Author Archives: Susan Pearce

New York Times editorial on the Equal Rights Amendment

We marched for this in the 70s and 80s. North Carolina was 1 of 3 potential states to ratify it. Memory tells me that it lost by one vote in the General Assembly. Do you think it would have a chance in today’s NC GA? One of the commenters asks whether the language needs to be updated to remove the assumption of a gender binary. What do you think? Here is the text:


The Equal Rights Amendment

Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.

Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification

Human trafficking in our own detention centers?

As immigration enforcement has risen, it has enriched the private prison industry, including corporations such as GEO. What are the legal and ethical responsibilities of these institutions? Are they skirting rights protections of detainees because these are not government-run? Are they doing so because detainees are primarily undocumented?

This article exposes a detention center in Georgia that makes the prisoners work for extremely low wages to buy basic amenities that should be provided for them. Is this human trafficking?


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.

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