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Law and Justice in Real Time Academic Subjects

Oscar Pistorius: Perceptions of Disability and Masculinity

Now that you all already know the main facts of the Oscar Pistorius’ case — that he fatally shot his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on February 14, 2013, in the bathroom of his estate in Pretoria, South Africa – and especially now that the sentence has changed, I thought that I would delve deeper into Oscar Pistorius’ intent on murdering his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. I think that we can all agree that Oscar Pistorius shot through the bathroom of his estate four times and that his girlfriend ended up dead because of it; however, there has been some controversy over whether the homicide was pre-meditated, with him knowing full well that his girlfriend was in the bathroom, or if it was accidental, with him thinking that an intruder was in the house, just chilling out in the bathroom with the door shut. It is completely possible that an intruder could have been in the house that night, given the high crime rate, especially in gated communities. The following image states the order of events that happened the night of the shooting.

Source: National Post,
Source: National Post,

From here on out, I am going to assume that his testimony of what happened that night was completely truthful. However, regardless of whether he thought that he was shooting an intruder or if he thought that he was shooting Reeva Steenkamp, his intentions were the same. There was no way that he could shoot a person four times through a small bathroom with nowhere to go and not kill them. However, the act of grabbing a gun when he heard sounds coming from the bathroom was likely the result of the fact that he was disabled and was more likely to experience fear and feel that his life was being threatened.

Q: Is the fact that Oscar Pistorius is disabled an excuse for him to kill his girlfriend? Are there any excuses for him for shooting Reeva Steenkamp?

No, even though disabled people feel more threatened than able-bodied individuals due to the fact that when they are in high-stress situations, they are less mobile and less likely to get out of the situation, just because he does not have the bottom half of his legs is no excuse to committing murder. He still has two working eyes and he could see if his girlfriend was in bed with him before shooting up a bathroom door.

It is also believed that Pistorius’ disability led him to feel emasculated, because disability is often considered feminine. He used women, sports, and guns to develop his masculinity. He was involved in relationships with attractive blonde women to satisfy any inadequacies in his life. He probably engaged in younger, thin, blonde women thinking that they would be insecure and that he could diminish his insecurities by controlling them and being the “man” in the relationship.

The Most Important Question: Did the emasculation from his disability cause Oscar Pistorius to shoot Reeva Steenkamp?

Q: If you were in the same situation as Oscar Pistorius, would you do the same thing that he did? Why or why not?

Personally, I would not have done what he did. First, I would have looked to see if my significant other was still in bed and then when I saw that she was not in bed, I would have just assumed that it was her in the bathroom and gone back to sleep.



Abrahams, N., Jewkes, R., & Matthews, S. (2010). Guns and Gender-Based Violence in South Africa. South African Medical Journal, 100 (9), 586-588. Retrieved from

Breetzke, G. D., & Cohn, E. G. (2013). Burglary in Gated Communities: An Empirical Analysis Using Routine Activities Theory. International Criminal Justice Review, 23 (1), 56-74. DOI: 10.1177/1057567713476887

Cherney, J. L., & Lindemann, K. (2014). Queering Street: Homosociality, Masculinity, and Disability in Friday Night Lights. Western Journal of Communication, 78 (1), 1-21. DOI: 10.1080/10570314.2013.792388

Hickey-Moody, A. (2015). Carbon Fibre Masculinity: Disability and Surfaces of Homosociality. Journal of the Theoretical Humanities, 20 (1), 1-17.

Onishi, N. (2015, December 3). Oscar Pistorius Guilty in Murder of Reeva Steenkamp, Appeals Court Rules. The New York Times. Retrieved from

(2014). Oscar Pistorius Trial: Evidence. BBC News. Retrieved from

Mental Health Concerns in the Administration of Criminal Justice

mental health img

The issue of mental health in our criminal justice system is severely under-represented. We have individuals both taking advantage of and getting lost in the system which gives neither the help they need. The issue of misdiagnosing is where the problem begins; we lack the research we need to complement the diagnosing methods of physicians. Stigma concerning individuals with intellectual disabilities, especially offenders, is also causing conflict in putting them through the system. Minority standing is, of course, the underlying factor in all of this, considering the majority of individuals with mental disabilities in the criminal justice system are part of a minority group.

The plea of temporary insanity (if successful) can prove little to no consequences from the criminal justice system, yet rarely is it truly insanity that drives these offenders to offend. People that are part of the majority, wealthy and white that have the resources to put together a team of excellent lawyers are more likely to use this defence than those that are obviously actually psychotic. The problem with this is it leaves criminals who only claimed insanity, out of the streets to re-offend. Many legitimate psychotic individuals do not even know what is best for them, yet they still have to decide their own fate and many refuse to allow their lawyer to mount an insanity case for them. As a result, they get stuck in the system without proper services to give them the assistance they need that would be provided in mental health facilities. This is one of the many issues with pleas such as these; the wrong people use them and the right people don’t know how to use them and aren’t receiving aid on their behalf.



The stigma we place upon individuals with mental disorders leads many people to brush them under the rug so to speak, because what can they contribute to society? What will it hurt me to accidently put them in jail instead of a mental health facility? It hurts them, it hurts their families and it hurts the community around them when mentally disabled offenders don’t get the treatment they need to not offend again. Jail is not the equivalent of therapy or medication, which is the only thing proven to keep these offenders from re-offending.


In order to stop this problem we need to conduct more research, continue to make better and more assistance programs available to minority groups and change the way people with mental disabilities are tried. Research will make diagnosing more accurate and valid, programs will prevent minorities from ending up in the criminal justice system to begin with and could also contribute to getting rid of prejudicial bias within the system. Changing the way people with Intellectual disabilities are tried is the most important way to stop them from being improperly put in the general jail population. If they cannot make proper judgements they should not and can not make proper decisions on these judgements and should not be forced to.

To close, here are a few last words about mental illness:

1. So how do we fix this problem besides more research and better methods for diagnosis?

2. How much of a factor is race, sex and/or social status in deciding where/how an offender is sentenced?

3. Do you know someone with a mental disability who has had to go through the criminal justice system? How did it work out for them?




FINAL POST: Defining, Categorizing, and Understanding Mass Shootings In America


Sadly, the above picture is completely accurate. Mass shootings have never been more prominent in America’s history than they are today. In this year alone, there have been more mass shootings than total number of days (381 so far, to be exact). Even now, in 2015, after years of recurring mass shootings, there is still no set definition of what exactly a mass shooting is. No one has yet to define exactly what aspects make up  mass shootings. All that is really set in stone when it comes to the definition of the subject is that someone needs to shoot and kill at least three other people, which does not include the shooter even if they get killed or commit suicide during the act, with a gun. Apparently the number of victims who are injured during an act but not killed is irrelevant to what defines a mass shooting. Therefore 100 people can get shot and injured in a shooting, but if no one dies it’s not a mass shooting. What? That doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense.

There are many aspects of a mass shooting that add up to make its definition, the most important aspect being that the crime was committed with a gun (obviously). Another important, yet somewhat bizarre quality that defines a mass shooting is the number of deceased, but not injured individuals in the crime. According to the federal government in 2013, “three or more people must die, excluding the shooter” for the crime to be considered a mass murder (Ingraham, 2015). The area in which the shooting takes place also plays a big part in defining a mass shooting. The crime has to take place in a public area in order for it to qualify as a mass shooting. It’s really not that hard to believe that America cannot define what a mass shooting with all these ridiculous qualifications.

What is most difficult about defining a mass shooting is that there are different kinds of them. David Hemenway, a professor at Harvard University, came up with the idea that there are actually three subcategories of mass shootings (Ingraham, 2015). The first of the three categories is gang violence, but we never really see anything on the news or internet about multiple homicide shootouts happening in the ghetto, except for blue guys shooting black guys. Another one of the subcategories is domestic violence, which is basically when a family member goes of their rocker and starts shooting other relatives, usually over substances. The last category is public shootings, which is pretty much self-explanatory. Hemenway’s three category theory seems to be focused around the idea that there is a sort of hierarchy or tier list-like structure when it comes to this specific type of crime.

The main problem with Hemenway’s theory is that he doesn’t take into account the most important aspect of what should define a mass shooting: the motive of the shooter. I almost feel that gang violence and domestic violence aren’t even in the same league as a public shooting due to the motives of each criminal group that commits these acts. You never see or hear of a bunch of gangsters meeting up in some public place to randomly kill people because they’re psychotic or have some radical ideology they’re trying to spread because that is ridiculous. Historically, almost all mass shooters in recent years have committed their acts alone, unless they are committing an act of terrorism but that’s a whole other discussion. These lone gunmen carefully plan out their acts, picking out specific locations and times of day to avoid detection and for max casualties (Frances, 2014). This is why it’s hard to even consider putting domestic and gang violence with public shootings as subcategories of mass shootings, the motives are too different. Another reason why Hemenway’s subcategorization theory (as I call it) is a hard sell is because domestic and gang violence can be predicted and deterred to an extent, unlike psychopaths like James Holmes and Dylann Roof. After being arrested, James Holmes (Aurora shooter) was asked why he chose the theater of all places, he replied saying he thought about choosing an airport. When the officer asked Holmes why he didn’t pick the airport, Holmes responded “because that would be an act of terrorism. Terrorism isn’t the message. The message is, there is no message” (O’Neill, 2015).

In conclusion, we need to better our understanding of what exactly a mass shooting is and what defines them in order to be thinking about any possible solutions. Something that could help people grasp a better understanding of the subject is an implementation of something like Hemenway’s subcategorization idea. The criminal justice system could use the “mass shooting hierarchy” to determine how harsh of a punishment to give shooters of different categories. For example, the category of mass shooting that would receive the harshest punishment would be a premeditated one that the shooter is using to attain goals that are political, religious, or ideological in nature. This is essentially an act of terrorism and should receive the harshest punishment. The mass shooting hierarchy is a pretty confusing concept to wrap your head around, but could if implemented correctly.


  1. PLEASE, what defines the term “Mass Shooting”?
  2. Should there really be subcategories of mass shootings? Does it work?
  3. What are some plausible solutions for deterring mass shootings and stopping the exponential growth rate of them WITHOUT mentioning the 2nd Amendment?


Frances, A. (2014, May 30). The Mind Of The Mass Murderer. Retrieved December 14, 2015, from

Ingraham, C. (2015, December 3). What makes a ‘mass shooting’ in America. Retrieved December 16, 2015, from

Lafraniere, S., Cohen, S., & Oppel, R. (2015, December 2). How Often Do Mass Shootings Occur? On Average, Every Day, Records Show. Retrieved December 14, 2015, from

Mass Shooting Tracker. (2015, December 7). Retrieved December 14, 2015, from

O’Neill, A. (2015, August 27). James Holmes formally sentenced to life plus 3,318 years – Retrieved December 15, 2015, from

Palazzolo, J., & Flynn, A. (2015, October 3). U.S. Leads World in Mass Shootings. Retrieved December 15, 2015, from

Violence Has No Preference

What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence, or intimate partner violence, is a complicated issue that plagues all types of people and relationships. The specific definition refers to “a pattern of behaviors utilized by one partner (the abuser) to exert and maintain control over another person (the survivor) where there exists an intimate or dependent relationship”. Acts of domestic violence can come in the form of physical violence, intimidation, threats, isolation, economic abuse, emotional abuse, and entitlement. When we think about what domestic violence means, the first image that often comes to mind is the image of a fragile woman who is in a relationship with a rather aggressive man. And while it is a valid and realistic image, we cannot ignore the evidence that domestic violence is also a problem within homosexual relationships as well. Put into a heterosexual context, domestic violence receives a decent amount of attention. Although there is still much more that could be done, there are currently shelters, therapists, doctors, and programs dedicated to combating it, and reducing its occurrence. Our culture is reluctant to publicize these very same issues that happen within the homosexual community, and yet it is absolutely necessary to do so in order to get a full grasp on the problem that is domestic violence. In order to accurately discuss this, we must acknowledge that domestic violence doesn’t just happen; it is a product of many different factors, comprised of intersecting elements in our society.

Google Images (2)

Why does domestic violence happen?

Some of the most prominent contributing factors to domestic violence are life stressors. Life stressors can be almost anything stressful that interferes with a person’s routine functioning. Some examples include, but are not limited to; having difficulty in school, being stressed about work, moving, having issues with money, dissatisfaction with a relationship, or even the after effects of previous abuse that the abuser experienced earlier in life. These life stressors tend to frustrate a person so much, that they begin to take out their anger on the person they care about most. Some do not even realize what is happening to their emotional state until they have already acted out their frustrations on their partner in an abusive manner, but are then able to end a cycle of abuse before it continues. Others, however, know exactly what they are doing.



Why do people choose to be abusive to their partners?

Intimate partner violence is not usually an accident, or a state of frustration gone too far; it is more often than not due to an individual’s desire for power and control. Individuals who are most likely to be abusers have often experienced some previous form of abuse, and due to their younger self remembering and modeling that behavior, they end up acting it out later in life, this time with their own partner. They may also suffer from a variety of mental illnesses. Abusers often feel extremely out of control during their earlier years, and because of this they want to be in control of as many elements of their life as possible; especially their romantic partners. Controlling their intimate partners gives them a sense of security, power, control, and even the illusion of true happiness (Island 2012).

Google Images

Why don’t victims just leave the relationship?

Many people ask those who are being abused why they don’t just leave. A majority of the time the person who is being abused wants to get out of the relationship; however, they may not have the means or power to do so. Abusers often hold control over their victims in as many ways possible, primarily through financial or emotional means that are meant to keep their victims in place. People who are being abused often experience threats if they try to leave, such as threats on their life, or other forms of emotional abuse that are meant to guilt them into staying with their abuser. Some abusers even threaten to hurt or kill themselves if their partner decides to leave.

Why is talking about domestic violence relevant?

Chances are, you probably know somebody who identifies as LGBT who has experienced some form of domestic violence. It is estimated that approximately an average of one in four people are in an abusive relationship at some point in their life. This estimate is probably not very accurate, due to the vast amount of under-reporting that goes on. Men, especially, feel a crushing amount of shame when they become victims of domestic abuse, and are often the least likely to report the incidents. It is very important that we send the message to people of all genders and sexual orientations that they will be well-received if they ever need to get out of an abusive relationship, or report abusive conduct to the police. The intersection of class, gender, and sexual orientation comes into play in so many ways when observing how abuse is dealt with in our society on so many levels, as well as the continuation of the stigmas that surround it.

Society as a whole will need to work together to counter the negative effects of every element of society that causes domestic violence, in order to eradicate it completely.



All pictures copyright of Google Images.

Domestic Violence Statistics. Men: The Overlooked Victims of Domestic Violence. Department of Justice. 2012.

Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services. Shattering Illusions: Same-sex Domestic Violence. Routledge. 2008.

Island, David. Men Who Beat The Men Who Love Them. Battered Gay Men and Domestic Violence. Routledge. 2012.

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Domestic Violence and LGBT relationships. 2006.


If you could reduce the number of future prisoners, would you?

In the few weeks that we have been in this class I can recall three incidents that have come to my attention involving K-12 students and law enforcement. Ahmed Mohamed was arrested for making a clock, essentially the 14 year old was too intelligent for his own good? After that incident, video of 16 year old Emilio Mayfield  being slammed to the ground by police officers after being struck in the face for jaywalking to catch the bus surfaced. In more recent news we have the student in South Carolina who was flipped out of her desk and thrown across the room by Deputy Ben Fields, who was called in after the student was identified as being disruptive to the class.

I understand that these are all very different circumstances but at the end of the day we have three teenagers having experienced unnecessary trauma of being handcuffed and hauled to a police station with fear and questions of self worth running through their heads. What does it say when you have been conditioned to believe that bad people, criminals, are the ones who get handcuffed and you are the one sitting in the back of a police car after being in a classroom?

These incidents help visualize our far too intimate relationship between institutions of education and institutions of incarceration:

Heightened after fear of school shootings we have 82,000 school resource officers and security guards working in public schools (Brown). Not to say that the safety of students and staff should not be a priority, but what does it say when the students safety is put in jeopardy by the person who is their to protect them? Certain student and law enforcement encounters question the priority:

How do we justify a 5 year old with ADHD getting handcuffed with zip ties on his hands and feet, forced to go to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation and being charged with battery on a police officer (Snyder)?

In the end the mother of 5 year old Michael Davis points out that rather than an apology she wishes her son had the proper education catering to Michael’s learning disabilities, the school didn’t offer behavioral services to Michael or his mother, because it would cost the district money.



Education vs Prison Costs

Data from 40 states depict how much government money is spent per year to educate an elementary/secondary school student compared to the cost of keeping an inmate imprisoned.
Data from 40 states depict how much government money is spent per year to educate an elementary/secondary school student compared to the cost of keeping an inmate imprisoned.



  1. After learning the mechanics of the school system feeding into the prison system, do you have an issue with more money being spent on prisoners than students?
  2. In this instance if we address the needs of the students, we would diminish the needs for prisoners by keeping them from becoming prisoners, so why don’t we prioritize education?
  3. Living in a time fearful of school shootings it seems as though police officers will not be leaving the classroom anytime soon. Does this leave us with a new field of criminal justice? Intro to policing K-12? Who takes on this responsibility, the college level, individual police departments, the school?





“American Kids & The School-To-Prison Pipeline.” YouTube. Ed. AJ+. YouTube, 18 May 2015. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.

Brown, Emma. “Police in Schools: Keeping Kids Safe, or Arresting Them for No Good Reason?” Washington Post. The Washington Post, 8 Nov. 2015. Web.

School to Prison Graphic (I):

School to Prison Illustration (II):

Snyder, Michael. “19 Crazy Things That School Children Are Being Arrested For In America.” End Of The American Dream. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2012.

“Stuck In The School-To-Prison Pipeline.” YouTube. Ed. AJ+. YouTube, 20 May 2015. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.

“Taking Back Our Schools: Organizing to Stop the School-to-Prison Pipeline.” YouTube. Ed. Advancement Project. YouTube, 23 July 2013. Web. 11 Nov. 2015.

Yellin, Tal. Education vs Prison Costs. 2013. CNNMoney, n.p.

The Rich White Man’s Burden: House Arrest In a Mansion

Many people know Oscar Pistorius as the first double leg amputee to perform at the Olympics. However, on February 14, 2013, Pistorius fatally shot his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in the bathroom of his estate in Pretoria, South Africa. There has been some controversy over whether Pistorius knew that Steenkamp was in the bathroom, which determines whether this was pre-meditated murder (after a domestic dispute on Valentine’s Day) or if he truly thought that there was an intruder in the house; the location where Steenkamp was sitting/standing/crouching in the bathroom; and whether he took the time to put his prosthetics on or if he was just on his “stumps.” The entirety of the facts of this case will probably never be known, because this all happened in the privacy of his own home.

(Source: "Paranoid Parrot Oscar Pistorius Meme")
(Source: “Paranoid Parrot Oscar Pistorius Meme”)











During the trial, Oscar Pistorius showed a lot of emotion, including crying, or more like sobbing, as well as puking when he saw a picture of Steenkamp’s remains. However, he also seemed very confident that he would be released and be back on the track shortly.

Q: Were the emotions that Pistorius showed helpful or hurtful in his trial? Was he able to cry because he is an athlete who is confident in his masculinity? Was the perception of his masculinity, or lack thereof, misconstrued by him crying? Did his emotions thwart the outcome of his trial?

This case is very similar to the OJ Simpson case. Both OJ Simpson and Oscar Pistorius were athletes and were both accused of murdering their significant others. Being athletes, they are famous around the world and are also of a higher socioeconomic status. They are also more confident individuals in that they play sports at a highly competitive level. Therefore, they can be seen as dominant to their female significant others, especially with the use of a weapon.

Q: Which social construct is most important in this case: socioeconomic status, race, sexual orientation, or gender, or do all of them work together?

(Source: Times Live "Pistorius Roses are Red Meme")
(Source: Times Live “Pistorius Roses are Red Meme”)

After 49 days in trial over a course of seven months, Oscar Pistorius was charged with culpable homicide. Culpable homicide is a lesser sentence than pre-meditated murder in South Africa, which is the rough equivalent of involuntary manslaughter in Anglo-American law, or the unlawful negligent killing of a human being.

Q: Do you think that Oscar Pistorius was charged with culpable homicide because of the fact that he was a well-known athlete? If he was an average human being, do you think that he would have received the same punishment?

Although he was sentenced to five years in prison, since both of his legs are amputated, he is expected to be staying in the hospital wing of the prison while he is in prison, away from most of the other prisoners. South Africa also has a law stating that for sentences of five years or less, you only have to be in prison for one-sixth of the time that you are sentenced; in his case, he is required to stay in prison for 10 months out of the five years that he was sentenced and then he can petition for house arrest for the remainder of the sentence. He was sentenced on October 21, 2014 and released on October 19, 2015 after spending just less than one year in prison and will now spend the next four years on house arrest at his uncle’s mansion (pictured below).

(Source: The Telegraph, 2015, "Oscar Pistorius will live in luxury after his release under house arrest")
(Source: The Telegraph, 2015, “Oscar Pistorius will live in luxury after his release under house arrest”)

I chose to discuss Oscar Pistorius’ murder case, because he was just released from prison last week and is now on house arrest. Also, this case encompasses race, class, gender, and privacy. Steenkamp is a victim of homicide as a result of her being in a heterosexual relationship with Pistorius. Regardless of whether the act was purposeful or accidental, Steenkamp would not have died that night if she was not in a relationship with Pistorius. Although Steenkamp was a white victim, Pistorius, as a white man, did not receive as harsh of a sentence, in my opinion, as a black man would have received. However, Pistorius’ fame and social class also contributed to the lenient sentencing. A person living in a poverty also would not have received the same sentencing as Pistorius had. Finally, the fact that Pistorius did this in his own home and that there were no reliable witnesses, also contributed to this being sort of up in the air, not knowing the whole truth about the sequence of events that happened that night.

Q: Do you think that Pistorius’ lessened sentence (culpable homicide vs. murder) as well as the fact that he was released from prison to be sentenced to house arrest in a mansion devalues the life of Reeva Steenkamp? Should Pistorius be required to compensate the Steenkamp family for what he did?



(2015). Q&A: What House Arrest Means For Oscar Pistorius. Sky News. Retrieved from

(2014). Oscar Pistorius Trial: Evidence. BBC News. Retrieved from

Phipps, C. (2014). Oscar Pistorius Trial: The Full Story, Day By Day. The Guardian. Retrieved from


LGBT; Sexual Stigma and Gender Identity

When it comes down to it, the essence of the LGBT movement is about everyday individuals wanting the same chance as everyone else. Whether it’s the ability to earn a living, be safe in one’s community, serving ones country or the biggest thing of all; being with the one you love.

Picture source:

Basic fundamental opportunities everyone should have, and yet they are halted if not stalled. On a federal level companies that have contracts with the government are now prohibited from firing or discriminating against employees based on their sexual orientation or gender identity due to an executive order President Obama signed in June of 2014 (Bendery). However, 33 of the 50 states have no state-level gender identity protection, this meaning in over half of the U.S it is perfectly legal for employers to fire employees based solely on their gender identity.  Nor is there a state-level protection for sexual orientation in 29 of the 50 US states. The overhauling idea that merit is null void if they happen to find your gender identity (i.e., transgender) or sexual orientation (i.e., lesbian, gay, bisexual) to be that of conflicting alignment.

In some ways it’s quite flattering to think that what someone does in the privacy of their bedroom carries so much weight in the public sphere. And yet one must ask the question, why does it in fact carry so much weight?



Prevailing argument is that sexual preference shouldn’t in any way be a derisive point in anything but one’s personal choices and can ONLY ever be useful in the dividing of groups which would otherwise agree. Gender identity, not unlike racial segregation and class separation, are not a political statement but a personal one, one which should be treated with the same involvement other people take in when choosing to have breakfast or not.

In June of 2015, the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision allowed the right to same sex marriage. Stating “No union more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family. In forming a martial union, two people become something greater than they once were.Marriage is a “keystone of our social order..”

My personal favorite part..

“adding, that the plaintiffs in the case were seeking “equal dignity in the eyes of the law”.



1. Justice Kennedy stated that the plaintiffs in this case were seeking “equal dignity in the eyes of the law.” What does that mean to you?

2. Should individuals in the LGBT communities right and protections be intrinsic?

3. If the federal government can ban workplace discrimination against LGBT employees of federal contractors and the federal government, why don’t all the states follow suit?



Bendery, J. (n.d.). It Is Now Illegal For A Federal Contractor To Fire Someone For Being LGBT. Retrieved October 21, 2015.

Deena Fidas and Liz Cooper, The Cost of the Closet and the Rewards of Inclusion: Why the Workplace Environment for LGBT People Matters to Employees, Human Rights Campaign (May 2015): p. 4-5.

Deena Fidas and Liz Cooper, The Cost of the Closet and the Rewards of Inclusion: Why the Workplace Environment for LGBT People Matters to Employees, Human Rights Campaign (May 2015): p. 4-5.

Liptak, A. (2015, June 26). Supreme Court Ruling Makes Same-Sex Marriage a Right Nationwide. Retrieved October 20, 2015.

Patriarchy: An Outdated Ideal? Or Necessity for a Thriving World?

We know memes, The patriarchy is here! The argument against being a feminist
We know memes, The patriarchy is here! The argument against being a feminist

For the betterment of our intelligence I challenge you to think critically of the arguments you may or may not have concerning Patriarchy. To go even farther, think what that word means to you. Can you think of an instance where Patriarchy or Matriarchy is a good thing? Do you simply see it as a means of oppression and power? Or as a way of showing love by sacrificing to provide happiness for the ones that matter to you? I want to show you what the mainstream media and various social institutions won’t allow… that Patriarchy, in its truest form, is good for society. That the word Patriarchy has been dragged through the muck and along the way picked up the image of privileged, lazy, and greedy men not wanting women to enjoy the same freedoms.

Patriarchy is not some fabricated oppressive strategy formulated by a conclave of sexist men who made a pact to keep their gender “on top”. In fact Patriarchy stems from basic biological differences in males and females. Men cannot exist without females and females cannot exist without males, that being said however, females have the most vital components for the continuation of life. The carrying of the next generation. Men on the other hand are needed “technically” for only one step in this entire process. And we all know which one that is. Throughout history though we don’t see mass communities based solely on females while the men meander around independently only to show up to fulfill their “one job”. This is because of Patriarchy, the idea of men being the prominent member, the leader, of the family. It is simple biology, women are not as physically strong naturally as men, women are also not as capable of independence (true independence) while pregnant. Men however are perfectly suited to provide and work every day of their lives upon reaching maturity. If you take a step back you can see that this isn’t an issue of preventing one gender from freedom but rather conforming to roles that are the easiest and most natural so that the human race can thrive. The reason this makes sense is because humans are communal creatures. We were not made to be alone in the world. Without social contact we struggle and decline. However in a social setting, a community, we thrive. “In patriarchy, men sacrifice their energy, their time, and sometimes even their lives for the betterment of women and children, and women give themselves to nurturing children and families. Feminists define patriarchy as a system of dominance, in which men oppress women. This redefines men’s sacrifice as an act of control, rather than love.”Link <- disclaimer this website offers some more extreme views, they are not necessarily fact but opinion, you are free to interpret in any way you see fit but an open mind can truly help you evolve as an intellectual!

Why Patriarchy is the greatest social system ever created-Return of Kings
Why Patriarchy is the greatest social system ever created-Return of Kings

So… how does all this tie into criminal justice? What if i said abolishing the patriarchy leads to more crime? Lets look at why we work, more specifically why men used to always choose to work and pursue the highest paying job they can net. What is their drive to do so? if you are living alone do you need to work 50 or even 60 hours a week to survive and be happy? No in fact living alone the average person wouldn’t need to work that hard to get by. For a single adult living in king county the living wage is $11.19 which is barely above minimum. Not hard to achieve after a year or so working a low end job and the plus side is you don’t even need higher education to achieve this… However for 2 adults and lets say 1 kid in an ideal situation where 1 parent is working the living wage jumps to $21.51. No longer can an uneducated, unmotivated individual attain this. Don’t believe me? check out the living wage calculator yourself. An unintentional loss by promoting feminism and the abolishment of the patriarchy is the prevalence of work less and enjoy your time more, don’t sacrifice your time working for a corporation to make more when you don’t need it to survive. This mindset of be independent and live a minimalistic life has taken the motivation for hard work out of the equation. So what do we get with a populace of uneducated individuals with lots of free time on their hands? These statistics are what we get. link

Based on the above graph Income is apparently directly related to crime. To round up this post and get off my soapbox that I am sure is covered in rotten food thrown by the reader by now I will conclude that Patriarchy is a positive social system. That being said however I do believe in equality and feel a different word is needed to level against males exerting dominance and oppression while feeding their superiority complex. These males incorrectly use patriarchy by believing their job is any more important than their partners. That is sexism and that is unjust and should be readily punishable by law. How about we officially call them pricks. All I am putting forth is that males are natural leaders and breadwinners, without that job, s*** tends to hit the fan and we as a society suffer because of it. In my opinion respect for each gender is the key to solving these problems. If a male could come to terms with seeing that females have a rough life as well, there would be far less problems by abolishing the entitlement that all so easily leads to abuse.


  1. How has the patriarchy benefitted you or your family?
  2. Could we still achieve equality within a patriarchy?
  3. Is there a problem with masculinity and strength in todays relationships?
  4. What are your thoughts on a female supporting a stay at home husband and child and vice versa. Would you be happy knowing your other half doesn’t work 8 hours a day mon-fri and relies solely on the money you make?

Is Racial Discrimination a National Problem in the Criminal Justice System?


  Politics requires us to take a look at the big picture of current issues in order to solve them. Politics also considers similar historical evidence in much of its decision-making. In order to answer the question; is discrimination by race a national problem in the U.S., we need to look at some research. In Whitewashing Race, the Myth of a Color-Blind Society, Michael K. Brown and his associates presented three waves of social research that have been executed regarding discrimination in the Criminal Justice system. The first wave was implemented prior to the Civil Rights Movement, the results were that race did indeed have an impact in the system, such as in the courts and the police force. The second wave of research was completed throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s and was led by Alfred Blumstein of Carnegie-Melon University. Blumstein conducted research (with controlled variables) which compared African American rates of arrest for violent crimes with the imprisonment of African Americans. The results were this: “Blumstein found that about 80% of the difference between black and white imprisonment rates for crimes of violence had disappeared” (Brown, et al., 2004). The third and final wave mentioned in Brown’s article was done in the 1990’s and found that discrimination exists in the criminal justice system but in more indirect, complicated and sometimes subconscious forms. Why the sudden difference between wave 2 and wave 3? Robert Crutchfield can answer that question. Crutchfield pointed out that Blumstein’s national level of discrimination in the system did not accurately depict state rates (Brown, et al., 2004). There have since been several studies/research articles that confirm the theory that racial discrimination in the Criminal Justice system is a state-to-state problem, not a nationally universal one. This, of course, makes perfect sense since slavery was rooted in the South. Longstanding customs are culturally historic and some (like slavery) have an immense impact on the future. The three waves of research presented here tell us two important facts. One; discrimination in the system is declining over time and two: the problem is concentrated at the state level. Being aware of this problem is the first step, the next would be attempting to speed up the decline of discrimination until it is no longer a factor in our Criminal Justice System. To do this, I believe we cannot change the views of the people in our Criminal Justice System who discriminate unless we attempt to educate them. Just like many if not most people who discriminate, these offenders fall under the category of ignorance. Time too, I believe will aid in the dissipation of discrimination because these offenders soon will be discriminating against the majority, immigration will soon lead to a more racially neutral America.


  1. Do you think the problem of discrimination in the Criminal Justice system is universally national or state-wide?
  2. What could be done to rid our Criminal Justice System of racial Discrimination in our states?




(Source: Upper Southampton Patch, 2015, “And the Most Racist Place in America is…Closer Than You Think”)

            Brown, M., Carney, M., Currey, E., Duster, T., Oppenheimer, D., Shultz, M., & Wellman, D. (2004). Whitewashing race: The myth of a color-blind society. Choice Reviews Online.

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Law and Justice in Real Time Home


The growing role of social media in our everyday life is a relevant concern to the study of criminal justice, insofar as it shapes our understanding of our social world.

Indeed, every day, criminal justice issues are discussed in blog posts or Twitter messages, citizen journalists with smart phones increasingly scrutinize the actions of criminal justice professionals, and every issue ends up as a social battleground, spinning one way or another.

While this course will focus on looking at law and justice through the lens of various media, this is not precisely a media studies course. Rather, it is a course aiming at strengthening and further developing a criminological understanding of law and justice in our society.

Throughout the semester, the course’s focus will very closely follow on-going and emerging news stories, tying them back to theoretical concepts surrounding issues central to understanding law and justice, and opening up discussions.