I was in fifth grade when whispers circled the playground that a student had Googled a forbidden word in the computer lab and, despite school Internet regulation, had uncovered startling results. The few of us familiar with the term gasped or giggled at the rumors before shyly explaining to the others, “It means, like… pictures of naked people,” or something of the sort. What perplexes me is the same cloud of childish reticence within which we discuss pornography today. Our aversion to confronting the subject stems from our denial of its reality: that the American pornography industry captures the attention of millions of regular viewers and accrues an average annual revenue of over 2.8 billion dollars, according to 2012 research published in Gale database’s “The Scope of Online Pornography.” The United States’ rampant consumption of online pornography, enabled by the anonymity of the Internet, is problematic as it warps male and female perceptions of sexuality, condones sexual violence against women, and addicts viewers, leading to continued use and the deterioration of relationships. In order to curb this national epidemic, the United States must commission a new report on pornography that supports further federal regulation of online obscenity and pornography education.
Pornography, or explicit material intending to sexually arouse viewers, is disproportionately used by men. In fact, findings in “The Scope of Online Pornography” display that two-thirds of American pornography users are male, and seventy percent of males ages eighteen to twenty-four view online pornography monthly. Notably, this digitized pornographic material is radically evolved from that of pornography’s “golden age” of Playboy magazines and adult film releases in the 1960s and 70s. The Internet introduced unprecedented affordability, accessibility, and anonymity in viewing pornography to the industry. Now, users can freely stream both amateur and professional content from popular websites like YouPorn, RedTube, XVideos, and Pornhub at any hour of any day in any place with an Internet connection.
The anonymity of online pornography is its most concerning development. Jae Woong Shim of Sookmyung Women’s University and Bryant M. Paul of Indiana University in their 2014 study “The Role of Anonymity in the Effects of Inadvertent Exposure to Online Pornography[...]” surveyed eighty-four college-aged males to discern how feeling anonymous affected individuals’ pursuits of explicit materials. They found that participants who felt alone and unmonitored were more likely to pursue extreme pornography than those who felt tracked. This they attribute to the psychological state of deindividuation one enters when feeling anonymous. In this state, one’s self-awareness declines, along with one’s sense of individuality, personal responsibility, and self-control (823-825). Thus, the anonymity of the Internet increases the likelihood that individuals who receive accidental exposure to pornography (through spam emails, pop-up advertisements, etc.) will pursue the material, even if they would not pursue it normally.
This pull of online pornography appears benign to some, who glorify it as female sexual liberation. While this is plausible to say of some erotica, it is impossible to say of all pornography. Aside from the ideological argument that sexual stimulation from fantastic interaction is inherently degrading to performers, viewers, and humanity, qualitative evidence suggests that pornography is detrimental to perceptions of women and sexuality. A 2015 “Analysis of Representation of Sexuality on Women's and Men's Pornographic Websites,” by Shim and Paul evaluated two-hundred images randomly selected from two men’s and two women’s pornographic websites. It revealed that, while fifty-three percent of images from women’s sites depicted reciprocal themes like consensual sex, only four percent of images from men’s sites did so, implying that men’s pornography repeatedly normalized nonconsensual sex (57-60). Contrastingly, sexual objectification occurred more frequently on women’s sites “in the name of representing women's sexuality” than on men’s sites (58). The pervasiveness of such themes across men’s and women’s sites elucidates how both male and female pornography viewers are susceptible to the subconscious messaging of pornography’s patriarchal portrayals. This evidence corroborates “Gender (In)Equality in Internet Pornography[...],” a 2015 study by Marleen J. E. Klaassen and Jochen Peter of the Amsterdam School of Communication Research that analyzed four-hundred top-played videos from the four most-visited pornographic websites. The study uncovered that sixty percent of videos instrumentalized women, or portrayed them as tools for male sexual gratification, while only eighteen percent of videos instrumentalized men. A disparity in the portrayal of power also abounded, as forty-three percent of videos displayed women in submissive poses as compared to eleven percent of videos that displayed men in submissive poses. Most disturbingly, thirty-seven percent of videos depicted violence against women while a mere three percent of videos depicted violence against men (724-728). Such diminishing and abusive practices of instrumentalization, inequality, and violence are unjustifiable against any human in any context. Yet in pornography, they are celebrated and marketed as acceptable forms of entertainment. Far from misguided notions that it liberates women from traditional appearances of prudishness or sexlessness, pornography perpetuates the perception of women as sexual objects. It simply transitions women from one narrow social confine to another.
Still, some argue that if the price of pleasure is an inimical attitude toward women, so be it. But, attitude and action are not isolated entities. Viewing pornography tangibly affects not only users’ perspectives but their interactions as well, as exhibited in the 2014 study “Pornography and the Male Sexual Script[..]” by Chyng Sun, et. al. published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior. Among nearly five-hundred American college men examined, men who consumed greater amounts of pornography were more likely to request their partners to perform sexual acts they had viewed online. This outcome is explained by the cognitive script theory: the concept that media content serves as a code of behavior which viewers follow (983). Considering the prevalence of violence and patriarchal practices in pornography, it is highly alarming that pornography provides the “script” for many Americans’ sexual relations. Feminist Sarah Ditum in her article, “Why I Changed My Mind About Porn,” renders “[t]he pornographic vocabulary of sex as the violent debasement of the female body,” recounting how pornography “seeped out from screens and into the lives of the women [...she] knew,” women whose boyfriends “wanted to choke them, or [...] slapped them about in bed, or pressured them to do anal, or wanted to film it all.” Appallingly, these women felt obligated to comply in order to compare to pornographic performers. By portraying women consenting to harmful sexual practices, pornography standardizes the use of such practices in actual sexual relations with the false justification that women find pleasure in pain.
Pornography impedes not only dating relationships but marital relationships as well. Gerard V. Bradley, in The Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy’s Prolegomenon on Pornography, cites another of Sun’s studies to demonstrate how pornography’s uninhibited accessibility divides married couples by amplifying the male/female sex-differential (493). The sex-differential describes how, when released into “the prevailing free market in pornography,” men are exceedingly more partial to using pornography (and paraphilia and masturbation) than women, who display at most “moderate, intermittent interest” (494). Thus, pornography creates power inequalities between wives, who perform to compare with pornographic performers, and husbands, who readily return to pornography should their wives underperform. Bradley asserts that “in relationships which endure the stress introduced by the man’s pornography use, the achievement of a genuine mutuality, reciprocity, and equality across the whole of the life together is adversely impacted” (494). This stress affects husbands, too, who struggle to maintain interest in their spouses and with sexual and body-related insecurity after using pornography, even despite previous marital satisfaction and self-confidence (493). Pornography breeds disconnect, discomfort, and distrust between men and women. At every level of committed relationship, “Pornotopia drives men and women apart” (Bradley 494).
Some pro-pornography advocates cite the simultaneous decline in incidences of rape and sexual assault and increase in pornography use as evidence that pornography gratifies sexual desires which would otherwise be exerted as sexual violence. Firstly, Sun’s study disproves this conjecture, asserting that viewing violent pornography heightens viewers’ likelihoods of actuating sexual violence (983). Additionally, the simultaneity of the two statistics does not prove the causality of one; the decline in incidences of sexual violence may be attributed to a variety of other factors. The rise of social media, for example, likely contributed by widening the reach and virality of anti-sexual violence campaigns like the #MeToo movement.
Considering pornography’s detrimental effects, the prosperity of the industry is confounding. William M. Struthers, Wheaton College psychology professor and author of Wired for Intimacy: How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain, ascribes pornography’s success to its exploitation of the neurological rewards system: “[pornography works] through the same neural circuit [and] has the same effects with respects to tolerance and withdrawal” as any narcotic (qtd. in Bennet). This is because the area of the brain that controls sexual arousal is especially plastic, allowing pornography use to permanently alter neural pathways. So, when one views violent pornography, two previously unrelated neurons fire together, causing the brain to associate physical violence with sexual arousal thereafter. This reinforces Sun’s cognitive script theory, which asserts that viewers mirror media interactions (983). Additionally, Struthers expounds that sexual arousal from pornography does not satisfy the brain’s sexual appetite by releasing endorphins as actual sex does. So, viewers seek more novel forms of pornography like incest, sadomasochistic, or child pornography to be satisfied. Accordingly, viewing nonviolent pornography increases users’ tolerances of and creates demand for illicit pornography. Both a consequence and, successively, a cause of viewing pornography, pornography addiction extends pornography’s grasp on Americans in a vicious, self-renewing cycle.
We cannot comprehensively end this cycle. But, we can abate the expansion and effects of pornography by combining federal regulation and education to ensure that those who do not seek pornography do not receive inadvertent exposure and those who do seek pornography do not (inadvertently or intentionally) receive exposure to illicit or degrading pornography. However, the United States must first commission a new report on pornography. The most recent federal commission on pornography, the Meese Commission, was issued in 1986 before the rise of ubiquitous online pornography. Consequently, the investigation fails to adequately address the affordability, accessibility, and anonymity of online pornography. Its outdated report cannot justify the new legislative steps online pornography necessitates: banning illicit, violent, and degrading online pornography, mandating pornographer licensing, introducing an industry code of conduct, and including pornography education in adolescent sex education. Moreover, the Meese Commission failed, as the United States still fails today, to enforce existing obscenity laws and prosecute pornographers who violate those laws. As Bradley reports, “the distribution of material which is unquestionably obscene [in the United States] [...] has been effectively decriminalized” (483). Congress attempted such enforcement in 1996 with the Communications Decency Act (CDA) and again in 2004 with the Child Online Protection Act (COPA), both of which criminalized and attempted to regulate the circulation of online pornography to minors. However, the ACLU successfully contested both acts, claiming they violated the First Amendment and infringed upon adults’ rights to view pornography (Bradley 462). Rather than attempting to pass another overbroad piece of legislation as a definitive solution to pornography, Congress must pass smaller, more precise regulations that target pornographers without denying American adults their rights to view (legal) pornography.
Some argue that government has no place in the pornography debate. Yet, unless the federal government asserts that pornography is detrimental to society, the notion will continue to be dismissed as solely an issue to women or the conservative, traditional, or religious-minded. Not only will a new federal commission on pornography organize multitudes of research and analysis to prove pornography’s harms, but it will initiate a nationwide conversation on pornography. It will convince Americans of pornography’s pertinence, of how, as Bradley affirms, “our common culture has been decisively shaped by pornography, and so therefore have we” (487). Undoubtedly, this commission will incite fervent opposition from pornographers and pornography websites, who wish to conceal pornography’s degradation of women and exploitation of users, and from users themselves, who would rather ignore pornography's psychological and social ramifications than confront them. Yet, if the United States is to protect Americans against the institutionalized objectification and abuse of women, the deterioration of relationships, and addiction, it must not be deterred by opposition.
Some claim that, because of the omnipresence and widespread acceptance of pornography, all endeavors to eradicate it are futile. This argument misinterprets the aims of my proposition. A new federal commission on pornography aims to prompt education and legislation. Education aims to initiate a conversation on pornography. Legislation aims to ensure that, when curious fifth-graders or overly-anxious college-grads furtively Google “porn,” the images and videos that instantaneously flood their screen depict compassionate, consensual sex, not glorified violence in the nude. Conversely, others claim that simply “purifying” pornography is not enough; as long as it persists, so will Americans’ distorted perceptions of sexuality. Yet, the sexualization of American culture is ingrained in (social) media, celebrity culture, family values, individual values, and more. Pornography is but one factor. So, rather than combat pornography’s existence, we must combat forms of pornography that are illegal or obviously degrading. We must demand pornography that reflects American freedom and egalitarianism. Neither helpless enough to continue in our broken ways nor capable enough to start afresh, we must seek to reform what we began. After all, we live not in Dystopia nor in Utopia. We live in Pornotopia.
Contrary to claims that it epitomizes women’s liberation, pornography is the propaganda of sexual violence. It is the perpetrator of sexual objectification. It warps male and female perceptions of sexuality by institutionalizing the desire to practice violence against women and obligating women to perform sexual acts that sacrifice their comfort, safety, and dignity. Thus, pornography completes the sexualization of male dominance. We can no longer dismiss the problems pornography poses to women and society; we must advocate for government-led change within the industry. If the price for pleasure is female humanity, then it is not a price we can morally pay.
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According to a 2016 report issued by the U.S. Sentencing Commission, a government agency that produces federal sentencing guidelines, nearly half of the federal offenders released in 2005 reoffended and returned to prison (“Recidivism Among Offenders: A Comprehensive Overview” 5). To put this into context, imagine if almost the entire population of Goleta (over 25,000 people) came home from prison and then, within 8 years, half were imprisoned again. The very system that is intended to reform prisoners is what needs reform itself. Recidivism is a result of the poor transition and reintegration of ex-convicts into society in addition to a lack of research into effective reentry programs, which in turn has led to surging prison populations and their accompanying costs. The antidote to recidivism is not to mindlessly expand prisons, but to invest in reentry services that will provide prisoners with critical and effective help before they are reintroduced to society.
To understand a major part of why incarceration rates are greater than ever, one must ask why prisoners commonly return to jail after release. This return is known as recidivism. Today the unsuccessful reentry into society is more problematic than ever. Though a great volume of ex-prisoners are released each year, many of them re-engage in criminal activity and return to jail (“Recidivism Among Offenders: A Comprehensive Overview” 5). High recidivism rates in the U.S. reflect the prison system’s failed mission to rehabilitate prisoners. Currently, understanding why recidivism occurs enables legislators to make informed decisions and changes regarding prison and sentencing policies. Specifically, research on the effectiveness of reentry programs, as well as “specific deterrence, incapacitation, and rehabilitation” methods allow lawmakers to enact evidence-based reforms in order to reduce recidivism (“Recidivism Among Offenders: A Comprehensive Overview” 3). Legislators and prison administrators agree that recidivism is a costly problem, but continue to pour taxpayer dollars into prison expansion instead of moving forward with employing reentry services. Reentry efforts are put on hold until more research yields conclusive results.
In the article “Prisoner Reentry,” prison reform expert Peter Katel provides a brief history of prisoner reentry and recidivism in the U.S.: Before the 1970s, recidivism was not a prominent problem; crime rates were relatively low. Rising drug-related offences increased the crime rate dramatically during the 70s and 80s, prompting Congress to take action. Legislators dismissed or gave little support to rehabilitation methods, and instead turned to charging prisoners with harsher, longer sentences labeled “mandatory minimums” and “get tough” laws (1018). Katel goes on to explain that though an encouraging decrease in crime occurred in the 1990s, the cost of correctional facilities escalated and prisons expanded as jail populations swelled. Ignoring criticism and the troublesome economic effects of mass imprisonment, the U.S. continued to implement “get-tough” laws that emphasized tougher punishment and lengthened sentences, until the worry of financial strains became more of a concern than the waning violent crime rates. According to Katel, after 2003, “the nation’s prison and jail population had passed the 2 million mark ― the world’s highest”, and government’s attention shifted to the pressing need of prison reform (1020). Currently, high prison populations and costs result from rising recidivism rates, and convicts are flooding in and out of prisons at overwhelming rates. Though former President George W. Bush’s “Second Chance Act” in 2008 granted funds for the improvement of the U.S. prison system, support for reentry programs is still lacking and recidivism continues to be a great burden on government budgets (1014-1020). It is important to recognize the gravity, enormity, and societal expense of recidivism in the U.S. today.
One explanation for recidivism today is that not enough research is being conducted on effective rehabilitation. A possible solution to recidivism, called “reentry programs” has gained traction, but the need for governmental or philanthropic funds has prevented their ability to “reach their full potential in terms of implementation, sustainability, and outcomes” as told by prisoner reentry researcher Dr. Jennifer L. Bryan in the article “Envisioning a Broader Role for Philanthropy in Prison Reform” (575). When one searches “reentry programs in the US,” the top links beg for funding and support, urging the reader to realize the magnitude of recidivism by advertising the alarming but true numbers of returnees. These reentry programs aim to ease the transition of former prisoners into society through guidance and counseling. With the meager financial support offered toward reentry programs, they have been unable to both practice and evaluate their work, and results have varied in success. But, in order to shift the focus of funds from prison space towards reentry programs, “advocates must show hard data on what kinds of reentry programs lower recidivism most effectively” (Katel 1009). Evidence of solid statistics is challenging to produce. For example, one study “had no effect on housing, employment, substance abuse, or recidivism,” while another “increased employment […] but the effects were not long standing. However, the evaluation further revealed that CEO [Center for Employment Opportunities] significantly reduced recidivism” (576). Differing success rates for reentry programs has prevented them from being enthusiastically pursued. Instead, money is funneling into ever-expanding prisons and only trickling into reentry services.
Another cause of recidivism involves the obstacles ex-prisoners face as they return to their communities. Reintegration is complex, and without careful supervision and support, individuals are easily tempted to return to crime, and, subsequently, return to jail. The most critical and vulnerable time for an ex-prisoner is the “moment of release” as well as the following year (Lynch and Sabol qtd. in Phillips and Spencer 125). In other words, an offender is most likely to recidivate during the first year that he or she is released, as disclosed in the U.S. Sentencing Commission study (“Recidivism Among Offenders: A Comprehensive Overview” 16). The major problems former prisoners struggle with during this time are “jobs, housing, reconnecting with families, substance abuse, and health,” according to “The Challenges of Reentry from Prison to Society,” a journal article by Albright College psychologists Lindsay A. Phillips and W. Michelle Spencer (125). In order to find financial stability and housing after being released, ex-prisoners seek employment, often without prior work experience. Yet, jails do not generally provide inmates with vocational and/or financial education and training. Furthermore, many employers do not hire formerly convicted individuals. These “barriers” can be discouraging and inhibiting, and without help, former prisoners may fall back into criminal activity (Phillips and Spencer 126, 127). Because of the lack of supervision and pre-release preparation for reentry, formerly incarcerated persons are not equipped with the tools to cope, and may turn to illegal methods to make a living. “Million Dollar Blocks” are a clear example of this phenomenon (Clear and Cadora qtd. in Bryan et al. 575). Many ex-prisoners reside in neighborhoods that are destitute and have low education and employment rates. These communities are coined “Million Dollar Blocks” because of the tremendous expense of incarcerating the residents (Bryan et al. 575). The unfortunate solution to maintaining a living as well as respect in these communities is by selling drugs, which leads to rearrest and eventually recidivism. Formal work opportunities are scarce, and illegal work opportunities are plentiful, illustrating the paradox of the problem.
One consequence of recidivism is the towering prison populations in the U.S. and the resulting costs. Currently, the U.S prison population is about 2.2 million people, meaning our jails hold “25 percent of the world’s incarcerated” (Bryan et al. 572). The high probability of recidivism for those released has led to prison systems, the government, and taxpayers struggling to keep up with the mass expansion of prisons and the price tag that comes with it. Prisons consume a large portion of the national budget: “only Medicaid [health care] soaks up more state general fund money than prison systems” (Katel 1007). Due to budgetary and tax restrictions, the government is unwilling to invest in subsidies for reentry programs, which could eventually save more money. In 2009, the state of California provided a case study on the consequences of spending on bulging prisons without effective rehabilitation services. With extreme budget shortages, California continued to spend on expanding prisons rather than fund the “overwhelmed parole system” or reentry programs (Katel 1022). Prisons continue to grow and recidivism rates rise as California’s short term solutions do not “address the problem that caused the symptom” (Leno qtd. in Katel 1023). Recidivism is expensive and impacts not just prisoners, but the prison system, government, communities, and taxpayers. According to economics professor Mark A. Nadler, in his essay “Comprehensive Reentry Programs Will Reduce Recidivism,” the public pays for recidivism in two ways. First, the expense: Mass incarceration has led to a “lost national income” because of the number of potential workers imprisoned (Nadler). In addition, incarceration costs nationally increased by over 600 percent from 1982 to 2002, the probability of ex-prisoners to recidivate continued to rise (Nadler). Secondly, the safety and health of the communities and families of ex-prisoners are jeopardized, as illustrated in the previously referenced “Million Dollar Blocks” with high crime rates and low income (Bryan et al. 575). An increase in recidivism translates to an increase in crime and victims of crime.
Reentry programs, which aid inmates before, during, and after their release, are one way to decrease recidivism. By definition,“Reentry is the process of successfully transitioning an individual from incarceration back to the community” (Nadler). The goal of a transitional program is to take deliberate, careful measures in order to ensure that an individual does not recidivate once released from prison. This support is crucial, especially during the year of reintegration into society because the likelihood that an ex-prisoner will recidivate is higher. Some reentry programs in jails currently provide education, mentoring, and mental health care, but just 15 to 21% prepare inmates for future vocational or financial difficulties (Nadler). This statistic is significant, given that one of the major challenges ex-prisoners confront is difficulty getting hired due to little work experience. Unemployment inevitably leads to economic struggles, and precarious finances are what often cause an individual to return to crime (Nadler). In addition, most services begin later during an individual’s incarceration, but Nadler recommends initiating reentry programs immediately upon intake into local jails. In other words, “early intervention” that promotes job skills and financial literacy, is critical to prevent future criminal involvement (Stokes qtd. In Nadler).
To further illustrate this concept, early intervention is similar to preventative medicine, including prenatal care. Early interventions with young parents has a demonstrated payoff by reducing preventable health issues and avoidable emergencies. Similarly, incarcerated individuals benefit greatly from reentry programs that begin as soon as they are admitted. This approach is necessary to ensure the person has a chance of success outside of prison. The United States Federal Bureau of Prisons stands by these practices, and emphasizes pre-release services that start “the first day of incarceration” and “intensifies at least 18 months prior to release” (“Reentry Programs”). Using this methodology, training has a higher chance at being effective and, ultimately, reduces recidivism and jail or prison populations. But does this work for all types of prisoners?
The racial makeup of U.S. prisoners cannot be ignored. However, while specific ethnicities and race are disproportionately prominent in the demographic of prisons, there is not a strong correlation between ethnicity and returning to jail. According to the U.S. Sentencing Commission, “Rearrest rates for White, Black, and Hispanic offenders in CHC IV [Criminal History Category IV] are 69.7 percent, 77.6 percent, and 75.4 percent, respectively” (24). To clarify, the U.S. Sentencing Commission explains that an offender’s CHC represents their total criminal history points. A person with a higher CHC has committed more crimes, and therefore, is more likely to repeatedly return to prison. The U.S Sentencing Commission determined that factors such as criminal history, age, and education level are much stronger predictors of recidivism (19, 23, and 24). Recognizing the characteristics of a person who is likely to recidivate is a key step in administering effective reentry programs. For instance, a 30-year-old male with a serious criminal record (meaning a high CHC) and no high school diploma is at a high risk of recidivating. He would require more supervision, training, and support in order to lower the chance of reincarceration. Conversely, a 60-year-old female with a college degree is far less likely to recidivate (“Recidivism Among Offenders: A Comprehensive Overview” 27). Utilizing the existing statistics and studies on the demographic of recidivism can help guide decision makers to what amount and what type of support each prisoner needs before and after release.
Katel explains that policy makers are skeptical of reentry programs and are reluctant to put money into prison-reentry services that have had inconsistent results (1009). But if the majority of U.S. prisoners will eventually be released, excluding those with life sentences, they need support to minimize their rates of return (Katel 1009). Though more data on the criminology of transitional programs is much needed, Katel asserts that the short term solution of expanding prisons is more costly for state governments and taxpayers than funding reentry programs that “can cut long-term prison costs” (Katel 1009). While I recognize that there is a category of prisoners who “are hardened” and who participate in programs which may “have very little impact on them,” well over 50 percent of prisoners can potentially transition smoothly into society due to reentry services (Katel 1010). Moreover, “[the] thousands of new crimes each year could easily be averted through improved reentry efforts” (Bloomberg qtd. in Katel 1012). Critics’ attacks on reentry programs are undermined by the economics of the U.S. prison system’s current remedy―the shockingly high spending on prison space. Rather than following California’s footsteps by ignoring the problem, the implementation of transitional programs focused on work and financial skills is the answer. If one were to ask “Why spend to help criminals?”, I would respond “Would you, as a taxpayer, rather invest money in placing more people behind bars or on the services that will keep them crime-free and productive?” Changing the government’s spending target is necessary to reduce prison populations and recidivism rates.
Recidivism is more prevalent than ever, and the hope for promising reentry programs is shattered by the cost of swelling prisons. Former convicts are often carelessly released into their communities without adequate preparation. Therefore, overcrowding in prisons and the expense of expansion are rising as recidivism rates increase. Transforming the way our broken correctional system is funded and investing in reentry programs will help incarcerated individuals before they are released. Furthermore, new and existing research about the causes and the demographic of recidivism must be pursued and applied. There is little excuse for the extraordinary volume of those incarcerated in the U.S. today.
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The phrase “When I call her my husband” startles readers. Their eyes, which previously glanced flippantly over the sentence, now reread it carefully, staring suspiciously at each word to ensure that what they read was correct. “Her” and “husband?” Together? That must be an error! Yet, this provocation is the exact intention of Barrie Jean Borich, award-winning American author, whose essay detailing the intricacies of her lesbian relationship is titled just so. The power asserted by language over identity is similarly discussed in “How to Tame a Wild Tongue,” in which renowned Chicana author and scholar Gloria Anzaldúa illuminates the plight of Chicano communities in forming distinct individualities. Both texts are centered around the concept of otherness: the generalization of a person based upon a sole characteristic or group which they represent. Within two differing contexts, Borich and Anzaldúa criticize the problematic nature of binaries for how they deny a person’s humanity and force them to reside in psychological “borderlands” of alienation from themselves and others. In response, both authors illustrate the complexity of the “Others” so that they might be seen for the people who they are and transcend the labels which have been placed upon them.
In the first line of “When I Call Her My Husband,” Borich introduces readers to her relational dilemma: “Linnea [Borich’s partner] and I [Borich] have been lovers for all these years, and I wonder--are we married?” (1). The piece was authored prior to the national legalization of homosexual marriage, when the question of whether or not a committed homosexual couple should be considered a married one was hotly contested. Linnea endearingly replies, “‘I think you’re my wife,’” to which Borich responds, “‘You are my wife, too’” (2). Yet at this, Linnea stiffens. She pulls away from Borich. In detailing these gradations in Linnea's physicality, Borich expresses the distress Linnea’s newfound title causes her. “Wife,” a title which diminishes more than it celebrates, denies Linnea’s “masculine” attributes and compromises her character. Borich and Linnea’s interaction demonstrates the issues that heteronormative terminology poses to lesbian couples. Should one be called “Wife” if she is more masculine than feminine? Can one be called “husband” if she is a woman? Borich and Linnea are pressed to answer to these unsettling questions and are forced to question their personal identities and the status of their relationship. Here, Borich elucidates the immense power that language holds over identity -- an ill-fitting label can estrange us from ourselves and others, distorting our perception of self and making us “unknowable” to even those closest to us (Borich 2). Borich summarizes this struggle in describing the dual nature of relationship diction: “[it is a] language which we are at once completely a part of and completely excluded from” (2). While the title “Married Couple” reflects Borich and Linnea’s intimacy and commitment to one another, it simultaneously represents their exclusion from a binary society.
This alienating property of binary language is also interpreted in “How to Tame a Wild Tongue,” but within the context of the Chicano community. Anzaldúa explains how Chicanos struggle to find their place among Spanish purists, who chastise them for “[mutilating]” Spanish with the “oppressor’s” (English) influence and English purists, who disdain them for tainting English with the Latin tongue (467). Neither Spanish enough nor English enough, Chicanos “have internalized the belief that…[Chicano Spanish] is illegitimate, a bastard language” (475). Furthermore, Anzaldúa asserts, this belief causes Chicanos to feel “Pena,” or shame for their language, which consequently undermines their linguistic and ethnic identities (475). As Anzaldúa declares, “I am my language. Until I can take pride in my language, I cannot take pride in myself. Until I can accept as legitimate […the] languages I speak, I cannot accept the legitimacy of myself” (476). Anzaldúa demonstrates her linguistic pride and legitimizes her language by sprinkling un-translated Spanish throughout her writing. Ultimately, Anzaldúa reminds readers that exclusive binaries and hierarchical language lead to the deterioration of cultures and loss of entire communities. This, Anzaldúa labels “the borderland conflict” (479). And when internalized, this conflict is dangerously demeaning and repressive.
So, how are we to reverse the damaging effects of the binary infrastructure which we have created? Both Borich and Anzaldúa point to acknowledging the incapacity of binaries to describe entire populations as the first step. In “When I Call Her My Husband,” Borich disputes whether “Wife” or “Husband” best fits Linnea. After surveying the two titles, Borich eventually discerns that neither is wholly accurate. She refuses to accept the limitations imposed by binary terminology. Borich further displays the terms’ insufficiencies with four vignettes --one set on the dance floor, one on Linnea’s motorcycle, a third at a nightclub, and the last at Home-- that illustrate Linnea’s complexities and her consequent affinities for both “Wife” and “Husband.” By painting Linnea as at once authentically female and undeniably masculine, Borich reveals the injustice of simplifying a person into a single term. She forces readers to empathize with Linnea and prevents them from othering her.
Anzaldúa also observes the normalization of binaries: “Yet the struggle of identities continues, the struggle of borders is our reality still” (479). A member of the Chicano community herself, Anzaldúa is proof that categories like “English” and “Spanish” are not all-encompassing. Anzaldúa explores this theme linguistically by naming eight different languages spoken by Chicanos --“1. Standard English / 2. Working class and slang English / 3. Standard Spanish / 4. Standard Mexican Spanish / 5. North Mexican Spanish dialect / 6. Chicano Spanish [...] / 7. Tex-Mex / 8. Pachuco”-- in order to demonstrate how such diversity cannot be accurately described by a single term like “Hispanic.” (473). This dramatic contrast between the reality of multiplicity and terminology of singularity causes readers empathize with Chicanos and question the acceptance of such pervasive generalization.
Both Borich and Anzaldúa challenge existing binaries. Borich insists that Linnea is both woman and husband through repeating “when I call her my husband I mean that she’s a woman[...]” incessantly throughout her essay and Anzaldúa echoes this cry in her resounding refusal to assimilate: “Stubborn, persevering, impenetrable as stone, yet possessing a malleability that renders us unbreakable, we the mestizas and mestizos, will remain” (Borich 2, Anzaldúa 480). Both Borich and Anzaldúa challenge Others to boldly own the borderlands in which they reside, claim their distinct identities, and share their stories. And together, in the sweet Spanish of Gloria Anzaldúa, we are all challenged to “[tratar] de cerrar la fisura” between the binaries and strive for an integrated future in which every existence is recognized as legitimate (42).
Anzaldúa, Gloria. “How to Tame a Wild Tongue.” The Norton Reader: An Anthology of
Nonfiction. 14th ed., edited by Melissa A. Goldthwaite et al. W. W. Norton & Company,
Borich, Barrie Jean. “When I Call Her My Husband.” Student Reader, compiled by Frank
Koroshec, 2018. 1-3.
Public and private are antonyms, two terms that are considered opposite but are undeniably related. These two concepts often thought of to be separate, significantly impact one another as a result of societal influence. In her essay, “When I call her my Husband” Barie Jean Borich, award winning American writer, discusses the challenges of classifying her private relationship with her significant other. Similarly, Richard Rodriguez, American essayist and teacher, in his essay, “Aria”, describes how his relationships with his family members changed overtime as a result of public influence. In both works, the authors contemplate what is lost when we conform to social expectations; however, while Rodriguez speaks of loss of private language to gain public voice, Borich highlights a gap in public language that accurately represents her private reality. The authors emphasize how in society the concept of otherness, categorizing people based on difference thereby denying individuality, impacts our private lives.
In his piece, Rodriguez discusses the effects of public language on private home life. Rodriguez begins by describing his childhood, growing up as a Spanish speaking student in an English speaking school system. During this time, Rodriguez finds it difficult to balance his familiar Spanish language with the lessons he is learning at school. He recounts feeling “the clash of two worlds” (Rodriguez 275). The practice of being instructed to speak English in school and Spanish at home lead Rodriquez to believe “English was intrinsically a public language and Spanish was an intrinsically private one...” (Rodriguez 277). This statement demonstrates the conflicting worlds of public and private. Conflict Rodriguez explains, lead to a divide within the home. As Rodriguez and his siblings learned English, they began to separate from their parents. Although the children were able to assimilate successfully into the surrounding society, their private reality became distant and unfamiliar. For example, Rodriguez reflects, “At the moment they [his parents] saw me, I heard their voices change to speak English. Those gringo sounds they uttered startled me. Pushed me away”(Rodriguez 276). He remembers hearing his parents adapt to English, the language promoted by surrounding culture. However, this adaptation made him feel uncomfortable in his own home. Similarly, in school, the result of teachers emphasizing the importance of English made Rodriguez uncomfortable in the public setting. Rodriguez felt isolated leading to his decision to assimilate. Without this assimilation, Rodriguez would have struggled feeling like an outcast and as he writes, he would not have believed he was an “American citizen.” However, in avoidance of otherness, Rodriguez lost connection to his private relationships and cultural identity.
The solution to this problem, according to Rodriguez, is a necessary one. Although, it should not have to be. Rodriguez finds that to be successful as an American citizen one must fully assimilate to the surrounding society. For Rodriguez that meant learning to speak English, and leaving behind the language and characteristics of Spanish speaking culture. He discusses his struggle with this loss by stating, “After English became my primary language, I no longer knew what words to use in addressing my parents. The old Spanish words...I couldn’t use anymore...On the other hand, the words I heard neighborhood kids use to call their parents seemed equally unsatisfactory” (Rodriguez 277). A struggle with representative language surrounded Rodriguez. He was included in and excluded from both languages at the same time. Meaning, Spanish no longer felt like an option and English was not fitting either. The need to decide upon one language forced Rodriguez to change. He writes, “What I did not believe was that I could speak a single public language” (Rodriguez 274). This belief did not come out thin air. It was fostered by his environment, the society around him. His decision to change, prompted by this coerced belief, brought about loss: loss of language, loss of comfortability, and loss of family unity. As an illustration, Rodriguez states, “Once I learned public language it would never again be easy for me to hear intimate family voices” (Rodriguez 279). This statement summarizes Rodriguez’s internal struggle between the conflicting worlds of public and private. His adaptation to expectations yielded loss, but the acquisition of common language also positively impacted his life by giving him a public voice.
Borich, on the other hand, is a lesbian woman who struggled finding public language to represent her private relationship with her long time significant other, Linnea. Borich Describes her struggle with language by stating, “...in that queer way we learn to roll with a language we are at once completely apart of and completely excluded from.” Similar to Rodriguez, Borich feels both apart of and excluded from a language. For Borich, it is not an entire language but a representative one. When Borich asks Linnea “Do you think we’re married?” (Borich 2) she responds stating “I think you’re my wife” (Borich 2). Borich replies , “‘You are my wife too.’ But this is not the right word for it. I can feel the vague tensing in her [Linnea] limbs” (Borich 2). Borich struggles with the fact that there is not language that accurately describes her personal relationship. She finds that the word wife does not fit Linnea and even makes her feel uncomfortable, pushing her away. This lack of public language complicates their private relationship by forcing Borich to consider, “In all those places, public and private, I ask her ‘Are we married?’” (Borich 5). Borich feels the need to label their relationship because as a society, we have created a need for this categorization. The public world casts us into binaries based on larger concepts like race, gender, language, and sexual orientation in an attempt to understand us. We even do it to ourselves. We search for something to belong to so that we are not considered to be different. However, this process only forces us to highlight our own otherness. In Borich’s case, she finds herself attempting to conform to the terms of marriage, like husband and wife, although they do not apply. She seeks labels to describe her private relationship in terms that the public can understand.
The themes addressed in Borich’s work raise a series of questions many have yet to consider. This is exemplified in the conclusion of her testimonial when she asks her significant other if they are married, even after establishing that they are “husband and wife.” Borich leaves this powerful question unanswered forcing the reader to consider why does it matter if they are married or not? The question reflects otherness in society. If they are not married then how can we understand them or categorize them? How can they understand themselves? Furthermore, in describing her struggles conforming to the concept of marriage and the terms husband and wife Borich asks, “Can I call her husband without meaning man? Without meaning woman who wants to be a man”(Borich 2). These articulations hold significant meaning and clearly display how there is a lack of representative language. In addition, Borich also asks, “Who does the word fit?”(Borich 2). The words we use, like husband and wife, have their own connotations that have developed over time, generalizing them and making it difficult to accurately describe their intended subjects: human beings and the unique relationships we share. Labels are made important by the public world and the significance they hold enables them to impact into our personal lives.
The impact of public categorization on our private lives is inescapable. This influence has been made clear through the testimonies of Richard Rodriguez and Barrie Jean Borich who both experienced public impact on their private worlds. As a result of the fear of otherness, both authors searched for public language in an effort to conform to societal expectation. However, otherness too, is inescapable. The categorization of human beings based on difference is a common, undeniable practice. However, instead of demonizing the differences between one another, we must learn to celebrate them. We must stop in our attempts to classify each other because if we continue we minimize the power of language.
Borich, Barrie Jean. “When I Call Her My Husband.” My Lesbian Husband:
Landscapes of a Marriage, Graywolf, 2000, pp. 1-5.
Rodriguez, Richard. “Aria.” The Norton Reader: An Anthology of Nonfiction, edited
by Melissa A. Goldthwaite et al., shorter 14th ed., W.W. Norton, 2017, pp. 274-79.
Voting is both a right and a privilege here in the United States. However, though this is true, not nearly enough citizens are letting their voice be heard in terms of sparking change or starting conversations, making it harder to call the U.S. the “Land of the Free.” But, we can’t merely blame American citizens. Due to the government making voting laws incomprehensible, along with public schools not preparing students to participate, uneducated voters walk the streets of the U.S. every day, missing out on their opportunity to participate fully in their democracy. However, with the help of local government leaders and the amelioration of public school’s curriculum, this crisis is fixable.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 changed many factors for Southern Black communities. Ronald J. Terchek, professor of government and politics at the University of Maryland, College Park, in his article, “Political Participation and Political Structures: The Voting Rights Act of 1965,” explains that, “In 1964, the year before the Voting Rights Act was passed by Congress, 24.6 percent of the blacks were registered in the Deep South compared to 56.5 percent in 1967” (28). This shows that the main factor preventing blacks from voting was the literacy tests and poll taxes, and once they were eliminated, we saw more than double the voter turnout. However, Terchek also argues that though many see the poll tax as a law that held back black voters, when the poll tax was taken away, there was less of an increase in instant voter registration than the states that had no poll tax to begin with (26). Change isn’t expected to have immediate effect on the society, thus voter registration increased and progressed over time. Though the literacy test was one that disenfranchised black voters and made it nearly impossible for them to become eligible to vote, the idea that minority voters should be educated was fair. Therefore, as a society, we must continue to make sure that not only minorities are being educated, but that all Americans are educated for the future of our democracy. Though suppressive, the simple idea of education could have helped citizens make better choices in their democracy.
According to the United States Census Bureau, which displays data from the government to the public, in the 2016 presidential election, 64.2% of Americans (both male and female) 18 years or older were registered to vote; however, only 56% of them actually voted (“Data”). This disparity is frightening, and makes me think that citizens either didn’t have time to vote, or rather, they didn’t care. In fact, in an excerpt from Does Your Vote Matter? (Special Report) by Business Week, the authors claim that, “‘[A]mong 172 countries with democratic elections, the US ranks 139th in participation’” (qtd. in “Government” 18). Citizens may have their excuses, and we’ve heard them all, but nothing can excuse an American for not acting upon their civic duty, or supporting their free country, government, and democracy. Why call the United States a democracy if not everyone is politically active? The Virginia Journal of Education, which provides current information on trends and issues, explains the correlation between education and voting, sharing that, “The higher level of education, the higher voting rate”, and indeed proved that “29.9% of high school dropouts voted, while 49.1% of high school graduates did, along with 72.6% of college graduates, according to the U.S. Census Bureau” (“Public Schools Help” 7). Though perhaps outdated, as the research was conducted in 1996, the main idea that educated citizens are more likely to vote remains constant. Furthermore, if educated civilians are more likely to vote, the government should ensure that the public school curricula doing its job correctly, efficiently, and substantially.
The government supposedly runs everything, yet they can’t seem to help us vote. In fact, they make it harder for us by making the laws and propositions too complex for the common person to understand. According to Ronald J. Terchek, the historic increase of registered, black voters from 1964-1967 was accomplished through local communicative leaders that explained, in a much simpler way, the necessary steps for registration (33). This was able to draw in many voters, as these leaders also provided child care and other services during the times of voting. For future advancements, we should look back at history to see what was successful, and appoint local leaders to help with not only voting registration, but providing services on election day to ensure the highest possible number of voters. If the government wants us to vote and be politically active, then why are they making it so hard for us to do it while they could find ways to be more supportive?
Some of the problem involving voting disparities, Ted Selker, MIT Director argues, derives from technology and the various ways of modern voting. He explains that over 2% of the 150 million registered voters in the United States were unable to vote in the year 2000 due to database errors, equipment glitches, and the difficulties of polling places, such as the seemingly endless lines (qt’d in “Government” 18). Two percent of 150 million, to look at in a bigger lens, is 3 million; thus, that’s 3 million votes lost due to the government’s inability to provide equally productive polling places to all areas across the United States. Not only is it the responsibility of the Americans to vote, but more importantly, it’s the duty of the government to guarantee that everyone has equal voting opportunities. Lisa Schur, professor and Chair of the Department of Labor Studies and Employment Relations, in her article, “Disability, Voter Turnout, and Polling Place Accessibility”, finds that inaccessible polling places reduce the number of votes from the disabled, and may make them feel unwelcome to exercise their rights of being an American citizen (1375). An American is an American, no matter their race, gender, sexuality, or background, and just because they may be different, it doesn’t mean they can be suppressed of a freedom given to everyone else. Disabled bodies are proven to have more difficulty voting, as shown in a poll taken from the United States Census Bureau. They claimed that “almost one-third (30.1 percent) of voters with disabilities reported one or more difficulties in voting, compared to about one-twelfth (8.4 percent) of voters without disabilities” (Schur 1380). The disparity here is over 20%, and to put this into perspective, about 3.4 million disabled voters reported a complication in the voting process. Schur also explains that out of the various types of dilemmas (which included seeing the ballot, understanding how to work the technology, finding the polling place, and writing on the ballot), comprehending modern technology was one of the majorities (1382). Technology is one thing that is always updating, but the government must take control of this, and realize that not everyone has the same abilities to toil with these modern, confusing electronics. Overall, these flaws are fixable, especially when it comes to making aspects simpler. They can be corrected with the help of national leaders, and therefore, the government must update, improve, and reform its technology and the voting process in order to ensure full participation.
Public school curriculum across the United States isn’t implementing American history nearly as much as necessary. In fact, “Almost a decade ago, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute[...] found that three-fifths of the states had weak or inefficient U.S. history standards” (Kaufer-Busch 64). Though this number may sound surprising, it fits into the fact that there is an absence of substantial content in core standards throughout the country. Not only is the curriculum failing, but in specific, the textbooks are “light on subject matter, watered down on content, peppered with partisan perspectives, and written in a boring tone” (Kaufer-Busch 65). Textbooks are a main part of the school’s curriculum, and Kaufer-Busch proves that the students aren’t getting any valuable information out of them. Thus, we can conclude that students in U.S. history courses are being robbed of a true, content-rich class. If the government wants us to be so politically active, they should shape the school curriculum to teach us about becoming those people, and if they do that, we can expect the individual to take responsibility, voice their thoughts freely through voting, and most importantly take advantage of our free democracy.
Education is clearly the key to a successful career path. No matter what career or field is chosen, an individual will benefit from education, and little do they know that it may influence their economic status, along with their well being. The Virginia Journal of Education explicitly claims that “Public schools remain the backbone of American democracy. [...] They offer a way for diverse groups to learn to survive and thrive together” (“Public Schools Help” 10). Not only do educational standards provide essential skills for becoming socially and economically successful, but they make a productive future a possibility for anyone willing to learn. In the book, Civic Education and the Future of American Citizenship, Elizabeth Kaufer Busch, professor of American Studies at Christopher Newport University, claims that “Knowledge of our history is central to the character of our citizens and our nation[...]” (61). If character really counts, as learned in elementary school, then we should start paying more attention to the history of our country because not only does it affect our personalities, but it affects the way we live and our how we make our day-to-day decisions. As a society in whole, we could highly benefit from more knowledge of how our country came to be, and right now is when Americans need it the most. If we aren’t informed, we make unsound decisions about politics, practically creating our own monster for the future. Kaufer-Busch also explains a study in 2007 that conducted reports from college freshmen, and saw that they scored close to a 51% on a basic politics and U.S. history exam, while seniors only performed 3% higher (62). If college students don’t understand the government, what makes public education curriculum creators think that they will learn it all on their own?
John Dewey, American philosopher and educator, made the strong correlation between education and democracy known to society, thinking that in order to be successful, the public school curriculum needed to be relevant to the students’ lives, which meant developing and practicing crucial life skills for the bigger society to come (qt’d in Neiman). This doesn’t imply reforming the curriculum, rather it suggests additives that may make students more aware and understanding of the democratic society they live in. However, Andreas Mårdh and Ásgeir Tryggvason, professors of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences at Örebro University in Sweden, argue that a democratic education is one that “revolves around the living with others” (603). Their interpretation of a true democratic education is one that, “[is] an associative life with others that is characterized by the interplay between belonging together on the one hand, and differing from each other on the other” (603). To a certain extent, this argument is reasonable, and it does define how a society works. However, it’s missing the most important feature of a democratic society, which is what this country has established in the Constitution: a society that favors equal rights, freedom of speech, a fair trial, and tolerates the views of minorities.
The education system and curricula is something that should always be modernizing and upgrading. John Quay, professor at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, asserts that “Education itself should be similarly reformed, reconstructed, reorganized, such that it could be part of, and contribute positively to, the ongoing changes being experienced [in the world]” (1014). The best way to prepare a student for their future is to teach them lessons that will apply to their future, and if we never leave the traditional textbook education system, we won’t be preparing them for a modern, civilized world. Quay also describes John Dewey’s viewpoint, adding that, “‘Democracy can not endure, much less develop, without education[...]’” (1016). Because education is fundamental to a working democracy, when one thing changes or updates, the other should as well. Unfortunately, however, we see a lot more democratic change than we see educational change.
Voting has come a long way since the start of democratic government in 1796. Historically, the voting process and who it applies to has been one of the most changed aspects of government and law in the United States. The disparities, though, in current elections are concerning, and there will always be room for improvement in our free democracy. The national government makes it harder for us to understand what could be simple laws, they make it difficult for the citizens to raise their voice on election day, and public school curriculum isn’t emphasizing nearly enough on U.S. history or government. For future successes, we must prepare our youth at early ages in education for the democratic action to come, and improve current voting conditions. After all, “memory is an essential part of human life because, regardless of our awareness or recognition of its influence, it informs our daily decisions” (Kaufer-Busch 61). This memory, this sense of understanding and awareness, can come a lot easier than we think.
“Data.” Census Bureau QuickFacts, United States Census Bureau, 11 Oct. 2018, www.census.gov/data/tables/time-series/demo/voting-and-registration/p20-580.html. Accessed 27 Nov. 2018.
“Government/Voting.” Future Survey, vol. 26, no. 9, Sept. 2004, p. 18. EBSCOhost, libproxy.sbcc.edu:2048/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=14825177&site=ehost-live&scope=site. Accessed 13 Dec. 2018.
Kaufer-Busch, Elizabeth, et al. “Civic Education and the Future of American Citizenship.” Lexington Books, 2012. ProQuest Ebook Central, https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/sbcc-ebooks/detail.action?docID=1127703. Accessed 27 Nov. 2018.
Mårdh, Andreas, and Ásgeir Tryggvason. “Democratic Education in the Mode of Populism.” Studies in Philosophy & Education, vol. 36, no. 6, Nov. 2017, pp. 601–613. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1007/s11217-017-9564-5. Accessed 11 Dec. 2018.
Neiman, David. “John Dewey (1859-1952).” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, www.pbs.org/onlyateacher/john.html. Accessed 11 Dec. 2018.
“Public Schools Help Us Meet Vital Needs of Students.” Education Digest, vol. 65, no. 2, Oct. 1999, p. 6. EBSCOhost, libproxy.sbcc.edu:2048/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=2302231&site=ehost-live&scope=site. Accessed 27 Nov. 2018.
Quay, John. “Not ‘Democratic Education’ but ‘Democracy and Education’: Reconsidering Dewey’s Oft Misunderstood Introduction to the Philosophy of Education.” Educational Philosophy & Theory, vol. 48, no. 10, Sept. 2016, pp. 1013–1028. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/00131857.2016.1174098. Accessed 11 Dec. 2018.
Schur, Lisa, et al. “Disability, Voter Turnout, and Polling Place Accessibility.” Social Science Quarterly (Wiley-Blackwell), vol. 98, no. 5, Nov. 2017, pp. 1374–1390. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1111/ssqu.12373. Accessed 18 Dec. 2018.
Terchek, Ronald J. “Political Participation and Political Structures: The Voting Rights Act of 1965.” Phylon (1960-), vol. 41, no. 1, 1980, pp. 25–35. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/274665. Accessed 27 Nov. 2018.