Gender, Class and Incarceration OP-ED by Christia Mercer Featured in Ms. Magazine

It’s September and thousands of young women are settling into institutions of higher learning, committed to making the best possible lives for themselves. Since the 1970s, women have increasingly outnumbered men on college campuses. The present female-male ratio is 55 percent to 45 percent. At Columbia University where I’ve taught for over 20 years, more and more women are the academic stars.

There’s a very different sort of institution in which women have also been outperforming men. It’s an institution fueled by gender inequality in which women are ignored and mistreated and any hope they have for self-improvement withers and dies.

The reality is that more and more women with economic and social advantages attend institutions of high learning, and women without those advantages increasingly find themselves in penal institutions….

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