In April, 2019, the Wisconsin Journal of Gender, Law & Society sponsored a symposium on “Race-Ing Justice, En-Gendering Power: Black Lives Matter and the Role of Intersectional Legal Analysis in the Twenty-First Century.” Instead of preparing individual papers for publication, the speakers at the symposium collaborated on a joint essay–written in a conversational style–that both captures and extends salient portions of the symposium discussion. The essay–written by Linda Greene (Wisconsin), Lolita Buckner Inniss (SMU), Mehrsa Baradaran (UC Irvine), Noa Ben-Asher (Pace), Bennett Capers (Brooklyn), Osamudia James (Miami), Keisha Lindsay (Wisconsin, Political Science & Gender and Women’s Studies) and me is now available on SSRN.
Here is the abstract:
This essay explores the apparent differences and similarities between the Black Lives Matter and the #MeToo movements. In April 2019, the Wisconsin Journal of Gender, Law and Society hosted a symposium entitled “Race-Ing Justice, En-Gendering Power: Black Lives Matter and the Role of Intersectional Legal Analysis in the Twenty-First Century.” That program facilitated examination of the historical antecedents, cultural contexts, methods, and goals of these linked equality movements. Conversations continued among the symposium participants long after the end of the official program. In this essay, the symposium’s speakers memorialize their robust conversations and also dive more deeply into the phenomena, implications, and future of Black Lives Matter and #MeToo.
This essay organizes around internal and external spatial metaphors and makes five schematic moves. First, internal considerations ground comparisons of the definitions, goals, and ideas of success employed by or applied to Black Lives Matter and #MeToo. Second, external concerns inspire questions about whether both movements may be better understood through the lens of intersectionality, and relatedly, what challenges these movements pose for an intersectional analysis. Third, a meta-internal framework invites inquiry into how the movements shape the daily work of scholars, teachers, lawyers, and community activists. Fourth, a dialectical external-internal frame drives questions about the movements’ effects on law and popular culture, and the reciprocal effects between those external influences and the movements themselves. Returning to an external, even forward-looking, approach, we ask what the next steps are for both movements. This five-part taxonomy frames the inquiry into where the Black Lives Matter and #MeToo movements are located individually, but also where they are co-located, and, perhaps most importantly, where they are going.
The full essay is available here.
(cross-post from The Faculty Lounge)