Making Women’s Periods Commercial-Chic (Who Benefits?)

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Is there nothing that escapes commercialization?  A U.K. company called Pink Parcel is hawking “Period Subscription Boxes” to deliver to your home each month tampons, pads, tea, chocolate, beauty products (like tweezers! hand cream!).  Goodies come in recyclable and biodegradable boxes.  The website includes gushing endorsements such as these:

  • “That time of the month can be tough, and having a little box of goodies arrive each month to make it a little easier can only be a good thing – it’s the perfect excuse for a little extra pampering time.”
  • “Let’s not beat around the bush; your er, time of the month, is never a walk in the park. But this where Pink Parcel steps in. Perfect for those who really get it bad around that time, or just to make Mother Nature’s visit a little more palatable.”

Really?

But that’s not all.  Pink Parcel has its own PR firm (see here) that aims to raise the company’s profile and “engage Pink Parcel in relevant conversations surrounding the abolition of the [U.K.] ‘tampon tax’ (where VAT is imposed on sanitary items).”  And the company’s blog includes (laudable) posts against body-shaming (see here). So maybe we can point to Pink Parcel as an example of a company trying to capitalize on a certain female-positive activism-chic?

image source here
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NYS Repeals Tampon Tax

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In May, the New York State legislature passed a bill eliminating the sales tax on feminine hygiene products. As expected, that bill was signed into law yesterday by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

In the press release (here) issued by the Governor’s office, Cuomo said, “This is a regressive tax on essential products that women have had to pay for far too long and lifting it is a matter of social and economic justice.” Some local press coverage can be found here.

The estimated budget impact, according to some reports (e.g., here) is $10 million per year.  A class action lawsuit filed in March of this year (before the legislative repeal) estimates that the “tampon tax” generated over $14 million for New York State.

Although New York has prospectively changed its law, the lawsuit is going forward, as the plaintiffs have requested restitution for past tax paid.

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Free Tampons in the 212: NYC Passes New Law

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Last month the New York City Council passed laws requiring the City to provide free menstrual hygiene products in schools, homeless shelters and jails.  Here’s an excerpt from the press release:

Feminine hygiene products are essential for the health and well-being of women and girls. Inadequate menstrual hygiene management is associated with both health and psycho-social issues, particularly among low-income women. Access to feminine hygiene products has proven to be limited for certain populations, including public school students, the homeless, and incarcerated women.  * * *

“Feminine hygiene products are not a luxury for women, but rather an essential part of women’s health,” said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “Whether it’s in public schools, shelters, or even our city jails, giving women access to these products is a no-brainer, and long overdue. I’d like to thank Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland and all my colleagues for their work and leadership on this crucial legislative package.”

“I am so proud that the Council will pass three pieces of sensible yet groundbreaking legislation which will guarantee access to menstrual hygiene products to tens of thousands of New Yorkers. For students who will no longer miss class because they do not have a pad or tampon to mothers at shelters and women in prison who will have access to these critical yet often overlooked products, this package makes our City a more fair place. I thank Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Women’s Issues Chair Laurie Cumbo, and all my colleagues who again are setting a standard for equality and access for the rest of the country to follow,” said Council Finance Chair Julissa Ferreras-Copeland.

“The provision of free feminine hygiene products in public schools is an important service to students who would otherwise not be able to afford them,” said NYC Education Committee Chairperson Daniel Dromm, co-prime sponsor of Intro 1128-A.  “These free tampon and sanitary napkin dispensers will ensure that girls and young women avoid the discomfort and embarrassing situations that can get in the way of learning.  I am proud to work alongside Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland to make our schools safer and healthier places for our students.”

The full press release is here.

UPDATE 7/15/16: NYC Mayor Bill DiBlasio signed the legislation into law on July 13, 2016.  The mayor’s press release, including statements from a variety of City Council members and community supporters, is here.

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Syracuse L Rev CFP: “Constitutionality of Laws Surrounding Reproductive Health”

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From the FLP mailbox:

Call for Papers:

Analysis and Comment on Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt and the Constitutionality of Laws Surrounding Reproductive Health

The Syracuse Law Review seeks manuscripts that address the constitutionality of laws surrounding reproductive health and how the Supreme Court’s decision of Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt has and will continue to affect the landscape. A book of Volume 67 of the Law Review will be dedicated to addressing constitutional themes that emerged from last year’s Supreme Court term, and we would like to include an article on reproductive health in the conversation. The article’s subject was left intentionally broad so as to leave room for authors to choose individual, specific topics within the field. Article submissions should be approximately 10,000 words (flexible) and must be submitted to the Law Review no later than October 1, 2016 (deadline open to negotiation). If you are interested in submitting or if you have any questions, please contact Lead Articles Editors Hillary Anderson at haanders@syr.edu and Matthew Petrone at mlpetron@syr.edu.

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“A Papa Murphy’s take-and-bake pizza is not essential in the same way as feminine hygiene products are to menstruating women”

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This week the Appellate Court of Illinois, Fifth District, has served up some very quotable dicta.  The court affirmed the dismissal of a putative class action against Papa Murphy’s International, a pizza franchisor, and a local franchisee, located in Edwardsville, Illinois.  The plaintiff in Karpowicz v. Papa Murphy’s International had alleged that the imposition of an 8.8% tax on his “take and bake” pizza violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act because applicable taxing law and regulations impose a sales tax of only 1% on food for human consumption that is to be consumed off the premises where it is sold (other than alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, candy and food that has been prepared for immediate consumption).” Applicable state regulations further provide that if the retailer provides premises for food consumption, then “a rebuttable presumption is created that all sales of food by that retailer are considered to be prepared for immediate consumption and subject to tax at the high rate.”

The defendant moved to dismiss the complaint on several grounds, including failure to state a valid claim under the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act, a procedural inability to recover under Illinois law, and the “voluntary payment doctrine.”  That is the notion that a taxpayer cannot recover taxes paid voluntarily, even if those taxes were illegal, unless specifically authorized by the statute.

In Karpowicz, the plaintiff argued that he had paid the tax on his pizza under duress, and therefore the “voluntary payment doctrine” did not preclude him from challenging the law. The plaintiff in Karpowicz relied heavily on the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision in Geary v. Dominick’s Finer Foods, Inc., 129 Ill. 2d 389 (1989), which held that female consumers had paid a sales tax on feminine hygiene products under “duress” and therefore the voluntary payment doctrine did not prevent those plaintiffs from challenging the law.

Here’s the dicta from Karpowicz: “A Papa Murphy’s take-and-bake pizza is not essential in the same way as feminine hygiene products are to menstruating women.  The plaintiff did not pay the tax involuntarily; reasonable alternatives exist that fulfill a consumer’s basic need for sustenance.”

In other words, a pizza is not like a tampon, and we can cite the Appellate Court of Illinois, Fifth District for that!!

H/T Arthur R. Rosen

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Call For Papers: Special Issue of Canadian Journal of Women and the Law/Revue femmes et droit

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From the mailbox:

 

Appel à communications – édition spéciale dans la Revue femmes et droit Commémoration des travaux de la professeure Nicole LaViolette

 

La Revue femmes et droit sollicite des observations rédigées en français sur l’intersection des LGBTQ et des réfugiés. Cette édition spéciale commémore les travaux de la professeure Nicole LaViolette dont le travail a contribué à mieux comprendre les croisements entre l’orientation et l’identité sexuelles et la migration forcée au Canada et à l’échelle internationale. Dans ce numéro spécial, on cherche à faire avancer les travaux de la professeure LaViolette. Les auteurs sont invités à puiser dans une bibliographie annotée que la professeure LaViolette et Mary Kapron ont compilée en vue de générer des idées ou de l’utiliser comme source (http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2457503).

 

Les articles, d’une longueur maximale de 10 000 mots, doivent être finalisés d’ici le 1er octobre 2016.

 

Nous sommes ouverts à la collaboration de nouveaux chercheurs et étudiants des cycles supérieurs. Veuillez faire parvenir des résumés de 500 mots maximum à Jamie Liew (jamie.liew@uottawa.ca) et Mary Kapron (mary.kapron@gmail.com) au plus tard le 1er août 2016.

 

 

Call for papers – Special Issue in Canadian Journal of Women and the Law

Commemorating the work of Professor Nicole LaViolette

 

The Canadian Journal of Women and the Law is welcoming submissions written in French on the intersection of LGBTQ and refugees. The special edition is commemorating the work of Professor Nicole LaViolette whose work contributed to understanding the intersection of sexual orientation and gender with forced migration both in Canada and internationally. The edition hopes to further the work of Professor LaViolette. Writers are welcome to mine an annotated bibliography that Professor LaViolette and Mary Kapron compiled to generate ideas or use as source material (http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2457503).  Papers no more than 10,000 words must be completed by October 1, 2016.

 

We welcome emerging scholars and graduate students. Abstracts of 500 words should be submitted to Jamie Liew (jamie.liew@uottawa.ca) and Mary Kapron (mary.kapron@gmail.com) by no later than August 1, 2016.

 

—————————————————————-

 

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Where There is Hatred, Let Us Sow Love

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Jamie Abrams on “Women’s Acts of Violence”

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Jamie Abrams (Louisville) has posted to SSRN her article The Feminist Case for Acknowledging Women’s Acts of Violence, Yale J. Law & Feminism 101 (2016).

Here is the abstract:

This Article makes a feminist case for acknowledging women’s acts of violence as consistent with—not threatening to—the goals of the domestic violence movement and the feminist movement. It concludes that broadly understanding women’s use of strength, power, coercion, control, and violence, even illegitimate uses, can be framed consistent with feminist goals. Beginning this conversation is a necessary—if uncomfortable—step to give movement to the movement to end gendered violence.

The domestic violence movement historically framed its work on a gender binary of men as potential perpetrators and women as potential victims. This binary was an essential starting point to defining and responding to domestic violence. The movement has since struggled to address women as perpetrators. It has historically deployed a “strategy of containment” to respond to women as perpetrators. This strategy includes bringing male victims of domestic violence within existing services, monitoring exaggerations and misstatements about the extent of women’s violence, and noting the troublesome line between perpetrator/victim for women. This strategy achieved specific and important goals to domestic violence law reforms. These goals included retaining domestic violence’s central and iconic framing as a women’s issue, preserving critical funding sources and infrastructure to serve victims, and thwarting obstructionist political challenges largely waged by men’s rights groups.

While acknowledging that these goals were sound and central to the historic underpinnings of domestic violence law reforms, this Article considers whether the strategy of containment is too myopic and reactive to endure. It begins a discussion of whether moving beyond a strategy of containment might paradoxically advance the efficacy of both domestic violence law reforms and the feminist movement. It suggests that moving beyond the strategy of containment would strengthen the infrastructure and foundation of the domestic violence movement. It would move beyond the limited masculinist frame dominating domestic violence, beyond the pathologized and marginalized frame depicting women abusers, and toward a more inclusive movement. It further examines potential gains to the broader feminist movement, such as preserving the movement’s sustained legacy, diffusing gender stereotypes, righting skewed legal standards, and advancing women’s political and professional status.

The full paper is available here.

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Feminist Legal Theory Panels at Law and Society

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The annual meeting of the Law and Society Association kicks off tomorrow in New Orleans.  There are some super panels being organized by the Feminist Legal Theory Collaborative Research Network.  A full list is here. A few panels that caught my eye include:

Friday, June 3, 12:45 to 2:30 pm 

[Panel 1224] Advancing Diversity with Feminist Legal Theory

Room: 2nd Floor, Studio 9

Chair: Jessica Clarke

1. Supporting Faculty

Panelist: Meera Deo, Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Commentator: Wendy Greene

2.  The Collapse of the House that Ruth Built: The Impact of the Feeder System on Female Judges and the Federal Judiciary, 1970-2014

Panelist: Alexandra Hess, Law Clerk, Second Circuit Court of Appeals

Commentator: Victor Quintanilla

3.  Mapping the European and international legal framework concerning gender equality in employment and working life

Panelist: Aija Valleala, Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki

Commentator: Marley Weiss

4.  Gender In/sight: Examining Culture and Constructions of Gender

Panelists: Adam Chang and Stephanie Wildman, Santa Clara Law

Commentator: Luke Boso

Friday, June 3, 4:45 to 6:30 pm   

[Panel 1228] Policing, Masculinities, and Gender

Room: 3rd Floor, Salon E

Chair: Leigh Goodmark

1.  Policing and the Clash of Masculinities

Panelist: Ann McGinley, William S. Boyd School of Law, UNLV

Commentator: Leigh Goodmark

2.  The Feminist Case for Acknowledging Women’s Acts of Violence

Panelist: Jamie Abrams, University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law

Commentator: Jane Stoever

3.  The Violent Ends of Violent Delights

Panelist: Leslie Y. Garfield, Professor, Pace Law

Commentator: Cynthia Godsoe

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SULC Hiring Director of Law Library

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From colleagues at the Southern University Law Center:

SULC hiring for a Director of Library Services (at Assistant/Associate Professor rank)

The Director of the Law Library

Reports to the Chancellor of the Southern University Law Center

Responsible for all aspects of library operations including management, budgeting, hiring, and supervision of library staff

Strategic planning and collection development

Initiating and monitoring innovative library programs and services

Minimal Qualifications

Juris Doctor (JD) from an ABA accredited institution

Law library administrative experience

Law practice or law teaching experience is required

A M.L.S. from an ALA accredited institution is preferred.

To apply for this position, a letter of application, curriculum vita and at least (3) three references should be sent to:

Professor Roederick White 
Chair, Faculty Appointment, Retention, Promotion and Tenure Committee
Southern University Law Center
P.O. Box 9294
Baton Rouge, LA 70813-9294
Criminal Background Check & Reference Verification is required. Southern University A&M College is an equal opportunity employer.
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CFP: The Unruly Nature of the Law of Trusts and Estates

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Call for Papers

Trusts & Estates Section

2017 AALS Annual Meeting

January 4-7, 2017 – San Francisco, CA

 

The Section on Trusts and Estates is pleased to announce a Call for Papers …

Sex, Death, and Taxes: The Unruly Nature of the Laws of Trusts and Estates

Trusts & Estates is a far-reaching and broad-based discipline of law that impacts private citizens’ decisions about sex, death, and taxes.  This legal discipline is based on speculation about donors and their intentions that, by their very nature, create unintended consequences because the laws exist largely unseen until they come into play.  Moreover, ascertaining these preferences prove difficult because individuals are entrenched with idiosyncratic preconceptions about death, family, property rights, personal legacies, paternalism, altruism, investment strategies, taxes, and many other effective interests.  In addition, the field sits at the crossroads of other legal disciplines such as family law, property law, elder law, and tax law.  For students, T&E makes an appearance in law schools and the bar exam, but is not like a constitutional law class that is unabashedly theoretical in its presentation and in meeting students’ non-expectations of a skills-centric classroom experience.  In practice, some of the most thriving areas require expertise in T&E.  In ordinary people’s everyday lives, the legal discipline is like an operating system that quietly runs in the background, but in reality organizes and informs the end user’s experience, often without the end user’s full awareness.  In the academy, it is caught between the practical and theoretical—a microcosm of the questions at the heart of debates about the value and normative objectives of a legal education.  Yet, during a time when T&E is becoming more relevant than ever, the discipline may be under–theorized and marginalized in the academy.  Therefore, this panel will interrogate T&E’s unruly nature, entertaining inquiries about the intersectionality of gender, race, sexual orientation, and class; the pervasiveness of succession law in aligned fields; its history of adaptation to changing social norms; and the development and evolution of law reform in this area.  The panel will explore new visions for the field and frameworks that disrupt and reimagine the field, while looking forward to practical and theoretical responses to such things as the pending elder care issues, concentration of wealth, taxation, large wealth transfers, social fixity, and the ongoing privatization of family caregiving and support.

Submissions, due dates and method:

Submissions should be of abstracts between 250 and 1000 words, inclusive of any footnotes. Scholarship may be at any stage of the publication process from work-in-progress to completed article, but if already published, scholarship may not be published any earlier than 2015. Each potential speaker may submit only one abstract for consideration.
There are two submission due dates.  The Section seeks detailed abstracts in late summer, with final papers due in late fall.

  • The due date for detailed abstracts is August 15, 2016.
  • The due date for final papers is November 15, 2016.

Abstracts and papers should be submitted electronically to:  Professor Lee-ford Tritt at tritt@law.ufl.edu

Submission review, selection, conference attendance:

Abstracts and papers will be reviewed by members of the Section’s Executive Committee.  Selected presenters will be announced in Fall 2016.  The Call for Paper presenters will be responsible for paying their registration fee and hotel and travel expenses.

Inquiries or questions:

Any inquiries about the Call for Papers should be directed to Professor Lee-ford Tritt at tritt@law.ufl.edu , (352) 273-0952.

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Exclusive Review Opportunity at Penn State Law Review

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From the students at the Penn State Law Review:

The Penn State Law Review is conducting a direct article review to fill positions in Volume 121: Issue 1 and 2. Any article submitted to this review between now and May 9th will be considered and evaluated by May 13th. If you have submitted an article to the Penn State Law Review previously, you must resubmit your article for consideration in this direct review.

By submitting your article, you agree to accept an offer for publication, should one be extended. Any articles accepted will be published in Volume 121: Issue 1 or Issue 2 of this review. Issue 1 is currently scheduled for publication in September 2016.

If you have an article that you would like to submit, please e-mail an attached copy of the article, along with your cv and cover letter, to bta5030@psu.edu . Please include “2016 Direct Article Review” in the subject line.

Please feel free to contact Brett Atanasio, Editor-In-Chief, with questions.

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Feminist Law Prof Michelle Anderson Named Dean of Brooklyn College

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Michelle Anderson, feminist law prof and outgoing dean at CUNY Law School, has been named President of Brooklyn College.  Here is a portion of CUNY’s press release:

The Board of Trustees of The City University of New York today appointed Michelle J. Anderson as the tenth President of Brooklyn College. She is presently the Dean and Professor of Law at the CUNY School of Law. Chancellor James B. Milliken recommended Dean Anderson’s appointment to the CUNY Board of Trustees after a national search.

In a joint statement, Board of Trustees Chairperson Benno Schmidt and Chancellor Milliken stated: “Dean Anderson brings to Brooklyn College a record of extraordinary academic leadership and success, a strong commitment to students, an exemplary record of public service and a deep belief in Brooklyn College’s mission of academic excellence and opportunity. She will build upon an exemplary foundation of student and faculty achievement nurtured and enhanced by President Karen Gould at an institution so vital to our State, City and nation.”

The nomination was approved unanimously. The appointment is effective August 1, 2016.

Founded in 1930, Brooklyn College serves nearly 18,000 undergraduate and graduate students and was recently rated the number one “Best Bang for the Buck” college in America by Washington Monthly.

The full announcement is here.

Congratulations Michelle Anderson!

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How to Ask for a Raise, Via a Deodorant Commercial

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Andrea Schneider blogs here at Indisputably about Secret’s new ad. She writes: “I love that wage gap is now part of the commercial lexicon and that asking for it is portrayed so wonderfully.” Read the full post here.

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Why Put an Orange on the Seder Plate?

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Via Anita Silvert at JUF News:

It started with Dr. Susannah Heschel. The story you may have heard goes something like this: After a lecture given in Miami Beach, a man (usually Orthodox) stood up and angrily denounced feminism, saying that a woman belongs on a bima (pulpit) the way an orange belongs on a Seder plate. To support women’s rightful place in Jewish life, people put an orange on their Passover tables.

It’s a powerful story. And it’s absolutely false. It never happened.

Heshchel herself tells the story of the genesis of this new ritual in the 2003 book, The Women’s Passover Companion (JPL). It all started with a story from Oberlin College in the early 1980’s. Heschel was speaking at the Hillel, and while there, she came across a haggadah written by some Oberlin students to bring a feminist voice into the holiday. In it, a story is told about a young girl who asks a Rebbe what room there is in Judaism for a lesbian. The Rebbe rises in anger and shouts, “There’s as much room for a lesbian in Judaism as there is for a crust of bread on the seder plate.”

Though Heschel was inspired by the idea behind the story, she couldn’t follow it literally. Besides the fact that it would make everything-the dish, the table, the meal, the house-unkosher for Passover, it carried a message that lesbians were a violation of Judaism itself, that these women were infecting the community with something impure.

So, the next year, Heschel put an orange on the family seder plate, “I chose an orange because it suggests the fruitfulness for all Jews when lesbians and gay men are contributing and active members of Jewish life.”

The symbolism grew to include people who feel marginalized from the Jewish community: the widow, the orphan, women’s issues in general, but solidarity with the gay and lesbian Jewish community was at the core. It wasn’t a navel orange; it had to have seeds to symbolize rebirth, renewal. And spitting out the seeds reminds us to spit out the hatred and ostracization of homosexuals in our community, and others who feel prejudice’s sting.  The orange is segmented, not fragmented. Our community has discrete segments, but they form a whole. The symbolism of the orange may have expanded, but its origins are clearly from a desire to liberate an entire segment of our community from their painful mitzrayim-narrow place.

Passover is a holiday of liberation, and in thanking God for our own national liberation, we must also take notice of those around us who are not free, but still in chains either seen or felt. There are so many Haggadot on the market today. Each has a different perspective, perhaps, but each tells the same story. There was a people enslaved by others, and they were freed with God’s  outstretched arm. But God didn’t act alone. God needed human partners to make the liberation a reality. Who are we reaching out to today?  Who needs that outstretched arm and open hand?  And what new symbols or rituals can you bring into your Seder to deepen the meaning of this most fundamental gathering?

Read the full column here.

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Touro Dean Search

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The announcement is here.

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Free ABA Telecast – “The Tax Code and Income Inequality: Limitations and Political Opportunities”

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The ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice is hosting this free teleconference, co-sponsored with the ABA Section on Taxation. Feminist Law Prof Francine Lipman (UNLV) is one of the featured speakers.

FREE TELECONFERENCE*

The Tax Code and Income Inequality: Limitations and Political Opportunities

“Welfare” has become “workfare,” delivered through the Tax Code, e.g., the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit. How well is that really working for low and middle income Americans, much less those in poverty? At the same time, tax deductions, credits—and avoidance/evasion schemes—are increasingly benefitting wealthy individuals and big corporations, which increasingly pay a smaller portion of federal tax revenue—revenue that could fund government programs, bolster economic growth and benefit the bottom 99% by providing jobs and increase skills of lower income American. Panelists will discuss how changes to the Tax Code can address income inequality in the U.S. and political opportunities for reform.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016
12:30 – 2:00 p.m.

REGISTRATION REQUIRED: please RSVP here

Speakers

  • Dean Baker, Economist and Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research
  • Francine Lipman, William S. Boyd Professor of Law, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • Alexandra Thornton, Sr. Director of Tax Policy, Center for American Progress

Moderator

  • Marilyn Harbur, Sr. Asst. Attorney General, Oregon Department of Justice; Vice Chair, ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice Economic Justice Committee

More info here.

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Mansplaining Event at PayPal

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IMG_5390

via Francine Lipman (@Narfnampil)

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CFP: Women’s Learning Partnership Case Studies — PAID

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From the FLP mailbox:

Women’s Learning Partnership (WLP) has undertaken a three-year research/advocacy project leading to a global campaign on reform of discriminatory laws against women in the family. The project will focus on the relationship between articles of the law and perpetration of violence against women and girls. The attached document describes the terms of reference for the eleven country case studies the results of which will contribute to developing strong advocacy methods for our global campaign. Applicants must have a graduate degree in a related field, extensive research experience, and good drafting skills in English. Interested candidates should submit a CV, letter of interest, names of three professional references, and a writing sample in English to wlp@learningpartnership.org by April 28, 2016. Please note: Candidates should also list the country in which they are based and the country or countries where they can carry out a case study from among the 11 countries listed in the terms of reference. The initial phase of the project will include case studies from the following 11 WLP partner countries: Egypt, Kyrgyzstan, Senegal, Lebanon, Morocco, Jordan, Palestine, Turkey, Iran, and Brazil, as well as an additional case study from India.

The full details are here. This is a paid opportunity.

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Central States Law Schools Scholarship Conference: September 23-24, 2016

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SAVE THE DATE: Central States Law Schools Scholarship Conference

The Central States Law Schools Association 2016 Scholarship Conference will be held on Friday, September 23 and Saturday, September 24 at the University of North Dakota School of Law in Grand Forks, ND.  

CSLSA is an organization of law schools dedicated to providing a forum for conversation and collaboration among law school academics. The CSLSA Annual Conference is an opportunity for legal scholars, especially more junior scholars, to present working papers or finished articles on any law-related topic in a relaxed and supportive setting where junior and senior scholars from various disciplines are available to comment. More mature scholars have an opportunity to test new ideas in a less formal setting than is generally available for their work. Scholars from member and nonmember schools are invited to attend. 

Registration will formally open in July. Hotel rooms are already available, and more information about the CSLSA conference can be found on our website at www.cslsa.us.

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Two of Four Dean Search Finalists Announced at CUNY Law

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CUNY Law School has announced two of the four finalists in its dean search.  One of the finalists is Feminist Law Prof Lolita Buckner Inniss.  The other is the Honorable Fern Fisher.  (The two others have not yet been announced.)

Here is Dr. Inniss’ bio:

Dr. Lolita Buckner Inniss is a professor at Cleveland‐Marshall College of Law,Cleveland State University. She teaches several courses including property law, criminal law, comparative racism and the law and real estate transactions. She has served in a number of campus leadership positions, such as secretary of the University‐wide Faculty Senate, an elective position, and chair of the University‐wide Admissions and Standards committee.

She holds a Ph.D. in Law with a specialization in Comparative Equality Jurisprudence, African Diaspora Studies and Feminist Legal Theory from Osgoode Hall, York University. She also holds an LL.M. with Distinction from Osgoode Hall, York University, where one of her principal topics was African American reparations, a J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she was an extern for the Honorable Consuelo B. Marshall of the United States District Court for the Central District of California and an editor of the National Black Law Journal.

Dr. Inniss also holds an A.B. from Princeton University, where she majored in Romance Languages and Literature with certifications (minors) in African American and Latin American Studies. From 2012 to 2014 she held the Elihu Root Peace Fund Visiting Professorship in Women’s Studies, a distinguished visiting chair at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, where she offered interdisciplinary gender, race and law courses to undergraduates.

Before coming to Cleveland‐Marshall, Dr. Inniss served as a clinic director at Seton Hall University Law School in New Jersey, where she led the Immigration Clinic. She also served as a clinic director at Widener University Law School in Delaware, where she founded and led an Immigration Clinic. Before joining the legal academy, Dr. Inniss was a founder and leader of two law practices in New Jersey where she focused on real estate transactions and litigation, immigration law, and criminal law. She was also a pro bono attorney for the National Lawyer’s Guild Immigration Project.

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CFP: Class Crits – The New Corporatocracy and Election 2016

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From the FLP mailbox:

ClassCrits IX

The New Corporatocracy and Election 2016

Sponsored by

Loyola University Chicago School of Law

and The Loyola University Chicago Business Law Center

Chicago IL * October 21-22, 2016

Call For Papers and Participation

We invite panel proposals, roundtable discussion proposals, and paper presentations that speak to this year’s theme, as well as to general ClassCrits themes. Proposal due: May 16, 2016.

As the U.S. presidential election approaches, our 2016 conference will explore the role of corporate power in a political and economic system challenged by inequality and distrust as well as by new energy for transformative reform.

In January 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Citizens United v. FEC, redesigned the functioning of our constitutional democracy.​ By giving corporations a fundamental right to bankroll elections, the Court effectively shifted power to a new economic ‘royalty’ that sits atop the most massive capital aggregations in history. Further, other government officials, influenced by elite lobbying and theory, have diminished longstanding rules and systems of corporate accountability (including criminal liability for financial crimes and basic norms of corporate disclosure) on the premise that some corporations and institutional forces are too big or important to fail or control. The result is that, along with other billionaires, these corporate and financial elites now may hold more influence in our political system than ever before.

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Signatories Sought for Faculty Against Rape’s Response to the AAUP Draft Report on Title IX

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Kathryn Pogin has drafted a response to the AAUP’s report on Title IX to be submitted on behalf of Faculty Against Rape.  The group is seeking additional signatories to its letter, here, excerpted below.  You can add your signature here.  The deadlines for doing so is tomorrow.

As members of Faculty Against Rape (FAR), a group of more than 300 faculty and civil rights activists from across the U.S., we write to express grave concerns regarding the American Association of University Professor’s (AAUP) draft report on Title IX.  We started FAR in the summer of 2014 as an ad-hoc volunteer collective whose mission is to get more faculty involved in preventing sexual assault and sexual harassment and improving campus responses. FAR is also committed to protecting faculty who experience retaliation for doing so. Over the past two years, FAR has provided resources for faculty to learn how to best support survivors, tools for faculty who want to get more involved in reform efforts, and support for faculty who face retaliation. Collectively, our members have supported literally hundreds of survivors at campuses across the country. Many of them have endured significant retaliation from university administrations who want to protect the university brand, even at the cost of the safety and well-being of students. We have seen the crisis of campus sexual violence, and the nature of Title IX enforcement as practiced, often inadequately, across campuses in the United States, first-hand.

Our experiences, as members of educational communities involved in these issues on the ground, have made evident that Title IX enforcement at institutions of higher education is, indeed, a matter of pressing concern. However, if the AAUP seeks to adequately understand, and competently comment on this issue, it must take care to, at the very least, attend to the body of existing expert scholarship— including scholarship by some of its own members— on this topic. As it stands, we are troubled by much of the framing, content, unrepresentative nature of, and failures of accuracy within, the draft report.

The overall impression given by the report is that the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights is ‘overreaching’ in its mandated mission of providing guidance to universities and ‘abusing’ Title IX; this,  despite the fact that there is broad underreporting of campus sexual assault by universities. The American Association of University Women (AAUW) analyzed DOE data and found that 91% of colleges did not report any rapes in 2014, leading the AAUW to exclaim that “The data reported by the nation’s colleges simply defy reality and common sense,” given that they “don’t reflect campus climate surveys and academic research.”

While we would ordinarily join with the AAUP in resisting the corporatization of institutions of higher learning, we are deeply concerned that the AAUP’s analysis of this issue as it pertains to Title IX, by pitting student concerns for campus safety against faculty interests, reinforces the symptoms instead of addresses the problem. Students and faculty alike are rightfully alarmed by universities and colleges placing the protection of their reputation before the integrity of their campus communities — but these concerns ought to unite, rather than divide us. The AAUP is right to remind us that administrative overreach into the classroom may be driven by a misguided focus on public relations, but we should also acknowledge that it is this very feature of the contemporary university that victims of campus sexual misconduct have been decrying as they witness justice, safety, and prevention sacrificed time and again for the sake of the bottom line.

Read the rest of the letter here.

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The Geography of Campus Rape and the Vulnerability of First-Year College Students

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Over at The Conversation, Andrea Curcio (Georgia State) writes about What Schools Don’t Tell You About Campus Sexual Assault. Here is an excerpt:

Throughout the summer before my daughter left for college, I repeatedly warned her: never put a glass down at a party; use the buddy system when going to parties; and never go upstairs at a fraternity party.

Instead, what I should have told her is: the place you are most likely to be assaulted is in your dorm; you are most vulnerable the first weeks of the semester; and your attacker is most likely to be a friend or acquaintance.

In the past couple of years, much has been written about the high rate of sexual assaults on college campuses. What no one seems to be talking about is that most assaults occur in the dorms.

The full piece is available here.

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Craig on the Failure To Interpret and Apply Canada’s Rape Shield Provision Properly

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Elaine Craig, Dalhousie University School of Law, is publishing Section 276 Misconstrued: The Failure to Properly Interpret and Apply Canada’s Rape Shield Provisions in the Canadian Bar Review. Here is the abstract.

Despite the vintage of Canada’s rape shield provisions (which in their current manifestation have been in force since 1992), some trial judges continue to misinterpret and/or misapply the Criminal Code provisions limiting the use of evidence of a sexual assault complainant’s other sexual activity. These errors seem to flow from a combination of factors including a general misunderstanding on the part of some trial judges as to what section 276 requires and a failure on the part of some trial judges to properly identify, and fully remove, problematic assumptions about sex and gender from their analytical approach to the use of this type of evidence. A lack of clarity as to how section 276 works, and the ongoing reliance on outdated stereotypes about sexual assault to interpret the provisions, are particularly problematic because trial judges continue to face applications to adduce evidence of a complainant’s sexuality activity which are inflammatory, discriminatory, and clearly excluded by section 276 of the Criminal Code. The reality that some defence counsel continue to ignore, or attempt to undermine, the legal rules dictated by section 276 heightens the need for competence, rigor, and accuracy among trial judges tasked with the adjudication of these applications. Following a brief explanation of how Canada’s rape shield regime works, four types of problems with the interpretation and application of section 276 are identified using examples from recent cases.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

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Gap Between Ideas of Susan Sontag and Adrienne Rich

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Interesting essay by journalist Michelle Dean in the New Republic, here. An excerpt:

I learned as I suspected that the gap between Rich and Sontag was not so very wide as it looked. In Sontag’s archive at the University of California, Los Angeles, there is a letter from Rich . . . .She cited mutual acquaintances and a love of Marie Curie. To this, Sontag eagerly replied that she, too, would like to meet when Rich was next in New York. Suddenly, in those two letters, the image of Rich as a polemical firebrand falls right through the floor.

I do not know if the two ever met in the end. I do know that eventually Rich came to see herself as engaged in a project analogous to Sontag’s, at least in terms of its intellectual seriousness. In the preface to Arts of the Possible, Rich quoted Sontag’s complaint that the serious had become “quaint” and “ ‘unrealistic,’ to most people.” In fact, Rich, too, had become dissatisfied with feminism as it existed by the end of her life. She disliked the sudden rise of personal essays, “true confessions” as she called them. She felt that this displaced a feminism actively opposed to capitalism or racism or colonialism.

Perhaps this explains why Rich left such strict instructions against a biographer digging into her life. She simply, and admirably, did not want her personal life to overshadow the things she believed in.

A good read.

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Because We Want to Think Gamete Providers are Being Generous, Not Making Money

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Over at Role Reboot, there is a sweet essay by writer Allison Barrett Carter, “To the Donor Who Made Me an Aunt.” The essay is written in the form of a letter to the man who provided the sperm necessary for the author’s sister and the sister’s wife to have a baby. Here is an excerpt:

I am learning how this brave new world works, and I still have questions, but this I know: My letter to you will never be sent. We will never have a conversation about why you made the decision you did. I won’t hear you explain why you walked into a clinic to donate your sperm.

I can speculate, of course. The writer in me has spent the past year concocting brilliant narratives about you. Our society assumes the only reason a man would part with his DNA for complete strangers is for money.

But I like to believe differently. Donor, I made a different story for you.

I imagine a piece of you knew that out there, in the big world, two women had grown up desperately trying to please others and to conform. They struggled with their families, against their families, and with their own hearts to be “normal.” They wanted their lives to be what was presented to them, what Hollywood lauded, and certainly what their churches pushed.

The full essay is available here.

I was struck by the author’s line that “Our society assumes the only reason a man would part with his DNA for complete strangers is for money.” I think that is an accurate descriptive statement of cultural assumptions about male gamete providers (as opposed to female gamete providers, around whom there is a narrative of altruism).  This essay invites the reader to consider male motivation in the context of a family that clearly loves its most recent addition!

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CFP: October 2016 Akron Constitutional Law Center Conference Featuring Feminist Legal Scholarship

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Bumping to the front in anticipation of April 15 deadline.  The conference organizers invite paper presentations on a variety of topics related to gender and the law, feminist legal theory and equality issues.

————————————————————-

THE U.S. FEMINIST JUDGMENTS PROJECT:

REWRITING THE LAW, WRITING THE FUTURE

Call for Papers and Presentations

Deadline April 15, 2016

We are seeking proposals for papers to be presented during the U. S. Feminist Judgments Project conference October 20-21, 2016 at the Center for Constitutional Law at The University of Akron School of Law in Akron, Ohio. We are also seeking proposals for “snapshot” presentations to be included in the final plenary of the conference. The conference is co-sponsored by The University of Akron School of Law and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas – William S. Boyd School of Law.

This conference will celebrate the 2016 publication of U.S. Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court. That volume brought together more than fifty feminist legal scholars and lawyers to rewrite, using feminist reasoning, significant Supreme Court cases from the 1800s to the present day. (For more information, see the project website here.) Illustrating the value of this method of practical scholarship, the volume demonstrates that different processes and different outcomes would have been possible had decision makers applied feminist theory and methods in critical Supreme Court cases despite the restrictions of stare decisis.

The conference is designed to provide the appropriate setting and the essential participants for a structured conversation that explores and assesses the effects of feminist methods and theories on real-world judicial decision making. We expect the conference will identify common core principles and propose directions for future scholarship.

To this end, we seek proposals for papers that incorporate feminist theory and methods or report on research that furthers feminist thought. The organizers view feminism and feminist theory broadly as covering issues of inequality related to gender and gender norms, but also intersectional dynamics related to race, sexual orientation, immigration status, socioeconomic class, and disability.

Potential topics cover a broad range, including women in the judiciary, women in the legal profession, women and rhetoric, women in politics, empirical studies involving gender or gender norms, feminist theory, reproductive freedom, pregnancy, reproduction, families, sex, sexuality, violence against women, employment, sexual harassment, or affirmative action. We welcome with enthusiasm proposals from faculty in disciplines other than law, and we would especially appreciate proposals from new voices in feminism and feminist theory.

Our hope is to build on the insights of the U.S. Feminist Judgments book and to explore new avenues of inquiry for feminist legal scholarship. We hope to provide a supportive atmosphere to foster scholarship and networking among teachers, scholars, and others who are interested in gender equality and the law.

The conference will include plenary sessions related specifically to the U.S. Feminist Judgments book as well as sessions that will be more general in focus, concurrent sessions drawn from this Call for Papers, and a closing panel also drawn from this Call for Papers. The closing panel will be a brainstorming session to consider future directions for scholarly and practical projects that relate to gender equality, the judiciary, future Feminist Judgments projects, or all of the foregoing.

Concurrent Sessions – Paper Proposals

The concurrent sessions will feature presentations on any topic related to gender equality issues, with preference given to presentations related to the topics of women in the judiciary, women in the legal profession, women and rhetoric, women in politics, empirical studies involving gender or gender norms, feminist theory, reproductive freedom, pregnancy, reproduction, families, sex, sexuality, violence against women, employment, sexual harassment, or affirmative action. We will organize the presentations into panels based on the subject matter of the proposals.

Interested persons should submit a brief written description of the proposed paper (no more than 1000 words) and a resume. Please let us know in the proposal which of the above categories or what other, non-listed category best fits your proposal. Please use the subject line “U.S. Feminist Judgments Project October Conference Paper Proposals” and e-mail these materials to Maria Campos (maria.campos@unlv.edu) by April 15, 2016. We will notify selected speakers by June 1, 2016.

Brainstorming Presentations – Snapshot Proposals

The final plenary session of the conference will feature snapshots, or very brief presentations, of ideas for future projects that will advance gender equality in the law. Each selected participant will be limited to five minutes to present her or his idea or project. The presentations will be followed by audience feedback and comments. We welcome proposals for this brainstorming session on any topic related to gender equality.

Interested persons should submit a brief written description of the proposed presentation (no more than 300 words) and a resume. Please use the subject line “U.S. Feminist Judgments Project October Conference Snapshot Proposals” and email these materials to Maria Campos (maria.campos@unlv.edu) by April 15, 2016. We will notify selected speakers by June 1, 2016.

Eligibility

Anyone interested in issues of law and gender equality is eligible to submit a proposal, including full-time faculty members, fellows, visitors, and adjuncts who teach in undergraduate or graduate schools; judges; practitioners; government officials; and business, community, and non-profit leaders. The conference is free and open to the public.

There is no publication commitment associated with the conference. Presentation abstracts will be made available on the website of the Center for Constitutional Law at The University of Akron, and by mutual agreement of interested authors and journal editors, remarks may be published in a special symposium issue of ConLawNOW, the online companion journal run by the Center for Constitutional Law.

There is no registration fee for the conference but proposers and panelists must pay all of their own expenses associated with conference attendance. There will be a conference-negotiated rate at a local hotel. The University of Akron is located approximately 15 minutes from the Akron-Canton Airport and approximately 40 miles southeast of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

Please direct questions regarding this Call for Papers and Presentations to Kathy Stanchi (kstanchi@temple.edu), Linda Berger (linda.berger@unlv.edu), and Bridget Crawford (bcrawford@law.pace.edu).

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A Professor’s Decision to Write About His Rape

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R.M. Douglas (Colgate, History) writes in today’s Chronicle of Higher Education (here) about his forthcoming book, On Being Raped. Professor Douglas is a rape survivor. He writes about how his decision to go public with his story may  impact his classroom:

This spring, accompanied by my family, I’m on research leave in France. I’m also publishing a short book that takes my own encounter with rape as the starting-point of a reflection on the meaning and impact of sexual assault when the victim is male. * * *

[C]an my personal exposure to sexual violence be other than a distraction from whatever it is we are seeking to accomplish in the classroom? On the other hand, however difficult it may be to deal with, this knowledge and the fact of my possessing it nonetheless exist. Ought my students and I establish and preserve a polite fiction through the remainder of our respective tenures at university, carefully avoiding any mention of something that, sometimes at least, is likely to be prominent in all our minds?

I don’t yet know the answers to these questions. In the next academic year, though, I’m going to have to find out. While I’m unable to predict the result, it seems doubtful that my existing mode of engagement with the students I teach will go unaffected. Much of what I do in the classroom need not, and will not, change. But for better in some respects and, it seems inevitable, worse in others, the public erosion of the wall of separation between the two kinds of knowledge embodied in me can hardly fail to affect the ways in which I’ll perform my professorial role, as well as the ways in which that performance will be received.

Brave indeed.  Thank you, Professor Douglas.

 

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Law Student Scholarship: M. Katherine Baird Darmer Equality Scholarship

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From the FLP mailbox:

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.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

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 1, 2016.

H/T Francine Lipman

-Bridget Crawford

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Egg Freezing in Three Easy Steps?

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The folks at motherboard.com report here on a London pop-up shop called “Timeless.” It looks like a beauty-product store but is designed to inspire conversations about female fertility and egg freezing. Here’s how the article describes the shop:

The Timeless displays are simple but arresting. One wall is devoted to a graph representing women’s decreasing fertility with age, rendered in numbered cosmetics bottled filled to different levels. The difference between age 20 and 30 is stark.

Here is the display that has inspired strong reactions both pro and con:

Image source: here

One of the most interesting details from the article is that the project is supported by Wellcome Trust and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Anne Phillips, a professor of political science at LSE, appears in a film associated with the project. I suspect we’ll be reading a few academic papers associated with this project fairly soon.

H/T Kara Swanson.

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Studies in Law, Politics, and Society: Special Feminist Legal Theory Issue

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A new issue of the interdisciplinary journal Studies in Law, Politics, & Society is devoted to feminist legal theory.

Here’s an excerpt from the Intro:

Half a century after the beginning of the second wave, feminist legal theorists are still writing about many of the subjects they addressed early on: money, sex, reproduction, and jobs. What has changed is the way that they talk about these subjects. Specifically, these theorists now posit a more complex and nuanced conception of power. Recent scholarship recognizes the complexities of power in contemporary society, the ways in which these complexities entrench sex inequality, and the role that law can play in reducing inequality and increasing agency. The feminist legal theorists in this volume are emblematic of this effort. They carefully examine the relationship between gender, equality, and power across an array of realms: sex, reproduction, pleasure, work, money. In doing so they identify social, political, economic, developmental, and psychological and somatic forces, operating both internally and externally, that complicate the expression and constraint of power. Finally, they give sophisticated thought to the possibilities for legal interventions in light of these more complex notions of power.

The articles are:

Introduction — Maxine Eichner & Clare Huntington

Going Wild: Law and Literature and Sex — Susan Frelich Appleton & Susan Ekberg Stiritz

Women’s Sexual Agency and the Law of Rape in the 21st Century — Katharine K. Baker & Michelle Oberman

Care and Danger: Feminism and Therapy Culture — Angela P. Harris

Market-Cautious Feminism — Maxine Eichner

Unequal Terms: Gender, Power, and the Recreation of Hierarchy –June Carbone & Naomi Cahn

Schrödinger’s Child: Non- Identity and Probabilities in Reproductive Decision-Making — Jennifer S. Hendricks

The journal’s (short-sighted, IMHO) policy prohibits the posting of the articles on SSRN, but all are available for download here.

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MacLean, Verrelli, and Chambers on the Battered Woman Defense and the Canadian Supreme Court’s Ruling in R. v. Ryan

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Jason MacLean, Lakehead University Faculty of Law, Nadia Verrelli, Laurentian University, and Lori Chambers, Lakehead University, are publishing Battered Women Under Duress: The Supreme Court of Canada’s Abandonment of Context and Purpose in R. v. Ryan in volume 28 of the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law (2016). Here is the abstract.

The case of R. v. Ryan presented the Supreme Court of Canada with a novel question: may a wife, whose life is threatened by her abusive husband, rely on the defence of duress when she tries to have him murdered? In this article we argue that by answering this novel question in the negative, the Court missed an opportunity to clarify the nature and scope of the defence of duress in the context of battered and abused women in a principled manner and thereby enhance access to justice and equal benefit of the law. Instead, the Court retreated into a purely formalist doctrinal defence of the boundary separating duress and self-defence. In doing so, the Court not only failed in its responsibility to make the law less unsettled and piecemeal, more coherent and more just, but it also set back the judicial treatment of battered woman’s syndrome by more than a quarter century, harking back to the period prior to the Court’s groundbreaking decision in R. v. Lavallee.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

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Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Tax Opinions – Potential Cases

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bumping to the front; February 29 deadline

Cases that applicants to Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Tax Opinions may wish to consider (not an exhaustive list; all tax-related cases are appropriate for rewriting):

U.S. v. Rickert, 188 U.S. 432 (1903) (tribal trust lands and improvements are exempt from state and local taxes)

Eisner v. Macomber, 252 U.S. 189 (1920) (stock dividend not taxable income)

Lucas v. Earl, 281 U.S. 311 (1930) (income splitting)

Poe v. Seaborn, 282 U.S. 101 (1930) (elective community property regime does not entitle married couple to split income)

Smith v. Commissioner, 40 B.T.A. 1038 (1939) (deductibility of child care costs)

Commissioner v. Harmon, 323 U.S. 44 (1944) (in case of an elective community property regime, no income splitting allowed)

Commissioner v. Wemyss, 324 U.S. 303 (1945) (transfer of stock as inducement to marriage not supported by full and adequate consideration)

Farid-es-Sultaneh v. Commissioner, 160 F.2d 812 (2d Cir. 1947) (transfer of certain marital rights for consideration)

U.S. v Davis, 370 U.S. 65 (1962) (transfer by husband to wife pursuant to property settlement agreement was taxable event triggering recognition of gain)

U.S. v. Gotcher, 401 F.2d 118 (5th Cir. 1968) (wife’s expenses on trip paid for by husband’s employer are taxable income and not deductible)

Moritz v. Commissioner, 469 F.2d 466 (10th Cir. 1972) (gender-based classification for eligibility for certain dependency deduction constitutes denial of equal protection)

Boyter v. Commissioner, 668 F.2d 1382 (4th Cir. 1981) (sham divorces should be disregarded for tax purposes)

U.S. v. Rogers, 461 U.S. 677 (1983) (1983) (federal district court may order sale of property to satisfy tax indebtedness of husband where wife has homestead interest in same property)

Nicholas v. Commissioner, 62 T.C.M. 467 (1991), T.C. Memo. 1991-393 (no spousal exemption allowed where relationship is in violation of local law)

U.S. v. Burke, 504 U.S. 229 (1992) (backpay awards in settlement of Title VII claim are included in gross income)

Westphal v. Commissioner, 68 T.C.M. (CCH) 1038 (1994) (Tax Court rejects Commissioner’s disallowance of a business deduction where female attorney had taken time off from her law practice to care for an ailing relative and suffered downturn in revenue)

Estate of Clack v. Commissioner, 106 T.C. 131 (1996) (eligibility for QTIP treatment)

Klassen v. Commissioner, 76 T.C.M. (RIA) 98241 (1998), aff’d 182 F.3d 932 (1999) (AMT limitation on dependency exemptions)

Cheshire v. Commissioner, 115 T.C. 183 (2000), aff’d, 282 F.3d 326 (5th Cir. 2002) (innocent spouse relief)

U.S. v. Craft, 535 U.S. 274 (2002) (tax lien attaches to husband’s interest in property owned as tenants by the entirety with his wife)

Magdalin v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2008-293 (deduction for certain infertility treatment)

O’Donnabhain v. Commissioner, 134 T.C. 34 (2010) (deduction for gender reassignment surgery)

Windsor v. United States, 570 U.S. (2013) (estate tax exemption for same-sex couples)

Perez v. Commissioner, 144 T.C. 51 (2015) (sale of human egg gives rise to taxable income)

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Robson on “The Legacy of Antonin Scalia: Don’t Mourn, Organize”

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Feminist Law Prof Ruthann Robson (CUNY) has published “The Legacy of Antonin Scalia: Don’t Mourn, Organize” over at the Women’s Review of Books.  Here is an excerpt:

With the unanticipated death of Justice Antonin Scalia on February 13, the United States Supreme Court has become a more hospitable forum for feminist causes. While Justice Scalia was not alone in his hostility to feminism—remaining Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas are equally unsympathetic—Scalia proved himself particularly rancorous during his three decades on the high court bench. In opinion after opinion, Scalia expressed views inconsistent with women’s equality: he believed that an historically all-male military academy should be able to continue to exclude women; that the constitution did not protect a woman’s right to abortion or her right to be free from domestic violence; and that the constitution should not prohibit attorneys from excusing potential jurors based on their gender. He was an ardent foe of sexual minority rights, contending that the constitution did not protect against the criminalization of same-sex intimacies or the prohibition of same-sex marriages. He believed a state should be able to prevent local laws that outlawed discrimination based on sexual orientation. He did credit theconstitution as having rights for some: if you claimed to be “disadvantaged” by an affirmative action program; or if you wanted to purchase, own, or use firearms; or if you challenged environmental regulations on your beach front property, then Scalia’s constitution proved most accommodating.

Read the rest of the post here.

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CFP: U.S. Feminist Judgments Project: Rewriting the Law, Writing the Future

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THE U.S. FEMINIST JUDGMENTS PROJECT:

REWRITING THE LAW, WRITING THE FUTURE

Call for Papers and Presentations

Deadline April 15, 2016

We are seeking proposals for papers to be presented during the U. S. Feminist Judgments Project conference October 20-21, 2016 at the Center for Constitutional Law at The University of Akron School of Law in Akron, Ohio. We are also seeking proposals for “snapshot” presentations to be included in the final plenary of the conference. The conference is co-sponsored by The University of Akron School of Law and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas – William S. Boyd School of Law.

This conference will celebrate the 2016 publication of U.S. Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court. That volume brought together more than fifty feminist legal scholars and lawyers to rewrite, using feminist reasoning, significant Supreme Court cases from the 1800s to the present day. (For more information, see the project website here.) Illustrating the value of this method of practical scholarship, the volume demonstrates that different processes and different outcomes would have been possible had decision makers applied feminist theory and methods in critical Supreme Court cases despite the restrictions of stare decisis.

The conference is designed to provide the appropriate setting and the essential participants for a structured conversation that explores and assesses the effects of feminist methods and theories on real-world judicial decision making. We expect the conference will identify common core principles and propose directions for future scholarship.

To this end, we seek proposals for papers that incorporate feminist theory and methods or report on research that furthers feminist thought. The organizers view feminism and feminist theory broadly as covering issues of inequality related to gender and gender norms, but also intersectional dynamics related to race, sexual orientation, immigration status, socioeconomic class, and disability.

Potential topics cover a broad range, including women in the judiciary, women in the legal profession, women and rhetoric, women in politics, empirical studies involving gender or gender norms, feminist theory, reproductive freedom, pregnancy, reproduction, families, sex, sexuality, violence against women, employment, sexual harassment, or affirmative action. We welcome with enthusiasm proposals from faculty in disciplines other than law, and we would especially appreciate proposals from new voices in feminism and feminist theory.

Our hope is to build on the insights of the U.S. Feminist Judgments book and to explore new avenues of inquiry for feminist legal scholarship. We hope to provide a supportive atmosphere to foster scholarship and networking among teachers, scholars, and others who are interested in gender equality and the law.

The conference will include plenary sessions related specifically to the U.S. Feminist Judgments book as well as sessions that will be more general in focus, concurrent sessions drawn from this Call for Papers, and a closing panel also drawn from this Call for Papers. The closing panel will be a brainstorming session to consider future directions for scholarly and practical projects that relate to gender equality, the judiciary, future Feminist Judgments projects, or all of the foregoing.

Concurrent Sessions – Paper Proposals

The concurrent sessions will feature presentations on any topic related to gender equality issues, with preference given to presentations related to the topics of women in the judiciary, women in the legal profession, women and rhetoric, women in politics, empirical studies involving gender or gender norms, feminist theory, reproductive freedom, pregnancy, reproduction, families, sex, sexuality, violence against women, employment, sexual harassment, or affirmative action. We will organize the presentations into panels based on the subject matter of the proposals.

Interested persons should submit a brief written description of the proposed paper (no more than 1000 words) and a resume. Please let us know in the proposal which of the above categories or what other, non-listed category best fits your proposal. Please use the subject line “U.S. Feminist Judgments Project October Conference Paper Proposals” and e-mail these materials to Maria Campos (maria.campos@unlv.edu) by April 15, 2016. We will notify selected speakers by June 1, 2016.

Brainstorming Presentations – Snapshot Proposals

The final plenary session of the conference will feature snapshots, or very brief presentations, of ideas for future projects that will advance gender equality in the law. Each selected participant will be limited to five minutes to present her or his idea or project. The presentations will be followed by audience feedback and comments. We welcome proposals for this brainstorming session on any topic related to gender equality.

Interested persons should submit a brief written description of the proposed presentation (no more than 300 words) and a resume. Please use the subject line “U.S. Feminist Judgments Project October Conference Snapshot Proposals” and email these materials to Maria Campos (maria.campos@unlv.edu) by April 15, 2016. We will notify selected speakers by June 1, 2016.

Eligibility

Anyone interested in issues of law and gender equality is eligible to submit a proposal, including full-time faculty members, fellows, visitors, and adjuncts who teach in undergraduate or graduate schools; judges; practitioners; government officials; and business, community, and non-profit leaders. The conference is free and open to the public.

There is no publication commitment associated with the conference. Presentation abstracts will be made available on the website of the Center for Constitutional Law at The University of Akron, and by mutual agreement of interested authors and journal editors, remarks may be published in a special symposium issue of ConLawNOW, the online companion journal run by the Center for Constitutional Law.

There is no registration fee for the conference but proposers and panelists must pay all of their own expenses associated with conference attendance. There will be a conference-negotiated rate at a local hotel. The University of Akron is located approximately 15 minutes from the Akron-Canton Airport and approximately 40 miles southeast of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

Please direct questions regarding this Call for Papers and Presentations to Kathy Stanchi (kstanchi@temple.edu), Linda Berger (linda.berger@unlv.edu), and Bridget Crawford (bcrawford@law.pace.edu).

 

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Public Rights/Private Conscience Project Seeks New Director

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We’re hiring a new director of the Public Rights/Private Conscience Project – an incredible opportunity to work at Columbia Law School shaping our work on religious exemptions and sexual liberty and equality. Please share the job description with your networks and send us great folks!  This is such a great job!!!

Job description and applications accepted here

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Call for Contributions – Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Tax Opinions

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The U.S. Feminist Judgments Project seeks contributors of rewritten judicial opinions and commentary on those opinions for an edited collection entitled Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Tax Opinions. This edited volume, to be published by Cambridge University Press, is part of a collaborative project among law professors and others to rewrite, from a feminist perspective, key judicial decisions. The initial volume, Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court, edited by Kathryn M. Stanchi, Linda L. Berger, and Bridget J. Crawford, will be published in 2016 by Cambridge University Press. (That book’s Introduction and Table of Contents are available here.) Subsequent volumes in the series will focus on different courts or different subject matters. This call is for contributions to a volume of tax decisions rewritten from a feminist perspective.

Tax volume editors Bridget Crawford and Anthony Infanti seek prospective authors for 8 to 10 rewritten tax-related opinions covering a range of topics. Authors are welcome to suggest cases of their own choosing or to consult the editors or others for ideas. All tax-related cases are appropriate for rewriting. Possible cases from U.S. courts are listed here, but that is not an exhaustive list. Cases may come from any jurisdiction and any court, including non-U.S. jurisdictions. The volume editors conceive of feminism as a broad movement concerned with justice and equality, and welcome proposals to rewrite cases in a way that bring into focus issues such as gender, race, class, disability, sexual orientation, national origin, and immigration status.

As the core of the Feminist Judgments Project is judicial opinions, proposals must be either to (1) rewrite a case (not administrative guidance, regulations, etc.) or (2) comment on a rewritten case. Rewritten opinions may be re-imagined majority opinions, dissents, or concurrences, as appropriate to the court. Feminist judgment writers will be bound by law and precedent in effect at the time of the original decision (with a 10,000 word maximum for the rewritten judgment). Commentators will explain the original court decision, how the feminist judgment differs from the original judgment, and what difference the feminist judgment might have made (4,000 word maximum for the commentary). Commentators and opinions writers who wish to work together are welcome to indicate that in the application.

In suggesting possible cases for rewriting, the volume editors have had the input and advice of an Advisory Panel of distinguished U.S. scholars including Alice Abreu (Temple), Patricia Cain (Santa Clara), Joseph Dodge (Florida State), Mary Louise Fellows (Minnesota), Wendy Gerzog (Baltimore), Steve Johnson (Florida State), Marjorie Kornhauser (Tulane), Ajay Mehrotra (American Bar Foundation, Northwestern), Beverly Moran (Vanderbilt), Richard Schmalbeck (Duke), Nancy Shurtz (Oregon), Nancy Staudt (Washington University), and Lawrence Zelenak (Duke).

The U.S. Feminist Judgments Project approaches revised judicial opinion writing as a form of critical socio-legal scholarship. There are several world-wide projects engaged in similar efforts, including the U.K.-based Feminist Judgments: From Theory to Practice (2010); Australian Feminist Judgments: Righting and Rewriting Law (2014); the Women’s Court of Canada; ongoing projects in Ireland, New Zealand, and a pan-European project; and other U.S.-based projects currently under way.

Those who are interested in rewriting an opinion or providing the commentary on one of the rewritten tax cases should fill out an application here.

Applications are due by February 29, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. eastern. Editors expect to notify accepted authors and commentators by April 15, 2016. First drafts of rewritten opinions will be due on August 15, 2016. First drafts of commentary will be due on September 15, 2016.

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Tait on “The Return of Coverture”

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Allison Anna Tait (Richmond) has posted to SSRN her essay, The Return of Coverture, 114 Mich. L. Rev. First Impressions (2016).  Here is the abstract:

Once, the notion that husbands and wives were equal partners in marriage seemed outlandish and unnatural. Today, the marriage narrative has been reversed and the prevailing attitude is that marriage has become an increasingly equitable institution. This is the story that Justice Kennedy told in Obergefell v. Hodges, in which he described marriage as an evolving institution that has adapted in response to social change such that discriminatory marriage rules no longer apply. Coverture exemplifies this change: marriage used to be deeply shaped by coverture rules and now it is not. While celebrating the demise of coverture, however, the substantive image of marriage that Justice Kennedy set forth subconsciously uses conventional, historical tropes that construct marriage as a relationship of hierarchy, gender differentiation, and female disempowerment. In this Essay, I describe the ways in which Justice Kennedy used coverture as a positive example of marriage transformation while simultaneously invoking coverture ideals to inform his portrayal of marriage as a fundamental building block of government, the keystone of civil society, and a transcendental, lifelong commitment.

The full essay is available here.

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Strategic Deployment of a Black Female Attorney in the Bill Cosby Case

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Dr. Lolita Buckner Inniss

In this piece on NPR, Feminist Law Prof Lolita Buckner Inniss (Cleveland-Marshall) comments on Bill Cosby’s decision to hire Monique Pressley as his attorney:

The decision to hire her is also strategic, says Buckner Inniss.

“Her gender and her race matter, because Bill Cosby is being charged with sexual assault of several women. A large number of those women are white women. I think there’s a certain extent to which the idea of racial solidarity plays in here,” says Buckner Inniss. “The idea that if an intelligent, well-spoken black woman stands with Bill Cosby on this, then perhaps some of those people who accuse Bill Cosby are lying.”

Monique Pressley, Esq.

Read the full story, “Lawyer Faces National Scrutiny While Defending Bill Cosby,” or listen to it here.

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Teaching Evaluations as Windows Into Gender Bias

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From Inside Higher Ed:

There’s mounting evidence suggesting that student evaluations of teaching are unreliable. But are these evaluations, commonly referred to as SET, so bad that they’re actually better at gauging students’ gender bias and grade expectations than they are at measuring teaching effectiveness? A new paper argues that’s the case, and that evaluations are biased against female instructors in particular in so many ways that adjusting them for that bias is impossible.

Read the full news article here.

Read the underlying research paper here.

H/T MCH

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Women and Law Conference: Diversity in Higher Education

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Pursuing Excellence: Diversity In Higher Education
Thomas Jefferson School of Law

This conference brings together leading academics, educators, institutional leaders, and policy makers to examine how diversity in institutions of higher education affects and is inspired by students, faculty, and leaders. The conference will highlight a number of critically important topics including facilitating educational access for undocumented students, challenges to developing and nurturing a diverse educational environment, the importance of training students in professional programs (including medicine and law) to serve diverse populations, and attacks on affirmative action ranging from Prop 209 to the current U.S. Supreme Court case Fisher v. University of Texas.

BRYANT GARTH
RUTH BADER GINSBURG LECTURER
Professor of Law, UC Irvine School of Law, former Dean Southwestern Law School, former Dean Indiana University-Bloomington School of Law

February 5, 2016, 9:00am – 5:00pm
ADDITIONAL SPEAKERS

TONI ATKINS
Speaker of the California Assembly

SUSAN BISOM-RAPP
Professor of Law
Thomas Jefferson School of Law

MARISOL CLARK-IBÁÑEZ
Professor of Sociology
Cal State University San Marcos

YOULONDA COPELAND-MORGAN
Associate Vice Chancellor, Enrollment Management
UCLA

MEERA E. DEO
Professor of Law
Thomas Jefferson School of Law

ADRIAN GONZALES
Interim Superintendent/President
and Vice President of Student Services
Palomar Community College

VALLERA JOHNSON
Administrative Law Judge

CATHERINE LUCEY
Professor and Vice Dean for Education
UCSF School of Medicine

MARY ANN MASON
Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Center
on Health, Economic, and Family Security
UC Berkeley

LINDA TRINH VO
Professor of Asian American Studies
UC Irvine

SHIRLEY WEBER
California Assemblywoman, Chair of Assembly Committees on Higher Education and Campus Climate, Former President San Diego Unified School District

SUSAN WESTERBERG PRAGER
Dean, Southwestern Law School
Former Dean, UCLA School of Law
Former Executive Director and CEO of AALS

 

For additional information and registration visit TJSL.EDU/CONFERENCES/WLC/2016

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“How I Learned to Stop Writing for Old White Men”

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That’s the title of this op-ed by Claire Vaye Watkins that appeared in the LA Times last month.  Here’s an excerpt:

I’ve watched boys play drums, guitar, sing, watched them play football, baseball, soccer, pool, “Dungeons and Dragons” and “Magic: The Gathering.” I’ve watched them golf. I’ve watched boys work on their trucks and work on their master’s theses. I’ve watched boys build things: half-pipes, bookshelves, screenplays, careers. I’ve watched boys skateboard, snowboard, act, bike, box, paint, fight and drink. I could probably write a six-volume memoir based solely on the years I spent watching boys play “Resident Evil” and “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater.” I watched boys in my leisure time, I watched boys in my love life and I watched boys in my education. * * *

Which is to say I have been reenacting in my art-making the ceaseless pastime of my girlhood: watching boys, emulating them, trying to catch the attention of the ones who have no idea I exist. This is a dispiriting revelation on its face, but becomes desperate because I thought I was doing this for myself. I was under the impression that art-making was apart from all the rottenness of our culture, when in fact it’s not apart from it. It is made of it. * * *

Motherhood has softened me. I don’t want to write like a man anymore. I don’t want to be praised for being “unflinching.” I want to flinch. I want to be wide open.

I am trying to write something urgent, trying to be vulnerable and honest, trying to listen, trying to identify and articulate my innermost feelings, trying to make you feel them too, trying a kind of telepathy. All of this is really hard in the first place and, in a culture where women are subject to infantilization and gaslighting, in a culture that says your telepathic heart is dumb and delicate and boring and frippery and for girls, I sometimes wonder if it’s even possible.

H/T Professor Lisa Pruitt (UC Davis) on Twitter, here.

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Winner of AALS Scholarly Papers Competition Announced

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From the AALS, here:

2016 AALS Scholarly Papers Competition for law school faculty members who have been teaching for five years or less. The competition’s selection committee chose Jill M. Fraley, associate professor at Washington and Lee School of Law for her paper “An Unwritten History of Waste Law.” Established in 1985, this marks the 30th edition of the award.

Congratulations, Professor Fraley!

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Survey on Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, & Policing

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National Survey Finds That Police Hostility and Bias Remain Problems for Survivors of Sexual and Domestic Violence

By Sandra Park, Donna Coker, and Julie Goldscheid

reposted from Move to End Violence http://www.movetoendviolence.org/blog/national-survey-finds-that-police-hostility-and-bias-remain-problems-for-survivors-of-sexual-and-domestic-violence/

The shooting deaths by police of unarmed African-American men and the violent treatment of Sandra Bland have focused national attention and outrage on the problem of police racial bias and brutality. A new national survey finds that the same kind of police bias often affects police responses to sexual assault and domestic violence.

Over 900 advocates, service providers, and attorneys who work with survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence responded to a national survey regarding policing and domestic and sexual violence.  Responses from the Field: Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, and Policing describes what they shared with us.

Advocates identified police inaction, hostility, and bias against survivors as a key barrier to seeking criminal justice intervention.  Eighty-eight percent (88%) said that police sometimes or often do not believe victims or blame victims for the violence. Over 80% of respondents believed that police relations with marginalized communities influenced survivors’ willingness to call the police.  Respondents told us that many police are biased against women of color, immigrant women, and poor women. They are biased against lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender survivors. They are biased against young survivors of sexual assault, believing that rape is really just “regret sex.” They are biased against sex workers and those who suffer drug addiction.

Victims are also concerned that police involvement will trigger negative collateral consequences. Nearly 90% of survey respondents said that contact with the police sometimes or often resulted in the involvement of child protective services, threatening survivors with loss of custody of their children. Sixty-one percent said that contact with the police sometimes or often results in charges that could lead to deportation, and 70% said police involvement sometimes or often results in the survivor losing housing, employment or welfare benefits. Some reported that victims themselves face arrest when reaching out to the police, particularly if they have a criminal record.

Advocates also said that many survivors’ goals do not align with those of the criminal justice system or how it operates. Some survivors were looking for options other than punishment for the abuser, while others feared that once they were involved with the criminal justice system, they would lose control over the process. Still others were reluctant to engage the system because they believed that it was complicated, lengthy, and would create more trauma.

It wasn’t all bad news. Respondents identified projects that they believe improve police response in their communities. Most advocates (70%) reported that community meetings between social service providers, police, and prosecutors were sometimes or very helpful. Respondents urged more collaboration of this kind between advocacy programs and the police. They also said that police needed better training, including anti-bias training, and departments should hire more women and people of color. They urged changes in police culture, policy and practice, such as prioritizing domestic violence and sexual assault cases and ending victim-blaming. And, not surprisingly, they urged more police accountability for misconduct in sexual assault and domestic violence cases.

While respondents described collaborative efforts between police and advocates as a key means of creating more accountability, they were largely unaware of independent   mechanisms of monitoring the police. For example, 72% did not know whether civilian complaint boards or other types of independent, community-based police oversight mechanisms exist in their communities. A similarly large majority (61%) were unaware of the Department of Justice’s ability to investigate gender-biased policing – a process that has successfully instigated reforms in many police departments.

What does all this boil down to? First, we must support efforts to institute more robust accountability for law enforcement misconduct in domestic and sexual violence cases, including guidance to law enforcement from the Department of Justice on how gender biased policing violates survivors’ civil rights. This is sparking change in Puerto Rico, New Orleans, and Missoula, Montana where the DOJ investigated claims of gender bias, resulting in the adoption of new policies and the appointment of an expert monitor to oversee police reforms. In Puerto Rico and elsewhere, women’s rights, anti-violence organizations, and police reform groups, such as the ACLU, are working together to change the police response.

Police bias in these cases is surely anti-woman, but it is largely anti-certain women:  women of color, immigrant women, lesbian and transgender women, poor women, sex workers. Solutions to police bias must focus on these intersecting biases. The racially biased police violence that has shocked the country and sparked renewed activism also infects police response to domestic and sexual assault cases. Training, accountability mechanisms, and research must take this intersectional approach. Responses must also recognize the problem of violence perpetrated by police – violence on the street and violence against intimate partners.

Second – and this may seem contradictory – we should concentrate less of our resources on policing. Why? Because we need to put more attention on changing policies that make people more vulnerable to sexual and domestic violence and changing police conduct won’t fix those problems. This will remain true as long as survivors risk deportation if police are involved; as long as survivors risk losing custody of their children; and as long as housing, welfare, and job training programs provide meager benefits completely inadequate to the need. And we should add mass incarceration to that policy list. We need to better understand the ways in which concentrated incarceration in low income communities of color may make women more vulnerable to domestic violence and makes contacting the police all the more dangerous.

Third, many survivors do not want a punitive criminal justice response to their partners’ violence. We must investigate programs that provide an alternative to criminal prosecution, including restorative justice programs and community-based transformative justice responses, as well as other approaches.

Our hope is that this report, and the insights from hundreds of advocates who work with survivors daily, will support the ongoing debates and re-thinking of the role of the criminal justice system within efforts to end gender-based violence.

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Joint Scholars & Scholarship Workshop on Feminist Jurisprudence, Jan. 6, 2016

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Joint Scholars & Scholarship Workshop

on Feminist Jurisprudence

11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Skadden Conference Center, Fordham Law School


Sponsored by the Legal Writing Institute (LWI), the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD), the Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research Section of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS-LWRR), and Fordham Law School.

Registration is open at Joint Workshop Registration. There is no charge to attend. Please register (even if you are a panelist) by December 1, 2015, to help us plan the workshop. The full Joint Workshop Program is here.

The conference organizers thank the generous hosts at Fordham Law School and ​to ​the planning committee: Bob ​Brain​, ​Robin Boyle, ​Kim Chanbonpin, Mel Weresh, Nantiya Ruan, Shailini George, Emily Grant, Kathy Stanchi, ​Jessica Clark, Mary-Beth Moylan, Teri McMurtry-Chubb, Jennifer Romig, Linda Berger.​
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Why I Love(d) Barbie, Summarized in this Ad

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Feminists have made trenchant critiques of the Barbie doll.  I appreciate those critiques on an intellectual level, but the critiques never resonated on an emotional level, precisely because Barbie was an imagination gateway for me (mine read Ms. Magazine and lived alone in her townhouse). This ad resonated with me (it’s a little long, but completely worth watching):

This Barbie ad reminds me of Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards’ discussion in Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism and the Future (2000).  They wrote:

Barbie stands as a symbol of the lack of understanding between the leaders of the girls’ movement and the girls themselves….The traditional feminist distaste for Barbie has also kept many young women closeted about their dolly-loving past….[T]he lessening of Barbiphobia finally acknowledges that most girls don’t want to be Barbie; they want to use Barbie to explore what they can be.

Mattel is tapping into this understanding of Barbie with its new ad.  I like that take on Barbie much better than the “Math is hard” Barbie.

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Southern University Law Center Seeks New Law Chancellor

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The Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana is searching for a new law chancellor (what the school calls the dean).  The announcement is here.

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What Adults Don’t Understand About Teen Sexting

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The local public radio station in New York City, WNYC, ran this interesting story about the teen sexting scandal in Colorado: Schools, Cops Take Notice as Teen Sexting Becomes New Norm:

There are many thought-provoking ideas presented in the story.  Familiar to lawyers will be the notion that child pornography laws were developed in an era prior to the advent of smart phones, and thus, the laws do not always apply easily to situations involving teens who share nude photos of each other.  The radio story mentions the seemingly illogical conclusion that a teen who takes and sends a nude picture to a fellow teen (assuming no coercion or bullying) is both simultaneously the perpetrator and the victim under child pornography laws.  The story also suggests — although more subtly — the possibility that adults simply don’t understand the role that sexting (including the sharing of nude photos) plays in the lives of teenagers.  That is, some teenagers use this form of communication to build and express intimacy, and that teens don’t have the same sense of shame (or protectiveness) about their bodies as adults have about teen bodies.

This isn’t a topic I’ve thought much about, and I definitely need to reflect more.  At this point, I’m just passing on the story as one that I thought worthy of a wide audience.

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Are You a Lawyer Who Has Had an Abortion? Your Story Needed

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From the FLP mailbox, this request from the Center for Reproductive Rights:

As you may know, the Center for Reproductive Rights has two cases that are being conferenced by SCOTUS this month involving challenges to restrictive abortion laws in Texas and Mississippi. We are hoping that lawyers who have had abortions will be willing to speak out (or lend their names) about the importance of the Court protecting constitutional rights meaningfully; and how their abortions enabled them to fully participate in the “economic and social life of the Nation” as discussed in 1992’s Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

If you are interested in participating, please contact Erica Smock, Director of Judicial Strategy at esmock@reprorights.org

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