Why Put an Orange on the Seder Plate?

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Via Anita Silvert at JUF News:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the full column here.

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Touro Dean Search

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The announcement is here.

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

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

FREE TELECONFERENCE*

The Tax Code and Income Inequality: Limitations and Political Opportunities

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

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

REGISTRATION REQUIRED: please RSVP here

Speakers

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

Moderator

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

More info here.

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Posted in Feminism and Economics, Feminism and Families, Feminism and Law, Legal Profession | Leave a comment

Mansplaining Event at PayPal

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via Francine Lipman (@Narfnampil)

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Posted in Feminism and the Workplace, If you're a woman | Leave a comment

CFP: Women’s Learning Partnership Case Studies — PAID

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From the FLP mailbox:

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

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

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

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SAVE THE DATE: Central States Law Schools Scholarship Conference

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

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

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

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Two of Four Dean Search Finalists Announced at CUNY Law

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

Here is Dr. Inniss’ bio:

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

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

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

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

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CFP: Class Crits – The New Corporatocracy and Election 2016

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From the FLP mailbox:

ClassCrits IX

The New Corporatocracy and Election 2016

Sponsored by

Loyola University Chicago School of Law

and The Loyola University Chicago Business Law Center

Chicago IL * October 21-22, 2016

Call For Papers and Participation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the rest of the letter here.

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

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

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

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

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

The full piece is available here.

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

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

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

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

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Gap Between Ideas of Susan Sontag and Adrienne Rich

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

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

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

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

A good read.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The full essay is available here.

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

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

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

————————————————————-

THE U.S. FEMINIST JUDGMENTS PROJECT:

REWRITING THE LAW, WRITING THE FUTURE

Call for Papers and Presentations

Deadline April 15, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Concurrent Sessions – Paper Proposals

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

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

Brainstorming Presentations – Snapshot Proposals

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

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

Eligibility

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

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

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

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

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A Professor’s Decision to Write About His Rape

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

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

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

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

Brave indeed.  Thank you, Professor Douglas.

 

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Law Student Scholarship: M. Katherine Baird Darmer Equality Scholarship

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From the FLP mailbox:

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

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

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

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

More information and applications are available here.  Deadline is 5:00 p.m. on May 1, 2016.

H/T Francine Lipman

-Bridget Crawford

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Egg Freezing in Three Easy Steps?

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

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

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

Image source: here

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

H/T Kara Swanson.

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

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

Here’s an excerpt from the Intro:

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

The articles are:

Introduction — Maxine Eichner & Clare Huntington

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

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

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

Market-Cautious Feminism — Maxine Eichner

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

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

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

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

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

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

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

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Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Tax Opinions – Potential Cases

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bumping to the front; February 29 deadline

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the rest of the post here.

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

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THE U.S. FEMINIST JUDGMENTS PROJECT:

REWRITING THE LAW, WRITING THE FUTURE

Call for Papers and Presentations

Deadline April 15, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Concurrent Sessions – Paper Proposals

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

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

Brainstorming Presentations – Snapshot Proposals

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

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

Eligibility

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

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

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

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

 

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Public Rights/Private Conscience Project Seeks New Director

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

Job description and applications accepted here

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Call for Contributions – Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Tax Opinions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tait on “The Return of Coverture”

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

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

The full essay is available here.

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

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Dr. Lolita Buckner Inniss

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

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

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

Monique Pressley, Esq.

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

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Teaching Evaluations as Windows Into Gender Bias

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From Inside Higher Ed:

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

Read the full news article here.

Read the underlying research paper here.

H/T MCH

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Women and Law Conference: Diversity in Higher Education

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

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

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

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

TONI ATKINS
Speaker of the California Assembly

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

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

YOULONDA COPELAND-MORGAN
Associate Vice Chancellor, Enrollment Management
UCLA

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

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

VALLERA JOHNSON
Administrative Law Judge

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

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

LINDA TRINH VO
Professor of Asian American Studies
UC Irvine

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Winner of AALS Scholarly Papers Competition Announced

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From the AALS, here:

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

Congratulations, Professor Fraley!

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Survey on Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, & Policing

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

By Sandra Park, Donna Coker, and Julie Goldscheid

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Joint Scholars & Scholarship Workshop

on Feminist Jurisprudence

11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Skadden Conference Center, Fordham Law School


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Southern University Law Center Seeks New Law Chancellor

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

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What Adults Don’t Understand About Teen Sexting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Lisa Pruitt’s Impact on Major Genocide Conviction

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The work of Lisa Pruitt (UC Davis) is the subject of this story in the Sacramento Bee about the importance of Professor Pruitt’s work to securing a genocide convinction against Rwandan mayor Jean-Paul Akayesu:

Pruitt moved to London in her 20s to pursue a doctorate in feminist legal theory. Enamored with Europe, she later took a job with the United Nations in The Hague, Netherlands. Though the job was unrelated to human-rights law, “I was hanging in the same social circles as the people who worked for the international tribunals,” she said.

The Hague pipeline led Pruitt, who also had been a rape crisis counselor, to take a position as gender consultant with the International Tribunal. * * *

When Pruitt began her two-month post in Rwanda, “the broad task was to see what could be done to improve the investigation of sexual assault,” she said. “But also specifically to look at the Akayesu case, and the evidence that had already been collected, to see if there was a way to amend that indictment.”

Once on the ground, Pruitt encountered resistance from fellow U.N. staff members. “Mostly I heard the ‘boys-will-be-boys’ mentality – a real resistance to seeing the widespread (sexual assaults) as part and parcel of the genocide,” Pruitt said. “It is sort of summed up by ‘We had a genocide down here; we can’t be concerned about some women who got raped.’ ”

It was an attitude too reminiscent of one that has pervaded accounts of war for time immemorial, that “women are the spoils of war,” Pruitt said. But that had started to change after World War II, Pruitt said, and its postwar tribunals – the last before the U.N. set up tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda in the 1990s.

U.N. staff members could be clumsy and ineffective in interviewing abuse survivors, Pruitt said, and sometimes dismissed accounts too quickly, deeming one woman who had lost her train of thought during an interview “unreliable.”

“I argued that we needed to understand the fact that these women had just survived a genocide,” Pruitt said with a rueful grin. “I thought they were being a bit too critical.”

But Pruitt still was able to collect sufficient material to support what she believed was a solid argument, in her memo, for amending the Akayesu indictment. But when she returned to the Hague, “it became very clear the political will was not there, either,” she said. “I could only conclude that my having been sent there was a ruse, so they could say, ‘We had a gender consultant, but we still decided not to amend the indictment.’ ” * * *

Not until [filmmaker Michele] Mitchell called in 2013, to inform her how – as Mitchell put in it a recent interview – the memo “kind of won the case” against Akayesu. [A new documentary film] “The Uncondemned” follows the case from start to finish.

Read the full story here.

 

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Craig & Woolley on Rape & Consent In Canadian Law

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Elaine Craig, Assistant Professor of Law at Dalhousie University, and Alice Woolley, Professor of Law, University of Calgary, have contributed this important piece to the Globe and Mail. They analyze a recent Alberta Court of Appeal holding that rejects the stereotype that a woman who does not resist her rapist sufficiently actually wants to have sex with him. In effect, she consents. Professors Craig and Woolley note that the Canadian appellate court thus upholds existing Canadian jurisprudence. They write that the trial judge stated that “the woman had failed to explain ‘why she allowed the sex to happen if she didn’t want it.'” The accused weighed more than 100 pounds than did the complaining witness. They also reveal that the trial judge referred to the complaining witness as “the accused” in his ruling.

In its opinion the appellate court wrote that the lower court ruling “gave rise to doubts” about the trial court judge’s understanding of the law in this area and raised concerns that he “misapprehended the evidence.”

This sort of writing makes legal principles and the workings of the law accessible to the public efficiently and effectively. Excellent article.

The case is R. v. Wager,  2015 ABCA 327.

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Aloni on Ending Tax Breaks for Marriage

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Erez Aloni (Whittier) has published an op-ed in the (UK) Guardian, Married People Tend to be Wealthier, So Why Give Them Tax Breaks?  Here is an excerpt:

If marriage is increasingly the preserve of those who are already better off, we should stop attaching many benefits to the institution. Beyond the issue of marriage as a mechanism for amassing and retaining wealth within a certain segment of the population, marriage’s economic incentives often profit those who are already better off.

The US government is taking very small steps in the right direction. President Obama’s budget deal, signed into law on 2 November, for example, eliminates a social security filing strategy that allowed (typically) upper-middle-class married couples to claim up to $50,000 extra in benefits – a massive tax saving that was not an option for unmarried people.

Read the full piece here.

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Harvard J. of Law & Gender Accepting Submissions

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From the FLP mailbox:

The Harvard Journal of Law & Gender is seeking to fill its Spring volume with one or two more pieces. To that end, we want to encourage people who have pieces ready, or nearly ready, to submit as soon as possible for our review. We are especially interested in receiving pieces that take an intersectional approach to law and gender, broadly construed. http://harvardjlg.com/getting-involved-2/submissions/

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Research Grants at Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture at Duke

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The Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture, part of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University, announces the availability of Mary Lily Research Grants for research travel to its collections.
Details: http://library.duke.edu/rubenstein/bingham/grants

The Sallie Bingham Center documents the public and private lives of women through a wide variety of published and unpublished sources. Collections of personal papers, family papers, and organizational records complement print sources such as books and periodicals. Particular strengths of the Sallie Bingham Center are feminism in the U.S., women’s prescriptive literature from the 19th & 20th centuries, girls’ literature, zines, artist’s books by women, gender & sexuality, and the history & culture of women in the South.

Anyone who wishes to use materials from the Bingham Center’s collections for a project related to women’s history or the history of gender and sexuality is eligible to apply, regardless of academic status. Writers, creative and performing artists, film makers and journalists are welcome to apply for the research travel grants. Research Travel Grants support projects that present creative approaches, including historical research and documentation projects resulting in dissertations, publications, exhibitions, educational initiatives, documentary films, or other multimedia products and artistic works. All applicants must reside beyond a 100-mile radius of Durham, N.C.

Grant money may be used for: transportation expenses (including air, train or bus ticket charges; car rental; mileage using a personal vehicle; parking fees); accommodations; and meals. Expenses will be reimbursed once the grant recipient has completed his or her research visit(s) and has submitted original receipts.

The deadline for application is January 29, 2016 by 5:00 PM EST. Recipients will be announced in March 2016. Grants must be used between April 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017.

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Michelle Anderson Stepping Down as CUNY Dean

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Feminist Law Prof Michelle Anderson has announced that she will be stepping down as the Dean at CUNY Law School at the end of this academic year.  Here is an excerpt from the email she sent to the CUNY community:

After 10 years at CUNY Law, I have decided to step down as dean at the end of this academic year. It has been an honor to serve this great institution alongside you—the faculty, staff, students, and alumni—and I count the extraordinary work we have done together as the highlight of my professional life.

When I was appointed, you told me of your dreams for the law school’s future. You said the school needed a new building in a more strategic location, a part-time program, a higher New York State Bar Exam pass rate, a stronger reputation, and a deeper commitment to our mission of diversifying the legal profession and serving the underprivileged. Together, we have accomplished much.

In 2012, we moved to a gorgeous building in an accessible location, and this year we launched a robust part-time program. Over the last five years, CUNY Law graduates reached a high of 84% and an average of 77% on the Bar. We enhanced our mission with terrific new courses, clinics, and centers, but I want to highlight our Pipeline to Justice Program, inaugurated in the fall of 2006, which continues to enhance the diversity of our student body today.

All the while, we have maintained our outstanding, top-10 U.S. News & World Report annual rankings for “Best Clinical Training.” (This year, we are third in the nation, a high water mark.) Over the past nine years, we have also been ranked as the best public interest law school in the nation, the second most diverse law school student body, and among the top 10 in the nation for best law professors, most diverse faculty, and highest percentage of public service and public interest employment. These accolades, embodying the spirit of CUNY Law, would not have happened without your deep commitment to the school. That commitment is one of the things that makes CUNY Law special, and it will be as valuable to the next dean as it has been to me.

To make the transition as seamless as possible, CUNY Board of Trustees Chair Benno Schmidt and CUNY Chancellor J.B. Milliken are convening a search committee to find a new dean before I step down in June. As with all decanal searches, the committee will seek input from our community, particularly from the faculty.

I am looking forward to joining the faculty to write and teach. The chancellor has also asked me to consider some assignments in the future that will provide an opportunity for me to continue to contribute to university-wide initiatives to which I’m committed. For now, though, I am focused on working with you to solidify our part-time program and expand our curricular offerings, including new experiential opportunities and joint degree programs. There is much to do, and I have no doubt we will accomplish it together.

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Save the Date: SNX-LatCrit on Theory, Culture and Law, May 19-21, 2016

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From the FLP mailbox:

The South-North Exchange on Theory, Culture and Law (SNX) – LatCrit would like you to SAVE THE DATE for its 2016 Conference: Leading From The South: Politics Of Gender, Sex And Sexualities to be celebrated in Santo Domingo, República Dominicana from May 19-21, 2016.

We seek to discuss how the global South has been leading current shifts in the politics of gender, sex and sexualities. We will examine, among other topics, South-North relations or North-South polarities regarding: marriage, families, adoption, labor, child rearing, children’s rights, reproductive rights, poverty, migration, sex and gender discrimination, transsexual communities and sexual identities.

The South-North Exchange on Theory, Culture and Law (SNX) celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2013 and is designed to bring together critical theorists from various disciplines and regions of the hemisphere (and beyond) to discuss problems in the application of theory to current social problems and policy issues.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at: arosario-lebron@law.howard.edu.

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Joshi, “The Respectable Dignity of Obergefell v. Hodges”

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Yuvraj Joshi, the Peter and Patricia Gruber Fellow in Global Justice at Yale Law School, has posted to SSRN his essay, The Respectable Dignity of Obergefell v. Hodges, forthcoming in the California Law Review’s Circuit (online publication).  Here is an abstract:

In declaring state laws that restrict same-sex marriage unconstitutional, Justice Kennedy invoked “dignity” nine times – to no one’s surprise. References in Obergefell to “dignity” are in important respects the culmination of Justice Kennedy’s elevation of the concept, dating back to the Supreme Court’s 1992 decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The “dignity” of Casey expressed respect for a woman’s freedom to make choices about her pregnancy. Casey laid the foundation for Lawrence v. Texas, which similarly respected the freedom of choice of homosexual persons. Yet, as Lawrence paved the path for US v. Windsor and later Obergefell, the narrative began to change. Tracing the usage of dignity in these cases reveals that the “dignity” of Obergefell is not the “dignity” of Casey.

This Essay demonstrates how Obergefell shifts dignity’s focus from respect for the freedom to choose towards the respectability of choices and choice-makers. Obergefell’s dignity is respectable in three ways. It depends on same-sex couples (1) choosing the heterosexual norm of marriage; (2) being and showing themselves to be worthy of marriage; and (3) being socially acceptable and accepted. As importantly, I show that Obergefell’s reasoning inflicts its own dignitary harms. It affirms the dignity of married relationships, while dismissing the dignitary and material harms suffered by unmarried families. It demands that same-sex couples demonstrate the same love and commitment that are taken for granted for heterosexual couples. And, it implies that legal protection of dignity depends on the prior social acceptance of gay persons and relationships. Put together, Obergefell disregards the idea that different forms of loving and commitment might be entitled to equal dignity and respect.

A draft of the essay is available here.

You can follow Mr. Joshi on Twitter @yuvrajjoshi

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Merle Weiner’s New Book: “A Parent-Partner Status for American Family Law”

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Cambridge University Press has published a new book by Merle Weiner (Oregon), A Parent-Partner Status for American Family Law (2015).  Here is the description:

Despite the fact that becoming a parent is a pivotal event, the birth or adoption of a child has little significance for parents’ legal relationship to each other. Instead, the law relies upon marriage, domestic partnerships, and contracts to set the parameters of parents’ legal relationship. With over forty percent of American children born to unwed mothers and consistently high rates of divorce, this book argues that the law’s current approach to regulating parental relationships is outdated. A new legal and social structure is needed to guide parents so they act as supportive partners and to deter uncommitted couples from having children. This book is the first of its kind to propose a new ‘parent-partner’ status within family law. Included are a detailed discussion of the benefits of the status as well as specific recommendations for legal obligations.

The publisher’s website is here.

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CFP: Joint Scholars and Scholarship Workshop on Feminist Jurisprudence

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Joint Scholars & Scholarship Workshop on Feminist Jurisprudence

January 6, 2016

Fordham Law School

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

LWI, ALWD, and the AALS Legal Writing Section are excited to collaborate with Fordham Law School in celebration of feminist scholars and scholars of feminist jurisprudence by offering a half-day workshop.   The Scholars & Scholarship Workshop will take place at Fordham Law School on January 6, 2016, the day prior to the beginning of the 2016 AALS Annual Meeting in New York City.

The Workshop is focused on scholarly writing and teaching in the field of feminist jurisprudence. Our goal is to encourage and support the work of scholars, including jurists and practitioners, as they challenge patriarchy and other hierarchical structures, critique existing jurisprudence from multicultural feminist perspectives, and share strategies and techniques for bringing a feminist perspective into the classroom.  It extends the conversation of the more than 50 scholars involved in the creation of the edited volume, Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court (Kathryn  Stanchi, Linda Berger & Bridget Crawford eds., Cambridge University Press 2016).  We hope to more broadly support the work of feminist scholars in the academy, regardless of their subject area of study.

If you are interested in presenting a draft paper to receive feedback from an audience of informed scholars in a safe and supportive environment, please submit an abstract to the Scholars & Scholarship Workshop by October 5, 2015.  Abstracts should be no longer than 500 words in length and should be emailed to Professors Nantiya Ruan at nruan@law.du.edu and Shailini Jandial George at sjgeorge@suffolk.edu.  Those submitting abstracts will be informed of whether they were chosen to participate by October 31, 2015, and drafts will be sent to readers in mid-December.

If you are interested in attending the workshop, you can register here:

http://goo.gl/forms/GLpx1ylHkX

 

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Areheart on “Accommodating Pregnancy”

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Bradley Areheart (Tennessee) has posted to SSRN his forthcoming article, Accommodating Pregnancy, __ Alabama Law Review __ (2016).  Here is the abstract:

Courts have interpreted the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) not to affirmatively require accommodations for pregnant workers. This has generated protest and led all three branches of the federal government to address the issue of pregnancy rights. The “Pregnant Workers Fairness Act” is pending in Congress and has drawn strong vocal support from President Barack Obama. The U.S. Supreme Court recently decided Young v. UPS, which found the PDA does not affirmatively require pregnancy accommodations. Finally, many commentators have argued in support of considering pregnancy a disability under the ADA.

This Article agrees substantively with the end of accommodating pregnancy, but disagrees with the various proposals commentators have advanced. In contrast to those who favor a pregnancy-specific right to accommodations, this Article argues that such proposals create risks to women’s long-term equality in the workplace. In particular, characterizing pregnancy as a “disability” or pregnant women as a class in special need of accommodation poses a danger of expressive harms. Currently proposed measures may revitalize exclusionary and paternalistic attitudes toward pregnant employees, signal incapacity to work, or actually increase sex discrimination. We should thus consider the potential expressive impact of pregnancy accommodation schemes in light of current social norms in which pregnant women are generally seen as capable of productive work. This Article concludes by suggesting alternative approaches to securing pregnancy accommodations that would avoid expressive harms and employ a gender symmetrical approach.

This Article’s critique and the question of how best to accommodate pregnancy resonate across several areas of the law. For those who study civil rights, Accommodating Pregnancy illustrates the expressive perils of rights claiming. For historians and scholars interested in gender issues, this Article provides a chance to reconsider the consequences of gender-asymmetrical laws. For family law scholars, Accommodating Pregnancy highlights the current capacity of the law to reshape work/family balance. To assume that implementing gender-asymmetrical rights is the best way to help women in the workplace overlooks the potential of the law to ameliorate broader social issues. These include the way in which employment is typically structured to accommodate the most privileged employees and how everyone would benefit from more accommodating workplaces.

The full article is available for download here.

 

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CFP: Applied Feminism Today

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From colleagues at the University of Baltimore:

The University of Baltimore School of Law’s Center on Applied Feminism seeks submissions for its Ninth Annual Feminist Legal Theory Conference. This year’s theme is “Applied Feminism Today.” The conference will be held on Friday, March 4, 2016. For more information about the conference, please visit law.ubalt.edu/caf.

This conference seeks to explore the current status of feminist legal theory. What impact has feminist legal theory had on law and social policy? What legal challenges are best suited to a feminist legal theory approach? How has feminist legal theory changed over time and where might it go in the future? We welcome proposals that consider these questions from a variety of substantive disciplines and perspectives. As always, the Center’s conference will serve as a forum for scholars, practitioners and activists to share ideas about applied feminism, focusing on the intersection of theory and practice to effectuate social change.

The conference will be open to the public and will feature a keynote speaker. Past keynote speakers have included Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison, Dr. Maya Angelou, Gloria Steinem, Senators Barbara Mikulski and Amy Klobuchar, NOW President Terry O’Neill, and EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum.

To submit a paper proposal, please submit an abstract by Friday October 30, 2015 to ubfeministconference@gmail.com. Your abstract must contain your full contact information and professional affiliation, as well as an email, phone number, and mailing address. In the “Re” line, please state: CAF Conference 2016. Abstracts should be no longer than one page. We will notify presenters of selected papers in November. We anticipate there will be eight paper presenters during the conference. About half the presenter slots will be reserved for authors who commit to publishing in the annual symposium volume of the University of Baltimore Law Review. Thus, please indicate at the bottom of your abstract whether you are submitting (1) solely to present or (2) to present and publish in the symposium volume. Authors who are interested in publishing in the Law Review will be strongly considered for publication. For all presenters, working drafts of papers will be due no later than February 26, 2016. 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. Michele Gilman at mgilman@ubalt.edu.

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Group Culture and Sexual Harassment In the Workplace

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Marie McGregor, University of South Africa, has published Justifying Sexual Harassment Based on Culture? Never, Never, Never at 78 Journal of Contemporary Roman-Dutch Law 121 (2015). Here is the abstract.

This note focuses on UASA obo Zulu and Transnet Pipelines 2008 ILJ 1803 (ARB), an older award which had attracted few comments. Maybe the case has said it all. Or has it? It dealt with sexual harassment in the workplace, a common phenomenon in South Africa. The applicant (of Zulu culture) persistently sexually harassed a female colleague and when disciplined merely stated that his conduct was part of his Zulu culture.

Download the note from SSRN at the link.

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A New Blog Devoted To the History of Women Lawyers

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Bari Burke, University of Montana School of Law, has launched a new blog, Montana’s Early Women Lawyers: Trail-Blazing, Big Sky Sisters-In-Law.  Each post focuses on an interesting (and unknown) story about a female lawyer from the past, which Professor Burke has unearthed from cases, newspapers, and other publications. Fascinating to see the number of mentions (and the depressing sameness of observations about women attorneys).  From the August 12th, 2015 post, this excerpt from a letter published August 12, 1907:

‘Possibly men are afraid to pay court to a woman lawyer, from the knowledge that she has too many brains for him, and can see further into his subterfuges and little evasions than most women could. It may be that the legal atmosphere is chilling to affection. It may be that women lawyers are too smart to tie themselves down. I do not know. I only cite the facts.

One of the happiest households that I know, is composed of two lawyers, one the husband, and the other the wife. But he was a lawyer and she was not when they got married. She studied under him, and is his legal assistant rather than his partner. Perhaps that is why they get along so happily together.’”

Oh, dear.

[Cross-posted to the Law and Humanities Blog]

 

 

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Posted in Academia, Employment Discrimination, Feminist Blogs Of Interest, Feminist Legal History, Feminist Legal Scholarship, Feminists in Academia, Law Teaching, Legal Profession | Comments Off on A New Blog Devoted To the History of Women Lawyers