for exchange of ideas- D terrace)

17:00-18:30 Keynote speech (Fazıl Say Conference room)

Nadje Al-ali ‘A space for Cosmopolitanism in Imperalism? Transnational feminism during war & occupation in Iraq’

Chaired by Fuat Keyman

Nora Fisher Onar and Hande Paker (organizers, Bahcesehir University)

Civil Marriage, not Civil War: The Lebanese women’s movement and the search for a secular citizenship’

Giulia Daniele, ‘Internal Uprisings among Israeli Women Activists: Heterogeneity and struggle from Within’

Josephine Ulrich, ‘Negotiating Cosmopolitanism: networking in Berlin’s Neukölln District’, (CSO perspective)


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