Category Archives: Patriarchy

Nearly 20 years after peace pact, Guatemala’s women relive violence

According to this article submitted to CNN news by Julie Guinan, in 1996 there was an agreement that was reached between the insurgents and the government. But after that agreement came a terrorizing backlash of immunity and discrimination. Many of men in the military began to commit cruel and unusual crimes against these women and returned to society without any form of regret or punishment.

From then until today many of those who remain in power still have not changed the way they view and treat women. Because Guatemala is a patriarchal society these women are forced to suffer a continuing cycle of violence. Most of these cases never even make it to court and also according to this article, 20 years from 1996 the rates of violent crimes like these are higher in Guatemala than before.

Why is it fair to these men that they continue to kill, rape torture and humiliate these women who are vulnerable because of war? Why aren’t there any establishments being set up to support these women?

Guinan, Julie. CNN. Guatemala: Gender-based violence at epidemic levels. Cables News Network. April 08, 2015. <>. June 11, 2018.

Pitt County Could Be On It’s Way to Elect It’s First African American and It’s First Female Sheriff in the Same Election

But not without racism rearing it’s ugly head, of course.


Major Paula Stokes Dance has announced that she is running for the Pitt County Sheriff’s position, which will be left open, as our current Sheriff, Neil Elks has announced that he will not be seeking re-election. There are other candidates in the race, so this is no shoe in, but, if Paula Dance would be elected, Pitt County would be taking another first step in moving the glass ceiling from minorities in positions of power and authority. Deputy Dance would be the first African American and the first female Sheriff to ever serve in Pitt County.


Although this is not the campaign platform that Deputy Dance is running on, this obviously makes this election a historic one and it goes without saying. Historic elections normally bring out more minority voters and tend to draw a higher voter turnout in general. These cases seem to spark a different appeal to citizens who may have felt disenfranchised, but become excited when they see someone running, with whom they can more easily identify.


This feature sparked anger in a local resident, who took to Facebook this week in a rant that criticized the black community allegedly showing support for Deputy Major Dance on the sole count of her ethnicity. This ranter, who happened to be a white woman called into question Dance’s qualifications. This turned into a very large thread of community residents commenting in response to this woman, who eventually turned to many derogatory racial statements. Unfortunately this woman was employed by our areas largest employer, who became aware of this large community turnout on Facebook. After a quick investigation, the woman was terminated from her job.

So, now, someone has lost their job and a number community residents are reminded that racism is alive and well in our very own community. Interestingly enough, this is just the kind of thing, I’d argue, that gets more people’s attention and would likely drive more people to the polls, as we become aware that we really need to get over more barriers in our communities. This is us! Get out the Vote!


Following the #MeToo movement

Time Magazine Person of the Year: “The Silence Breakers”

I will start the semester off with this developing story, that will likely follow us through the semester. I want to call our attention to some interesting sociological questions:

–Why now?

–Why such a rapid fall from grace (job/career loss, even company bankruptcy) immediately after the reports come out?

–Why is there already a backlash among some women to this “moment” or “reckoning”?

–What are the possibilities of this and barriers to this as a global movement?

–Are all victims being heard? or just those with access to a megaphone?

And… this is an interesting editorial: what about the excuse that men didn’t know what the rules were, or that the rules have suddenly changed?

Susan Pearce


Glorifying Busy

“Students wrote about them as if they were embarking on a fruitful challenge: maxing out the total credits they could take, being involved in every club, not sleeping. They would reap the rewards of A’s today and impressive resumes later, the health of their bodies not even considered. Several months ago, I was doing the exact same thing.” – Chio in Stop the Glorification of Busy

In this article, Chio looks at the university system as a capitalist machine, forcing students to sacrifice their mental and physical health for the sake of their education all while convincing the world that this is normal, healthy, and desirable behavior. This system tends to be harshest on those who need validation, those who are nearly always structurally disadvantaged and inferior: women and people of color. The university system feeds off of our inferiority complexes and impostor syndromes; we overwork ourselves to make up for it and to be twice as good as the competition.

This is something I’ve definitely struggled with in college to the point that when I quit one of my jobs because I couldn’t handle two jobs and keep up my grades, I felt guilty. I felt like I was lazy and just wasn’t working hard enough. Interesting to compare the current American mindset to the Kung who could work only 23 days to produce 100 days of food. What do you guys think?

– Lindsay Cortright

Mona el-Tahawy on Lack of Women’s Progress and the Firestorm that followed

Here is an article that appeared in Foreign Policy, which sent Twitter, FB, and all forms of social media buzzing:,0 discussing “the real war on women.”

For an example of a response, see

Malaysia’s anti-gay camp violates law, says minister

This article from the BBC details a the Malaysian Women’s Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil’s response to a camp that claims to “un-gay” young Muslim boys.  She maintains that characterizing these supposedly effeminate teenage boys as gay or transsexual, and then attempting to “correct” their behavior will be detrimental to their mental and emotional health.

Though this is the first time I’ve heard about any Muslim attempts at “curing” perceived homosexuality, it is definitely not the first of its kind, as we have such camps and programs here in the United States, and unfortunately they also exist in Europe (and I’m sure the rest of the world as well).

Pregnant Woman Jailed for Attempting Suicide

I’m beginning to think that I need to post more light-hearted and uplifting articles on this blog!  But, continuing in my (depressing) habits, here is an article about a pregnant Illinois woman who attempted suicide after her boyfriend and business partner left her after she found out he had another family.  Distraught, she drank rat poison in an attempt to end her life, which instead ended the life of her unborn child.  So, of course, the state of Illinois has put her in jail.

Aside from her tragic story, what struck me most about this piece is the frequency with which this sort of thing happens.  Apparently, “Women have been prosecuted for child abuse or feticide when they miscarry; pregnant women who are addicted to drugs have been charged with trafficking drugs to minors; and pregnant women have been forced to deliver via cesarean section under court order. Some states also require doctors to report if a pregnant woman is taking drugs — a law which sounds reasonable on its face, until you think through the logical outcome: Women who are addicted to drugs just won’t seek medical care, which means they won’t get treatment for their addictions and won’t get basic pre-natal care” (Jill from Feministe).

What it boils down to is: pregnant women are being treated differently by the law than non-pregnant women or men.  The author of the article points out, people aren’t prosecuted for attempted suicide, but a woman who tries to kill herself but kills her baby instead is locked up instead of being offered mental health treatment or counseling, forcing yet more trauma upon her without any regard for her well-being.  It is obvious that the poor woman in the article has suffered terribly, and wants only to try to rebuild her life, but she is being punished anyway.

Please follow the link below to  the entire story.


Gender inequality in African American Intellectual Society (pdf attached)

Anna Julia Cooper Public Intellectuals

In this article, Carolyn M Cusick discusses the role of public intellectuals in society. Especially that of Anna Julia Cooper, a young woman born into slavery and recently appointed as teacher at the renowned M Street High School. Cusick focuses on the exclusion black female academics suffered from their male counterparts, even those who acknowledged the need for equality between the sexes. She speaks of Du Bois, whose printed words recognized the need for gender equality, but rarely acknowledged the work of successful and important women contemporaries. This article does a great job exploring the elitist issues tied in the African American Academic/Intellectualism enlightenment.




1 2