Author Archives: Susan Pearce

Child marriage in the United States…girls marrying their rapists

Yes, this happens here. We have been discussing women and the law in class.

What questions does this story raise for you regarding women (and girls) and the law? Further, what are the surrounding and background societal environments that impede on the law and its enforcement (or lack thereof)?

Does anyone have a story from anyone you know that bears any similarities to this?

15-Year-Old Girls May Have Married their Rapists

a boy and a girl sitting on a bench: Shane Stracener of Kennett, Mo., was 15 in 2014 when he married his girlfriend, Christy, who was 17 and pregnant. The couple now have 2-year-old Isaac Lee (left) and 3-year-old Faith Renee.


Here is some important research on women in peace negotiations. Do these numbers surprise you? This is the first I have read a news report of women’s leadership in peace in Syria. The unanswered question is how can that be scaled up to the level of international peace negotiations.

And why has this war become a footnote in our daily or weekly news? This is still the exponentially tragic event that it was in the beginning. Yesterday the U.S. State Department was very evasive in response to questions about what they are doing.


Undocumented Immigrants and Mental Health

This is a powerful story of how the experience of being undocumented can affect one’s mental health. So many discussions about the Florida shooting are about mental health as a causal factor. But what about mental health as the result of unjust social policies, over-policing, and broken laws?

“What Happened to Norma’s Brain?”

Are single mothers responsible for American poverty?

It is refreshing to see sociologists authoring op-eds on these issues. Check this out as an important way to study a stereotype that continues to blame women for poverty. And how to write about it for a broader audience. Will policy makers listen?

Anti-Lynching Memorial to Open: What would Ida B. Wells Barnett say?

This new memorial will open in Montgomery Alabama this year, and it has some unusual aspects to it:

We have studied Ida B. Wells Barnett’s campaign to end lynching and the stark descriptions of those cases. I wonder how she would respond.

And in case you didn’t know, in 2005, the U.S. Congress did finally apologize for never outlawing lynching. But it still has never passed a law against it. The first bill to outlaw it was introduced in 1918.

Trafficked boys in Thai fishing industry

Although this isn’t new news, it is good to see a way for consumers to try to do something about it by learning whether the fish you buy is caught under humane conditions for the fisher-people. Boys are vulnerable to these jobs.

I was in Thailand and didn’t see this directly (but know that trafficking is a huge issue in Thailand, including for prostitution) but I saw what might be the same situation in Vietnam — tiny islands big enough for one shack, which is the fishing platform. And I saw how these boys could not escape (unless some activist speedboat came along and grabbed them quickly). If they tried to swim somewhere, there was no place to go. They were surrounded by large islands of steep limestone cliffs with no inhabitants.

I wonder whether these fishing islands are chosen specifically for this kind of natural imprisonment.

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