Yesterday the Utah legislature passed a bill that will exempt from menstrual products (tampons, pads, etc.) from state sales tax. Read more here.
“Oh no. Could I borrow a tampon or pad?” These (or similar) words are familiar to almost everyone who has ever had a period. Even for adults, menstruation can at times be a challenge. For some schoolchildren, it can feel like an insurmountable obstacle to receiving an education. Students are subject to constant observation by classmates and teachers; they may not have autonomous access to a bathroom during the school day; or they may not be able to afford menstrual products. As a result, a menstruating student may find it difficult to concentrate in school or even attend school at all, depending on the circumstances. This Article explores the intersection of menstruation and education to uncover the impediments faced by girls and other students who menstruate. Students may experience menstruation-related peer harassment, restrictive school policies, a lack of access to menstrual products, and inadequate menstruation-related education. Because menstruation is uniquely associated with female biology, a school’s failure to address the needs of menstruating students amounts to a denial of educational opportunities on the basis of sex under Title IX.
In recent years, students themselves have played notable roles in successful efforts to cause schools to provide free pads or tampons to students. Currently most states do not require schools to do so. Even in states where schools have a legal obligation to provide menstrual products to students, availability is only one part of a larger problem. Unless students can access bathroom facilities in response to their biological needs, and do so without shame, stigma or restriction, students may risk bleeding during class, failing to change tampons or pads as medically recommended, or even leaving (or skipping) school. This Article argues that pursuant to Title IX, schools should provide students with an education free of unnecessary anxiety about the natural biological process of menstruation. This freedom from anxiety is a necessary precondition for girls, boys, women, men and people of all genders to have meaningful opportunities to fully participate in all aspects of public life.
The full article is available here. Our article focuses mostly on education in grades 3 through 12, but the arguments are equally applicable to higher education contexts, too.
The Susan Bulkeley Butler Women’s Archives at the Purdue University Archives announces Research Travel Grants for those planning to travel in order to use materials at the Purdue Archives in 2020. Grants of up to $2,000 will be awarded to individual scholars.The Women’s Archives collects, preserves, and makes available for research original and rare materials that capture the often overlooked and under-represented stories of women and their communities in Purdue and Indiana’s past. Our collections include papers, photographs, audio-visual materials, digital media, rare books, and select artifacts documenting women faculty, staff, and students at Purdue University; organizations and programs at Purdue that support women; and significant women and women’s organizations in Indiana.Notable collections include those documenting the history of the Deans of Women at Purdue; collections on women’s issues such as the Sisters for Health Education (S.H.E.) records and the Helen B. Schleman papers; the Paulina T. Merritt papers on the Indiana Women’s Suffrage Movement; and the personal papers of industrial engineers Frank and Lillian Gilbreth, among many others.
In June, 2019, Devon Carbado (UCLA) and Cheryl Harris (UCLA) published an important essay, Intersectionality at 30: Mapping the Margins of Anti-Essentialism, Intersectionality, and Dominance Theory, 132 Harv. L. Rev. 2193 (2019). It provides an excellent and nuanced understanding of three important intellectual developments in feminist legal theory in the last 30 years. It should be required reading for anyone who teaches or studies in the field. Here are Carbado and Harris’ three main arguments:
This Essay advances three core claims. First, intersectionality is often erroneously conflated with anti-essentialism and thus many readers erroneously perceive a strong opposition between intersectionality and dominance theory on the view that dominance theory is essentialist and that intersectionality is not. In the context of disaggregating intersectionality from anti-essentialism, we contest the view that feminism and critical theory must always avoid essentialism to achieve normative commitments to social transformation. Second, we argue that scholars have largely overlooked the fact that dominance theory and intersectionality share a critique of conceptions of equality structured around sameness and difference. Third, we contend that while there is an affiliation between dominance theory and intersectionality, there is also at least some tension between their respective framings of race and gender.
The full essay is available here.
Mary Roche Waller (Michigan JD 2017) has published Sex Inequality in the United States and French Income Tax Filing Systems, 73 Tax Lawyer 207 (2019). Here is the abstract:
This Article explains and compares the joint and family income taxation structures in the U.S. and France, respectively, and discusses how these structures contribute to sex inequality. The Article also addresses the rationales for a joint or family structure and offers three possible approaches for reducing the sex inequality in the tax systems in the U.S. and France, including a secondary earner deduction, increased child-care subsidies or deductions, or a switch to an individual taxation structure. The Article concludes that the U.S. and France could better reach sex equality goals by moving to an individual filing system.
The full article is available on the ABA website here (paywall for now; sorry).
Constitutional Court of Colombia Invalidates Tax on Menstrual Hygiene Products, Requires Bogotá to Provide Supplies for Homeless Women
Beth Goldblatt (University of Technology Sydney) and Linda Steele (University of Technology Sydney) have published a new article, Bloody Unfair: Inequality Related to Menstruation – Considering the Role of Discrimination Law, 41 Sydney L. Rev. 293 (2019):
Drawing on growing social awareness, activism and scholarship, this article examines menstruation as an equality issue and the implications for discrimination law in Australia. It discusses the complex nature of inequality that arises in relation to menstruation. It also considers intersectional discrimination (when a combination of attributes generates a new form of discrimination) that occurs in relation to menstruation facing different groups: women and girls with disabilities, incarcerated women, and transgender, gender-diverse and intersex people. The article considers how some forms of inequality related to menstruation might be addressed through discrimination law (workplace adjustments and provision of menstrual products in carceral settings) and points to limitations of discrimination law or its application, such as in relation to sterilisation of women and girls with disabilities and strip searching of incarcerated women. It concludes that Australian discrimination law can only have a limited impact in addressing menstrual inequality. This is because: (a) the structure of the law is attribute-based and thus cannot address the complex intersections of sex and other attributes; (b) it cannot address structural inequality; and (c) it cannot adequately contend with embodied and abjected legal subjects. These conclusions have radical implications beyond menstruation inequality in contributing to broader discussions of how law can re-imagine gender difference and advance equality.
The full article is available here.
From colleagues at Creighton:
Creighton University School of Law is seeking qualified applicants for the position of Director of Clinical Programs. This position is tenured or tenure eligible. Creighton University is a Jesuit university, and as such is committed to the training of students in service to others, and recognizes the importance of family life, the inalienable worth of each individual and values ethnic and cultural diversity as core values. In keeping with Creighton’s Ignatian tradition of inclusivity and compassion, we seek a caring, hospitable environment for everyone, regardless of age, culture, faith, ethnicity, immigrant status, race, gender, sexual orientation, language, physical appearance, physical ability or social class.
Interviews begin by January 20, 2020.
For full details, and to make an application, see here.
The Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America has a research grant program. The summer grant deadline is November 15, 2019. There are term-time grants, too. Check out the website for more info here.
@UofELawSchool Edinburgh Appoints Laura Macgregor Chair of Scots Law – First Woman to Hold Same Chair Hume Did
Professor Laura Macgregor has been appointed to the Chair of Scots Law at Edinburgh Law School.
The chair is the second oldest in Edinburgh Law School. Established in 1722, with Alexander Bayne its first incumbent, it has been held by legal luminaries such as John Erskine, David Hume, George Joseph Bell, Sir John Rankine and, most recently, Kenneth Reid. In the 297 years since its creation, Professor Macgregor will be the first woman to hold it.
Professor Macgregor spent several years as a practising solicitor with two Edinburgh law firms, before beginning her academic career at the University of Glasgow in 1997. She joined the Edinburgh Law School in 2002. Her interests lie in the field of commercial law, and her research considers Scots law in its comparative context, both European and global. She is the author of The Law of Agency in Scotland (2013), published in the Scottish Universities Law Institute series. Currently undertaking research into the law of partnership, her recent article, “Partnerships and Legal Personality: Cautionary Tales from Scotland” will be published in 2020 in the Journal of Corporate Law Studies.
On the subject of her appointment, Professor Macgregor said: “I am absolutely delighted to be appointed to this historic and important chair within Edinburgh Law School. It is a challenging time to take on this role, with events such as Brexit lying over the horizon. Supported by my excellent colleagues in private law, I am confident that we can meet such challenges, ultimately achieving our aim of creating a diverse, inclusive and welcoming place to study.”
Professor Macgregor will take up her new role from 1 July 2020.
Caroline Mala Corbin (Miami) has posted to SSRN her article The Supreme Court’s Facilitation of White Christian Nationalism (Alabama Law Review, forthcoming). Here is the abstract:
Doug Jager, a band student of Native American ancestry, complained about the Christian prayers at his Georgia public school’s football games. Rather than address his concerns, the school lectured him on Christianity and proposed an alternative that appeared neutral yet would have still resulted in Christian prayers. In striking down the school’s proposal, Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr. understood some of the ramifications of state-sponsored Christianity.
Despite Supreme Court rulings limiting Christian invocations at public school events, government-sponsored Christian prayers and Christian symbols remain plentiful and constitutional in the United States. This proliferation of government-sponsored Christianity around the country both reflects and strengthens Christian nationalism.
Christian nationalism maintains that the United States is and should be a Christian nation, and Christian nationalism’s defining characteristic is the belief that religious identity and national identity overlap completely. Christian nationalism necessarily implies a hierarchy based on religion, with Christian insiders who are true Americans and non-Christian outsiders who are not. Moreover, studies show that those with strong identification with Christian nationalism have more hostile attitudes towards out-groups, religious and otherwise. That hostility paves the way for hostile public policy. Consequently, Christian nationalism does not simply lead to symbolic exclusion from the community and nation, it may lead to actual exclusion.
Thus, as the sociological evidence establishes, the harm of government-sponsored Christianity is not just offense, but discriminatory attitudes and discriminatory policies. The insight embedded in Establishment Clause doctrine that the government should not favor one religion over others is borne out by contemporary social science. As a result, instead of eviscerating separation of church and state, it ought to be recognized as more important than ever.
The full article is available here.
80% of Teens Report Missing Class Time or Knowing Someone Who Has Missed Class Time Because of Lack of Access to Menstrual Hygiene Products
The results of a Harris Insights & Analytics poll of 1000 teens ages 13-19, sponsored by Thinx and PERIOD, are here. Some of the salient findings:
Two-thirds of teens have felt stress due to lack of access to period products.
20% (1 in 5 teens) have struggled to afford period products or were not able to purchase them at all.
61% have worn a tampon or pad for more than 4 hours because they did not have enough access to period products (puts them at risk of infection and TSS).
84% (more than 4 in 5 teens) have either missed class time or know someone who missed class time because they did not have access to period products.
25% (1 in 4 teens) have missed class because of lack of access to period products.
83% (more than 4 in 5 teens) think lack of access to period products is an issue that is not talked about enough.
More than 4 in 5 teens have either missed class time or know a classmate who missed class time because they did not have access to period products.
Read the full report here.
here.at Direct Relief hosted a podcast on the topic
Here’s a summary of the program, which features Jennifer Weiss-Wolf of Period Equity:
Pads and tampons are a simple necessity, yet women across America are going without them. The cost of these products make them inaccessible for many low-income women struggling to make ends meet. These women often forgo menstrual hygiene products in order to afford for other basic necessities. Without tampons or pads, women resort to using rags, toilet paper, or even adult diapers. The problem has garnered national attention and stoked advocacy campaigns across the United States. While activists work to pass policies that would increase women’s access to period products, women on the margins continue to struggle with the problem on a monthly basis.
The University of Connecticut has announced the opening of the search for the next Dean of the School of Law. The official announcement — together with information about applications and nominations as well as links to the position description — can be found here.
Yuvraj Joshi (doctoral candidate, Yale Law School) has posted to SSRN his article Affirmative Action as Transitional Justice, 2020 Wisc. L. Rev. (forthcoming). Here is the abstract:
What role does affirmative action play in transitioning toward a more just society? The two literatures best equipped to answer this question — transitional justice and affirmative action — have neglected both the question and one another. Transitional justice scholars have focused on a limited set of measures (such as truth commissions and criminal prosecutions) and overlooked the role of affirmative action in facilitating transition. At the same time, affirmative action scholars have neglected the ways affirmative action may be part of a larger transitional justice project. Bringing these literatures into conversation for the first time, this Article shows how integrating affirmative action and transitional justice can advance our understanding of both practices. Affirmative action can bring attention to structural inequalities in transitional societies and help delineate the boundaries of transitional justice. In so doing, affirmative action can bridge a divide between the field of transitional justice and the phenomenon of societal transition that it seeks to understand and facilitate. Transitional justice, on the other hand, can elucidate how the period of transition informs affirmative action’s features and functions; it can also illuminate affirmative action’s strengths and shortcomings in bringing about a more just society. Affirmative action should therefore be added to the transitional justice ‘toolkit’ and anchored in transitional justice concepts and debates.
Read the full article here.
The present battle over reproductive rights is an attempted coup by conservatives, who see an opportune moment. Ushered in by the election of Donald Trump as well as the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, some see it as an opportunity to overturn the right to abortion. It is peculiar that such a case could be made under the leadership of Trump, whose own life is a poster-child for careless, wanton, and assaultive attitudes toward sex. It is strange that the move to tighten abortion comes from a party whose leader has led a playboy life, preying on women, paying to silence women, and having all sorts of illicit affairs during and in-between his three marriages. Even if Trump embodies exactly why the option of abortion should be a woman’s choice, it is obvious that Republicans believe that the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court signals an opportunity.
That Kavanaugh, himself accused of sexual assault and other sexual misconduct, should be the vote that turns the tide is even more remarkable. If Trump’s destructive masculinity has so far showed how a man’s carelessness can easily turn into a woman’s pregnancy, Kavanaugh showed a more pernicious side. He has been accused of sexual assault and misconduct by different women, which is also a reminder of the most unfortunate ways that pregnancies can occur—through the use of force or the threat of force by a man. That Kavanaugh’s vote may become the lynchpin for abolishing abortion is the ultimate irony, especially were it to force a woman to carry a child that was the product of sexual assault
The different states moving to reverse reproductive rights have Trump and Kavanaugh to thank for helping engineer the movement. The fact that they are the igniters of this movement is like a warped episode of A Handmaid’s Tale. Under such men and the party that supports them, women find themselves under a legal assault. Such an attack triggers the need to devise new political means of reimagining democracy and pushing back. Two future pathways of resistance may be to advocate for same-sex voting and counter-legislation. It might be time to reimagine voting and start pressing for laws that govern a man’s privates as rigidly as the laws that govern a woman’s womb.
Although it may seem politically naïve to suggest it, a person’s reproductive rights might be best determined along sex lines. It is not far-fetched to allot women as the only class of voters allowed to vote on issues that govern reproductive law and their own body. Likewise, it is already taken for granted that a man should be able to decide these issues, whether he wants to have children, when he does, and with whom. None of these should be hoisted upon him by the state. The same should hold true for women, even though their rights are more precarious since they operate against a history of oppression and inequality, where once upon a time they held the status of being property. Today, women still struggle with inequities and far less political power than their counterparts. It is a stark lesson in gender dominance that men should wield such decisionmaking over female bodies, which makes the current democratic model simply a perpetuation of injustice. Same-sex voting would at least take the male thumb off the scales so that women alone could be the arbiters of any policy that pertains to their body, and the pain and suffering that come with it.
Some might scoff at the idea of same-sex voting, but it is not outlandish to think that there are some issues for which women-only should be allowed to vote. An obvious argument in favor of this idea is the fact that women bear unique burdens and pains of being women, including pregnancy and childbirth. So, the very painful issues at stake are completely unknown to men. Despite this gap, as it stands, men are flexing their power to sentence women to pregnancy, which in some cases might be construed as a sentence of torture. Compared to a system that would let women decide on laws that impact their own bodies and the pain and suffering they must endure, current legislative efforts bear an heir of barbarism. To some, same-sex voting might seem undemocratic, but historical circumstances of this country have created glass ceiling after ceiling for women, while current inequalities persist. Same sex voting would be a step toward a more egalitarian political playing field in which women have a genuine say in what happens to their body.
This move would also further democracy in the sense that it would lead to more equitable and acceptable political outcomes for women. For example, even if a majority of women enacted laws similar to the anti-abortion efforts currently underway, it would likely lead to more women accepting the result compared to today’s system, where a man’s opinion carries the heaviest weight. Today, as in years of old, men are the primary creators of these laws and they are still largely the most important voters. Male dominance of American culture and its legal systems gives males the political upper-hand now and in future efforts to regulate women’s bodies. Congress may be starting to open up to women members, but it and other government institutions still live in the shadows of inequality. Hence, when it comes to decisions about the female body or sexual reproduction, allowing same-sex voting would be a push toward expanding the one-size-fits-all model of voting into one that is more tailored to the lived experiences of women. They are the ones who must experience these unique physical realities, from menstruation and childbirth all the way to menopause.
Whether same-sex voting or other such voting possibilities take root, there is no doubt that phallocentric legislation is being used as a counter-strategy by some. On social media there has been robust discussion on this point, including what it would look like if similar laws were passed for men. Memes have ruminated on mandatory male vasectomies, banning vasectomies, and other restrictions, including getting permission from others before being allowed the procedure. Others have pointed out that over a nine-month period, a man can cause a number of pregnancies, whereas a woman can only have a single pregnancy. Taken wholly, the commentary underscores that the greatest threat of unwanted pregnancies necessarily comes from males.
A more concrete illustration comes from the state of Georgia, where one lawmaker responded to a controversial abortion law by drafting a “testicular bill of rights.” The plan would ban vasectomies and require men to seek permission from their partners before getting a Viagra prescription. Unabashed in its attempt to mirror the type of punitive measures laid out in the abortion law, the proposed law would go even further and make the use of a condom an “aggravated assault” under the criminal law, require DNA testing of a fetus when a woman is 6 weeks to determine the father for child support purposes, in addition to a 24-hour waiting period to purchase pornography or sex toys.
Both counter-legislation and same-sex voting may seem like the bud of a joke, yet one might only imagine if such a trend were to arise, perhaps supported by the spirit of the #MeToo movement. What if male and female bodily and reproductive rights were policed equally such that men patrolled their own bodies, and women did the same for themselves? Such a move would result in a true shift of power since men have been the sole legal guardians of the American legal system for most of the country’s existence and have created nearly all the laws that govern women’s sex and reproductive rights. Perhaps it is time to relinquish this power to whom it rightfully belongs.
Making men feel regulative burdens similar to women, in addition to giving women the exclusive vote over women’s issues, will work to infuse more democracy into the system. To be sure, how we vote is not etched in stone, and there is obviously more than one way to vote. To say that there is only one way is itself not very democratic; it also betrays history, since for a long time, there was only one-sex voting, men. But not all men—only wealthy white men were allowed to vote. To say that voting arrangements cannot be reconfigured is disingenuous since American voting and procedures are always a work in progress. The same holds for the notion of phallocentric legislation. It represents a dramatic way to counter the assault on female bodies by demonstrating why the regulation of male bodies is an even more efficient solution to stemming unwanted pregnancies.
DEADLINE: Friday November 1, 2019
The U.S. Feminist Judgments Project seeks contributors of rewritten judicial opinions and private contracts, and commentaries on rewritten opinions and contracts, for an edited collection tentatively titled Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Corporate Law. This edited volume is part of a collaboration among law professors and others to rewrite, from a feminist perspective, key judicial decisions in the United States. 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, was published in 2016 by Cambridge University Press. Cambridge University Press has approved a series of Feminist Judgments books. In 2017, Cambridge University Press published the tax volume titled Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Tax Opinions. Other volumes in the pipeline include rewritten opinions in the areas of reproductive justice, family law, torts, employment discrimination, trusts and estates, health law, and property law. More information about the project can be found here.
Corporate law volume editors are Anne Choike, Usha R. Rodrigues and Kelli Alces Williams. The corporate law volume’s advisory panel is comprised of Alina Ball; Lisa Fairfax; Theresa Gabaldon; Joan MacLeod Heminway; Kristin Johnson; Elizabeth Pollman; Poonam Puri; Darren Rosenblum; Cindy Schipani; Kellye Testy; Cheryl Wade; and Cindy Williams.
With the guidance of the advisory panel, the editors have selected cases that have not appeared in other Feminist Judgments volumes, doctrinally significant cases, and cases that raise issues of particular salience to women’s lives. This volume also seeks to include a rewritten “contract,” given corporate law’s emphasis upon default law and the precedent-setting power of privately negotiated arrangements. Potential authors are welcome to suggest other opinions or contracts that they would like to address, but the overall number of cases and contracts finally included in the volume must remain limited.
Interested prospective contributors should submit a proposal to either: 1) rewrite an opinion or contract (subject to a 10,000 word limit), or 2) comment on a rewritten opinion (4,000 word limit). Rewritten opinions may be majority opinions, concurrences, dissents, or private contracts.
Cook on “Johnny Appleseed: Citizenship Transmission Laws and a White Heteropatriarchal Property Right in Philandering, Sexual Exploitation, and Rape (the “Whp”) or Johnny and the Whp”
Blanche Bong Cook (Kentucky) has posted to SSRN her article, “Johnny Appleseed: Citizenship Transmission Laws and a White Heteropatriarchal Property Right in Philandering, Sexual Exploitation, and Rape (the “Whp”) or Johnny and the Whp, 31 Yale J. L. & Feminism 57 (2019). Here is the abstract:
Title 8, United States Code, Section 1409—one of this country’s citizenship transmission laws—creates a white heteropatriarchal property right in philandering, sexual exploitation, and rape (the “WHP”). Section 1409 governs the transmission of citizenship from United States citizens to their children, where the child is born abroad, outside of marriage, and one parent is a citizen and the other is not. Section 1409, however, draws a distinct gender distinction between women and men: An unwed female American citizen who births a child outside the United States, fathered by a foreign man, automatically transmits citizenship to her child. An unwed male American citizen, by contrast, who fathers a child abroad with a foreign woman has the distinctly male prerogative to either grant or deny citizenship to his foreign-born nonmarital child at his leisure.
The full article is available here.
by Stephanie M. Wildman
September 27 marks the anniversary of a skirmish that ranks in the pantheon of modern civilian conflicts over what kind of society America will be. Many believed Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony one year ago about sexual assault she had endured at the hands of then-Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Her composed, measured statement during the confirmation hearing exemplified bravery in the face of adversity.
The Senate and the nation’s response to her testimony underscored the high stakes in the ongoing ideological conflict about who we are as a nation, beyond the obvious prize of a Supreme Court seat.
The hearing also provided an opportunity to consider race and American racial dynamics which society too often overlooks in the context of whiteness. In fact, the specter of race, America’s persistent issue, hovered above the proceedings, the unspoken ghost in the room. Race remains present even when ignored.
In 1991, another confirmation hearing for now Justice Clarence Thomas, in which Anita Hill testified about sexual harassment she had experienced, split the nation. Race pervaded the Ford-Kavanaugh hearings in ways different from its presence when Professor Anita Hill testified. In the Hill-Thomas hearings commentators did not ignore race, perhaps because both participants are Black. Yet whites have a race, too, and whiteness impacted society’s views of Professor Blasey Ford and Justice Kavanaugh.
During his hearing, Justice Thomas highlighted his race as a black man, claiming the proceedings amounted to a high-tech lynching. Justice Thomas essentially erased Professor Hill as a black woman, turning sexual harassment into a white woman’s issue. Ironically, black women have been at the forefront of combatting sexual harassment in court cases, just as Professor Hill did by coming forward.
Justice Kavanaugh, in contrast during his hearing, exercised white racial privilege by conducting himself in a manner unthinkable for a Black man. While Dr. Ford epitomized civility, Justice Kavanaugh, in his testimony, exhibited intense anger toward the proceedings and many individuals. Memorably, he engaged in an interchange with Senator Amy Klobuchar that was so disrespectful that he returned from a break and apologized for his outburst.
Justice Kavanaugh exhibited a white, male, power complaint, as he cast himself as a victim, free to rant away. Picture a black judicial candidate responding as Justice Kavanaugh did. Might the hypothetical black candidate have appeared unreasonable to those who found Justice Kavanaugh’s behavior acceptable? What if Dr. Ford had been loud and complaining? Would she have been seen as “too aggressive” and not credible by those who believed her?
Many observers defending Justice Kavanaugh urged that a grown man should not be judged harshly based on his behavior as a youth, even if part of the story were true. This attitude toward the criminal justice system highlights another racialized aspect of the hearings. Black and Latino youth find themselves in a school to prison pipeline, beginning with minor offenses or school suspensions. Even these minor offenses tarnish their adult records, making educational attainment and job advancement impossible. Where are their defenders, saying these men should not be judged by the misdemeanors perpetrated in their youth? Society judges youthful indiscretion through the lens of race, with harsher penalties to black and brown children. Imagine Justice Kavanaugh as a Black youth.
In these two transfixing political moments patriotic women subjected themselves to national scrutiny, putting their sense of duty before their personal comfort. But the same result, confirmation of the men accused, ensued, giving a message to women that we do not really matter
An expanded version of these ideas appear in Hearing Women: From Professor Hill to Dr. Ford, 33 Journal of Civil Rights and Economic Development __ ( forthcoming 2019).
Renée Nicole Allen (St. John’s), Alicia Jackson (FAMU), and DeShun Harris (Memphis) have posted to SSRN their article, The ‘Pink Ghetto’ Pipeline: Challenges and Opportunities for Women in Legal Education, U. Detroit Mercy L. Rev. (forthcoming 2019). Here is the abstract:
The demographics of law schools are changing and women make up the majority of law students. Yet, the demographics of many law faculties do not reflect these changing demographics with more men occupying faculty seats. In legal education, women predominately occupy skills positions, including legal writing, clinic, academic success, bar preparation, or library. According to a 2010 Association of American Law Schools survey, the percentage of female lecturers and instructors is so high that those positions are stereotypically female. The term coined for positions typically held by women is “pink ghetto.” According to the Department of Labor, pink-collar-worker describes jobs and career areas historically considered “women’s work,” and included on the list is teaching. However, in legal education, tenured and higher-ranked positions are held primarily by men, while women often enter legal education through non-tenured and non-faculty skills-based teaching pipelines. In a number of these positions, women experience challenges like poor pay, heavy workloads, and lower status such as by contract, nontenure, or at will. While many may view this as a challenge, looking at these positions solely as a “pink ghetto” diminishes the many contributions women have made to legal education through the skills faculty pipelines. Conversely, we miss the opportunity to examine how legal education has changed and how women have accepted the challenge of being on the front line of educating this new generation of learners while enthusiastically adopting the American Bar Association’s new standards for assessment and student learning. There is an opportunity for women to excel in these positions if we provide them with allies who champion for equal status and provide the requisite support. This article focuses on the changing gender demographics of legal education, legal education pipelines, and the role and status of women in higher education with an emphasis on legal education. The final section applies feminist pedagogy to address challenges, opportunities, and aspirations for women in legal education.
The full article is available here.
If you’ll be in Miami on October 15, 2019, please consider attending this lecture at the University of Miami School of Law:
8th Annual Louis Henkin Lecture on Human Rights
Professor of Law, Fordham University School of Law
“Race, Gender, and Nation in an Age of Shifting Borders”
This lecture will explore two common tropes in the current immigration debate – the “welfare cheat” and the “criminal” – to demonstrate how these narratives shape legal constructs of nationhood and borders as both raced and gendered. Professor Powell will argue that while commentators have rightly criticized the use of racial tropes in the immigration debate, what remains undertheorized is how gender intersects with race, for example, in the controversies over family separation and the rollback of asylum protections. Professor Powell will address this gap and explore how these intersectional tropes impact the legal rights of women and men, particularly through the unstable prisms of motherhood and masculinity.
Tuesday, October 15th, 2019
It is a rather curious graphic. The LSA website provides only the information: “Logo design by: Joelle Grogan.”
When Michelle Williams accepted a 2019 Emmy for best actress in a limited series or TV movie for her role as the Broadway dancer and actress Gwen Verdon in FX’s “Fosse/Verdon,” she started with the normal thank yous, and ended with the gender wage gap:
“The next time a woman — and especially a woman of color, because she stands to make 52 cents on the dollar compared to her white, male counterpart — tells you what she needs in order to do her job, listen to her. Believe her.”
As Williams well knows from personal experience, there is a substantial pay gap in Hollywood, and, in 2018, only one female actor – Scarlett Johansson — appeared on the list of the top 10 highest earning actors.
(read the rest of the article at Forbes, here)
Anita Bernstein, the Anita and Stuart Subotnick Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School, has been named as the recipient of the 2020 AALS Section on Torts and Compensation Systems William L. Prosser Award. The Prosser Award recognizes “outstanding contributions of law teachers in scholarship, teaching and service” and “a lifetime of truly outstanding contribution to the law of torts.” Past recipients include Guido Calebresi (2011), Richard Posner (2012), Jane Stapleton (2013), James Henderson, Jr. (2014), Michael Green (2015), Aaron Twerski (2016), Stephen Sugarman (2017), Marshall Shapo (2018), and Ken Simons (2019).
Professor Bernstein’s law review articles include For and Against Marriage: A Revision, 102 Mich. L. Rev. 129 (2003); Treating Sexual Harassment with Respect, 111 Harv. L. Rev. 445 (1997); How to Make a New Tort: Three Paradoxes, 75 Tex. L. Rev. 1539 (1997); and Law, Culture and Harassment, 142 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1227 (1994). Her most recent book, The Common Law Inside the Female Body (Cambridge University Press 2018), will be the subject of two forthcoming symposia: one in the Northwestern Law Review Online and one in the Boston College Law Review E. Supp.
Bumping to the front in anticipation of the deadline this Friday, 9/20
Call for Papers – Friday, September 20 Deadline
The Feminist Legal Theory Collaborative Research Network
Seeks submissions for the
Law and Society Association Annual Meeting
May 28-31, 2020 in Denver, Colorado
Submission link: https://form.jotform.com/91827795835172
Dear friends and colleagues:
We invite you to submit a paper for a panel to be sponsored by the Feminist Legal Theory Collaborative Research Network at the 2020 Law and Society Annual Meeting in Denver. The Feminist Legal Theory CRN brings together law and society scholars across a range of fields who are interested in feminist legal theory. Information about the Law and Society meeting is available at https://www.lawandsociety.org/index.html.
We will give preference to individual paper proposals over proposals for panels that are pre-formed. One of the goals of the Feminist Legal Theory CRN is to encourage scholars to engage with the diverse work of others across the academy. Any proposals for a fully-formed panel should address specifically the efforts that the panel organizers have made to ensure diversity among presenters, including race, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity; diversity in the institutions of presenters’ affiliation and/or primary training; diversity among positions in the academy such as senior vs. junior scholars, tenured vs. non-tenured participants, doctrinal vs. non-doctrinal faculty.
This year’s meeting invites us to explore “Rule and Resistance.” We are especially interested in proposals that explore the application of feminist legal theory to this theme, broadly construed. We are also interested in papers that will permit us to collaborate with other CRNs, such as the Critical Research on Race and the Law CRN. We welcome multidisciplinary paper proposals and proposals from scholars from all parts of the world.
Our goal is to stimulate focused discussion of papers on which scholars are currently working rather than to seek fully-formed panels. Thus, while you may submit papers that are closer to publication, we are particularly eager to receive proposals for works-in-progress that are at an earlier stage and will benefit from the discussion that the panels will provide. We strongly encourage applications from junior scholars and graduate students – as well as people who are new to feminist legal theory.
The Planning Committee will assign individual papers to panels of four presenters, based on subject matter. Each paper presentation should run roughly 10 to 15 minutes to allow ample time for discussion. We will also assign a chair, and one or two commentators/discussants for each panel, to provide feedback on the papers and promote discussion.
In addition to traditional panels, we are open to proposals in the other formats that the LSA allows, including Author Meets Reader, Salon, or Roundtable sessions. If you have an idea that you think would work well in one of these formats, please also use the submission form above. Organizers of these types of sessions should address in their proposal the same diversity criteria listed above.
Finally–and new this year–the FLT CRN welcomes submissions for roundtables on how to incorporate feminist principles into both teaching methods (pedagogical strategies as well as classroom practices) and course coverage across subject areas. Sessions could potentially address topics such as: (1) what feminist teaching can look like and (2) how to deal with the unique challenges of teaching in a hostile or indifferent environment to feminism. Preference will be given to proposals that involve materials or demonstrations.
Please also note that LSA rules limit each participant to a single conference appearance as a paper panelist or as a roundtable participant. As a condition of participating as part of a program sponsored by the CRN, we also ask that you agree to serve as a chair and/or commentator/discussant for another panel or participant. We will of course take into account expertise and topic preferences to the degree possible.
Chairs are responsible for the primary organization of the panel. Chairs will develop a 100 to 250 word description for the session and submit the session proposal to LSA before the November 6 LSA deadline. This will ensure that other participants accepted by the CRN can submit their proposal to LSA, using the panel number assigned by the CRN. The Chair may also serve as the Discussant for the panel, or there may be a separate Discussant. Where possible, we will attempt to assign two Discussants to each paper panel. Discussants read the two to three papers assigned to them and prepare a short commentary to offer feedback and serve as a basis for discussion among the panelist and audience members as well as (to the extent relevant) identify ways that the papers relate to one another.
If you would like to present a paper as part of a CRN panel, please make your submission here https://form.jotform.com/91827795835172. The submission form will ask you to provide:
- A 500 word abstract or summary of your paper;
- Your paper’s title
- Your name and institutional affiliation;
- Number of years you have been in teaching/working as a grad student; and
- A list of your areas of interest and expertise within feminist legal theory.
Please note that for Author Meets Reader, Salon, or Roundtable sessions, organizers should provide a 500-word summary of the topic and the contributions they expect the proposed participants to make.
If you need to contact the CRN Planning Committee, please do so via firstname.lastname@example.org. (Please do not send submissions to individual committee members.)
Please submit all proposals by Friday, September 20, 2019. Late proposals may not be considered for inclusion. This schedule will permit us to organize panels and submit them prior to the LSA’s deadline of November 6. In the past, we have accommodated as many panelists as possible, but have been unable to accept all proposals. If we are unable to accept your proposal for the CRN, we will notify you by early November so that you can submit an independent proposal to LSA.
We hope you’ll join us in Denver to share and discuss the scholarship in which we are all engaged and connect with others doing work on feminist legal theory.
Finally, please make sure to sign up for the Feminist Legal Theory Collaborative Research page on TWEN, as that is our primary platform for communication about the CRN’s activities. If your primary academic affiliation is outside a U.S.-based law school, please contact Bridget Crawford (email@example.com), and she will arrange for you to have access to TWEN, if you provide your institutional email account. The CRN welcomes participants from all parts of the academy.
2020 LSA Feminist Legal Theory CRN Planning Committee
Naomi Cahn (co-chair)
Bridget Crawford (co-chair)
The answer is that many women, especially women of color, women with non-traditional bodies, women who are young, women who are middle0aged, women who are old, women who speak with an accent, and gender non-conforming folks, to name a few, don’t have the privilege of being presumed to be authoritative and competent.
From the Twitter feed of Dr. Sarah T. Romano (@STRomanoPhD) (Political Science and Global Studies, Lesley University), this syllabus message to students:
Course Policies and University Resources/Services:
What do I call my instructor? Across your classes at Lesley University, the most respectful way to address your instructor in class, over email, or in other interactions is as “Professor _____” or “Dr. ____.” This is because most of your instructors have earned their doctorates, or PhDs, in their fields. Some faculty may have Masters (MA) degrees and are working on completing their PhDs. If you are unsure if your instructor has a PhD, “Professor” is a safe bet! If your instructor invites you to call them by their first name, then of course you may do so.
In law schools, many (most) professors do not have PhDs, so “Professor” is a super-safe bet. If the instructor is an adjunct, a student cannot go *wrong* calling the adjunct “Professor” (different schools do/do not permit adjuncts to use that title). If the school’s adjuncts do not use the title, the adjunct can simply say, “Oh, it’s simply Mr./Ms. ____.” Years ago, I remember when tax instructor Meade Emory, adjunct extraordinaire, said we were free to call him “Meade” after graduation. But until then, “Mr. Emory” would do.
My general thought is that when in doubt, one should always choose the more respectful title. But then again, I’m 50 years old and I still refer to some friends of my parents (and parents of childhood friends) as “Mr. ____” and “Mrs. ____.” So I’m old-fashioned like that.
As for my own (now college-aged) child, the general norm in our community was that teachers went by “Mr. ___” and “Ms. ____,” but friends’ parents were always on a first-name basis. So the universe of people who will call me “Ms. Crawford” in the coming decades is probably limited to those people with whom I went to law school, but we weren’t close enough that we ever learned each others’ first names. Or my first year law professors.
Professor Bruce Mann, I knew it was you on the phone from the way you said, “Ms. Crawford”!
I’ve updated the law review submission guide to 29 U.S.-based law reviews and journals classified under the subject “Gender, Women and Sexuality” by the Washington & Lee Law Journal Rankings and the additional journals that contain the word “gender” in their title, but are not listed in the Washington & Lee Law Journal Rankings.
- Yale Journal of Law & Feminism
- Harvard Journal of Law & Gender
- Columbia Journal of Gender & Law
- New York University Review of Law & Social Change
- University of Pennsylvania Review of Law & Social Change
- Michigan Journal of Gender & Law
- Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy (closed after 2019-2020)
- Duke Forum for Law & Social Change
- Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law & Justice
- Georgetown Journal of Gender & the Law
- UCLA Women’s Law Journal
- Texas Journal of Women, Gender and Law (closed)
- Southern California Review of Law & Social Justice
- Law & Inequality
- Boston College J. of Law & Social Justice (closed)
- Journal of Gender, Race & Justice
- Wisconsin Journal of Law, Gender & Society
- William & Mary Journal of Race, Gender & Social Justice
- Cardozo Journal of Equal Rights and Social Justice
- University of Maryland Law Journal of Race, Religion, Gender & Class
- Tulane Journal of Law & Sexuality
- Hastings Women’s Law Journal
- American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law
- The Modern American
- Women’s Rights Law Reporter
- Idaho Critical Studies Journal
- Feminist Criminology
- Women Lawyers Journal
- Journal of Law & Social Deviance
The guide is available for download here.
I’ve updated my guide to submitting to online companions to include 50 schools’ law reviews. The new guide is here on SSRN. The chart with contains details on the mechanics of submitting essays, commentaries, reviews to the online presence of journals at 50+ schools.
For now, the document contains information about word count limitations, subject matter preferences, submission details and other guidelines authors may find relevant when considering sending their work to law review presences online.
Details vary widely from journal to journal. Not all journals accept unsolicited contributions.
Corrections, additions, refinements to this chart are very welcome. (If for any reason the link doesn’t work because the submission hasn’t been reviewed yet by SSRN, you can navigate to it via my SSRN page here.)
In 1994, Professor Katharine Bartlett founded the Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy to solidify gender law as an intellectually disciplined and complex field of legal scholarship. Despite women’s ongoing struggle to achieve equal rights and treatment in nearly every aspect of the law and society––the workplace, the school, and the home, to name a few––gender law remained “shunned as a political activity inappropriate to institutions committed to academic rigor, objectivity, and neutrality.”
At the time of the Journal’s inaugural publication, gender law scholars and their work remained largely overlooked by other law reviews. But because of fierce advocates like Professor Bartlett and strong publications, including the Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy, feminist scholarship thrived and earned long-overdue respect. Today, gender law remains both a disciplined, rigorous area of jurisprudence and a source of passionate discourse. Its wide applications, from sexual violence and harassment to family structure and children, continue to impact each person today, regardless of their sex.
In the past 25 years, the Journal has published insightful scholarship on a breadth of gender issues, such as the paternalism of “informed consent” and abortion, the treatment of women soldiers in the military, and reexamining the First Amendment under Title IX and the equal opportunity to education. The Journal has also been privileged to print outstanding Articles, Essays, and student Notes that explore intersectional critiques on transracial adoptions, race and gender in criminal law, queer theory and feminism, the social realities of HIV law, and racial identity and gender performance. We are proud to be a law review that has pushed convention and remained committed to equality.
In my application to Duke Law, I wrote about how I wanted to become a part of the Journal, not only because it was one of the most cited publications in its subject area, but also because it earnestly championed issues that are important to oppressed groups. I wanted to become part of a tight-knit community of Duke Law students who also felt that gender, race, sexuality, and class would always matter because these make up the fabric of our identity. It is no surprise that these very issues compelled many staff members to go to law school in the first place.
The Journal will conclude in 2020 with its 25th anniversary issue. I have no doubt that with Professor Kathryn Webb Bradley as our faculty advisor and with my phenomenal editorial team, we will produce an excellent final publication.
Gender scholarship’s movement into mainstream law reviews shows that the issues the Journal has published are now becoming more accessible and recognized. This movement also shows that the issues we have had the opportunity to publish will continue to generate conversation, controversy, and action. As a society and legal community, we still have a long way to go in the fight for equality. As the Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy, we hope that we have laid the groundwork for even more meaningful change to come.
Editor in Chief, Volume 27
From the New York Times Crossword for Saturday, August 17, 2019:
28 Down Clue: Classic poem with the lines “Did you want to see me broken? /Bowed head and lowered eyes?
28 Down Answer: STILL I RISE
The text of the Maya Angelou’s full poem is here.
(And lest I get too excited that I caught this cultural reference, another in my household pointed out that I had absolutely nothing to offer in response to 59 Across in today’s puzzle: “Late Swedish electronic musician with the 2013 hit “Wake Me Up.” Answer after the fold for those stuck in the Wham! era, like me.) Continue reading
The fab feminists at Monash University Faculty of Law are hosting a #LawNeedsFeminism exhibition. The groups is releasing one photo a day via the group’s Facebook page here.
Monash is also the home of the Feminist Legal Studies Group, co-convened by Dr. Becky Batagnol and Dr. Janice Richardson. The group maintains a blog, Themis Says, and interested readers can sign up to receive email notifications of new posts. Check it out!
You can add yourself (or check that you are listed correctly) over here at the Faculty Lounge.
Law teachers from non-US jurisdictions seem especially underrepresented, so please let us know (if you want to) that you’re on Twitter!
This news from Sydney (Australia) Law School (here):
Dr Nicole Watson will use an Australian Research Council grant to incorporate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices into judgments and celebrate their contributions to the development of Australian law.
Dr Watson, who is also the Associate Dean (Indigenous), was awarded the University’s only Discovery Indigenous grant.
She will work with Professor Heather Douglas from the University of Queensland and Dr Asmi Wood from the Australian National University to write judgments so they are inclusive of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s voices and histories.
“I was inspired by the Feminist Judgments Project, which involved rewriting well-known cases from a feminist perspective,” she says.
“The project began in Canada and has also been undertaken in the UK and Australia. I was very lucky to be involved in the Australian project, rewriting a judgment from a criminal case from Central Australia in the 1930s.”
Bringing Indigenous Voices into Judicial Decision-Making will extend methodologies created by international and Australian scholars for correcting the absence of women’s voices. The project, which has received funding for three years, will focus on producing the missing Indigenous judgment in 20 decisions of Australian superior courts over the course of the 20th century.
“I hope that my University of Sydney colleagues and our students will also be involved in rewriting the judgments,”Dr Watson says. The other component of the project will explore the gulf between judge-made law and the lived experience of Indigenous litigants through an in-depth examination of four test cases from Queensland.
“In the 1980s and 1990s Indigenous people, particularly in Queensland, began using the law as a tool of resistance,” she says. “We plan to examine the histories that preceded four of the test cases. We will be interviewing litigants and their legal representatives to discover how they were able to mobilise resources for the cases, and what the lasting impacts of the litigation have been for their communities.” The project will … build a new relationship between Australian judges and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and be an original contribution to Australia’s jurisprudence on them and the law.
The University of Sydney’s full announcement is here.
New Book Announcement: “The Princeton Fugitive Slave” by Lolita Buckner Inniss (@auntiefeminist @SMULawSchool)
Professor Lolita Buckner Inniss (SMU) has published her book, The Princeton Fugitive Slave: The Trials of James Collins Johnson (Fordham U. Press 2019). Here is the publisher’s description:
James Collins Johnson made his name by escaping slavery in Maryland and fleeing to Princeton, New Jersey, where he built a life in a bustling community of African Americans working at what is now Princeton University. After only four years, he was recognized by a student from Maryland, arrested, and subjected to a trial for extradition under the 1793 Fugitive Slave Act. On the eve of his rendition, after attempts to free Johnson by force had failed, a local aristocratic white woman purchased Johnson’s freedom, allowing him to avoid re-enslavement. The Princeton Fugitive Slave reconstructs James Collins Johnson’s life, from birth and enslaved life in Maryland to his daring escape, sensational trial for re-enslavement, and last-minute change of fortune, and through to the end of his life in Princeton, where he remained a figure of local fascination.
Stories of Johnson’s life in Princeton often describe him as a contented, jovial soul, beloved on campus and memorialized on his gravestone as “The Students Friend.” But these familiar accounts come from student writings and sentimental recollections in alumni reports—stories from elite, predominantly white, often southern sources whose relationships with Johnson were hopelessly distorted by differences in race and social standing. In interrogating these stories against archival records, newspaper accounts, courtroom narratives, photographs, and family histories, author Lolita Buckner Inniss builds a picture of Johnson on his own terms, piecing together the sparse evidence and disaggregating him from the other black vendors with whom he was sometimes confused.
By telling Johnson’s story and examining the relationship between antebellum Princeton’s black residents and the economic engine that supported their community, the book questions the distinction between employment and servitude that shrinks and threatens to disappear when an individual’s freedom is circumscribed by immobility, lack of opportunity, and contingency on local interpretations of a hotly contested body of law.
The Legal History blog covered the book here.
The book is available for pre-order now (I ordered mine!). The official publication date will be September 3, 2019. Looking forward to reading this book!
In April, 2019, the Wisconsin Journal of Gender, Law & Society sponsored a symposium on “Race-Ing Justice, En-Gendering Power: Black Lives Matter and the Role of Intersectional Legal Analysis in the Twenty-First Century.” Instead of preparing individual papers for publication, the speakers at the symposium collaborated on a joint essay–written in a conversational style–that both captures and extends salient portions of the symposium discussion. The essay–written by Linda Greene (Wisconsin), Lolita Buckner Inniss (SMU), Mehrsa Baradaran (UC Irvine), Noa Ben-Asher (Pace), Bennett Capers (Brooklyn), Osamudia James (Miami), Keisha Lindsay (Wisconsin, Political Science & Gender and Women’s Studies) and me is now available on SSRN.
Here is the abstract:
This essay explores the apparent differences and similarities between the Black Lives Matter and the #MeToo movements. In April 2019, the Wisconsin Journal of Gender, Law and Society hosted a symposium entitled “Race-Ing Justice, En-Gendering Power: Black Lives Matter and the Role of Intersectional Legal Analysis in the Twenty-First Century.” That program facilitated examination of the historical antecedents, cultural contexts, methods, and goals of these linked equality movements. Conversations continued among the symposium participants long after the end of the official program. In this essay, the symposium’s speakers memorialize their robust conversations and also dive more deeply into the phenomena, implications, and future of Black Lives Matter and #MeToo.
This essay organizes around internal and external spatial metaphors and makes five schematic moves. First, internal considerations ground comparisons of the definitions, goals, and ideas of success employed by or applied to Black Lives Matter and #MeToo. Second, external concerns inspire questions about whether both movements may be better understood through the lens of intersectionality, and relatedly, what challenges these movements pose for an intersectional analysis. Third, a meta-internal framework invites inquiry into how the movements shape the daily work of scholars, teachers, lawyers, and community activists. Fourth, a dialectical external-internal frame drives questions about the movements’ effects on law and popular culture, and the reciprocal effects between those external influences and the movements themselves. Returning to an external, even forward-looking, approach, we ask what the next steps are for both movements. This five-part taxonomy frames the inquiry into where the Black Lives Matter and #MeToo movements are located individually, but also where they are co-located, and, perhaps most importantly, where they are going.
The full essay is available here.
(cross-post from The Faculty Lounge)
The (Canada) Indigenous Bar Association is working on a project inspired by the work of the Women’s Court of Canada. Organizers Professor Larry Chartrand (Saskatchewan) and Professor Naiomi Metallic (Dalhousie) held an initial meeting at the Academics’ Workshop in November, 2018. Here is a partial description of the project, taken from a call for participation from 2018 (I just became aware of it today):
[T]his year’s Academics’ Workshop seeks to disrupt current thinking around Section 35 Aboriginal rights and reimagine how these cases could have been decided. What if Calder, Sparrow, Van der Peet, etc. were written from the perspective of Nisga’a, Musqueam or Stolo law? What if the Supreme Court actually questioned Crown sovereignty or the doctrine of discovery? Or what if Aboriginal rights were read consistently with international human rights obligation, such as the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples? What if treaty obligations in Marshall were truly understood from a Mi’kmaq understanding of the Covenant Chain of Peace and Friendship Treaties? Or, what if Ktunaxa had actually been informed by an intersectional approach to s. 2(a) and s. 35?
I look forward to following the success of this project!
Received just today from colleagues in Canada. Please note deadline today. Consider contacting organizer to request extension, if you are interested. -BJC Deadline extended to 9/30/2019
CANADIAN FEMINIST JUDGMENTS PROJECT
Call for Contributors
Offer of contributions due by August 15 2019
We are seeking scholars to contribute to a national feminist judgments project. Contributors need not identify with a particular kind of feminism, nor as female, but must have a working sense of what feminism means in relation to their work and be willing to commit to a research endeavour that will challenge them to think and write about the law in a different way.
This is a dynamic and innovative project in which scholars will write alternative judgments across a broad range of legal issues. These new judgments will operate as both a critique of common law method as well as a practical demonstration of how different ways of approaching a decision making task are possible. Judgments may be written either by individual authors or jointly by two or more authors. The cases need not be recent but must be important decisions that would benefit from a feminist analysis, or from an Indigenous feminisms perspective. The cases can be from any level, including decisions of tribunals.
We would also welcome contributions which take a more creative approach to rewriting Canadian decisions and reimagining decision making structures, including rewriting statutes, or imagining future legal decisions or structures.
Feminist judges will be free to choose the constraints on their decision making. One option, followed in many other FJPs, is to work with established legal method that existed at the time the decision was originally made, including customary legal perspectives, and simulated practical constraints on decision-making (such as the social-science research available at the time and the prevailing rules of precedent) to produce “authentic” judgments.
Writers who choose not to work in the idiom of “judicial decision” can explain their own approach and the boundaries they set.
Some contributions will require a “commentary”, designed to situate the contribution. For those working in the “alternative judgment” mode, the reader will need to know about the original judgment in its legal, social and political context, and they will need to know about the rules which bound the author of the rewriting.
This project is inspired by the groundbreaking work of the Women’s Court of Canada [WCC] rewriting Canadian equality jurisprudence. Since that project, expanded versions which branched out from equality law to all areas of law have been undertaken in other jurisdictions, including England, Australia , Northern/Ireland, Aotearoa New Zealand, Scotland, India, and the United States.
This uniquely Canadian project must be one in which the contributions of Indigenous scholars, and francophone scholars can be heard, one which includes the voices of BIPOC authors, and represents an array of sexualities – despite being situated within a profession and a part of the academy that continues to be inaccessible to many. Our unique legal landscape(s) and contemporary social, political and legal struggles are at the core of this feminist project.
Leading the initial stage of the project is Professor Estair Van Wagner (Osgoode). The CFJP will be supported in a variety of ways by the Institute for Feminist Legal Studies at Osgoode (Director Professor Sonia Lawrence), the Centre for Feminist Legal Studies at Allard Law (UBC) (Director Professor Debra Parkes), and Professor Angela Cameron, Shirley Greenberg Professor of Women and the Legal Profession at University of Ottawa Faculty of Law. Professor Van Wagner’s experience participating in the Feminist Judgments Project Aotearoa New Zealand inspired her interest in pushing for an expanded Canadian version. Preliminary phases have included making contact with people involved in most if not all of the other FJPs.
Outcome: One outcome of the project will be an edited collection of judgments, published as a book or special edition in 2022. Other likely or possible outcomes include dissemination events and a website. We are committed to an open access form of publication.
Offers to contribute: Please let us know if you would like to contribute in any of the following ways:
Judgment author/s: If you would like to write a judgment (5-7,000 words) please fill out the form at this link.
You will be asked to indicate the name of the case you propose to write on, and provide a brief explanation (max 150 words) of your interest in this case, and why the work would be feminist. We will ask you to identify the substantive subject area(s) of the work you will be doing, and whether you will need a commentator in order to set your work in context for a reader. If you do, please indicate if you have a commentator in mind.
If you would like to write something which is NOT a judgment, please fill out the same form and provide an explanation of what you would like to do.
These authors will form the core of the project and therefore are expected to be able to actively engage, including participating alongside other writers at in person and virtual events.
Conceptual or editorial contributors: If you would like to contribute to the development of the conceptual and theoretical aspects of the project, or would like to offer your assistance with peer reviewing or editing any of the work as part of an editorial collective, please indicate (max 150 words) the nature of the contribution you would be able to make.
Assistance: Once the scope of the project becomes clearer, we will be applying for funding for this project both to support participant meetings (virtual and in person) and for limited research assistance for contributors. If you have suggestions about funding opportunities that might be less known in the academic context, please feel free to provide these to Professor Van Wagner.
Please send your offer to contribute using this form.
Questions can be sent to EVanWagner@osgoode.yorku.ca.
15 August 2019:Deadline for offers of contributions *Deadline extended to 9/30/19*
1 October 2019: Project convenors advise on outcome of offers; project proposal drafted
May 2020: Judgment writing workshop, authors of judgments to attend.
Summer 2020: Regional and subject area group meetings
October 2020: Draft contributions due and circulated to other subject-area contributors
May 2021: Workshop 1 discussing draft judgments (held regionally?)
June 2021:Workshop 2 discussing draft judgments (held regionally?)
August 2021: Second drafts of judgments and all commentaries due
December 2021: Manuscript to publishers
Winter/Summer 2022: Dissemination Activities?
Supreme Court of Canada Cites a Feminist Judgment in Opinion on Exclusion of Evidence of Victim’s Prior Sexual Conduct
The Supreme Court of Canada issued a decision on June 28, 2019 in the case of R. v. Goldfinch, 2019 SCC 38 (CanLII). The case involved an appeal of an evidential ruling in a criminal sexual assault trial. Canada Criminal Code Section 276 provides that evidence of the victim’s sexual activity “whether with the accused or with any other person, is not admissible to support an inference that, by reason of the sexual nature of that activity, the complainant (a) is more likely to have consented to the sexual activity that forms the subject-matter of the charge; or (b) is less worthy of belief.”
The trial court judge permitted the defendant to introduce evidence of his “friends with benefits” relationship with the victim. A jury found the defendant not guilty. The Crown (or, in U.S.-speak, the prosecution) appealed the trial court’s decision to admit evidence of the defendant’s prior consensual sexual encounters with the victim. The Court of Appeal found that the trial court erred in permitting the introduction of that evidence.
The defendant then exercised his as-of-right opportunity to have the Supreme Court of Canada review the question of whether the trial court erred in allowing admission of evidence of the “friends with benefits” relationship.
The Supreme Court of Canada held that the trial court did err, and ordered a new trial. In a plurality opinion written by Justice Andromache Karakatsanis, the Court reasoned that Section 276 serves two purposes. First, the rule “protects the integrity of the trial process by safeguarding both the dignity and privacy of complainants and the right of accused persons to make full answer and defence.” Second, the rule “is designed to exclude irrelevant information that is more prejudicial to the administration of justice than it is probative.” In this case, the introduction of the friends-with-benefits information “served no purpose other than to support the inference that because the complainant had consented in the past, she was more likely to have consented on the night in question,” Justice Karakatsanis explained, and therefore it was inadmissible.
Professor Jennifer Koshan of the Faculty of Law at the University of Calgary is one of the founding members of the Women’s Court of Canada (the original Feminist Judgments project). In 2016, she published a “shadow opinion” in R v. JA (2011), a Supreme Court of Canada case that found a spouse could not consent in advance to certain sexual acts to occur when she subsequently became unconscious. Professor Koshan’s feminist judgment, “Marriage and Advance Consent to Sex: A Feminist Judgment in R v JA” explored, among other themes, the tension between recognizing real harm and also respecting sexual autonomy.
In the Goldfinch decision, Justice Karakatsanis cited Professor Koshan’s feminist judgment in support of the proposition that “the suggestion that sexual assault is less harmful to those who are sexually active or in relationships is simply wrong.”
As far as I know, this is the first time that a court has cited a feminist judgment. It is a real milestone in the global development of feminist judgments projects. Hopefully more judges will incorporate feminist judgments into actual opinions.
Based on the example of the Women’s Court of Canada, groups of scholars and lawyers have published projects based in England/Wales, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the U.S., Scotland, and in the field of International Law. Projects are ongoing in India, Africa, Mexico. In the U.S., there is a whole series of subject-matter specific feminist judgments books. The appeal of this new form of socio-legal scholarship is undeniable. It allows the rewriter to show that precedents and facts do not lead inevitably to a single conclusion, but that a judge’s ruling, reasoning or both will depend on context and perspective.
Thank you, to the members of the Women’s Court of Canada, for leading the way. And congratulations, Professor Koshan, on being the author of the first feminist judgment to be cited by a court!
Dr. Tara L. Conley (Communication, Montclair State) has compiled a list of online essays written by Black women and non-binary writers in tribute to Toni Morrison in the wake of her August 5 death. Dr. Conley’s list is here. She welcomes additions.
Here is an excerpt from Dr. Conley’s own essay, In Toni Morrison’s Hometown, the Familiar Has Become Foreign:
When I heard Toni Morrison passed away, I thought it odd that someone immortal could die. * * * I knew Mom and I would soon be making an eight-hour drive from New York City to Elyria for a family funeral. The last three years of visiting home has been because of funerals. On this trip, I wanted to visit Toni Morrison’s childhood home for the first time.
Reader, the irony of going home to visit Toni Morrison’s childhood home after her death, amidst a series of family homegoings isn’t lost on me. * * *
Morrison called Ohio “neither plantation nor ghetto,” and that’s how I remembered it, too. At the Christian school I attended in Lorain, my classmates were black, Puerto Rican, and white. Our parents worked together at industrial plants and telephone companies. I always felt a sense of shared class consciousness growing up in Elyria-Lorain. Racism wasn’t talked about so much as it was quietly experienced by family members and friends. I was called a nigger on the playground, and so was my mom, and so was my mom’s mom. But that was our problem to deal with.When Donald Trump was running for president, that shared sense of class struggle I knew growing up seemed like a lie. White family friends defended Trump and his rallies; they refused to see him as a problem and became less and less reticent about showing their support. Sports team banners used to tell people what we were most proud of in Northeast Ohio. Now Trump 2020 signs do.
This place I know is foreign.
Read the full essay here.
Blanche Cook (Kentucky) has posted to SSRN her article Stop Traffic: Using Expert Witnesses to Disrupt Intersectional Vulnerability in Sex Trafficking Prosecutions, 24 Berkeley J. Crim. L. 147 (2019). Here is the abstract:
Sex trafficking thrives on intersectional inequality and reinforcing layers of vulnerability. Sex trafficking exists on a continuum of sexualized violence, from microaggressive sexual harassment to macroaggressive gang rapes, all of which create vulnerability in the victim and perfect sovereignty in the perpetrator. Sexualized violence performs power, as it is raced, classed, and gendered. Power not only requires performance, but it necessitates repetitive reenactments of domination in order to normalize its compulsive and pathological nature. Lynchings, police shootings, gang rapes, and sex trafficking are all performances of power on vulnerable bodies through which power perfects itself. The same inequality that creates the necessary preconditions for vulnerability to violence in the first instance, also obfuscates or masks power’s pathology and compulsivity in the investigative and adjudicative processes. By way of illustration, victim blaming renders the pathology of the perpetrator invisible because it removes accountability from the perpetrator and shifts blame onto the victim. Shifting blame onto the victim obfuscates or hides power’s omnipresence, compulsiveness, and pathology. The victim blaming process is pervasive, systemic, and entrenched. Without proper interventions, sex trafficking cases can become ritualized spectacle, where sexualized violence as well as its accompanying investigation and adjudication convince the factfinder of the pathology of the victim and the sovereignty of the perpetrator. The pathology that surrounds victims of sexualized violence adversely impacts their credibility and extends narratives about male entitlement to vulnerable bodies. The recent cases involving R. Kelly and Cyntoia Brown illustrate these points. In the case of singer, song writer Kelly, his videotaping sex with an underaged black female resulted in an acquittal.
The full article is available here.
Jill Hasday’s new book, Intimate Lies and the Law, is out from Oxford University Press on July 24. She says that deception within intimate relationships is a fascinating topic—especially when it happens to someone else.
For more information, you can check out Jill’s website here.
Intimacy and deception are often entangled. People deceive to lure someone into a relationship or to keep her there, to drain an intimate’s bank account or to use her to acquire government benefits, to control an intimate or to resist domination, or to capture myriad other advantages. No subject is immune from deception in dating, sex, marriage, and family life. Intimates can lie or otherwise intentionally mislead each other about anything and everything.
Suppose you discover that an intimate has deceived you and inflicted severe—even life-altering—financial, physical, or emotional harm. After the initial shock and sadness, you might wonder whether the law will help you secure redress. But the legal system refuses to help most people deceived within an intimate relationship. Courts and legislatures have shielded this persistent and pervasive source of injury, routinely denying deceived intimates access to the remedies that are available for deceit in other contexts.
Jill Elaine Hasday’s Intimate Lies and the Law is the first book that systematically examines deception in intimate relationships and uncovers the hidden body of law governing this duplicity. Hasday argues that the law has placed too much emphasis on protecting intimate deceivers and too little importance on helping the people they deceive. The law can and should do more to recognize, prevent, and redress the injuries that intimate deception can inflict.
Entering an intimate relationship should not mean losing the law’s protection from deceit.
Via freelance journalist Alex Tiffin (@RespectisVital), I got pointed to the Rebel City Podcast, a podcast made in Glasgow by Paul Shields and Matt Diamond.
On a recent episode, the podcast featured Ray Barron-Woolford (@Raywoolford), the author of a new book, The Last Queen of Scotland (2019). It’s not about that Queen of Scotland. Nope. It’s a fascinating history of Kath Duncan (1888-1954), a Scottish political organizer, labor activist, and advocate for the poor. Here is an excerpt of a review by Chrissy Hamlin of The Hidden Herstories blog:
Woolford’s book tells how Kath Duncan was a highly significant champion of the poor and the unemployed. She was a tireless campaigner for workers’ rights and spent 2 jail terms in Holloway prison for making political speeches. The National Council for Civil Liberties supported her in a landmark court case on the freedom of speech but not many history books will tell you that fact. Duncan also opposed fascism, took part in the Battle of Cable Street and was central to the Aid to Spain movement in the 1930’s. She was a key player in these things – so by rights she should be a household name or have a memorial or statue erected somewhere.
Woolford’s very well researched biography defiantly places Kath Duncan’s story right back into the public eye where it belongs, and restores her to her rightful position as one of the leading civil-rights activists of our time. Her political campaigning can be linked to several of the most significant moments in 20th century British history and has relevance to many of the social and political issues we have today.
In a year when we are celebrating 100 years of some women getting the vote in the UK – it is vital that we also recognise and acknowledge the life and work of Kath Duncan – a working class woman who played just as significant a role in politics as The Pankhurst’s, Nancy Astor or Barbara Castle. In a world where we constantly strive for more equality this book has an important message about how society deals with freedom of speech and civil liberty. Kath Duncan’s story has finally been uncovered by Woolford and all of us really ought to read it.
The podcast episode is here, among other places (search “Kath Duncan” and “Rebel City Podcast”). I learned a great deal!
CFP: 12th Feminist Legal Theory Conference at University of Baltimore School of Law: Applied Feminism and Privacy – Deadline 11/1
From colleagues at the University of Baltimore:
The Center on Applied Feminism at the University of Baltimore School of Law seeks paper proposals for the Twelfth Feminist Legal Theory Conference. We hope you will join us for this exciting conference on April 2 and 3, 2020. The theme is Applied Feminism and Privacy. As always, the conference focuses on the intersection of gender and race, class, gender identity, ability, and other personal identities. We are excited that Dr. Leana Wen, President and CEO of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, has agreed to serve as our Keynote.
We are at a critical time for a broad range of privacy issues. State level abortion bans have put a spotlight on the importance of decisional privacy to women’s equality. Across America, advocates are fighting for reproductive justice and strategizing to preserve long-settled rights. At the same time, our informational privacy is increasingly precarious. Data brokers, app designers, and social media platforms are gathering and selling personal data in highly gendered ways. As a result, women have been targeted with predatory marketing, intentionally excluded from job opportunities, and subject to menstrual tracking by marketers and employers. In online spaces, women have been objectified, cyber-stalked, and subject to revenge porn. With regard to physical privacy, the structural intersectionality of over-policing and mass incarceration impacts women of color and other women. And while a man’s home may be his castle, low-income women are expected to allow government agents into their homes – and to turn over reams of other personal information — as a condition of receiving state support. In addition, families of all forms are navigating the space of constitutionally-protected family privacy in relation to legal parentage, marriage and cohabitation, and child welfare systems.
We seek submissions of papers that focus on the topic of Applied Feminism and Privacy. We will interrogate multiple aspects of privacy, including its physical, decisional, informational, and family dimensions. This conference aims to explore the following questions: Is privacy dead, as often claimed? If so, what does this mean for women? How can privacy reinforce or challenge existing inequalities? How has feminist legal theory wrestled with privacy and what lessons can we draw from past debates? What advocacy will best advance privacy protections that benefit women? How do emerging forms of surveillance impact women? Can intersectional perspectives on privacy lead to greater justice? Who defines the “right to privacy” and what do those understandings mean for women? How is privacy related to other values, such as autonomy, anti-subordination, vulnerability, justice, and equality?
We welcome proposals that consider these questions and any other related questions from a variety of substantive disciplines and perspectives. The Center’s conference will serve as a forum for scholars, practitioners, and activists to share ideas about applied feminism, focusing on connections between theory and practice to effectuate social change. The conference will be open to the public.
To submit a paper proposal, by Friday, November 1, 2019, please complete this form and include your 500 word abstract: https://forms.gle/k4EPNLaYmEvo4KHUA
We will notify presenters of selected papers by early December. About half the presenter slots will be reserved for authors who commit to publishing in the annual symposium volume of the University of Baltimore Law Review, our co-sponsor for this conference. Thus, the form requests that you indicate if you are interested in publishing in the University of Baltimore Law Review’s symposium issue. Authors who are interested in publishing in the Law Review will be strongly considered for publication. The decision about publication rests solely with the Law Review editors, who will communicate separately with the authors. For all presenters, working drafts of papers will be due no later than March 20, 2020. Presenters are responsible for their own travel costs; the conference will provide a discounted hotel rate as well as meals.
We look forward to your submissions. If you have further questions, please contact Prof. Margaret Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information about the conference, please visit law.ubalt.edu/caf.
Readers of this blog may know Professor Johnson as the School’s Co-Director (with Michele Gilman) of the Center on Applied Feminism. She is also a prior President of Clinical Legal Education Association and prior Chair of the clinical conference planning committee (and newly appointed to the editorial board of the Clinical Law Review, too).
If you haven’t read it yet, Professor Johnson has a fantastic article soon to appear in print: Menstrual Justice, UC Davis L. Rev (forthcoming 2019).
Congratulations, Margaret, on the new responsibilities!
In the United States, where sales taxes are levied by each state, bills have been introduced in 32 legislatures since 2016 to exempt menstrual products from sales tax. Five succeeded: Connecticut, Florida, Illinois and New York passed laws. Additionally, citizens of Nevada approved a 2018 ballot measure to accomplish the same. Another 10 states don’t tax menstrual products — either because they collect no sales tax at all, or because they’re included under general exemption categories. * * *As a matter of policy, compassion and common sense, most states explicitly exempt “necessities of life” from sales tax, with food and medicine at the top of the list. In some states, necessity exemptions include things such as bingo supplies, cotton candy, erectile dysfunction pills, gun club memberships and tattoos. Menstrual products certainly rank as a necessity for most women, for much of their lives. They are essential for attending school, working and functioning in society. * * *In 2016, five plaintiffs brought a class-action lawsuit against the New York State Department of Taxation making these arguments. The case was withdrawn after the Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo quickly responded to public outcry and passed legislation.But the central argument advanced in that case is valid, and it is one increasingly being made by legal scholars. It should be raised again in the courts. A law that affects only one sex — or one race, or one religion — is inherently discriminatory. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia once famously remarked that a tax on yarmulkes is a tax on Jews (interestingly, in a case about abortion clinic blockades). In the same vein, a tax on a product used only by women, and used by all (or the vast majority of) women for much of their lives, is a tax on women. * * *Eliminating the discriminatory tampon tax isn’t a legislative nicety or a budgetary option. It is a legal mandate. Period.
We are writing to invite you to consider submitting contributions to a new book we are editing. It is tentatively titled Integrating Doctrine and Diversity: Inclusion & Equity in the Law School Classroom. This book will be published by Carolina Academic Press as a title in their Teaching series.
Call for Submissions
We are looking for law professors who teach 1L subjects who want to write a case study or practical resource for how to integrate diversity into the legal classroom. While we have secured several authors already, we are looking for professors who teach Contracts, Constitutional Law, Torts, Property, Criminal Law, Civil Procedure, & Legal Writing.
Each major chapter will focus on one doctrinal class common to the 1L curriculum and will have 3 essays/case studies of about 3500 words in length, written by a professor of that subject. Each chapter will also have a selected annotated bibliography of resources for teaching diversity/inclusion/equity written by a law librarian specific to each subject. This is the first book of this kind and promises to be ground-breaking and exciting. Law professors are asking for resources on how to better incorporate serious issues of diversity/inclusion/equity into the curriculum and no resource currently exists which provides a variety of case studies and annotated resources organized by subject.
Education resources exist on this topic for use in the classroom but up until now they have not been organized and presented by topic for ease of use. The goal of this project is to bring together the insights and experiences of law faculty from J.D. programs across the country to strengthen the cultural competency of law students.”
Please email a statement of interest and a one paragraph summary of your piece to let us know if you want to participate and some basic information about yourself. The deadline for proposals is July 31, 2019.
The final version must be no longer than 3500 words. We will be using Bluebook format for all footnotes. For questions about style, such as how to write a particular word (i.e., email or e-mail), we will be using The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed.
Notification of Accepted Submissions: By August 7, 2019.
Contract Completed and Returned: By August 16, 2019 (Submit to email@example.com).
First Complete Draft Due: December 2, 2019 (Submit to firstname.lastname@example.org).
Final Draft Due: February 1, 2020 (Submit to email@example.com)
Publication: Spring 2021.
Questions or concerns:
If you have any questions/concerns/problems, please contact one of the editors.
Contact a member of the editorial team:
Nicole P. Dyszlewski firstname.lastname@example.org
Raquel Gabriel email@example.com
Suzy Harrington-Steppen firstname.lastname@example.org
Anna Russell Anna_Russell@LB9.uscourts.gov
Genevieve Tung email@example.com
I found this out after I made a submission. The student editors replied that they had filled the volume for next year, and that would be their last.
I haven’t seen any official press release from the school.
From Agence France Presse:
A decision by Tanzania’s government to reintroduce a tax on sanitary pads and tampons has angered women in the country, with one activist on Sunday saying it would have “heavy consequences” for women.Taxes on female sanitary products — which are basic necessities — have come under increasing scrutiny across the globe, and Tanzania in 2018 decided to join those nations scrapping Value Added Tax on pads and tampons.However the tax was re-introduced during the unveiling of this year’s budget last week.Finance Minister Philip Mpango said removing the tax was counter-productive, as retailers had not lowered their prices.