Category Archives: Feminist Legal History
Today is the 27th Anniversary of Sandra Day O’Connor being sworn in as the first female justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Nominated by President Ronald Reagan and unanimously approved by the Senate, Sandra Day O’Connor joined the Court on 25 September 1981 as its 102nd justice and first female appointee. –Sharon Sandeen
Interesting and moving post by this name at The Legal History Blog about Fannie Lou Hamer’s challenge to the seating of Mississippi’s all-white Democratic delegation at the 1964 DNC. –Ann Bartow
Josephine Louise Newcomb established an undergraduate liberal-arts college in 1886 at Tulane in memory of her daughter. Her descendants are suing to have it reopened.
Last October it was reported that a first effort to get Newcomb College reopened failed: A state appeals court today narrowly turned down an attempt to resurrect Newcomb College, ruling that the plaintiffs had no right to file suit. By … Continue reading
Abstract: This paper analyzes testimony about forced prostitution voiced in New York City’s Court of General Sessions from 1908 to 1915. During these years, the problem of coercive prostitution â€“ commonly called”white slavery”â€“ received an unprecedented amount of attention from … Continue reading
â€œImagining Sadie”is a short film produced by Penn Law students Haley Goldman, J.D. 2009; B.B. Liu, J.D. 2008; and Melissa Mao, J.D. 2009. It tells the story of Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander as she exists in the imaginations of … Continue reading
An overview of women’s political and cultural history: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4. Like any history, it has viewpoints you may not agree with.
This year the New England School of Law celebrates its centennial. It was founded in 1908 as a women’s law school. The school’s website (here) lists some of the great events planned to mark the occasion, including … Continue reading
‘We are at War and You Should Not Bother the President’: The Suffrage Pickets and Freedom of Speech During World War I
This is the title of an interesting new article from Villanova Law Professor and Jeopardy Champion Cathy Lanctot. The abstract is below, and you can download it here: The story of Alice Paul’s National Woman’s Party and its 1917 … Continue reading
Abstract: Throughout the Cold War 1950s, the NAACP sustained an ambitious campaign for African-American workers’ constitutional right to join unions and access decent jobs. Surprisingly, it did so not in the courts, but in executive branch agencies and committees. Blending … Continue reading
On June 1, 1950, Senator Margaret Chase Smith (b. 1897 d. 1995) made her “Declaration of Conscience” in the Senate. Speaking out against McCarthyism, she said: Those of us who shout the loudest about Americanism in making character assassinations are … Continue reading
From the Powell’s Page: To illustrate the challenges facing women of her generation, author Judith Richards Hope describes the lives and careers of a handful of barrier-breaking women, including herself, from Harvard Law School’s pivotal class of 1964, who fought … Continue reading
That’s the title of a column by academic historian Mary Beth Norton that appeared in The Nation, describing new books about important women in history. Norton writes: … Groundbreaking books by historians Judith Wellman, Lori Ginzburg and Jean Baker, among … Continue reading
From this website: “The History of U.S. Feminism is an introductory text designed to be used as supplementary material for first-year women’s studies students or as a brush-up text for more advanced students. Covering the first, second, and third waves … Continue reading
See it here. Read the transcript here. Warning: Sexist cigarette ads ahoy, and Sanger’s “quip” about smoking at the end of the interview is disturbing. Actually, maybe “sad” is a better descriptor. I guess she felt she needed to plug … Continue reading
Abstract: For the past three years, women leaders from national groups, grassroots organizations, academia and beyond have gathered to address dissonance in the women’s movement, particularly dissatisfaction with the movement’s emphasis on women privileged on account of their race, class, … Continue reading
See Diary of an Anxious Black Woman for her “Super Post” on this topic. While you are there, read through ABW’s many excellent recent posts, especially her “Black Herstory” series.
Via Get Shouty: Eleven Tips on Getting More Efficiency Out of Women Employees There’s no longer any question whether transit companies should hire women for jobs formerly held by men. The draft and manpower shortage has settled that point. The … Continue reading
On February 15, 1879, President Rutherford B. Hayes signed legislation allowing women to be admitted to practice before the Supreme Court. Belva Lockwood became the first woman admitted to practice under the new law. Jill Norgren published her biography of … Continue reading
Read Historiann’s Little thoughts on biography and women’s history. Actually, you just read her blog from cover to cover, it’s great.
Rosa Parks will be this year’s sole inductee in the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame according to this article in the Charlotte Observer. Something about a Women’s Hall of Fame seems anachronistic to me. If I were creating … Continue reading
I’m teaching Muller v. Oregon (1908) on Thursday. For those who don’t recall it, it’s the case during the Lochner era in which the Court upheld a maximum hour statute because the statute applied solely to women. The opinion has … Continue reading
Via the awesome Nancy McClernan, “Nudity Required, No Pay” is a blog that tracks exploitive treatment of actors. The blog author, Gabby, notes: I’ve been a struggling actress for the last few years. When I first started off, it seemed … Continue reading
Historian Alice Kessler-Harris asks in yesterday’s Chronicle of Higher Education, “Do We Still Need Women’s History?” She reflects on the shift in the study of “women’s history” to historical perspectives on “gender:” The shift to gender has had … Continue reading
On the origins of Thanksgiving as a national holiday, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History features this article, “Giving Thanks: Women Move to Create a Holiday” on its sponsored website historynow.org: [T]he idea of a permanent, national day of … Continue reading
Yesterday, Catherine G. Roraback died at the age of 87. She represented the appellants in Griswold v. Connecticut. A short bio is here. Some key excerpts: Long before the advent of public interest law Roraback made it … Continue reading
A wonderful collection of clips, via Open Vault (a project of WGBH Public Television) via Dr. Bitch.
This conference took place last fall, but most of the presentations were recorded and can be watched here. Via the Oh No a WoC PhD blog.
Nicola Lacey, “From Moll Flanders to Tess of the D’Urbervilles: Women, Automony and Criminal Responsibility in Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century England”
The abstract: In the early 18th Century, Daniel Defoe found it natural to write a novel whose heroine was a sexually adventurous, socially marginal property offender. Only half a century later, this would have been next to unthinkable. In this … Continue reading
Renowned legal and history scholars from across the nation will gather at The University of Akron School of Law on Oct. 19 for a constitutional law symposium titled”The New Face of Women’s Legal History.” The symposium’s broad theme will address … Continue reading
Paulina Kellogg Wright Davis, born on August 7, 1813, was the editor and publisher of The Una: A Paper Devoted to the Elevation of Woman. Women’s history researchers can consult copies of the paper preserved in the Rare Book … Continue reading
Today I visited the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, outside of Berlin. The camp’s watchtower appears in the photo at right. I learned many things on this visit – among them, that the camp had a brothel for the male … Continue reading
Not really a surprise but not something that received much attention in the past. From Yahoo News: For decades no one wanted to remember the concentration camp “special blocks” where the Nazis forced female inmates to entertain their male peers. … Continue reading
From the Declaration of Sentiments at Seneca Falls (1848): When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one portion of the family of man to assume among the people of the earth a position different from that … Continue reading
From the books’ webpage: This book exposes the â€˜hidden’ history of marital violence and explores its place in English family life between the Restoration and the mid-nineteenth century. In a time before divorce was easily available and when husbands were … Continue reading
Julia Ward Howe (b. May 27, 1819; d. Oct. 17, 1910) got the usual blogosphere attention around Mother’s Day — lots of “Arise, then, women of this day!” and Battle-Hymn-of-the-Republic-as peace-movement, etc. Howe articulated a special role for women … Continue reading
A writer, economist, and lecturer, Charlotte Perkins Gilman was an early theorist of the feminist movement. According to The Charlotte Perkins Gilman Society: Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935) was born in New England, a descendent of the prominent and influential Beecher … Continue reading
From her LA Times obituary: Evelyn Smith Munro, a longtime activist who fought for sharecroppers’ rights in one of the nation’s first racially integrated labor unions, died of natural causes Feb. 16 at her Laguna Beach home. She was 92. … Continue reading
With Drew Gilpin Faust’s appointment as President of Harvard, half of the eight Ivy League schools will have a woman as president.
Harvard’s announcement here. NYT story here. Update: Mary Dudziak had this on Friday, with some interesting links.
Volume I: The Woman Rebel, 1900-1928 The birth control crusader, feminist, and reformer Margaret Sanger was one of the most controversial and compelling figures inthe twentieth century. This first volume of The Selected Papers of Margaret Sanger documents the critical … Continue reading
From the Museum’s webpage: The Sewall-Belmont House and Museum, on Capitol Hill, explores the evolving role of women and their contributions to society through the continuing, and often untold, story of women’s pursuit for equality. The Museum is the … Continue reading
Fourteenth Berkshire Conference on the History of Women Continuities and Changes June 12-15, 2008 – Conference Homepage CALL FOR PAPERS The 14th Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, “Continuities and Changes” will be held June 12-15, 2008, at the … Continue reading
Aspazia at Mad Melancholic Feminista has a post up about a research project she undertook about the life of William Jennings Bryan Henrie, a Pre-Roe abortion-performing doctor from Grove, Oklahoma. You can read about the series on the interviews she … Continue reading
A local politician, Charleston SC City Councilor Larry Shirley, recently made this public pronouncement, which he later characterized as “starting a dialogue about reducing crime”: â€œWe pick up stray animals and spay them. These mothers need to be spayed if … Continue reading
As you got up on September 22, I doubt you gave a thought to Judith Catchpole. Ever hear of her? On September 22, 1656 in the Royal Colony of Maryland she was tried for the murder of … Continue reading