Law Student Scholarship Opportunity: The M. Katherine Baird Darmer Equality Scholarship

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

The M. Katherine Baird Darmer Equality Scholarship Fund was named in memory of the late M. Katherine Baird Darmer, an activist, law professor, and champion of change for the LGBT community in Orange County and beyond. The Fund, which is sponsored by the Orange County Lavender Bar Association (OCLBA) and the Orange County Equality Coalition (OCEC), will award one or more scholarships each year to academically qualified law students who have demonstrated commitment to advancing equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community in Orange County. Determinations regarding the amount and number of awards are at the sole discretion of the scholarship committee jointly appointed by OCLBA and OCEC and the Liberty Hill Foundation.


To be considered for the Darmer Equality Scholarship, an applicant must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Be a current or incoming law student.
  • Demonstrate commitment to advancing equality for the LGBT community in Orange County.
  •  Make every effort to be available for a personal interview should one be required.

More information and applications are available here.  Deadline is 5:00 p.m. on May 15, 2017.

H/T Francine Lipman

Posted in Fellowships and Funding Opportunities, Law Schools, LGBT Rights | Leave a comment

Sabbatical Visitorships at Columbia Law School’s Center for Gender & Sexuality Law

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

The Center for Gender & Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School invites applications for sabbatical visitors for the 2017-2018 academic year to undertake research, writing and collaboration with Center faculty and students in ways that span traditional academic disciplines. The CGSL welcomes applications from faculty from any field who are interested in spending a semester or the academic year in residence at Columbia Law School working on scholarly projects relating to Gender and/or Sexuality Law.

Sabbatical Visitors will receive an office with phone and computer, secretarial support and full access to university libraries, computer systems and recreational facilities. In addition, Sabbatical Visitors will be expected to participate in CGSL activities and present a paper at the Center’s Colloquium Series.  Application deadline is May 15, 2017.

For more information:

Katherine Franke, Columbia Law School

Posted in Academia | Leave a comment

Leary on Affirmatively Replacing Rape Culture With Consent Culture

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

Mary Leary, CUA Columbus School of Law, has published Affirmatively Replacing Rape Culture with Consent Culture at 49 Texas Tech 1 (2016). Here is the abstract.

The debate concerning affirmative consent consists of two camps: those who assert people must affirmatively establish a desire to engage in sexual contact and those who believe this is an unattainable standard. However, this is not where the debate should start and end. This paper argues that the movement towards affirmative consent in sexual contact will reduce the occurrence of sexual assault. Criminal law sets the backdrop for this paper, but the author recognizes the limits of criminal law. In order to combat sexual assault, there must be a multidisciplinary response. By providing a comprehensive definition of affirmative consent and examining the social harm of sexual assault that the criminal law seeks to rectify, the author will establish that the creation of an affirmative consent culture, rather than simply an affirmative consent law, will enhance protections for women. Affirmative consent means more than “yes means yes.” This paper responds to the many critiques of the affirmative consent model including that it will not eliminate sexual assault, that this standard criminalizes sex, and that it shifts the burden to a defendant. Rather, the author proposes a three pronged approach to affirmative consent which mirrors that of the anti-drunk driving methodology of the 20th Century: education, social stigma, and criminal law adjustments.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Posted in Coerced Sex, Sex and Sexuality | Leave a comment

RBG on Women’s Role in Exodus Narrative

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

In 2015, for the American Jewish World Service’s Chag v’Chesed (“Celebration and Compassion”) series, Justice Ginsburg published a Passover story that highlights the role of women in the Exodus.  Here’s an excerpt:

These women had a vision leading out of the darkness shrouding their world. They were women of action, prepared to defy authority to make their vision a reality bathed in the light of the day.

Retelling the heroic stories of Yocheved, Shifra, Puah, Miriam and Batya reminds our daughters that with vision and the courage to act, they can carry forward the tradition those intrepid women launched.

While there is much light in today’s world, there remains in our universe disheartening darkness, inhumanity spawned by ignorance and hate. We see horrific examples in the Middle East, parts of Africa, and Ukraine. The Passover story recalls to all of us—women and men—that with vision and action we can join hands with others of like mind, kindling lights along paths leading out of the terrifying darkness.

The full text is here.

Chag Pesach kasher vesame’ach to all celebrating!

Posted in Feminism and Religion | Comments Off on RBG on Women’s Role in Exodus Narrative

#Blackwomenatwork: Personal is Political

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

As I shared with one of my classes the other night, over my years in academia, on a fairly regular basis, white students have said to me, “I am afraid of black people,” or even,”I don’t like black people.”

When this happens, I usually start by gently but firmly reminding such students that I am actually a black person, and that their comments offend me. I think that my familiarity with many of the cultural touchstones that are parts of their lives causes them to forget a little bit. Or rather, I’m not sure if they forget that I am black, it’s just that they think that I am a “safe” black person to whom to say these things.  Or they think that as a professor, I must be there for them, a neutral, unfeeling service provider whose job is to be stern, caring, instructive, sin-absolving, and healing all at once. The casting directions for my job call for a combination of a butt-spanking black mammy, an avuncular, scholarly parish priest, and a disease-eating magic Negro à la Michael Clarke Duncan in The Green Mile.

These “I am afraid of black people” students are not wrong in some respects about who I am to them. While I certainly do have feelings and am subject to the hurts of racial insults like anyone else, to be successful (aka to remain in and survive the job) in my line of work has often meant tempering those hurt feelings. Indeed, I frequently take on a “post-racial” pose with such students just to draw out their anti-black feelings. It’s not a trap. I do it because I sincerely want to help.

While I am neither therapist nor racial healer by any means, I think that the world is improved if people confront what are often irrational prejudices. If I don’t know that students bear such feelings, I can’t begin to talk it through with them. I am actually encouraged that white students even engage in these conversations with me. What  I find sad about such conversations is that I sometimes learn in the course of them that I am one of the few (or only) black people with whom they have ever had an ongoing relationship–academic, professional, social or otherwise.

My gender becomes a salient factor here because while some of these students have known or interacted with black male athletes during high school or college (“Yay, team!”), they have had almost no corresponding need or desire to interact with black girls or women. It is this raced and gendered interaction gap that causes situations like the recent  public verbal assaults on journalist April Ryan, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and former national security adviser Susan Rice. The very public sallies against these women are no doubt politically inspired. But just as the personal is political, the personal and the political are at all times both raced and gendered.  The hashtag #Blackwomenatwork is an important mechanism for focusing attention on the race-gender lacuna that often leaves black women in a space apart.

(cross-post from Ain’t I a Feminist Legal Scholar, Too?)

Posted in Law Teaching, Race and Racism | Comments Off on #Blackwomenatwork: Personal is Political

Neil Gorsuch, Hobby Lobby, and the Question of Complicity

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

Neil Gorsuch may be a soft-spoken and gentlemanly Harvard-educated lawyer’s lawyer.  But his decision in the Hobby Lobby case, 723 F.3d 1114 (10th Cir. 2013), apparently overlooked by most commentators, demonstrates just how much American women have to fear if he is confirmed as a justice on the Supreme Court.

As we know, in Hobby Lobby v. Burwell, 134 S. Ct. 2751 (2014), the Supreme Court determined by a 5-4 majority that for-profit family owned corporations were “persons” who could assert the religious beliefs of their human shareholders to thwart the mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that all employer-based and individual insurance plans covered under the ACA offer essential preventative services.

Hobby Lobby began when two family-owned for-profit corporations, Hobby Lobby and Mardel, sought a preliminary injunction in an Oklahoma federal district court, contending that they should not be compelled to comply with the ACA’s contraceptive services mandate because the Green family, the owners of these corporations, personally believed that certain of these FDA-approved forms of contraception constituted abortion, in violation of their religious belief that life begins at conception. The district court denied the injunction, and the case was appealed to the United States Court of Appeal for the Tenth Circuit. A plurality of the court held that Hobby Lobby and Mardel, as corporations, were entitled to a preliminary injunction precluding the enforcement of the ACA, ruling that these corporations’ “religious beliefs” trumped the government’s interest in providing preventative health care to millions of Americans under the ACA.

Judge Gorsuch concurred.  After expressing his agreement with the plurality opinion, he then framed the issue of the obligation to comply with the ACA mandate in moral and religious terms: “All of us face the problem of complicity. All of us must answer for ourselves whether and to what degree we are willing to be involved in the wrongdoing of others.” 723 F.3d at 1152 (Gorsuch, J., concurring). Here, the “wrongdoing” Judge Gorsuch was referring to was women’s use of certain forms of contraception that the Greens found to be the equivalent of an abortion.

In essence, Judge Gorsuch found that as long as the Greens’ religious beliefs were sincerely held, their religiously based objections to particular forms of contraception trumped any competing interest the government had in mandating essential health services for people who received their health coverage under the Affordable Care Act.  Indeed, he declared that the Religious Freedom Restoration was “something of a ‘super-statute,’” which must prevail over other legislatively enacted government policies. 723 F.3d at 1157. Judge Gorsuch reasoned that because individual Green family members hold the sincere belief that certain forms of contraception destroy a fertilized egg and that they view this practice as “gravely wrong,” they are faced with a “’Hobson’s choice,’” either to violate their personal religious beliefs by deciding as corporate officers of Hobby Lobby to buy insurance coverage that includes all ACA-mandated contraceptive services or to refuse to afford their employees the mandated insurance coverage.  The Greens contended that they would face a penalty as high as a half a billion dollars annually for failing to comply with the ACA’s employer mandate.

Nowhere in Judge Gorsuch’s opinion is there any discussion of the 13,000 employees of Hobby Lobby, who may not share the religious beliefs of their employer.  If these employees are not offered the insurance coverage mandated by the ACA, they may be unable to exercise their fundamental right to self-determination and informed consent because they cannot afford the contraceptive method that they believe will best protect their interest in economic security, including the ability to engage in family planning that the wealthier Green family surely was able to choose if it wished.

The logical extension of Judge Gorsuch’s reasoning in Hobby Lobby could enshrine in the law any number of conservative religious positions, including the view that life begins at conception or that homosexual activity is prohibited, or that God commands racial separation. If he is confirmed, the Supreme Court is likely to issue many more decisions that undermine the liberty and privacy of ordinary Americans.

-Linda Fentiman

Posted in Courts and the Judiciary, Feminism and Religion, Reproductive Rights | 1 Comment

Joshi on “Measuring Diversity”

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

Yuvraj Joshi, a Fellow at Lambda Legal, has published an essay “Measuring Diversity” in the Columbia Law Review Online. Here is the abstract:

In Fisher v. University of Texas in June 2016, the Supreme Court upheld the use of race-conscious affirmative action in college admissions. While recognizing a university’s interest in the educational benefits that derive from a diverse student body, Justice Kennedy cautioned in the majority opinion: “A university’s goals cannot be elusory or amorphous — they must be sufficiently measurable to permit judicial scrutiny of the policies adopted to reach them.”

Justice Kennedy’s measurability requirement is the single most important feature of his opinion. The constitutionality of race-conscious admissions going forward will depend on how universities measure diversity. No wonder critics of affirmative action are clamoring for disclosure of ever more data. The dilemma facing the nation’s universities is how to measure diversity while knowing that opponents of race-conscious admissions will utilize those metrics in litigation to challenge affirmative action programs.

In seeking to address this dilemma, university administrators reading Fisher may believe that they are required to measure diversity in more precise and even numerical terms. However, this Piece cautions against following that misguided impulse in the context of race-conscious admissions based on three primary observations. First, diversity-based affirmative action programs have survived past constitutional challenges in part because they are imprecise as to which individuals benefit from them and how much benefit those individuals receive. Second, this lack of precision may minimize some of the social divisiveness associated with race-conscious admissions policies, which may help diffuse political opposition to affirmative action and diminish the constitutional harms perceived by some Justices and potential litigants. Finally, Fisher does not actually require universities to measure diversity in more precise or numerical terms than previous affirmative action decisions. Given the current political climate, universities’ ability to maintain affirmative action programs under Fisher will depend on their ability to grasp and apply these principles.

To demonstrate the merits of imprecision in measuring diversity, this Piece proceeds in three parts. Part I surveys some key cases on affirmative action to show how and why the Court has been concerned with numerical considerations of race in college admissions. Part II examines two uses of numbers that have received scrutiny in cases leading up to Fisher: (1) the gathering of data on minority enrollment and student body diversity and (2) the use of metrics to describe diversity goals, especially the concept of “critical mass.” Part III studies scrutiny of the University of Texas’s admissions program in Fisher and teases out lessons for how universities should structure their admissions programs in light of Fisher. The Piece concludes that a degree of imprecision remains a requirement of constitutionally permissible affirmative action after Fisher, and universities interested in enrolling a diverse student body should therefore measure diversity using educational values rather than numerical metrics.

The full essay is available here.

Posted in Academia, Race and Racism | Comments Off on Joshi on “Measuring Diversity”

Welcome to the Blogroll, Monash Colleagues!

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

Today we welcome to the blogroll ten fabulous feminist colleagues from Monash University, Faculty of Law (located in Melbourne, Australia):

So glad to have you join us!

Posted in Blog Administration | Comments Off on Welcome to the Blogroll, Monash Colleagues!

Announcing Publication of “Northern/Irish Feminist Judgments”

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

Northern/Irish Feminist Judgments: Judges’ Troubles and the Gendered Politics of Identity has been published by Hart Publishing.  The volume is edited by Máiréad Enright, Julie McCandless and Aoife O’Donoghue.  Here is the publisher’s description of the book:

The Northern/Irish Feminist Judgments Project inaugurates a fresh dialogue on gender, legal judgment, judicial power and national identity in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Through a process of judicial re-imagining, the project takes account of the peculiarly Northern/Irish concerns in shaping gender through judicial practice. This collection, following on from feminist judgments projects in Canada, England and Australia takes the feminist judging methodology in challenging new directions. This book collects 26 rewritten judgments, covering a range of substantive areas. As well as opinions from appellate courts, the book includes fi rst instance decisions and a fi ctional review of a Tribunal of Inquiry. Each feminist judgment is accompanied by a commentary putting the case in its social context and explaining the original decision. The book also includes introductory chapters examining the project methodology, constructions of national identity, theoretical and conceptual issues pertaining to feminist judging, and the legal context of both jurisdictions. The book, shines a light on past and future possibilities – and limitations – for judgment on the island of Ireland.

To learn more about the Northern/Irish Feminist Judgments, see the project’s website here.

This is the fourth feminist judgments project to appear in print. Others include the U.K.-based Feminist Judgments: From Theory to Practice (Hart 2010), Australian Feminist Judgments: Righting and Rewriting the Law (Hart 2015), and Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court (Cambridge 2016). Feminist Judgments of Aotearoa New Zealand: Te Rino: a Two-stranded Rope will be published in December, 2017, with others to follow.

Posted in Recommended Books, Sisters In Other Nations | Comments Off on Announcing Publication of “Northern/Irish Feminist Judgments”

On International Women’s Day, Advocacy Groups Launch “Full Citizenship Project for Law Faculty”

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

From national colleagues at the Legal Writing Institute and Association of Legal Writing Directors, this press release:

Professional associations unite to support full institutional citizenshipan effort to correct gender and related disparities among law faculty

The Legal Writing Institute (LWI) and the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) announce the launch of a new initiative aimed at correcting gender and related disparities among U.S. law faculty.  Organizers chose International Women’s Day (March 8) to launch the “Full Citizenship Project for All Law Faculty” because of the professional status challenges that continue to plague skills-based and academic support law faculty, who are predominantly women.

As law faculty status and salaries decrease, the percentage of women faculty increases. Based on available data, roughly—and only—36 percent of tenured or tenure track faculty are female, whereas 63 percent of clinical faculty and 70 percent of legal writing faculty are female. This disparity is due to faculty teaching in skills-based areas often being denied the opportunity to earn the same security of position and academic freedom that traditional law faculty enjoy. Yet security of position and academic freedom are needed for a robust classroom and innovative teaching in all areas of law.

The Full Citizenship Project kicks off the start of a campaign to raise awareness about the challenges facing many of the many women and men who teach in skills-based positions. “The goal of this project is to gain support among all law school administrators and faculty for our view that no justification exists for subordinating one group of law faculty to another based on the nature of the course, the subject matter, or the teaching method,” said Kim D. Chanbonpin, President of the Legal Writing Institute. “We believe these rights are now necessary more than ever before to ensure that law students and the legal profession benefit from the myriad perspectives and expertise that all faculty bring to the mission of legal education.”

The first step of this project involves gathering signatures from across the country endorsing the Full Citizenship Statement, which has already been adopted by these organizations and by the Society of American Law Teachers Board of Governors. A copy of the Full Citizenship Statement is available here.

We invite all interested parties—both within and beyond the legal academy—to endorse the Statement by signing here. The signature campaign begins on International Women’s Day (March 8) and will end on Equal Pay Day (April 4). Organizers plan to report and present the results of the project to interested organizations, including the American Association of Law Schools, the American Bar Association, and the American Law Deans Association. More information about the Citizenship Project is available on the LWI website.

About LWI and ALWD: The Legal Writing Institute (LWI) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving legal communication by supporting the development of teaching and scholarly resources and establishing forums to discuss the study, teaching, and practice of professional legal writing. LWI has nearly 3,000 members representing 38 countries. The Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD) is a non-profit professional association of directors of legal reasoning, research, writing, analysis, and advocacy programs from law schools throughout the United States, Canada and Australia. ALWD has more than 300 members representing more than 150 law schools. The mission of ALWD is to pursue activities to help law schools provide excellent legal writing instruction.

Posted in Academia, Feminism and the Workplace, Feminists in Academia, Law Schools, Law Teaching, The Overrepresentation of Women | Comments Off on On International Women’s Day, Advocacy Groups Launch “Full Citizenship Project for Law Faculty”

Inniss from Cleveland-Marshall to SMU Dedman School of Law

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

In Fall 2017 Lolita Buckner Inniss will move from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland State University to SMU Dedman School of Law. She will teach Property Law and Critical Race Theory.

Good news for SMU!

Posted in Academia | Comments Off on Inniss from Cleveland-Marshall to SMU Dedman School of Law

Vermont Law Seeks Earthjustice Clinical Professor

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

From colleagues at Vermont, this notice of a clinical opening:

Job Description:

The Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic (ENRLC) at Vermont Law School and Earthjustice are partnering to expand our environmental justice capacity through the creation of a new environmental justice initiative. We are hiring an attorney professor who will be located at the ENRLC and will work with Earthjustice’s Healthy Communities program and as part of the ENRLC’s growing environmental justice program area. Cases and projects will include Vermont and New England-based initiatives as well as efforts at the national level and in other areas of the United States.

Duties and Responsibilities:

The Earthjustice Clinical Professor will be a full-time attorney housed within the ENRLC. This position will be dedicated to working on environmental justice issues, with cases and projects chosen in collaboration between Earthjustice and the ENRLC. Specific responsibilities include:

  • In collaboration with and under the direction of Earthjustice and ENRLC attorneys, developing and implementing a suite of environmental justice cases and projects. Cases and projects may include state and federal litigation, influencing administrative agencies, legislative work, client counseling, and other advocacy.
  • Managing and fostering relationships with co-counsel, clients, and partners.
  • Coordinating with and contributing to other aspects of environmental justice campaign work, including education, outreach, and messaging.
  • Supervising and providing extensive feedback to students on project and casework.
  • Supervising one or more junior attorneys in the LLM Fellowship program.
  • Teaching in the ENRLC seminar program.
  • With other ENRLC faculty and staff, assisting in the administration of the ENRLC through regular participation in staff meetings, helping with the student recruitment process, assisting with public relations materials and reports, etc.
  • Participating in the life of the law school through attendance at faculty meetings and campus events, service on committees, and the like.


  • Minimum 7 years of significant legal experience, including litigation.
  • Licensed in Vermont or willing to become immediately licensed in Vermont.
  • Environmental justice experience preferred.
  • Demonstrates an awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds and orientations.
  • Contributes to the creation of a diverse, equitable and inclusive work culture that encourages and celebrates differences.
  • Must possess: cultural competency and significant exposure to vulnerable, disadvantaged and/or ethnic minority populations; solid grounding in some aspect of environmental law that is relevant to the projected work of the environmental justice initiative; good narrative skills; history of supervising others in a legal context; excellent communication, analysis, and writing skills; demonstrated good judgment and sensitivity in a variety of situations; very strong academics, initiative, and work ethic; the ability to work exceedingly well with others; project management capability, including strong creative and strategic thinking skills; and a commitment to engaging in clinical teaching.

Additional Information:

This is a two-year position with the possibility of becoming permanent.

Application Instructions:

Please submit a cover letter, resume, law school transcript, writing sample, and references to Chantelle Brackett, Human Resources & Payroll Manager, Vermont Law School, PO Box 96, South Royalton, VT 05068. Electronic applications are strongly preferred and can be submitted online here. Applications will be considered as they are submitted. The position will remain open until filled.

More info available here.

Posted in Law Teaching | Comments Off on Vermont Law Seeks Earthjustice Clinical Professor

Washington State Considering Repeal of Tampon Tax OR Having Women Pay for DV Services

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

From the Vancouver (WA) Columbian:

Sen. Lynda Wilson, R-Vancouver, is hoping Senate Bill 5093 will exempt feminine hygiene products from retail and use tax. As she pointed out to the Senate Ways & Means Committee last week, they are medically necessary products. But if that measure fails to gain momentum, she’s also introduced Senate Bill 5092, which would use the tax that currently exists and reallocate the funds to help domestic violence victims.

The money would create a grant program called Women Helping Women under the Department of Commerce. Funds would be given annually to each county, based on population size, and help local law enforcement and prosecutors to offer support services for domestic violence and sexual assault victims.

The full article is here.

Isn’t the alternative bill — SB 5092 — basically making women pay for services that the government should be providing for all citizens? A similar move happened earlier in the UK (see here), and this Washington State bill seems to have the same impact: shift the cost onto women for services the violence done to them, mostly by men.

Posted in Women and Economics, Women's Health | Comments Off on Washington State Considering Repeal of Tampon Tax OR Having Women Pay for DV Services

Feldman and Gill on Gender and Oral Argument at the U.S. Supreme Court @AdamSFeldman

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

Adam Feldman, Columbia University Law School and University of Southern California Political Science, and Rebecca D. Gill, University of Nevada, Law Vegas, have published Echoes from a Gendered Court: Examining the Justices’ Interactions During Supreme Court Oral Arguments. Here is the abstract.

Supreme Court oral arguments are the only publicly scheduled opportunities for the Justices and advocates to directly engage in discussions about a case. There are few rules to regulate these conversations. Within this unique setting and due to the lack of argument structure combined with the limited time allotted to each argument, the Justices vie for chances to speak, sometimes at the expense of utterances from other Justices. In this Article we examine how the Justices’ genders dictate much of the Justices’ interactions and ultimately the power structure of oral argument.

This Article shows how gender is an embedded characteristic of the oral arguments and how the Justices’ appropriations and perceptions of gender roles create disparities in the balance of authority on the Court. The Article’s analysis shows a major gap between male Justices’ interruptions of female Justices and female Justices interruptions’ of male Justices during oral arguments. After discussing why this is problematic, the Article offers suggestions for how the Court can reduce these interruptions through institutional reforms. The Article’s analyses corroborate conversational and power dynamics previously elucidated by sociolinguists, but also extend those findings to the insular environment of the United States Supreme Court.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Posted in Feminism and Law | Tagged , | Comments Off on Feldman and Gill on Gender and Oral Argument at the U.S. Supreme Court @AdamSFeldman

Nasty Women and the Rule of Law @woolleylaw

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

Alice Wooley, University of Calgary School of Law, and Elysa Darling are publishing Nasty Women and the Rule of Law in the University of San Francisco Law Review. Here is the abstract.

Lawyer bashing is a robust and accepted social tradition. But recent events create the impression that women lawyers face more than the generic suggestions of dishonesty, untrustworthiness, greed and adversarialism that typify anti-lawyer criticisms. Criticisms and attacks on women lawyers are personal and gendered, as well as being intense and hostile, in a way that differs from the generic, often humorous, and impersonal nature of traditional antipathy to the legal profession. And even when women lawyers are viewed positively, commentary focuses on their looks, clothes and families, in a way that is not the case for men. This paper identifies the reasons for and consequences of how we talk about women lawyers.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Posted in Academia, Feminism and Law | Comments Off on Nasty Women and the Rule of Law @woolleylaw

Prenups, Gender and IP

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

Should prenups assigning ideas and inventions not yet born be enforced? In my book Talent Wants to be Free I analyze the vast expansion of pre-innovation assignment agreements in employment relations — generic employment contracts that assign in advance any idea, whether patentable or not, whether copyrightable or not, whether it was conceived during work hours or not, whether it builds on company R&D or not — to the employer. In related research, including The New Cognitive Property, Driving Performance, and Enforceability TBD I warn that these developments can have negative effects on innovation as well as problematic distributional effects.

A related trend is the rise of couples signing prenups which pre-assign ideas and not-yet-developed IP — films, songs, software, brands and apps – to the partner who plans to develop them. The New York Times asked me to comment about these developments so I wrote a short op ed about this rising trend and in particular raise the question about potential gender inequities.

Are millennial-dominated start-up communities prone to the following pattern: The wife holds a steady job while the husband works on his app. They share the risk now, but if they divorce, the husband reaps the rewards of his intellectual property, and the prenup ensures his ex-wife, often wife # 1, gets nothing.

Would love to hear your thoughts – comment here or in the comments section of the NYT.
c/p Prawfs

Posted in Academia | Comments Off on Prenups, Gender and IP

Vocally Fried: Stereotypes, Nonverbal Behavior, and Societal Bias Against Women Attorneys

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

Michael J. Higdon, University of Tennessee College of Law, is publishing Oral Advocacy and Vocal Fry: The Unseemly, Sexist Side of Nonverbal Persuasion in volume 13 of Legal Communication & Rhetoric: JALWD (2016). Here is the abstract.

In 2015, Naomi Wolf warned that “the most empowered generation of women ever — today’s twenty-somethings in North America and Britain — is being hobbled in some important ways by something as basic as a new fashion in how they use their voices.” She was referring to the phenomenon referred to as “vocal fry” — a speech quality in which the speaker lowers her natural pitch and produces a “creaking” sound as she talks. Naomi Wolf is not alone in her warnings; vocal fry has received quite a bit of negative attention recently. Specifically, these critics warn that those who speak in vocal fry are doing themselves great harm by undermining the speakers’ overall perceived effectiveness. In fact, recent studies even lend some support to these arguments, showing that listeners tend to rate those who speak in vocal fry more negatively.

The problem, however, is that much of this criticism is directed at young women, and for that reason, some defenders of vocal fry have countered that these criticisms are merely attempts to regulate how women talk. In other words, a preference for speech that does not contain vocal fry is actually motivated by pernicious stereotypes about how women “should” talk.

Thus, on the one hand, there are those studies supporting the argument that women who engage in vocal fry are less likely to be perceived positively, yet on the other hand, there exists the very real likelihood that these perceptions are based on gender stereotypes. Accordingly, the question emerges: what should a young woman do? Should she eliminate all instances of vocal fry from her speech so as to maximize her perceived effectiveness as a public speaker if, in so doing, she is reinforcing the very gender stereotypes upon which such preferences are based? Or should she openly confront such stereotypes and employ vocal fry as much as she likes, knowing that, by taking that approach, she is taking the risk that she might be hurting not only herself but also those upon whose behalf she speaks?

This essay, by first discussing this background on vocal fry, delves into that very dilemma. It does so specifically in the context of female attorneys given that 1) public speaking is a key component upon which their effectiveness is gauged and 2) to the extent their public speaking is judged to be less than ideal, they are not only harming themselves, but also potentially a client. Finally, in wrestling with this question, these essay hopes to shed light on a bigger concern — specifically, how useful are studies on effective nonverbal behavior when the results of those studies are largely driven by underlying societal prejudice.

Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

Posted in Feminism and Law | Comments Off on Vocally Fried: Stereotypes, Nonverbal Behavior, and Societal Bias Against Women Attorneys

White Paper on Title IX & the Preponderance of the Evidence, 3d Edition

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

Please see the “third edition” of the White Paper on Title IX & the Preponderance of the Evidence at the link below, including the first 100 signatures from law professors across the country.  We will continue to accept signatures from law faculty members as long as law faculty members wish to sign on to the White Paper, and we will post updated editions of the White Paper as we receive additional signatures.  To add yourself as a signatory, please email your full name and the URL for your faculty webpage to Nancy Chi Cantalupo at


Posted in Academia, Activism, Acts of Violence, Sex and Sexuality, Sexual Harassment | Comments Off on White Paper on Title IX & the Preponderance of the Evidence, 3d Edition

Interview with Dana Brooks Cooper, Florida Attorney Challenging the “Tampon Tax”

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

Earlier this year, Bridget J. Crawford spoke with Dana Brooks Cooper, Esq. of Barret, Fasig & Brooks in Tallahassee, Florida.  Ms. Brooks is representing the plaintiff in a class action that challenges the Florida “tampon tax,” the state sales tax imposed on feminine hygiene products. In this interview, Ms. Brooks provides an update on the case of Wendell v. Florida Department of Revenue et al. currently pending in the Circuit Court, Second Judicial Circuit, in and for Leon County, Florida.

Bridget Crawford:  When we last spoke in July, you recently had filed the complaint on behalf of a plaintiff in the class action.  What is the status of the case at this point?

Dana Brooks Cooper: Things have been moving along. We have amended our Complaint in response to a Motion to Dismiss from the Government Defendants and we took that opportunity to include two great new additional plaintiffs. Currently, we’re in the process of responding to a new Motion to Dismiss from the Department of Revenue and have filed our own Motion for Partial Summary Judgment for Declaratory Relief. So, while there haven’t been any substantive rulings yet, we feel like we’re making progress.

Crawford:  Does it seem that the legislature is paying close attention to this case?

Dana Brooks Cooper

Dana Brooks Cooper

Cooper: We have not heard anything on this lately, although right after the lawsuit was filed, Senator Simmons had expressed a desire to introduce legislation to abolish the tax but cited pending litigation as a potential problem in doing that.  The legislature is due to start committee meetings later this year and we will be closely monitoring those.

Crawford:  If the Florida legislature were to pass a bill exempting menstrual hygiene products from sales tax in the future, do you think that the class would still want to press for a refund of past taxes paid?

Cooper: Absolutely. Getting the law changed would be a big victory, but it is only part of the battle. Millions of dollars in illegal taxes have already been paid by the women of Florida and we intend to do everything we can to get their money back.

Crawford:  From your perspective, what’s the relationship of the tampon tax to larger issues of equality for women?

Cooper: it seems like a small thing, but to me it’s indicative of so much more. Prior to 1986, these products were exempt from sales tax in Florida and there seems to be absolutely no basis for the Legislature’s decision to start taxing these items. Now more than ever, I believe we cannot just stand aside and let these unfair and arbitrarily discriminatory practices continue, either through inattention or because it seems like there are always bigger fish to fry. It’s important for women, and those who support them, to step up and make their voices heard in every possible arena.  We know we cannot rely on the media to conduct their own independent investigations of these things because until someone calls attention to it, they are as much in the dark as the rest of us are.

Crawford:  What has been the reaction of your colleagues in the Florida bar to this case?

Cooper: Overwhelmingly supportive. No one I have spoken with has any idea how the legislature can claim this tax is justified. I frequently get asked for updates on the case. People want to know what’s going on and why their elected officials have not embraced our cause and run with it.

Crawford:  Thank you for this update!  We will be following this case with great interest.

Cooper: Thank you. We appreciate your continued interest and support. We plan to keep fighting the good fight.

Posted in Courts and the Judiciary, Women and Economics, Women's Health | Comments Off on Interview with Dana Brooks Cooper, Florida Attorney Challenging the “Tampon Tax”

Interview with Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, New York Attorney and Menstrual Equity Advocate

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

Bridget J. Crawford recently spoke with Jennifer Weiss-Wolf of Period Equity, a non-profit organization located in New York City focused on all aspects of menstrual fairness. Ms. Weiss-Wolf is a self-described “writer, activist, feminist.” She is an advocate and frequent commentator on all things related to menstruation and public policy.

In this interview, Ms. Weiss-Wolf explains some of her work on behalf of menstrual equity and the relationship between law and social change.

Bridget Crawford: Your Period Equity colleague Laura Stausfeld described you “the most prolific and organized ‘menstrual equity’ advocate.” Can you explain what menstrual equity is?

Jennifer Weiss-Wolf: It is a term I concocted – and I am glad to see it taking hold! What I mean by menstrual equity is this: People who menstruate need affordable and accessible hygiene products to be fully equal players in society, to be productive students and citizens, and to be healthy. Addressing issues of menstruation – access, affordability, safety – is a matter of equitable treatment, even equitable representation in our government.

Crawford: Can you explain what you mean when you say menstruation is related to equitable representation in government?

Jennifer Weiss-Wolf

Jennifer Weiss-Wolf

Weiss-Wolf: President Obama actually said it best when he was asked during a YouTube interview last January why he thought that menstrual products were not exempt from sales tax. His answer: “I suspect it’s because men were making the laws when those taxes were passed.” I basically agree. I don’t imagine there has ever been a secret or nefarious plot to purposefully exclude menstruation from policymaking. Rather, it is simply the outcome of too few women at the decision-making table – which, in turn, pretty much guarantees that our experiences are not fully reflected, nor our interests fully represented.

That said, though, stigma and marginalization are squarely part of the equation too. President-elect Donald Trump made incendiary comments about menstruation early in the campaign. When California Assembly Member Cristina Garcia introduced the tampon tax bill there in January 2016, she was nicknamed “Miss Menstruation.” When women are mocked for our biology – in an overt attempt to bully or quiet us down – the ability to promote policies that improve women’s lives is compromised.

Crawford: How did you first get involved in issues related to menstruation and public policy?

Weiss-Wolf:  I can pinpoint the exact moment. It was New Year’s Day 2015 … at the Coney Island Polar Bear Club’s plunge. Each year my friends and I join hundreds of other New Yorkers crazy enough to charge into the icy Atlantic. That year we had even upped the ante and dressed up as Wonder Woman!  After I got home and shook off all the sand and glitter – I did the natural next thing: posted my pictures on Facebook. And that was when I saw a post by a local parent that she and her daughters were leading a collection drive for tampons and pads to donate to our local food pantry. Their project was called “Girls Helping Girls. Period.

I was floored that I’d never even considered this before. If periods are a hassle for me – an adult with the means to have a fully stocked supply of tampons and no inhibitions at all talking about it – it seemed nakedly, painfully obvious that for those who are poor, young, vulnerable, it could so easily be a real obstacle and problem. After some preliminary research I wrote an essay describing my reaction to this revelation that The New York Times published later that month. And there began the journey – literally, from Wonder Woman on the beach.

Crawford: Can you describe some of your early work on behalf of menstrual equity?

Weiss-Wolf: Right away I knew I wanted to address the issue from a policy perspective. Donation drives are crucial – they meet a need and engage the public – but, truly, I see this as a matter of societal and public obligation.

In terms of what would make a winning policy campaign, I zeroed in on the tampon tax. I knew that activists around the world were taking it on, and the time seemed ripe to do the same here in the U.S. It is a fairly straightforward public argument about equity and fairness that I thought would be popular and attract a wide audience.

In October 2015, I conceptualized and initiated the inaugural national tampon tax petition on, and was thrilled when Cosmopolitan Magazine agreed to co-sponsor. My goal in creating a national petition was to ratchet up public attention to the issue in order to spur states to take action. It worked. By January 2016, President Obama weighed in, resulting in an avalanche of national media (that still hasn’t subsided). By March, I was called upon by Laura Strausfeld to assess and guide the public and media strategy vis-à-vis the filing of the class action lawsuit she conceptualized for New York State. In June, the American Medical Association issued a statement in support of legislation to eliminate the tampon tax. To date, the petition has more than 60,000 signatures and the advocacy campaign resulted in the introduction of legislation and/or public debate in 15 states during the 2016 session. The tax was eliminated in Connecticut, Illinois and New York, as well as the City of Chicago. The District of Columbia passed a bill last week to eliminate it (now awaiting the Mayor’s signature). California’s bill, passed unanimously in the legislature, was recently vetoed by Governor Brown. More states are poised to introduce and pass similar laws in 2017. Over the past year I provided research and support to lawmakers in states and cities across the country, including California, Illinois, Maryland, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Virginia, Wisconsin, as well as Chicago, D.C. and New York City. I also testified and presented before several legislative bodies.

Crawford: Why do you think the issue of the tampon tax in particular captured the attention of popular press outlets like Cosmopolitan and Newsweek?

Weiss-Wolf: The issue has the benefit of being interesting, under-reported (well, until the past year) and essential to the lives and well-being of half the population! Add in a dose of stigma-busting (and therefore headline-grabbing) and you have a winning combination.

A central component of my advocacy strategy has been to elevate the national discourse around menstrual equity policy – not only as a way to eradicate stigma and educate the public about the plight of those who lack access, but also to motivate legislators to act and ensure they know the public will is on the side of these laws. For example, I write a weekly update for a curated list of media contacts and work closely with many editors and reporters to ensure coverage that is accurate, compelling, timely and effective. I also lend my own voice to the public arena with public writing and have published around 20 op-eds in outlets including Newsweek and Cosmo – as well as The New York Times, TIME, The Nation, Bloomberg, Bustle and Ms. Magazine, among others. [See Ms. Weiss-Wolf’s website here for links to her op-eds and other writings. -ed.]

At the close of 2015, NPR coined the oft-quoted term “The Year of the Period,” noting that the number of times the word menstruation was mentioned by national news outlets more than tripled from 2010 to 2015. Cosmo named 2015 “The Year the Period Went Public.” As you mention, in April 2016, for the first time ever, Newsweek featured period activism as a cover story. These are among the many hundreds of high-profile headlines and hits over the past year on the policy aspect of this work.

Crawford: You played a role in the New York City Council’s decision to make menstrual hygiene products available in jails, homeless shelters and public schools.  How did that come about? Continue reading

Posted in Feminism and Culture, Women and Economics, Women's Health | Comments Off on Interview with Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, New York Attorney and Menstrual Equity Advocate

District of Columbia Repeals Its Tampon Tax; Is Texas Next?

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

The District of Columbia is slated to end its tampons on feminine hygiene products, as well as diapers, in October, 2017:

The nation’s capital is joining the movement to lift the sales taxes on diapers, tampons and other feminine hygiene products.

A spokeswoman for Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) said Wednesday she’ll sign legislation that supporters say ends a 5.75 percent tax that hurts women and hits working families the hardest.

But before it takes effect, the District needs to find more than $3 million a year to make up for the lost tax revenue in its $13 billion annual budget.

The next budget takes effect October 2017, meaning consumers must spend at least another year of paying taxes on diapers — both for babies and incontinent adults — and menstrual products.

Read the full WaPo story here. Legislation Clinic students from the University of the District of Columbia Law School represented a client in advocating for repeal. See our prior coverage here.

It looks like the Texas legislature may take up the question, too, according to the Dallas Morning News:

The average woman spends 2,280 days — more than six years — of her life on her period. If she spends $7 a month on hygiene products (excluding medication and birth control) for 40 years, she’ll have shelled out more than $3,000 … plus tax.

Not anymore, five Democratic lawmakers hope. They’ve proposed doing away with taxes on “tampons, panty liners, sanitary napkins and other similar tangible personal property” for at least a limited time. * * *

The tampon tax bills in other states are often proposed by female lawmakers. In Texas, Rep. Ryan Guillen of Rio Grande City and Sen. Jose Rodriguez of El Paso join Reps. Carol Alvarado of Houston, Donna Howard of Austin and Sen. Sylvia Garcia of Houston in proposing a halt to the taxes.

Note the reference to repeal “at least for a limited time.” This Texas legislation (SB 129, SB 162, HB 55, HB 219, HB 232) will be worth watching.

Posted in Women and Economics, Women's Health | Comments Off on District of Columbia Repeals Its Tampon Tax; Is Texas Next?

Period Stigmas, the Tampon Tax and Social Justice

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

Cosmopolitan magazine continues its coverage of the menstrual equity movement:

In the last year alone, the American Medical Association weighed in against tampon taxes. Jessica Williams railed against them on The Daily Show. And Chinese swimmer Fu Yuanhui made a fan of every menstruating Olympic viewer when she talked honestly about the challenge of swimming a relay the day after her period started. Amy Schumer told red-carpet reporters at the Emmys she was wearing “Vivienne Westwood, Tom Ford shoes, and an O.B. tampon.” In an interview with YouTube vlogger Ingrid Nilsen, no less than President Barack Obama was asked about tampon taxes. “I have no idea why states would tax these as luxury items,” he said. “I suspect it’s because men were making the laws when those taxes were passed.” Take a minute on that. The president talked about periods!

All the taboo breaking and tampon-tax slashing has helped launch a movement for what [Jennifer] Weiss-Wolf calls menstrual equity. Why do so many of our policies fail to account for this core reality of women’s lives, she asks? And if periods are the great equalizer that all women have in common, why do we have such vastly different access to products? On campuses and in offices, women’s shelters, and jails, activists are calling attention to how critical it is to have access to period products. It’s not just about women’s finances — it affects the freedom to work, study, and move about the world with basic dignity.

Read the full article here.

Posted in Women and Economics, Women's Health | Comments Off on Period Stigmas, the Tampon Tax and Social Justice

Interview with Laura Strausfeld, New York Attorney Challenging the “Tampon Tax”

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

Bridget J. Crawford recently spoke with Laura Strausfeld of Period Equity, a non-profit organization located in New York City focused on all aspects of menstrual fairness. Ms. Strausfeld developed a key legal strategy used in the New York case that challenged the New York “tampon tax,” the state sales tax imposed on feminine hygiene products. The Complaint in Seibert, et al. v. N.Y. State Dep’t of Taxation and Finance, et al. was filed on March 3, 2016.  On May 25, 2016, the New York State legislature voted to exempt feminine hygiene products from state sales taxes.

In this interview, Ms. Strausfeld explains some of the background to the case and her work on behalf of menstrual equity.

Bridget Crawford: Can you explain how you got involved in the litigation that sought to end the tampon tax in New York?

Laura Strausfeld: I researched a case against New York State when I was a Columbia Law student 25 years ago—the tampon tax has always been illegal!—and tried at variLaura Strausfeldous moments over the years to interest law firms in filing a class action. (When I lived and worked in California, I also researched a case there.) In early 2016, I began to see articles in the media about the unfairness of the tax, many of which were forwarded to me by friends who had heard me talk about this issue. I reached out to Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, the most prolific and organized “menstrual equity” advocate (and coiner of that term), and asked if she thought a class action could help the cause. She was very supportive and I sought out Ilann Maazel, at the law firm Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP, who agreed to represent the plaintiffs who wanted to file the complaint.

Crawford: When you say you researched a case 25 years ago, do you mean you were doing the research to build a case, or there was an actual case filed in New York?

Strausfeld:  There was no actual case filed until March of this year. Several times over the last 25 years, I researched the relevant legal issues across several states, including New York. Tampons and pads have been variously categorized as taxable ‘cosmetics’ and more recently in New York State as ‘feminine hygiene products,’ as distinguished from tax-exempt medicinal items. The Seibert case drew on a memo I drafted in 2002.

Crawford: What had gotten you started thinking about these issues in the first place?

Strausfeld:  I’ve been asked this question a lot. I’ve always been interested in the history behind what I’ve referred to, to my children, as “dumb rules.” There are many instances in our lives where we find ourselves doing things that make no sense and, worse, are patently unjust and unfair. The practice may have made sense at the time it originated, but it makes no sense now. This interest is what motivated me to go to law school. And when I first moved to New York City to attend Columbia, I recall buying tampons and chapstick and noticing that I was taxed on the tampons and not on the chapstick. It was empowering as a law student to be able to look up the law and confirm my suspicion that there was no good reason for chapstick to be exempted from sales tax (on the ostensible ground it has a medical use) and not tampons.

Crawford: What had changed – either culturally or legally – between the time you first started thinking about these issues as a law student to the time when the lawsuit was filed in New York in 2016?

Strausfeld: Nothing at all changed legally. Over two decades, several bills were introduced in New York State to eliminate the tampon tax, but they never went anywhere. About six years ago, I was working with another law firm that was poised to file a class action, but we saw that a new bill had been introduced in the State Legislature so we decided to hold off. Too many times in a row, I naively believed a bill to end the tampon tax would finally get through. What changed culturally, though, was of huge importance to the success of the lawsuit: a growing awareness of how unfair the tampon tax is, paired with examples of other countries, such as Kenya and Canada, in equitably changing the law.

Another thing that changed over twenty years is me. The tampon tax case is one of dozens of projects I’ve undertaken, including researching other lawsuits. In the context of fighting for equal pay and reproductive rights, among other vital causes, I initially viewed the tampon tax case as trivial in comparison. In retrospect though, the tampon tax case goes to the heart of the problem for women’s rights—and that’s the historical underrepresentation of women in government. Sales tax laws were passed across the country from the 1930s to the 1960s. Most of these laws exempted necessities of life. Women weren’t present, though, to make fellow legislators aware that menstrual supplies are, in fact, necessities. And this problem is lodged in many other laws adversely affecting us today. Eliminating the tampon tax is an important milestone, in other words, to eradicating other laws adversely affecting women.

Crawford: Could you update us on the current status of the case?

Strausfeld: The case against New York State has been voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiffs. Continue reading

Posted in Feminism and Law, Women and Economics, Women's Health | Comments Off on Interview with Laura Strausfeld, New York Attorney Challenging the “Tampon Tax”

Now Also In the Name of the Mother

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

Italy’s constitutional court has ruled that parents may opt to give their children either the mother or the father’s surname, or both. The practice of automatically giving a child the father’s surname is a violation of the mother’s rights.  The European Court of Human Rights had found in Cusan and Fazzo v. Italy (2014) that the Italian law violated Article 14 (taken together with Article 8) of the European Convention on Human Rights which requires equal treatment of persons without regard to sex.

Text of Article 14:

The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this European Convention on Human Rights shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status.


Posted in Sisters In Other Nations | Comments Off on Now Also In the Name of the Mother

Conn College Joins the Free Tampon Movement

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

From Connecticut College’s The College Voice:

On Nov. 2, students and administrators gathered in the lobby of Cro to celebrate the launch of free menstrual health products in select bathrooms on campus. The pilot program, spearheaded by Emma Horst-Martz ’18, was implemented in collaboration with SGA, the administration and student health services. Although nearly 86 percent of women report experiencing their period in public without easy access to needed menstrual supplies, few colleges currently provide students with free pads and tampons. If her pilot program is institutionalized, Horst-Martz noted in her speech to supporters, Conn may emerge as one of the first colleges in the U.S. to distribute menstrual products with administrative financial backing. * * *

Conn’s tampon and pad pilot program recognizes the financial burden of menstruation. To purchase menstrual supplies costs an average $18,171 over the length of one’s life. The sales tax imposed on sanitary products, the so-called “tampon tax” or “pink tax,” has been dismantled in only a handful of states. Most states tax tampons and pads as luxury items even though they are, in fact, necessities. Students struggling to pay for school, Horst-Martz says, may face difficulties allocating money toward necessary toiletries.

Read the full article here.

Posted in Feminism and the Workplace, Feminists in Academia, Women and Economics, Women's Health | Comments Off on Conn College Joins the Free Tampon Movement

Free Tampons and Pads Coming to NYU

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

Via the Washington Square News (here), the student newspaper at New York University:

Senior Vice President for Student Affairs Marc Wais said that the university decided to convene a working group of students and staff to propose a pilot program by the end of the semester.
“The working group will be chaired by Dr. Marcy Ferdschneider, Medical Director of the Student Health Center,” Wais said. “The working group will submit its recommendations to me. The university will assess the utilization and success of the pilot over the summer to determine how we move forward in the future.”
He said that this pilot program to provide free menstrual hygiene products to all students will begin in the spring semester at both the Manhattan and Brooklyn campuses. According to the press release, the pilot program recommendations should be submitted to Wais by Friday, Dec. 23.
Gallatin junior Josy Jablons, who has led this fight on campus, said that this decision was finalized at around noon on Thursday, Oct. 20, and this came after several levels of approval.
“It was more ‘overnight’ than you might think,” Jablons said. “Given the three-prong approach of our op-ed, petition and SSC [Student Senators Council] resolution, the administration was forced to take note.”

Will other universities beside Brown and Minnesota soon follow suit?

Posted in Women and Economics, Women's Health | Comments Off on Free Tampons and Pads Coming to NYU

Hiring Announcement: Concordia

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

From colleagues at Concordia:

Background: Concordia University School of Law, located in Boise, Idaho, invites applications for a tenure-track position beginning in the 2017-18 academic year.  Candidates for the position must clearly demonstrate the potential for excellence in research and teaching and have a record of (or clear potential for) distinguished scholarship.  Our goal is to recruit dynamic, bright, and highly motivated individuals who are interested in making significant contributions to our law school and its students.  Practice experience is preferred, and teaching experience is desirable.  As a Lutheran institution of higher education, we seek candidates who will support our mission and promote Lutheran values.

Special Instructions to Applicants: Questions about the position can be directed to the Chair of the Committee.  Applicants should submit a current Curriculum Vitae, a statement of faith, and a letter of interest to  Please also provide the names and email addresses of three individuals prepared to speak to your professional qualifications for this position. Please note: these references will not be contacted immediately, but may be contacted at an appropriate later point in the review process. Additional materials related to teaching excellence and samples of scholarly publications may be emailed to the Victoria Haneman, Chair of the Committee, at  Review of applications will begin immediately and continued until the position is filled. Concordia University reserves the right to give preference in employment based upon religion in order to further the Lutheran objectives of the University and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

Posted in Law Schools, Law Teaching | Comments Off on Hiring Announcement: Concordia

What Happened When One NYC Pharmacy Charged Men More

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

image credit:

Thompson Chemists in the Soho neighborhood of New York City got some attention this week when it posted signs saying “All female customers shop tax free” and “All male customers subject to a 7% man tax.” Here’s some press coverage of the event from Gothamist:

Jolie Alony, who has owned the pharmacy for 22 years and lives in SoHo, said she wants men who shop at her store to understand the extra costs that women bear when they shop.

“We want to bring awareness on how it feels to be a woman, so the men actually get to feel it,” she said. * * * Despite what her signs say, Alony explained, men aren’t actually coughing up more than they normally would at the register; rather, she’s offering a 7 percent discount for women—effectively cutting out sales tax. She’s still required to report all sales and pay out the sales tax in full, so, she said, she’s just making up the difference herself.

The policy is being run as a promotion—Alony said she’ll see how the day goes and decide if she wants to keep it in place.

Thompson Chemists later posted this note on its Facebook page (see more press coverage here):

Calm down SoHo friends!

As stated in the article: “men aren’t actually coughing up more than they normally would at the register; rather, she’s offering a 7 percent discount for women—“
this makes up for how women are often overcharged for over-the-counter and beauty products (on average 7% according to the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs).

This is a friendly reminder to treat your friends and neighbors as equals and to read articles in their entirety before passing judgment.

With love from your neighborhood pharmacy,
Thompson Chemists

The Gothamist article says that the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs “wrote back to Gothamist to explain that there’s no legal issue with the Thompson Chemist promotion, as there isn’t a prohibition on price discrimination for goods. It is illegal, however, to discriminate in the pricing of services.”  I would be surprised if it is correct that vendors can legally discriminate in price, based on the sex of the customer.  The finer point is that Thompson Chemists is essentially giving a discount to women and not men by paying the women’s sales tax themselves.  In other words, Thompson Chemists is still on the hook for paying to New York State the sales tax on all of the (taxable) property it sells; the store is simply choosing to cover some of the tax itself.

I love the awareness that Thompon Chemists is raising, but I do wonder if it is legal to offer discounts to one group and not the other, on the basis of sex.  Or, are discounts so inherently discretionary that the law defers to the judgment of the store offering the discount?  Con Law experts, please chime in.

Posted in Women and Economics | Comments Off on What Happened When One NYC Pharmacy Charged Men More

Zurich Tampon Tax Protesters Turn Fountains Red

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

Earlier this week, members of, a feminist collective in Zurich, Switzerland, ooured food dye into various public fountains in order to protest the tampon tax.

Here’s an excerpt from English-language press in Switzerland:

Spokeswoman Carmen Schoder said the #happytobleed action was meant to prompt discussion on attitudes towards the female body.

“Many people still see menstruation as something shameful,” she said, adding that people were afraid to talk about it.

The organization is angry at the fact that tampons and sanitary towels are taxed at a rate of eight percent, and not at the rate of 2.5 percent which applies to most items of daily use.

“Tampons are seen as a luxury product and women are financially disadvantaged,” Schoder said. The tax gave the impression that sanitary products were not a requirement.

The Zurich authorities, which had to clean the fountains, complained that the water was meant for public consumption and should not be misused for publicity purposes.

Read the full coverage here.

Image source here
Posted in Activism, Feminism and Economics | Comments Off on Zurich Tampon Tax Protesters Turn Fountains Red

White Paper on Title IX & the Preponderance of the Evidence, 2d Edition

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

Please see the “second edition” of the White Paper on Title IX & the Preponderance of the Evidence at the link below, including the first 100 signatures from law professors across the country.  We will continue to accept signatures from law faculty members as long as law faculty members wish to sign on to the White Paper, and we will post updated editions of the White Paper as we receive additional signatures.  To add yourself as a signatory, please email your full name and the URL for your faculty webpage to Nancy Chi Cantalupo at


Posted in Academia | Comments Off on White Paper on Title IX & the Preponderance of the Evidence, 2d Edition

Spotlight on UDC Legislation Clinic Students’ Advocacy for #TamponTax Repeal

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

I mentioned here that students in the Legislation Clinic at the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law were among those testifying on behalf of the proposed legislation repealing D.C. tax on diapers and menstrual hygiene products.

The students’ testimony is available here. Some local news outlets feature the students’ work, here and here.

This is a concrete example of how student advocacy can lead to real-life impact.  Congratulations to Professor Marcy Karin, who leads the Legislation Clinic at UDC, and to her students!

Posted in Feminism and Economics, Law Schools, Law Teaching | Comments Off on Spotlight on UDC Legislation Clinic Students’ Advocacy for #TamponTax Repeal

D.C. Considering Repeal of the Tampon Tax

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

The Council of the District of Columbia’s Finance and Revenue Committee held hearings earlier this week on B21-696, the “Feminine Hygiene and Diapers Sales Tax Exemption Amendment Act of 2016.” Students in the Legislation Clinic at the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law were among those testifying on behalf of the proposed legislation.

Here’s an excerpt from the Washington Post’s coverage:

Advocates for women urged the D.C. Council to lift the sales tax on diapers, tampons and pads at the first public hearing Wednesday for legislation that is being promoted across the country.

“What, how and who we tax speaks volumes about what we value as a community and a city,” said Corinne Cannon of the D.C. Diaper Bank, adding that the savings in sales tax could allow families to buy an additional dozen diapers a month.

District residents currently don’t pay sales taxes on groceries and medically necessary drugs — including Viagra.

Some advocates said taxes on feminine hygiene products were like a tax for being a woman, and argued that jurisdictions should not classify them as “luxury goods.”
At the hearing before the council’s finance and revenue committee, about a half-dozen women testified in favor of suspending the taxes. The committee’s chair, Council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), said he supported the legislation.

Maryland doesn’t tax tampons and diapers; Virginia does. A bill that would eliminate the taxes on feminine hygiene products failed in Virginia this year.

The full WaPo article is here.

Posted in Feminism and Economics | Comments Off on D.C. Considering Repeal of the Tampon Tax

New Book Announcement: Lifetime Disadvantage, Discrimination and the Gendered Workforce

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

Cambridge University Press has published a new book by Susan Bisom-Rapp (Thomas Jefferson) and Malcolm Sargeant (Middlesex University, UK), Lifetime Disadvantage, Discrimination and the Gendered Workforce.  Here is the publisher’s description:

Lifetime Disadvantage, Discrimination and the Gendered Workforce fills a gap in the literature on discrimination and disadvantage suffered by women at work by focusing on the inadequacies of the current law and the need for a new holistic approach. Each stage of the working life cycle for women is examined with a critical consideration of how the law attempts to address the problems that inhibit women’s labour force participation. By using their model of lifetime disadvantage, the authors show how the law adopts an incremental and disjointed approach to resolving the challenges, and argue that a more holistic orientation towards eliminating women’s discrimination and disadvantage is required before true gender equality can be achieved. Using the concept of resilience from vulnerability theory, the authors advocate a reconfigured workplace that acknowledges yet transcends gender.

Thomas Jefferson has a nice press release here.

Posted in Employment Discrimination, Recommended Books | Comments Off on New Book Announcement: Lifetime Disadvantage, Discrimination and the Gendered Workforce

Lawsuit Challenging Improper Sales Tax on Toilet Paper

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

A New Jersey couple has filed a class action lawsuit against retailer Costco for improperly charging sales tax on toilet paper, when the state law specifically exempts toilet paper from the tax.  See the CNBC story here.

This case is not quite analogous to the class action suits challenging the tampon tax in New York (see here) and Florida (see here) because toilet paper is specifically exempt from taxation under New Jersey law, whereas in New York and Florida, menstrual hygiene products are subject to tax.  But the Costco case is helpful as an example of large class action sales tax refund case. If the tampon tax were found to be unconstitutional when imposed in New York (which repealed its tampon tax prospectively) or Florida, massive refunds would be in order.  I’ll be following the Costco/toilet paper case with interest.

Posted in Feminism and Economics | Comments Off on Lawsuit Challenging Improper Sales Tax on Toilet Paper

Chemerinsky on the Tampon Tax

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

Erwin Chemerinsky (UC Irvine) published a column in last week’s Los Angeles Daily News.  Here is an excerpt:

If the government were to say that only men or only women had to pay an additional tax of several hundred dollars a year solely because of their sex, that would clearly be an unconstitutional denial of equal protection. Yet that is exactly the effect of California imposing a tax on tampons and sanitary pads. * * * [T]axing tampons and sanitary pads is sex discrimination. Only women use these products, and thus only women pay the tax.

Read the full column here.

Posted in Feminism and Economics | Comments Off on Chemerinsky on the Tampon Tax

Lipman on Anti-Poverty Relief Delivered Through the Tax Code

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

Francine Lipman (UNLV) blogs here at the Surly Subgroup about newly-released national and state poverty statistics. The post is a short and clear explanation of how significant anti-poverty relief is delivered through the tax code to millions of people, including over 4 million children.  The post is worth a read.

Posted in Feminism and Economics, Feminism and Families, Women and Economics | Comments Off on Lipman on Anti-Poverty Relief Delivered Through the Tax Code

CFP: Wisc. J. L, Gender & Society on “Women in the Boardroom”

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

The Wisconsin Journal of Law, Gender & Society has announced its 2017 symposium and this Call for Papers:

Women in the Boardroom:

The Social and Business Arguments that Challenge Executive Board Homogeneity

The positive correlation between the increase of women within corporate boardrooms and financial performance has initiated global business and social debates regarding the need for more diversity within executive boardrooms. We are seeking original scholarship, from both scholars and practitioners, addressing either or both the business and social arguments that surround an effort to increase women presence within the executive, corporate industry.

Ideally, proposals would highlight:

  • An analysis of either the business (higher return on equity, return on sales, etc.) or the social argument (gender equality) regarding the importance of increasing the number of women in corporate boardrooms.
  • Recommendations as to how boardroom diversity implementation could be improved upon to address issues particular to the needs of women and businesses individually.

Interested parties should send an abstract, plus a 3-5 page outline to by November 1, 2016. Those selected for the Symposium will be asked to present their scholarship in our Symposium and will be offered the opportunity to be published in our April 2017 Symposium issue. The selected authors will be notified by mid-November 2016.

Posted in Call for Papers or Participation | Comments Off on CFP: Wisc. J. L, Gender & Society on “Women in the Boardroom”

Canadian Journal of Women and the Law/ Revue Femmes et Droit: Issue on Missing and Murdered Women Indigenous Women Conference/Symposium sur Meurtres et disparitions de femmes et de filles autochotones

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

Canadian Journal of Women and the Law/Revue Femmes et Droit

Volume 28, Issue 2, August 2016

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Conference / Symposium sur Meurtres et disparitions de femmes et de filles autochotones


CJWL online –

Project MUSE –



Sexualized Violence and Colonialism: Reflections on the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

Sherene H. Razack


Canadians live in a society where missing and murdered Indigenous women are so commonplace an occurrence that, for two years now, volunteers have organized to dredge the river that runs through the city of Winnipeg looking for the bodies of Indigenous girls and women who have disappeared. “Drag the Red,” as this organization is called, has yet to find any bodies, but its dredging operations often catch women’s underwear.1 The sheer horror of the prospect of Indigenous girls and women lying at the bottom of the river, a river that volunteers dredge, has yet to hit most Canadians, but, in 2015, Canadians elected a government that announced its intention to hold a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women, women who are unaccounted for across the country.


This issue came together after a symposium, jointly organized by the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law and the Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action, in partnership with the Native Women’s Association of Canada on 30–31 January 2016, explored the prospect of a national inquiry. Indigenous women leaders, family members of missing and murdered women, academics, and activists, joined by six human rights experts from the United Nations and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, came together to explore what an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women could accomplish….


Violence sexualisée et colonialisme : réflexions relatives à l’enquête sur les femmes autochtones disparues et assassinées

Sherene H. Razack


Les Canadiennes et Canadiens vivent dans une société où la disparition et le meurtre de femmes autochtones sont tellement monnaie courante que, depuis maintenant deux ans, des bénévoles draguent la rivière qui traverse Winnipeg dans l’espoir d’y retrouver des corps de filles et de femmes autochtones disparues. « Drag the Red » (draguer la Rouge), le nom de l’organisation, n’a pas encore trouvé de corps, mais ses travaux de dragage ont souvent permis de ramasser des sous-vêtements féminins1. En général, les Canadiennes et Canadiens n’ont pas encore saisi à quel point c’est une horreur sans nom de penser que des filles et des femmes autochtones gisent au fond de cette rivière que draguent des bénévoles, mais en 2015, ils ont élu un gouvernement qui a annoncé son intention de mener une enquête nationale sur les femmes et les filles autochtones disparues et assassinées qui manquent à l’appel dans tout le pays.


Ce numéro spécial de la revue est issu d’un symposium tenu les 30 et 31 janvier 2016 et organisé conjointement par la Revue Femmes et droit et l’Alliance canadienne féministe pour l’action internationale, en partenariat avec l’Association des femmes autochtones du Canada, qui évoquait la possibilité d’une enquête nationale. Des leaders autochtones, les familles des femmes disparues ou assassinées, des universitaires et des militantes, avec six experts en droits de la personne des Nations Unies et de la Commission interaméricaine des droits de l’homme, examinaient ce que pourrait accomplir une enquête sur les filles et les femmes autochtones disparues ou assassinées.



Shining Light on the Dark Places: Addressing Police Racism and Sexualized Violence against Indigenous Women and Girls in the National Inquiry

Pamela Palmater


Canada has had a long-standing problem with both societal and institutional racism against Indigenous peoples, especially within the justice system. Numerous national inquiries, commissions, and investigations have all concluded that every level of the justice system has failed Indigenous peoples. More recent inquiries indicate that racism against Indigenous peoples is particularly problematic in police forces in Canada. Yet, despite the evidence, little has been done in Canada to act on the recommendations. This has resulted in the over-incarceration of Indigenous peoples, numerous deaths of Indigenous peoples in police custody, and the national crisis of thousands of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls. This article seeks to highlight the lesser-known problem of police-involved racialized and sexualized abuse and violence against Indigenous women and girls as a root cause of the large numbers of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls in Canada. It is argued that an in-depth look at police-involved disappearances, sexual assaults, and murders of Indigenous women should be included in a national inquiry into the high rates of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls. It is hoped that such an investigation under the national inquiry will result in evidence-based analysis and recommendations for legislative and policy-based changes that are consistent with the human rights protections afforded Indigenous women and girls and with the calls for action by Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, various United Nations human rights bodies, and the families, communities, and nations of the Indigenous victims.


Gendering Disposability

Sherene H. Razack


In 2011, thirty-six-year-old Cindy Gladue, a Cree woman, bled to death in a hotel bathtub in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. On the night she died, Gladue had contracted for sexual exchange with Bradley Barton, a white man who worked as a trucker. In 2015, Barton was tried for the murder of Cindy Gladue. With more than 1,200 missing and murdered Indigenous women, there is compelling reason to focus on the violence Barton inflicted on Gladue, understanding it as a part of a history of the sexual brutalization and attempted annihilation of Indigenous women. To show that Gladue’s death and the trial of Barton for her murder are part of a history of colonial terror, it is necessary to unpack the framework utilized by the court, a framework that revolved around the ideas of consent and contract. I propose that we utilize a framework of disposability instead, focusing on the Indigenous woman’s expendibility in settler colonialism. Sexualized violence is key to disposability, and flesh is the site at which racial and sexual power are both inscribed. I emphasize the excessive violence that is meted out to Indigenous women as evidence of colonial power imprinted on their bodies.


A Long Road Behind Us, a Long Road Ahead: Towards an Indigenous Feminist National Inquiry

Cherry Smiley


Since the invasion of North America by white male colonizers, Indigenous women and girls have been constructed as homogenized and dehumanized “Indian princesses” and “savage squaws.” These constructions, albeit false, have real consequences, resulting in disproportionate rates of male violence against Indigenous women and girls in the context of a contemporary for-profit rape culture. In 2015, the Canadian federal government announced a long-awaited inquiry into violence against Indigenous women and girls. This article recommends an expressly Indigenous feminist framework in order to comprehensively address the issue of male violence against Indigenous women and girls in a national inquiry.


Indian Act Sex Discrimination: Enough Inquiry Already, Just Fix It

Gwen Brodsky


This article links ongoing historical sex discrimination in the Indian Act to the high levels of violence against Indigenous women. The status provisions have been recognized as an underlying cause contributing to the existing vulnerabilities that make Indigenous women more susceptible to violence. Addressing violence against Indigenous women will be impossible unless and until the underlying discrimination is also comprehensively addressed. The author further contends that fixing the Indian Act does not require waiting for an inquiry. Successive federal governments have been well aware of the ongoing sex discrimination under the Act and its implications for Canada’s human rights record. The article concludes by calling for the immediate amendment of the status provisions in the Indian Act once and for all.


Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Crisis: Technological Dimensions

Jane Bailey and Sara Shayan


This article considers how digital technologies are informed by, and implicated in, the systematic and interlocking oppressions of colonialism, misogyny, and racism, all of which have been identified as root causes of the missing and murdered Indigenous women crisis in Canada. The authors consider how technology can facilitate multiple forms of violence against women—including stalking and intimate partner violence, human trafficking, pornography and child abuse images, and online hate and harassment—and note instances where Indigenous women and girls may be particularly vulnerable. The authors also explore some of the complexities related to police use of technology for investigatory purposes, touching on police use of social media and DNA technology. Without simplistically blaming technology, the authors argue that technology interacts with multiple factors in the complex historical, socio-cultural environment that incubates the national crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. The article concludes with related questions that may be considered at the impending national inquiry.


Balancing Transparency and Accountability with Privacy in Improving the Police Handling of Sexual Assaults

Amy Conroy and Teresa Scassa


This article considers the potential for the adoption in Ontario of a model, developed in Philadelphia and implemented in other US cities, that has proven successful in significantly improving police handling of sexual assault cases and public confidence in the system. This model directly involves front-line sexual assault victim advocates working with police in systematic reviews of police sexual assault records, with a particular focus on “unfounded” cases. Resistance to the adoption of this model in Canada has focused on arguments around public sector privacy legislation. We therefore explore the Philadelphia model through a transparency and accountability lens in the Canadian context. We suggest that the concepts of “transparency” and “accountability” are too often conflated with the disclosure of data or information through access to information channels, and we argue for a more robust understanding of these concepts. We also argue that the conventional access to information model should not be allowed to obstruct meaningful transparency and accountability by using privacy arguments to create barriers to change.


Public Inquiries and Law Reform Institutions: “Truth Finding” and “Truth Producing”

Nathalie Des Rosiers


This article examines how the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls Inquiry (MMIWGI) will be evaluated and what it means for its design and ambitions. It argues that a public inquiry, like a law reform body, must aim to be a “truth-finding” body as well as a “truth-producing” enterprise. It must understand itself as wanting to create the right leverage so that meaningful changes can occur, irrespective of whether its recommendations are immediately adopted or not. It can accomplish such a goal by having a process that becomes the message, by ensuring that it does not get derailed, and by proposing recommendations that set the stage for change, such as addressing the accountability vacuum and aiming to design a process that models the values and behaviour that it wants other institutions to adopt.


The Berger Inquiry in Retrospect: Its Legacy

Stephen Goudge


The following article was originally presented as the inaugural lecture of the Willms and Shier Speaker Series in Environmental Law, in collaboration with the Centre for Environmental Law and Global Sustainability in the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa on 29 September 2015 by the Honourable Justice Stephen T. Goudge. Reflecting on the lessons and impacts of the McKenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry, chaired by then Justice Thomas Berger, the article considers the lasting impact of the Berger Inquiry forty years later, including the successful recommendation to abandon plans to develop the north slope of the Yukon, in favour of conservation. The Berger Inquiry has had lasting social impacts by contributing to the rise of a collective northern voice and highlighting the fundamental importance of Indigenous interests in charting the future. In his postscript, Justice Goudge adds his hope that the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Inquiry will emulate the Berger Inquiry in three fundamental ways: by developing inquiry processes that build trust among those most affected; by proposing expeditious and timely recommendations; and, most importantly, by doing what is right.


The National Inquiry on Murders and Disappearances of Indigenous Women and Girls Recommendations from the Symposium on Planning for Change: Towards a National Inquiry and an Effective National Action Plan

Feminist Alliance for International ActionNative Women’s Association of Canada


On 30–31 January 2016, the Native Women’s Association of Canada, the Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action, and the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law convened a symposium in Ottawa to engage in dialogue about the upcoming national inquiry on the murders and disappearances of Indigenous women and girls. Forty Indigenous women leaders, family members of murdered and disappeared women, academics, and allies were joined by six human rights experts from the United Nations and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. This document is distilled from presentations and dialogue at the symposium….


L’enquête nationale sur les meurtres et disparitions de femmes et de filles autochtones

Document final du Symposium sur les Meurtres et disparitions de femmes et de filles autochtones planifier le changement : Vers une enquête nationale et un Plan d’action national efficace

Feminist Alliance for International ActionNative Women’s Association of Canada


L’Association des femmes autochtones du Canada, l’Alliance canadienne féministe pour l’action internationale et la Revue Femmes et droit ont organisé à Ottawa, les 30 et 31 janvier 2016, un symposium en vue d’entamer un dialogue au sujet de l’enquête nationale à venir sur les meurtres et disparitions de femmes et de filles autochtones. Quarante leaders féminines autochtones, des membres des familles des femmes et des filles disparues et assassinées, des universitaires et des alliés ont été rejoints par cinq expertes en droits de la personne des Nations Unies et un expert de la Commission interaméricaine des droits de l’homme. Le présent document est issu des présentations et des dialogues qui ont eu lieu pendant le Symposium. …



Re-Imagining an Agentic Ashley: Looking for Ashley: Re-Reading What the Smith Case Reveals about the Governance of Girls, Mothers and Families in Canada by Rebecca Jaremko Bromwich

Josephine L. Savarese


Dying from Improvement: Inquests and Inquiries into Indigenous Deaths in Custody by Sherene H. Razack

Sarah Buhler

Information posted originally for Canadian Journal of Women and the Law by T. Hawkins.


Posted in Acts of Violence, Criminal Law, Deaths, Sisters In Other Nations | Comments Off on Canadian Journal of Women and the Law/ Revue Femmes et Droit: Issue on Missing and Murdered Women Indigenous Women Conference/Symposium sur Meurtres et disparitions de femmes et de filles autochotones

Announcing the Publication of Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

I am excited to announce that Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court has been published by Cambridge University Press.  This volume, edited by Kathy Stanchi (Temple), Linda Berger (UNLV) and me includes contributions from over 50 law professors.  After a very long wait, the book is now in hand. I couldn’t be more pleased and honored to see in print the work of so many outstanding national colleagues who worked together on this project.

Here is the publisher’s description of the book:coveronepage

What would United States Supreme Court opinions look like if key decisions on gender issues were written with a feminist perspective? Feminist Judgments brings together a group of scholars and lawyers to rewrite, using feminist reasoning, the most significant U.S. Supreme Court cases on gender from the 1800s to the present day. The twenty-five opinions in this volume demonstrate that judges with feminist viewpoints could have changed the course of the law. The rewritten decisions reveal that previously accepted judicial outcomes were not necessary or inevitable and demonstrate that feminist reasoning increases the judicial capacity for justice. Feminist Judgments opens a path for a long overdue discussion of the real impact of judicial diversity on the law as well as the influence of perspective on judging.

A copy of the book’s (substantive) Introductory chapter and full Table of Contents is available on SSRN (here).  A series of Feminist Judgments books is also in the works.  We have plans for follow-on volumes that focus on Tax, Reproductive Justice, Employment  Law, Family Law and Torts, to name just a few projects that currently in development.  You can follow the Feminist Judgments project on Twitter @usfemjudgments

Here is a list of the cases and contributors to Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court:

Chapter 1

Introduction to the U.S. Feminist Judgments Project

Kathryn M. Stanchi, Linda L. Berger, and Bridget J. Crawford

Chapter 2

Talking Back: From Feminist History and Theory to Feminist Legal Methods and Judgments

Berta Esperanza Hernández-Truyol

Chapter 3. Bradwell v. Illinois, 83 U.S. 130 (1873)

Commentary: Kimberly Holst

Judgment: Phyllis Goldfarb

Chapter 4. Muller v. Oregon, 208 U.S. 412 (1908)

Commentary: Andrea Doneff

Judgment: Pamela Laufer-Ukeles

Chapter 5. Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965)

Commentary: Cynthia Hawkins DeBose

Judgment: Laura Rosenbury

Chapter 6. Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967)

Commentary: Inga N. Laurent

Judgment: Teri McMurtry-Chubb

Chapter 7. Stanley v. Illinois, 405 U.S. 645 (1972)

Commentary: Nancy D. Polikoff

Judgment: Karen Syma Czapanskiy

Chapter 8. Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973)

Commentary: Rachel Rebouché

Judgment: Kimberly M. Mutcherson

Chapter 9. Frontiero v. Richardson, 411 U.S. 677 (1973)

Commentary: Iselin M. Gambert

Judgment: Dara E. Purvis

Chapter 10. Geduldig v. Aiello, 417 U.S. 484 (1974)

Commentary: Maya Manian

Judgment: Lucinda M. Finley

Chapter 11. Dothard v. Rawlinson, 433 U.S. 321 (1977)

Commentary: Brenda V. Smith

Judgment: Maria L. Ontiveros

Chapter 12. City of Los Angeles Department Dep’t of Water & Power v. Manhart, 435 U.S. 702 (1978)

Commentary: Cassandra Jones Havard

Judgment: Tracy A. Thomas

Chapter 13. Harris v. McRae, 448 U.S. 297 (1980)

Commentary: Mary Ziegler

Judgment: Leslie C. Griffin

Chapter 14. Michael M. v. Superior Court, 450 U.S. 464 (1981)

Commentary: Margo Kaplan

Judgment: Cynthia Godsoe

Chapter 15. Rostker v. Goldberg, 453 U.S. 57 (1981)

Commentary: Jamie R. Abrams

Judgment: David S. Cohen

Chapter 16. Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57 (1986)

Commentary: Kristen Konrad Tiscione

Judgment: Angela Onwuachi-Willig

Chapter 17. Johnson v. Transportation Agency, 480 U.S. 616 (1987)

Commentary: Deborah Gordon

Judgment: Deborah L. Rhode

Chapter 18. Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, 490 U.S. 228 (1989)

Commentary: Dale Margolin Cecka

Judgment: Martha Chamallas

Chapter 19. Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992)

Commentary: Macarena Sáez

Judgment: Lisa R. Pruitt

Chapter 20. United States v. Virginia, 518 U.S. 515 (1996)

Commentary: Christine M. Venter

Judgment: Valorie K. Vojdik

Chapter 21. Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, Inc., 523 U.S. 75 (1998)

Commentary: Margaret E. Johnson

Judgment: Ann C. McGinley

Chapter 22. Gebser v. Lago Vista Independent School District, 524 U.S. 274 (1998)

Commentary: Michelle S. Simon

Judgment: Ann Bartow

Chapter 23. United States v. Morrison, 529 U.S. 598 (2000)

Commentary: Shaakirrah R. Sanders

Judgment: Aníbal Rosario Lebrón

Chapter 24. Nguyen v. INS, 533 U.S. 53 (2001)

Commentary: Sandra S. Park

Judgment: Ilene Durst

Chapter 25. Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003)

Commentary: Kris McDaniel-Miccio

Judgment: Ruthann Robson

Chapter 26. Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005)

Commentary: Patricia A. Broussard

Judgment: Maria Isabel Medina

Chapter 27. Obergefell v. Hodges, 135 S. Ct. 2584 (2015)

Commentary: Erez Aloni

Judgment: Carlos A. Ball

Posted in Courts and the Judiciary, Feminist Legal Scholarship, Law Teaching, Recommended Books | Comments Off on Announcing the Publication of Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court

Areheart on “The Symmetry Principle”

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

Brad Areheart (Tennessee) has posted to SSRN his working paper “The Symmetry Principle.” Here an abstract.

Antidiscrimination principles have been studied and written about for decades. Surprisingly, the question of how some laws protect symmetrically, while others protect asymmetrically, has received little attention. Even more surprising is the fact that legal scholars have not provided any systemic account of symmetry’s function in antidiscrimination law. Title VII, for example, makes it illegal to discriminate against both blacks and whites, against both men and women. In contrast, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act’s scope is asymmetrical in that it protects only those over the age of forty. This Article proposes “the symmetry principle” as a major normative theory for considering the design of antidiscrimination laws. When antidiscrimination laws are symmetrical they have the capacity to harness a unique mix of strengths—while minimizing weaknesses—from previous normative theories regarding the means and ends of antidiscrimination law. The symmetry principle is thus a design compromise, somewhere between the poles of particularism and universalism, in fashioning laws to prevent and rectify subordination.

The full paper is available here.

Posted in Feminist Legal Scholarship | Comments Off on Areheart on “The Symmetry Principle”

Speaker Needed for FIU Symposium on Race and Reproductive Rights

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

From colleagues at FIU, who are looking for a speaker to round out an upcoming symposium, due to a last-minute cancellation by a previously-scheduled speaker:

Florida International University College of Law will be holding a symposium on reproductive rights, “New Approaches and Challenges to Reproductive Justice” on November 3-4, 2016. We are looking for one speaker to fill a panel. The talk can be on any aspect of reproductive rights but we are particularly interested in hearing from scholars working on race and reproductive rights or Latina perspectives on law and reproductive rights. There is an opportunity to also publish a short piece based on the talk. FIU is an R1 public research institution in Miami. The law review will cover costs of travel and accommodation to Miami. Please contact, Professor Cyra Akila Choudhury at by September 16 with a 200-word abstract if you are interested.

Posted in Race and Racism, Reproductive Rights, Upcoming Conferences | Comments Off on Speaker Needed for FIU Symposium on Race and Reproductive Rights

What’s Wrong With This Picture? Menstruating Woman Edition

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

Instagram is at it again.  Remember when Instragram twice deleted the photo by Rupi Kaur of a fully clothed woman lying on a bed, because the woman’s trousers showed a period stain?  (See here.)  Looks like women’s periods are just … too gross for Instagram.  Last week the company shut down photographer Harley Weir’s account because of art photographs of a model with menstrual blood on her legs.  The images are viewable here.  The images have now been restored to Instagram and the company has apologized.

Posted in Feminism and Culture | Comments Off on What’s Wrong With This Picture? Menstruating Woman Edition

Higdon on “Divorce and the Serial Monogamist: The Ex Ante Consequences of Legalized Polygamy”

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

Michael Higdon (Tennessee) has posted to SSRN his paper, Divorce and the Serial Monogamist: The Ex Ante Consequences of Legalized Polygamy.  Here is the abstract:

The question of whether the fundamental right to marry might also include the right to polygamy is one that has long intrigued legal scholars. In the wake of Obergefell v. Hodges, that question has taken on even greater significance. Although other scholars have attempted to answer this question, this Article does so in a novel way. Specifically, this Article looks at the practice of polygamy through a law and economics lens, exploring the ex ante consequences of legalization, not on practicing polygamists, but on serial monogamists — i.e., those who never intend to have more than one spouse at any given time but are, nonetheless, prone to marry more than one person in their lifetime. When looked at in that manner, the degree to which legalized polygamy would harm the state becomes much more evident. After all, if polygamy were legal, the current laws prohibiting bigamy would no longer be in operation. In turn, separating couples would lose one of the strongest incentives they currently face to pursue formal divorce in lieu of simply deserting one another. In essence, then, a serial monogamist could marry multiple times in his lifetime without ever getting a divorce, safe in the knowledge that his actions are no longer subject to a criminal charge of bigamy. Such actions — dubbed “sequential polygamy” — are quite harmful to the state’s substantial interest in protecting its citizens from financial harms. Indeed, the current law of divorce is designed to encourage separating couples to elect that formal course of action so as to provide the state some assurance that those leaving a marriage are not doing so to their financial detriment. With the legalization of polygamy then, goes the prohibition against bigamy, thus eroding the state’s ability to encourage divorce as a means of protecting all its citizens; but in particular its poorest citizens, who would likely be hardest hit by any societal shift away from formal divorce.

The full article is available here.

Posted in Feminism and Families, Feminist Legal Scholarship | Comments Off on Higdon on “Divorce and the Serial Monogamist: The Ex Ante Consequences of Legalized Polygamy”

CFP: Applied Feminism and Intersectionality

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

From colleagues at the University of Baltimore:


The Center on Applied Feminism at the University of Baltimore School of Law seeks paper proposals for the Tenth Anniversary of the Feminist Legal Theory Conference.  We hope you will join us for this exciting celebration on March 30-31, 2017.

This year, the conference will explore how intersecting identities inform — or should inform — feminist legal theory and justice-oriented legal practice, legal systems, legal policy, and legal activism. Beginning in 1989, Kimberlé Crenshaw identified the need for law to recognize persons as representing multiple intersecting identities, not only one identity (such as female) to the exclusion of another (such as African American). Intersectionality theory unmasks how social systems oppress people in different ways.  While its origins are in exploring the intersection of race and gender, intersectionality theory now encompasses all intersecting identities including religion, ethnicity, citizenship, class, disability, and sexual orientation. Today, intersectionality theory is an important part of the Black Lives Matter and #SayHerName movements. For more information, see

We seek submissions of papers that focus on the topic of applied feminism and intersecting identities.  This conference aims to explore the following questions: What impact has intersectionality theory had on feminist legal theory?  How has it changed law and social policy? How does intersectionality help us understand and challenge different forms of oppression?  What is its transformative potential? What legal challenges are best suited to an intersectionality approach? How has intersectionality  theory changed over time and where might it go in the future?

We welcome proposals that consider these questions from a variety of substantive disciplines and perspectives. As always, the Center’s conference will serve as a forum for scholars, practitioners and activists to share ideas about applied feminism, focusing on connections between theory and practice to effectuate social change. The conference will be open to the public and will feature a keynote speaker. Past keynote speakers have included Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison, Dr. Maya Angelou, Gloria Steinem, Senators Barbara Mikulski and Amy Klobuchar, NOW President Terry O’Neill, EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum, and U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner.

To submit a paper proposal, please submit an abstract by Friday October 28, 2016 to Your abstract must contain your full contact information and professional affiliation, as well as an email, phone number, and mailing address. In the “Re” line, please state: CAF Conference 2017. Abstracts should be no longer than one page. We will notify presenters of selected papers in November. About half the presenter slots will be reserved for authors who commit to publishing in the annual symposium volume of the University of Baltimore Law Review. Thus, please indicate at the bottom of your abstract whether you are submitting (1) solely to present or (2) to present and publish in the symposium volume. Authors who are interested in publishing in the Law Review will be strongly considered for publication. For all presenters, working drafts of papers will be due no later than March 3, 2017.

Presenters are responsible for their own travel costs; the conference will provide a discounted hotel rate as well as meals.

We look forward to your submissions. If you have further questions, please contact Prof. Margaret Johnson at For additional information about the conference, please visit

Posted in Call for Papers or Participation, Upcoming Conferences | Comments Off on CFP: Applied Feminism and Intersectionality

Swan on Title IX, the Criminal Law, and the Campus Sexual Assault Debate

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

Sarah Lynnda Swan, Columbia University Law School, is publishing Between Title IX and the Criminal Law: Bringing Tort Law to the Campus Sexual Assault Debate in volume 64 of the the Kansas Law Review (2016). Here is the abstract.

In the last few years, campus sexual assault has risen to prominence as a national public concern. As policy-makers scramble to figure out how best to address this problem, the contours of the conversation in scholarship, media articles, and policy-making have devolved into two competing adjudicative frameworks: criminal law or Title IX. In this criminal law versus Title IX debate, two questions dominate. First, who can better adjudicate claims of campus sexual assault: criminal courts using criminal laws, or schools using Title IX? Second, if schools do adjudicate sexual assault claims under Title IX, are students entitled to the same procedural protections as criminal defendants? In this Symposium piece, I argue that this criminal law versus Title IX framing is unduly narrow. It ignores a third, important mode of adjudication for sexual assault claims: tort law. In this essay, I show why tort law has been left out of the campus sexual assault debate, and the potential impact of its inclusion. Incorporating tort law into the campus sexual assault debate has three specific benefits. First, conceptualizing campus sexual assault as a tort reminds us that the same wrong can be legitimately framed and addressed in multiple ways. Second, tort law sets a useful standard for determining the scope of procedural protections in campus sexual assault proceedings. Third, tort law suggests that affirmative consent may be appropriate for campus sexual interactions. Ultimately, bringing tort law into the campus sexual assault debate opens up the vast and fertile ground between the two poles of criminal law and Title IX, and creates a space where better institutional design and a more effective solution to this social problem might be found.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

Posted in Sex and Sexuality | Comments Off on Swan on Title IX, the Criminal Law, and the Campus Sexual Assault Debate

“Cocks Not Glocks” Protest at University of Texas

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

Jon Herskovitz writes for Yahoo, “Texas Students Use Sex Toys to Protest New Gun Laws On Campus“:

To protest a new state law that makes the carrying of concealed handguns legal in college classrooms, students at the University of Texas on Wednesday openly displayed sex toys, an act considered illegal under local indecency laws.

“We are fighting absurdity with absurdity,” said Jessica Jin, leader of the protest called “Cocks Not Glocks: Campus (Dildo) Carry,” where hundreds of sex toys were given away at the rally on Wednesday that coincided with a return to classes at university’s flagship campus.

“Texas has decided it is not all obnoxious or illegal to allow deadly concealed weapons on campus. But walking around with a dildo could land you in trouble,” Jin said.

On Aug. 1, a so-called “campus carry” law backed by the state’s Republican political leaders went into effect that allows concealed handgun license holders aged 21 and older to bring handguns into classrooms and other university facilities.

Read the full story here.

Posted in Activism | Comments Off on “Cocks Not Glocks” Protest at University of Texas

California’s Tampon Tax May Soon End

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

From the Huffington Post (here):

The same bill unanimously passed in the Assembly in early June. It now heads back to the Assembly for final approval, and then to Gov. Jerry Brown (D), whose office declined to say if he will sign the bill into law or not. The measure would save California women an estimated $20 million annually, and has the support of the state’s tax board .

California is one of 39 states where tampons, pads and other similar items are not classified as necessities and are thus subject to sales tax, unlike many other medical products .

The legislation, introduced by state Assemblywomen Cristina Garcia (D) and Ling Ling Chang (R) earlier this year, would exempt menstrual products from the state sales tax. The bill’s proponents argue that items like tampons are not simply “feminine hygiene products,” but a medical necessity for women, and that subjecting the products to sales tax is a glaring example of gender inequality.

“The state of California should not be in the business of putting a tax on half the population because they were born as women,” Garcia told The Huffington Post in April.

Read the full article here.


Posted in Women and Economics, Women's Health | Comments Off on California’s Tampon Tax May Soon End

CFP: Feminist Legal Theory Collaborative Research Network at Law & Society 2017

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

Call for Papers – Friday September 16th Deadline

The Feminist Legal Theory Collaborative Research Network

Seeks submissions for the

Law and Society Association Annual Meeting

Mexico City, Mexico, at the Sheraton Maria Isabel, June 20 – 23, 2017

Dear friends and colleagues,

We invite you to participate in the panels sponsored by the Feminist Legal Theory Collaborative Research Network at the Law and Society Annual Meeting in 2017. The Feminist Legal Theory CRN seeks to bring together law and society scholars across a range of fields who are interested in feminist legal theory. Information about the Law and Society meeting is available at

This year’s meeting is unique in that it brings us to the Global South, and invites us to explore the theme Walls, Borders, and Bridges: Law and Society in an Inter-Connected World. We are especially interested in proposals that explore the application of feminist legal theory to this theme, broadly construed. This might include papers that explore feminist legal theory in comparative or transnational contexts, as well as in relation to the impacts of globalism and other intersections within particular locations, relationships, institutions, and identities. We are also interested in papers that will permit us to collaborate with other CRNs, such as the Critical Research on Race and the Law CRN, and welcome multidisciplinary proposals.

Our goal is to stimulate focused discussion of papers on which scholars are currently working. Thus, while you may submit papers that are closer to publication, we are particularly eager to receive proposals for works-in-progress that are at an earlier stage and will benefit from the discussion that the panels will provide.

The Planning Committee will assign individual papers to panels based on subject. Panels will use the LSA format, which requires four papers. We will also assign a chair, and one or two commentators/discussants for each panel, to provide feedback on the papers and promote discussion. For panels with two commentators/discussants, one may be asked to also chair.

As a condition of participating as a panelist, you must also agree to serve as a chair and/or commentator/discussant for another panel or participant. We will of course take into account expertise and topic preferences to the degree possible.

The duties of chairs are to organize the panel logistically; including registering it online with the LSA, and moderating the panel. Chairs will develop a 100-250 word description for the session and submit the session proposal to LSA before their anticipated deadline of October 19. This will ensure that each panelist can submit their proposal, using the panel number assigned.

The duties of commentator/discussants are to read the papers assigned to them and to prepare a short commentary about the papers that discusses them individually and (to the extent relevant) collectively, identifying ways that they relate to one another.

If you would like to present a paper as part of a CRN panel, please email:

  • An 1000 word abstract or summary,
  • Your name and a title, and
  • A list of your areas of interest and expertise within feminist legal theory

to the CRN Planning Committee at (Please do not send submissions to individual committee members.)

Note that LSA is imposing a requirement that your summary be at least 1,000 words long.  Although a shorter summary will suffice for our purposes, you will be required to upload a 1,000 word summary in advance of LSA’s anticipated deadline of October 19. If you are already planning a LSA session with at least four panelists (and papers) that you would like to see included in the Feminist Legal Theory CRN, please let the Committee know.

In addition to these panels, we may try to use some of the other formats that the LSA provides: the “author meets readers” format, salon, or roundtable discussion. If you have an idea that you think would work well in one of these formats, please let us know. Please note that for roundtables, organizers are now required to provide a 500-word summary of the topic and the contributions they expect the proposed participants to make. Please also note that LSA rules limit you to participating only once as a paper panelist or roundtable participant.

Please submit all proposals by Friday, September 16 to the email provided above. This will permit us to organize panels and submit them prior to the LSA’s anticipated deadline of October 19. In the past, we have accommodated as many panelists as possible, but have been unable to accept all proposals. If we are unable to accept your proposal for the CRN, we will notify you by early October so that you can submit an independent proposal to LSA.

We hope you’ll join us in Mexico City to share and discuss the scholarship in which we are all engaged and connect with others doing work on feminist legal theory.




2017 LSA Feminist Legal Theory CRN Planning Committee

Aziza Ahmed (co-chair)

Elizabeth MacDowell (co-chair)

Jamie Abrams

Srimati Basu

Cyra Akila Choudhury

Anibal Rosario-Lebron

Posted in Call for Papers or Participation, Upcoming Conferences | Comments Off on CFP: Feminist Legal Theory Collaborative Research Network at Law & Society 2017

White Paper: Title IX & the Preponderance of the Evidence

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

Please see the “second edition” of the White Paper on Title IX & the Preponderance of the Evidence at the link below, including the first 100 signatures from law professors across the country.  We will continue to accept signatures from law faculty members as long as law faculty members wish to sign on to the White Paper, and we will post updated editions of the White Paper as we receive additional signatures.  To add yourself as a signatory, please email your full name and the URL for your faculty webpage to Nancy Chi Cantalupo at


Posted in Academia | Comments Off on White Paper: Title IX & the Preponderance of the Evidence

CFP: “Intersectional Inquiries and Collaborative Action: Gender and Race,” Notre Dame, Mar 2-4, 2017

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook

From the FLP mailbox:

Intersectional Inquiries and Collaborative Action: Gender and Race

University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, Indiana USA
March 2-4, 2017

Deadline for submissions: Saturday, October 1, 2016

Questions of race and gender continue to undergird broad sections of inquiry in the academy and beyond. The ongoing legacies and current manifestations of racism and sexism continue to demand intellectual analysis, institutional recognition, and collective intervention. Reaching a critical crescendo during the political upheavals of the 1960s’ civil rights/anti-colonial era and the responding cultural turn in the humanities, Black feminists have discussed the ways in which both race and gender are co-constitutive and rely on intersecting paradigms of power and constructions of difference. Indeed, the concept of “intersectionality,” coined by Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, has become a key mode of framing how identities and sites of contestation around identity are multiple and complex. Furthermore, critics and activists from a myriad of socio-political milieus have underscored the importance of intersectional approaches in struggles for social justice and in the making of inclusive public spaces. From feminist scholarship to human rights policy to commentary via Twitter memes, intersectionality as a theoretical concept, method of analysis, and mode of collaborative action circulates in both grassroots and intellectual discourse.

The Intersectional Inquiries conference will offer a platform for scholars from various fields to interrogate the intersections of race and gender–as manifested materially and discursively–from a broad range of historical, global, and contemporary contexts. We call on scholars, activists, and students to attend rigorously to the ways that race structures gender, sexualities, class, and dis/ability and the dominating matrices of biopolitical violence and imperialism, as well as to trace how racialized subjectivities and non-normative embodiments challenge and radically fracture hierarchy. With this conference, our hope is to inspire impactful intellectual dialogue and assist in building ties that might lead to scholarly- and social justice-focused collaborations.

Our confirmed keynote speaker is Professor Patricia Hill Collins, Distinguished University Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park.  Professor Collins recently co-authored Intersectionality (Polity 2016) with Sirma Bilge.  Her first book, Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment (Routledge 1990), won the Jessie Bernard Award of the American Sociological Association for significant scholarship in gender, and the C. Wright Mills Award of the Society for the Study of Social Problems.  Professor Collins is also the author and editor of several books dealing with race, gender, education, and politics, including On Intellectual Activism (Temple 2012); Another Kind of Public Education: Race, the Media, Schools, and Democratic Possibilities (Beacon 2009); and From Black Power to Hip Hop: Racism, Nationalism, and Feminism (Temple 2006).


The Organizing Committee invites proposals for individual papers, pre-constituted panels, pre-constituted roundtables, and creative works that address one or more of the following topics, or other topics aligned with the conference theme:

coloniality and imperialism
violence, terror, and war
social movements and activism
electoral politics
religion and spirituality
environment, climate change, and sustainability
space, place, and geography
labor and economics
family and marriage
literature, visual culture, and performance
popular culture (social media, film, television, music, sports, gaming, etc.)
digitization and technicity
theory and/or methodology
feminist jurisprudence.
Submission Guidelines

The deadline for submissions is 11:59 PM (US Eastern Daylight Time) on Saturday, October 1, 2016.

Please submit your proposal here:   You will first need to become a member of Submittable (which is easy and free).

To allow for as many voices as possible at the conference, proposers may apply for only two of the following roles: paper presenter, creative works presenter, panel chair, roundtable coordinator, or roundtable participant.

We welcome submissions from scholars, activists, artists, and students, including those at the undergraduate level.

Open Call Papers

Individuals submitting paper proposals should provide an abstract of 250 words, a short bio, and contact information. Co-authored papers are acceptable.

Pre-constituted Panels

Panel chairs should submit a 250-word rationale for the pre-constituted panel as a whole.  For each participant, chairs should submit a 250-word presentation abstract, a short bio, and contact information. Panels should include 3-4 papers. Co-authored papers are acceptable.  Panels that include a diversity of panelist affiliations and experience levels are strongly encouraged.

Pre-constituted Roundtables

Roundtable coordinators should submit a 250-word rationale for the pre-constituted roundtable as a whole.  For each participant, coordinators should submit a 250-word abstract of planned comments, a short bio, and contact information. Roundtables should include no more than 6 participants (inclusive of coordinator).  Roundtables that include a diversity of panelist affiliations and experience levels are strongly encouraged. Roundtable participants’ remarks at the conference should be brief in order to create substantive discussion with attendees.

Open Call Creative Works

Proposals for audiovisual and other creative works should consist of a 250-word abstract (including the length and format of the work), a short bio of the producer/director, contact information, and requirements for exhibition. Co-authored work is acceptable.  If the work is viewable online, please submit a URL.

More Information

Please direct any questions about the conference and the submission process to:

Updates about the conference schedule, events, travel and lodging, and more will be posted here.

Conference Organizers: Tara Hudson, Z’étoile Imma, Mary Celeste Kearney, and Christine Venter, University of Notre Dame.

Posted in Call for Papers or Participation, Upcoming Conferences | Comments Off on CFP: “Intersectional Inquiries and Collaborative Action: Gender and Race,” Notre Dame, Mar 2-4, 2017