Reporting Results of Law Professor Twitter Census 2018-2019

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The results of the 2018-2019 Law Professor Twitter Census are here at the Faculty Lounge.  The list is grossly inaccurate and incomplete, but because I compiled it, I made sure to include all the feminist law prof tweeters I could find! If you’re not on the list and want to be, or are on the list and need your info corrected, please email me at bcrawford at law dot pace dot edu.

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@Dr_KMcLoughlin Reviews Aotearoa New Zealand and Northern/Irish Feminist Judgments Books

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Dr. Kcasey McLoughlin

Dr. Kcasey McLoughlin (Newcastle Law School, Australia) has published a review of  Feminist Judgments of Aotearoa New Zealand, Te Rino: A Two Stranded Rope (Rhonda Powell, Elisabeth MacDonald, Māmari Stephens & Rosemary Hunter eds., 2017) and Northern/Irish Feminist Judgments: Judges’ Troubles and the Gendered Politics of Identity (Máiréad Enright, Julie McCandless & Aoife O’Donoghue eds., 2017) at 43 Alternative L. J. 146 (2018). The review is a Sage journal (and thus behind a paywall), but here is an excerpt:

In different ways, both the Northern/Irish and Judgments of Aotearoa New Zealand Projects reveal how law shapes and reflects national identity. That each project brings to life its own national character by reflecting on the peculiarities of time, geography and history therefore makes a powerful (and ongoing) case for feminist judgment writing.

If your institution has access to Sage publications, the full review is available here.

 

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Words of Wisdom from @Ava DuVernay on Writing

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Filmmaker and writer Ava DuVernay posted to Twitter some great advice for a follower who asked for “tips on how to stop thinking your writing is terrible.” Here is Ms. DuVernay’s advice, which really helped me on a (ok, today’s) bad writing day:

Just know that everyone’s writing is terrible. Until it’s not. No one’s stuff is right immediately. You gotta work it. Refine it. Shape it. Spend time with it. It’s a relationship. Between you and what comes from you. Not easy. Gonna be terrible before it’s not. And that’s okay.

Sigh.  It’s going to be terrible before it’s not. I think I’m in the “terrible” stage now.  Let’s hope the “not” stage comes soon!

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New Book on “Making Milk: The Past, Present and Future of Our Primary Food,” Cohen & Otomo, eds.

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Mathilde Cohen (U Conn) and Yoriko Otomo (SOAS, University of London) have published an edited volume, Making Milk: The Past, Present and Future of Our Primary Food (Bloomsbury, 2017). Here is the publisher’s description:

What is milk? Who is it for, and what work does it do? This collection of articles bring together an exciting group of the world’s leading scholars from different disciplines to provide commentaries on multiple facets of the production, consumption, understanding and impact of milk on society. The book frames the emerging global discussion around philosophical and critical theoretical engagements with milk. In so doing, various chapters bring into consideration an awareness of animals, an aspect which has not yet been incorporated in these debates within these disciplines so far.

This brand new research from scholars includes writing from an array of perspectives, including jurisprudence, food law, history, geography, art theory, and gender studies. It will be of use to professionals and researchers in such disciplines as anthropology, visual culture, cultural studies, development studies, food studies, environment studies, critical animal studies, and gender studies.

The book’s interdisciplinary contributors include a wide range of international scholars:

Part One: Drinking Milk: Histories and Representations

1. More than Food: Animals, Men, and Supernatural Lactation
in Occidental Late Middle Ages, Chloé Maillet (Musée du quai de Branly, France)

2. Feminized Protein: Meaning, Representations, and
Implications, Carol J. Adams (independent scholar, USA)

3. Growing a Nation: Milk Consumption in India since
the Raj, Andrea S. Wiley (Indiana University, USA)

Part Two: Making Milk: Technologies and Economies

4. Unreliable Matriarchs, Melanie Jackson (UCL, University of London, UK) and Esther Leslie (Birkbeck, University of London, UK)

5. The Mechanical Calf: On the Making of a Multispecies Machine, Richie Nimmo (University of Manchester, UK)

6. Milk, Adulteration, Disgust: Making Legal Meaning, Yofi Tirosh (Tel Aviv University, Israel) and Yair Eldan (Ono Academic College, Israel)

7. Markets in Mothers’ Milk: Virtue, Vice, Promise, or
Problem?Julie P. Smith (Australian National University, Australia)

Part Three: Queering Milk: Male Feeding and Plant Milk

8. The Lactating Man, Mathilde Cohen (University of Connecticut, USA)

9. “Cow’s Milk is for Calves, Breastmilk is for Babies.” Alfred
Bosworth’s Reconstituted Milk and the Women who Innovated
Infant Feeding Amid an American Health Crisis, Hannah Ryan (Cornell University, USA)

10. Plant Milk: From Obscurity to Visions of a Post-Dairy
Society, Tobias Linné (Lund University, Sweden) and Ally McCrow-Young (University of Copenhagen, Denmark)

11. Critical Ecofeminism: Milk Fauna and Flora, Greta Gaard (University of Wisconsin-River Falls, USA)

Part Four: Thinking about Plant Milk

12. Milk and Meaning: Puzzles in Posthumanist Method, Jessica Eisen (Harvard Law School, USA)

13. DIY Plant Milk: A Recipe-Manifesto and Method of
Ethical Relations, Care, and Resistance, Matilda Arvidsson (Lund University, Sweden)

I look forward to reading this!

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You Might be Able to Buy Tampons (and Gym Memberships) with Pre-Tax Dollars

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Representative Grace Meng (D-NY)

Representative Grace Meng (D-NY) led the way in getting menstrual hygiene products included on an expanded list of products for which flexible spending account funds can be used under H.R. 6199, Restoring Access to Medication and Modernizing Health Savings Accounts Act of 2018. The House of Representatives passed that bill on July 24, 2018.  The bi-partisan bill now goes to the Senate for a vote.

Representative Meng issued a statement about the bill, saying (here):

It brings us another step closer towards making menstrual hygiene products more accessible and affordable to women. Menstrual hygiene products are essential and necessary for women, and deserve to be items that are permitted to be purchased with health flexible spending account funds. There is no reason why menstrual products should not be included, and I am thrilled that we are on the path to finally changing that wrongheaded policy.

Representative Meng had introduced similar legislation, the Menstrual Equity for All Act of 2017 (H.R. 972), last year. That bill would have made “tampons, pads, liners, cups, sponges, douches, wipes, sprays, and similar products used by women with respect to menstruation or other genital-tract secretions” eligible for flexible spending.  The actual bill passed by the House applies to any “tampon, pad, liner, cup, sponge, or similar product used by women with respect to menstruation or other genital-tract secretions.” (I guess some legislative aide figured out that most doctors don’t recommend vaginal douches.)

Overall, this is a welcome change. After all, if Band-aids and condoms are eligible to be purchased with flexible spending money, then it makes sense that menstrual hygiene products should eligible, too.

From a tax perspective, flexible spending accounts are beneficial to both employers and employees.  Employers do not pay Social Security tax on employee contributions to FSAs, and employees’ contributions are pre-tax. (More details here.)  According to one study, flexible spending accounts are offered by a large percentage of employers, but it is worthwhile to note that this salutary change to the tax law does not benefit those whose employers do not offer FSAs, those who make so little that they cannot afford to divert part of their salary to an FSA, or those who are unemployed.  So, I think of expanding flexible spending to include menstrual hygiene products as just one part of a much larger menstrual equity effort.

Representative Meng has previously sponsored legislation that would provide a refundable tax credit to low-income women for use of menstrual hygiene products. My prediction as a tax lawyer is that will go absolutely nowhere. There is greater promise for Representative Meng’s proposed legislation that would require manufacturers to disclose the ingredients contained in any menstrual hygiene products. Without a change to the law, it is impossible to know for sure what products are contained in those tampons, pads or cups with which we may be, ahem, intimately familiar. Without knowing what is in the products we use, it is difficult to make informed consumer choices.

As an addendum, note another feature of the H.R. 6199, Restoring Access to Medication and Modernizing Health Savings Accounts Act of 2018 — not attributable to Representative Meng, as far as I know. The bill proposes expanding the definition of “amounts paid for medical care” (and thus eligible for payment with FSA funds) to include up to $500 (for individual filers) or $1,000 (for those married filing jointly) of amounts paid for ‘‘(i) membership at a fitness facility, (ii) participation or instruction in a program of qualified physical activity, or (iii) safety equipment for use in a program (including a self-directed program) of qualified physical activity.” Again, that’s great for people who can afford these things, but low income people who cannot afford gym memberships, yoga classes, or cycling classes receive no benefit from this proposed change.

A comprehensive plan to make menstrual hygiene products and physical fitness activities more affordable to all people might look quite different than this tinkering at the margins.  Yet from a pragmatic perspective, I’ll take it for now. The changes do represent progress.

Thank you, Representative Meng, for your work on menstrual equity.

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Law Professor Twitter Census 2018-2019 Edition: Call for Entries

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Bumping to the front in anticipation of the deadline on August 15, 2018 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern.

The latest Law Professor Twitter Census is under way here at the Faculty Lounge.  If you are a full-time faculty member at a law school and are on Twitter, please feel free to add yourself to the list and indicate areas of scholarly/teaching/other interests.

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Tehranian on Copyright’s Male Gaze: Authorship and Inequality in a Panoptic World @SouthwesternLaw

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John Tehranian, Southwestern Law School, is publishing Copyright’s Male Gaze: Authorship and Inequality in a Panoptic World in volume 41 of the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender (2018). Here is the abstract.

When Erin Andrews found out that an intimate recording of her had leaked online, the authorship-as-fixation doctrine told her that the felon who illicitly captured the footage owned the copyright, not her. When Lynn Thomson’s creative partner, Jonathan Larson, died tragically just hours after the final rehearsal for the musical Rent, joint authorship’s mutual-intent requirement told her that she had no copyright interest in the Broadway hit. When The Fearless Girl took on Charging Bull and challenged its unabashedly masculine celebration of American capitalism by calling attention to the underrepresentation of women on Wall Street, copyright law told her that she might constitute an unauthorized derivative work, both without copyright protection (i.e., no cognizable authorship) and subject to destruction. In all three of these scenarios, the legal meaning of authorship had far-reaching consequences — not just for copyright law itself, but for society at large.

This Article examines how the heuristics of authorship — the relationship of fixation to authorship, the role of intention in joint authorship, and the allocation of authorship in derivative works — have imbued rightsholders with the power to control representations of female (and nonwhite) bodies and to suppress narratives of resistance, with resulting adverse consequences for egalitarian and dignity interests. In the process, the Article not only adds to a burgeoning literature on the impact of copyright’s ostensibly neutral principles on inequality, particularly in relation to gender, but also breaks new ground by applying film theorist Laura Mulvey’s concept of the male gaze to the operation of copyright law. In examining a wide range of cases, from revenge porn and celebrity sex tapes to the voyeuristic art of Arne Svenson, the analysis demonstrates just how our reigning authorship regime has reified the male gaze and translated it into a property right rationalized along traditional binaries of activity and passivity, object and subject, male and female. All told, the Article calls for a broader conversation about the ways in which courts determine issues of authorship — not just as a matter of doctrinal consistency with copyright’s four corners, but also as a vital matter of public policy in a society where the tools of creation and surveillance are at everyone’s fingertips.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

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@NadiaBAhmad on “Why I Wear Hijab”

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Feminist Law Prof Nadia Ahmad (Barry University) recently published a short piece, Resurrecting Why I Wear Hijab and Need to Use the Redress Control Number in the Muslim Observer. Here is an excerpt:

Up until my grandmother leaving this world, I could think of no real problems that I had. Someone had stolen a brownie from my lunch bag in 10th grade. And then the Orlando Magic couldn’t figure out how to win. 

Yet losing my maternal grandmother was such a shock, it hurts even 20 years later. The only way I could fathom to honor my grandmother was to wear hijab. I had also promised my mother in 2nd grade if she let me go to college wherever I wanted, I would wear hijab. I figured now would be a good time to own up to my promise. So I didn’t wear hijab out of any sense of religious duty or modesty. I wore it to shroud the grief of losing my grandmother. I spent the past five years toying with the idea of wearing it, but I never got around to actually donning it. I never wore it particularly well as I never had the fashion savvy or the time in the morning to fasten it properly. It was always falling off. 

Neither of my grandmothers received beyond an elementary school education. And they both would remind me that going to school was such an honor. To learn and be able to study because that is something they could never do. They taught me to respect my writing utensils and books and never throw them carelessly on the ground. 

My mother told me that I didn’t have to wear it if I didn’t want to. She told me I could still go off to California if I didn’t wear hijab. I still wasn’t wearing it all the time when I flew out for the start of the semester. But by Labor Day of my freshman year, I figured I should be less lackadaisical about wearing the hijab and keep up with my 2nd-grade bargain to my mother. My father didn’t like the idea of either – the hijab or the Berkeley. He felt the hijab would create needless problems for me. So, the hijab also became another way to tick him off for no reason. My father thought the six-year medical program at the University of Miami would have been the key to happiness instead of going to Berkeley to study literature and wear hijab. 

That was how I left my parents, I went off to college.

Professor Ahmad goes on to connect her personal story to the current separation of immigrant children from their parents at the border.  Read the full piece here. It is very powerful.

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@IUMaurerLaw, Is This Dean Photo with “Sexy” and “Shag” Really a Good Idea?

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Over here at the Tax Prof Blog, Paul Caron reposts a funny-at-first picture of IU Maurer Dean Austen Parrish’s head imposed on an Austin Powers-like figure complete with era-appropriate background lettering.  Paul Caron captioned the post: “Best Law School Dean Photo, Ever: Indiana’s Austen Parrish.”

At first I thought, “Oh, looks like Dean Parrish is a guy who knows that marketing can be fun. Well done.”  But then I looked at the words in the background, including “Sexy” and “Cheeky Shag.”  In the #MeToo and #TimesUp era, does IU Maurer really want to promote its dean (and school) with words like “Sexy” and “Cheeky Shag”?

Maybe I’m just a humorless feminist, but I’m going to call this one a marketing mistake. The best move for  IU Maurer would be to take the post down, or change the background words.

Words matter. Please, marketing team, get as much feedback as you can before posting. Someone at IU Maurer certainly should have caught this.  No shade on the school … I admire IU Maurer and its faculty very much. But the school (and all of us) can do better.

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Against Menstrual Capitalism

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Menstrual equity, a phrase coined by attorney and activist Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, means “[f]airness for how women are treated in society because they menstruate.” Current menstrual equity efforts run along three identifiable, parallel tracks:

(1) campaigns to repeal the state sales tax on tampons, pads, menstrual cups and similar products (as New York, Illinois, Connecticut and Florida have done in the last 2 years);

(2) efforts to make products more widely available in places such as public schools, jails and homeless shelters (like New York City did in 2016, making them available for free in all of these locations); and

(3) ensuring that menstrual hygiene products are safe for consumers, through mandatory labeling that identifies the products’ composition, such as would be required by the Menstrual Products Right to Know Act, legislation proposed in 2017 by Congressional Representative Grace Meng (D-NY).

Photo by Laura Epstein-Norris via The Nation (here: https://www.thenation.com/article/why-are-we-paying-sales-tax-on-tampons/)

I support all of these efforts. Together with Professor Carla Spivack (OKCU Law), I have written about Tampon Taxes, Discrimination and Human Rights, suggesting that the sales tax (or its equivalent) may be ripe for legal challenge.

My feelings are more mixed when it comes to what I will call menstrual capitalism, the marketing and selling of menstrual hygiene products by means of feminist messages that attempt to create a public-relations “halo effect” for companies that are, at their core, commercial enterprises that seek to profit from women’s bodies.

I love the pro-woman, body-positive messages of the “period proof underwear” by Thinx. I was outraged when the NYC subway system initially disallowed Thinx advertisements on the subway, alleging that they were “too controversial” (see news coverage here).  Major kudos to Thinx for its educational initiatives in schools and providing funding for organizations that make menstrual hygiene products available to vulnerable women.  It’s a company founded by three women (Yay! Except for the fact that one of the founders settled a major sexual harassment suit brought on account of her behavior in the workplace and ended up stepping down as CEO because of it…).

Let’s also not forget the female-founded subscription-based delivery service Cora, that will send organic tampons to your doorstep each month. And lest one hypothesize that menstrual capitalism is a U.S.-based phenomenon, the U.K.-based Pink Parcel “period subscription box” contains a monthly delivery of beauty products, sweets and tampons, so that you can “feel your absolute best even when your period rolls around” (as if menstruation were an illness….Is it heavy-handed to point out that Pink Parcel is male-owned?).

But what do all of these companies have in common?  They want to make money from women’s bodies. Is that inherently a bad thing?  No. All sorts of companies make money from women’s (and men’s) bodies. That’s the nature of capitalism. But let’s not confuse menstrual capitalism with non-profit organizations like Massachusetts-based Dignity Matters, NYC-based Racket, or Florida-based For the Love of Women (FLOW), organizations that get menstrual hygiene products in the hands of women who need them most, such as women in homeless shelters and low-income women, without making any kind of money from the venture. Also, Period Equity, the brainchild of Jennifer Weiss-Wolf and Laura Strausfeld, is “the nation’s first law and policy organization fighting for menstrual equity – committed to ensuring that menstrual products are affordable, safe and available to those in need.” Those non-profits do not have the funds to buy provocative ads to adorn the subway system, but they are highly deserving of support.

I accept the marketplace as a part of the society I live in. I benefit from the market economy and the laws that support it. Yet menstrual capitalism occasionally goes too far.  Does anyone really need a “period blanket” to make “period sex SO much easier“?  Last I checked, a willing partner and a dark towel work just fine, and won’t set you back £ 285 (about $379).

If it makes someone happy to purchase a period blanket, more power to her. Just don’t call it a feminist act. It’s menstrual capitalism.

 

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Call for Exclusive Submissions: UC Davis Journal of Juvenile Law & Policy

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From the student editors at UC Davis:

The UC Davis Journal of Juvenile Law & Policy (“JJLP”) is now accepting exclusive submissions for its Winter Issue of Volume 23. JJLP is a biannual publication of the UC Davis School of Law that addresses the unique concerns of youth in the American legal system. All articles submitted to JJLP between now and July 7 , 2018, at 11:59 PM Pacific Time, will be evaluated and considered for publication by July 28 , 2018. To be considered, an article must relate to some aspect of juvenile law or policy, such as juvenile health and mental health, education, or the juvenile justice system. If you have previously submitted an article to JJLP, you must resubmit the article for consideration in this review.

By submitting an article via this exclusive submission track, the author agrees to accept an offer of publication, should one be extended. Articles that receive offers of publication will be published in the Winter Issue of Volume 23. The publication process involves an interactive editing process between the author and the staff of JJLP.

To submit, please email your article manuscript in Microsoft Word format, along with your CV, to jjlp.ucdavis@gmail.com. Please title the subject line “Winter 2019 Exclusive Submission Track.”

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More on the Australia Tampon Tax: Tax Aromatherapy Instead?

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ABC News Australia has a story by Louise Yaxley on the tampon tax repeal efforts there. Here is an excerpt from Senate Vote to Scrap ‘Tampon Tax’ Won’t Stop Women Paying 10 Per Cent More for Sanitary Products:

The GST on tampons and pads has been a hot political issue since the consumption tax was introduced in 2000.

Queensland LNP senator Amanda Stoker was the only person to speak against the bill in the Senate today.

She called it a “nice political gesture” but said it was not the biggest issue facing Australian women.

“What’s not front of mind for women in this country is the approximately $11 a year they pay in GST on tampons,” Senator Stoker said.

Greens senator Janet Rice told the Senate that sanitary products were essential products that should not be taxed.

“It is frankly ridiculous that while items like sunscreen, folic acid, toothpaste, lubricants, condoms and even Viagra are exempt from GST, sanitary products are not,” Senator Rice said.

Removing the tax would cost the Government about $30 million a year in revenue.

Federal Labor has a promised to remove the GST from tampons and pads and to make up the money by applying the tax to some forms of alternative therapy including herbalism, iridology and aromatherapy.

The full story is here.

Just because the tampon tax is not the “biggest issue facing Australian women” does not mean that it should not be addressed. As Francine Lipman (UNLV Law) writes here:

Why do we have to chose issues that are both important; movements/progress are incremental so pushing forward on a number of fronts for justice has success. I am writing about state/local tax systems & sales/excise tax burdens far outweigh income tax burdens for most US families.

Spot on.

And taxing “alternative therapies” that Australia’s Chief Medical Officer and  National Health and Medical Research Council found “were not supported by evidence“? Entirely sensible until proven otherwise and giant progress compared with taxing women on a product they need because they are women.

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Tampon Tax Tracker: Australia “Axe the Tampon Tax” Bill

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Earlier this week, the Australian Senate passed the Treasury Laws Amendment (Axe the Tampon Tax) Bill 2018, which would eliminate the goods and services tax on “tampons, pads, liners, cups, sponges and other products used in connection with menstruation.” These products are currently taxed at a rate of 10%. (The Australian goods and services tax is akin to state sales tax in the U.S.)

The bill now moves to Australia’s House of Representatives, where it is expected to be voted down by conservatives.

One Australian law professor has called the tampon tax debate a “distraction” and says (here) that women’s rights advocates should focus instead on building a stronger tax base.  I would say that it doesn’t have to be an either/or proposition.  One can argue for a broader tax base (i.e., that more products should be subject to the goods and services tax) while also advocating the repeal of the tampon tax.  Why?  Because there is no comparable product that men must purchase and pay tax on in order to go to school, work and otherwise engage in public life simply because of an involuntary biological process. That’s not a “distraction;” that’s an issue of basic justice.

The Australian tax professor is quoted here as saying, “Why not say that all secondary schools and health clinics should dispense free tampons? If you’re worried about helping low income women – especially young women – why not do that?”  I’m in favor of that, and I recognize that a strong tax base is needed to provide the funds for free menstrual hygiene products. But the availability of free menstrual hygiene products (such as is the case in NYC public schools, jails and homeless shelters) is separate from the question of whether it is equitable (or even lawful) to tax a product that is used overwhelmingly by women because they are women.

In the Sydney Morning Herald (here), economics writer Jessica Irvine asks, “[W]hy not use the revenue raised from taxing tampons – or forgoing personal income tax cuts – to help fund cheaper childcare, assisting young women to take up their rightful – and equal – place in the workforce?” In my view, using tampon tax revenue to subsidize childcare forces women to bear a disproportionate burden in paying for services that arguably should be funded by all taxpayers. Ms. Irvine’s suggestion follows in the footsteps of the UK’s move to allocate tampon tax revenue to “women’s charities” that provide refuge for victims of domestic violence, for example, essentially forcing women to pay for their own own care if they are abused. That is just part of the same old discriminatory story of privatizing responsibility for women’s needs.

If all taxpayers were to be forced to pay a tax (or if all taxpayers did not receive an income tax cut) for the purpose of subsidizing childcare, then the analysis is different. The tax burden would be shared by people of all genders and subsidized childcare benefits all people.  That would move the needle on gender equality.

I’ll be watching the Australian legislature with interest.

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Abubakar on “Gender Justice in Islamic Law”

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Dr. Musa Usman Abubakar

Musa Usman Abubakar (Associate Professor in the Department of Islamic Law at Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria) has published a new book, Gender Justice in Islamic Law (Hart 2018). Here is the publisher’s description:

This book seeks to interrogate the classical fiqh formulation on gender and homicide with a view to exploring further the debate on whether the so-called gender injustice in Islamic law is a human creation or attributable to the divine sources of the Qur’an and Sunnah. The study is in response to the increasing criticism of the Islamic criminal law regime and the accusation that it discriminates on the basis of gender. It argues that any attempt to critique a religious question through the lens of traditional Western human rights ideals would be resisted by the vast majority of Muslims. An examination of the question and any suggested solutions offered would be much more effective if situated within the system they identify with; that is to address the question of gender justice deficit from within the Islamic legal tradition. Focusing on Nigeria and Pakistan, the book achieves this by drawing on classical fiqh literature, contemporary literature, legislative sources and relevant case law.

FLP blog readers may receive a 20% discount on the book, courtesy of Hart Publishing.  Contact Ms. Emma Platt for details: Emma at hartpub.co.uk

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Murray’s “Foul Paper” on Kozinski, “Draft of a Letter of Recommendation”

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Professor Yxta Maya Murray

Yxta Maya Murray (Loyola LA) has posted to SSRN her powerful essay Draft of a Letter of Recommendation to the Honorable Alex Kozinski, Which I Guess I’m Not Going to Send Now, 25 Michigan Journal of Gender & Law 59 (2018):

Here is a portion of the abstract:

This legal-literary essay engages the current social and jurisprudential moment, encapsulated by the hashtag #metoo. It focuses on the allegations, made in the first week of December 2017, that Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Alex Kozinski verbally sexually harassed former law clerks Emily Murphy and Heidi Bond. I wrote the lioness’s share of the piece during December 10–11—that is, in the days before news outlets reported that other women complained of Kozinski touching them on the thigh or breast while propositioning them for sex or discussing recent sexual encounters—and concluded that Kozinski was unlikely to face impeachment or meaningful judicial censure, but that he should nevertheless resign because his maintenance of his judicial position was untenable.

What occurred next proved a shocking installation in the annals of American judicial history: After hiring feminist icon Susan Estrich as counsel and asserting that the claims against him were “not true,” Judge Kozinski did retire on December 18, 2017, explaining that he could not “be an effective judge and simultaneously fight this battle. . . . Nor would such a battle be good for [his] beloved federal judiciary.”

Beyond qualifying me, for the first time in my life, more as a baffled Hildegard von Bingen than as a grouchy Cassandra, the most notable aspect of my essay is its form. It is auto-fiction, composed in the style of a letter of recommendation that an unnamed U.S. law professor attempts to write for a student who seeks a clerkship with Judge Kozinski during those frenzied and confusing first weeks of December. The “letter” also contains editorial comment flags, written by an unidentified colleague.

The “foul papers” style of this letter permits an expression of the intense emotion catalyzed by the allegations against Judge Kozinski, and also allows us to consider the double bind that law professors and law students find themselves in with regard to clerkship applications tendered within a legal culture shaped by male dominance and white supremacy. Further, the document’s footnotes denote the copious subtext that can lie beneath the surface of oppressed people’s sometimes strangled speech. The employment of the comment flags allows for a certain amount of “cross talk” to this outpouring, critiques that mainly express the position of the hegemonic power structure (except for some gadfly citations to Janet Halley, Jacob Gersen, and Jeannie Suk). In these comment flags, we can see how even the most basic aspects of legal discourse (Bluebook conventions; formatting; professionalism) encourage denial of the emotional disorganization and rage that flow from sexual harassment and other kinds of oppression. We also can discern how legal discourse’s obsession with “relevance” stymies the engagement of racial, class, and queer intersectionalities. Additionally, it is worth noting that some of these comment flags ask hard and valuable questions.

Together, this contest of voices and perspectives interrogates why calls for Kozinski’s resignation were “off the wall” on December 8—that is, that they were so unthinkable that he could gleefully brush them off during that first week of the month—but legitimate on December 18. N.B.: The piece is written as if it is still December 11, just after the allegations of verbal harassment were reported, but before the complaints about physical touching came out in national news. That is, it is “written” in the moments before Judge Kozinski’s reputation suffered irreparable blows, and his remained a sought-after clerkship despite longstanding rumors and complaints of his misogyny.

The full essay is available here.  Very much worth a read.

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CFP: University of Notre Dame Gender Studies/Int’l Girls Studies Assn Conference, Feb. 28-Mar. 2, 2019

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From the FLP mailbox:

The University of Notre Dame’s Gender Studies Program is happy to announce its fifth biennial international conference, which will be held in conjunction with the second meeting of the International Girls Studies Association.

University of Notre Dame – Notre Dame, Indiana, USA
 – 28 February – 2 March, 2019

Deadline for submissions: Sunday, 1 July 2018

Girls Studies has become one of the most dynamic academic fields, encompassing scholars from a vast array of disciplines engaged in a variety of interdisciplinary approaches. This conference aims to bring together scholars and creative practitioners from across the world to explore contemporary and historical experiences and constructions of girlhood and girls’ culture, as well as recent developments within the field.

The Host Committee invites proposals for individual papers, pre-constituted panels, pre-constituted roundtables, and creative works that address one or more of the following topics. Moreover, we are keen to move beyond the traditional conference format and encourage collaborative work and presentations of digital humanities projects as well as creative, visual, and performance-based work. We also welcome proposals from individuals working in collaboration with girls in schools, after-school programs, and community-based organizations. We welcome submissions from scholars, teachers, activists, artists, and students (both graduate and undergraduate).

Details continue after the fold.

Continue reading

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CFP: J of Interdisciplinary Feminist Thought – Women and Politics: Obstacles & Opportunities

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From the FLP mailbox:

The Journal of Interdisciplinary Feminist Thought, a peer-reviewed open access journal published through Salve Regina University annually since 2005, invites contributions for its next issue: Women and Politics: Obstacles & Opportunities.

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION: August 31, 2018

Women and Politics: Obstacles & Opportunities

The equal participation of women in politics and government is all important for the successful functioning of vibrant democratic communities in which both women and men can thrive. However, the history of women in American politics tells a story which differs from that reality. Prior to the beginning of the 21st century, women were outsiders in the world of politics, including voting, holding elective office, and serving on juries. Since that time, they have made significant gains. In fact, over the last few decades, women have made progress in political participation in all aspects of political life, although not equally. In the upcoming issue of the journal, we wish to focus on those obstacles and opportunities which have, or may not have, contributed to women’s equal political participation.

Possible Topics:

* Obstacles-Discrimination by gender, race, ethnicity, social class, and/or religion.
* Family responsibilities, educational achievement, and cultural norms.
* Opportunities- changes in law and cultural expectations, public support.
* Vision of future possibilities for the equitable participation of women in politics.

Submit all manuscripts, electronically, to co-editors:

Dr. Carol Shelton, cshelton@ric.edu
Dr. Virginia Walsh, R.S.M., walshv@salve.edu

Each manuscript must include:

* a title page
* abstract
* contact information listing:
* the name of the author(s),
* institution
* telephone number
* email address for all authors.

Please include the home and work address for the corresponding author.

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Call for Papers—Judicial Diversity in Transnational Courts

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The AALS Sections on European and African Law invite you to submit a paper proposal for their upcoming panel, “Judicial Diversity in Transnational Courts,” which will take place at the 2019 AALS Annual Meeting (New Orleans, January 2-6 2019). Submissions from junior scholars are encouraged. Confirmed speakers include Laurence Burgorgue-Larsen, Professor at the Sorbonne Law School at the University Paris I; Josephine Jarpa Dawuni, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Howard University; Sally J. Kenney, Newcomb College Endowed Chair Professor, Tulane University; and Iyiola Solanke, Professor of Law, Leeds University, UK. The proceeds of the panel will be published as a special issue of the Connecticut Journal of International Law.

 

Program Summary:Why do so few women and people of color serve on transnational courts and tribunals? Given the paucity of seats available to each nation on the international bench, it should be easy for states to nominate, vote, or appoint them in greater numbers. Yet, despite a series of initiatives to increase gender parity, women, particularly women of color, continue to be conspicuously underrepresented on these courts. Why does it matter? There is now an extensive body of scholarship discussing the reasons why domestic judiciaries might strive for more diversity, including increased legitimacy, dispelling stereotypes, higher quality decision-making and outcomes, and internal institutional change. Are there additional, specific benefits to greater judicial diversity to be expected at the transnational level? Convening leading scholars in the fields of equality law and transnational courts, this panel will address these questions with a special focus on European and African regional courts.

 

Submission Guidelines:

  • To be considered, submit a title and abstract (300 words maximum) to Mathilde Cohen (cohen@uconn.edu) and Fernanda Nicola (fnicola@american.edu)by August 15, 2018.
  • Paper drafts will be due on December 15, 2018 to be circulated among panel participants.Final papers will be due on March 1 and should be between 7,000 and 8,500 words.
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Northern Kentucky University Chase College of Law Dean Search Announcement

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From colleagues at NKU:

Founded in 1893, the Salmon P. Chase College of Law has for 125 years provided service to students and the legal community throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky and across the Ohio River to Cincinnati and its environs.  Chase is a jewel in the crown of Northern Kentucky University, with a history that predates that of the University.  Long known as the “The Lawyer’s School.”  Chase has served both traditional and non-traditional students throughout its history and in recent years has gained a strong reputation for the quality of its clinical and other experiential learning programs.

NKU and the Chase College of Law now seek a Dean to continue this tradition of success and service.  The Dean is the chief executive of the law school and serves on the leadership team of the University.  Leading a committed faculty and staff in service to a dedicated and hard-working student body, the Dean will be in a position to make significant contributions to the future of the institution.

The academic experience at Chase extends beyond the classroom and provides Chase students with the tools they need to be successful members of the bar.  Students have the opportunity for hands-on learning experiences in Chase’s clinics and numerous externship programs.  These placements provide students with first-hand, practical understanding of the law by trying real cases and working alongside local practitioners.  The knowledge and experience they gain supplements lessons learned from the casebook and the classroom.  Chase is optimally poised to build upon these offerings and thus to position itself and its graduates for the changing legal and business environment.

To lead Chase to a new and exciting future, its Dean must be an outstanding and inspiring leader of people and programs.  She or he will possess a J.D. degree and must demonstrate achievements in legal teaching and scholarship, or in legal practice and leadership commensurate with appointment as a professor in the College of Law.  Above all, he or she must express and uphold the strongest belief in academic values and the finest tradition of legal education, including a collaborative approach to leadership, a transparent and accessible personal style, and unquestioned personal and professional ethics.

The Dean must possess outstanding communications and relationship-building skills.  Previous experience as a successful fundraiser will be a decided advantage, as the Dean will provide leadership in developing financial support for the College of Law in order to ameliorate budgetary challenges.  The Dean will work with the faculty of the College of Law and the administration of the University to develop a plan to attract well-credentialed students from a shrinking applicant pool and to increase the bar passage success of recent graduates from the College of Law.  The College of Law is committed to increasing the diversity of the campus community and the curriculum.  Candidates who can contribute to these goals are encouraged to apply and to identify their strengths and experiences in this area.

Chase’s new Dean will join the institution at a time of great opportunity for change and growth.  The University has a new President committed to student success and community engagement.  Chase’s new Dean will have the opportunity to make a significant impact on this historic institution.

Review of applications will begin July 1, 2018, and recruitment will continue until the position is filled.  Confidential nominations and expressions of interest can be submitted to Professor Jack B. Harrison at harrisonj4@nku.edu.  Applications (including a cover letter and C.V.) should be submitted at http://jobs.nku.edu/postings/6884.  For best consideration, applications and nominations should be provided by August 15, 2018.

Confidential inquiries and questions concerning this search may be directed to Professor Jack B. Harrison.

It is Northern Kentucky University’s policy to ensure equal employment opportunity for all persons and to take the necessary actions needed to recruit, employ, train, promote, and retain qualified faculty and staff, including members of protected groups.  Discrimination against any individual based upon protected status, which is defined as age, color, disability, gender, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, or genetic or veteran status, is prohibited.

Any candidate offered this position will be required to complete a thorough pre-employment criminal background check as mandated by state law.

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Winner of 2017 Penny Pether Law & Language Scholarship Award

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The winner of the 2017 Penny Pether Law & Language Scholarship Award is Dr. Yvette Russell, for her article “Woman’s Voice/Law’s Logos: The Rape Trial and the Limits of Liberal Reform,” Australian Feminist Law Journal, 42.2, 273-296.

Congratulations, Professor Russell!

For those who didn’t know Penny Pether, she was a kind and generous scholar.  Here is a short bio, from this site:

Penny Pether (1957-2013) was an Australian scholar whose passionate life-long commitment to the field pervaded every aspect of her research, teaching and academic life. She helped convene the first conference of the Law and Literature Association and founded the interdisciplinary journal Law Text Culture. She was a mentor to younger academics and graduate students in the field. She held, demanded, and advocated the highest standards of interdisciplinary scholarly endeavor. The Penny Pether Prize reflects and honours her commitments.

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Temple University Hiring Announcement

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From colleagues at Temple:

Temple University Beasley School of Law is seeking to fill two faculty positions beginning in fall 2019. The first is in constitutional law. For this position, we are particularly seeking an established, tenured expert in the field. The Clifford Scott Green Chair may be available in respect of this hire. The second is an entry-level or junior lateral position in criminal law and criminal procedure. Potential candidates for either position may contact Jane Baron at lawfsc@temple.edu. Temple University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, and we strongly encourage veterans, women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, LGBTQ individuals, and members of other groups that traditionally have been underrepresented in law teaching to apply.

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Hey Male Allies, Want to Help Improve Gender Diversity in Legal Academy?

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If you are invited to speak on an academic panel, and you are willing publicly to commit to asking panel organizers what efforts they have made to seek “diversity” among panel members, whatever that term means to you, please add your name to the public list here.

Legal academics of all genders interested in all types of diversity very welcome.  But for any male ally who has specifically wondered what he can do to help improve gender diversity in the legal academy…here’s concrete action you can take.

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CHANGE OF DATE: Equality Law Scholars’ Forum UC Davis Law School November 16-17, 2018

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Note:  This is a change from the earlier announced November 9-10 date. 

The date for submission of proposals (July 1) remains the same.

Corrected Call for Proposals:

Call for Proposals for the Second Annual Equality Law Scholars’ Forum, UC Davis Law School on Friday, November 16 – Saturday, November 17

Building on the success of the Inaugural Equality Law Scholars’ Forum held at UC Berkeley Law last fall, and in the spirit of academic engagement and mentoring in the area of Equality Law, we (Tristin Green, University of San Francisco; Angela Onwuachi-Willig, UC Berkeley; and Leticia Saucedo, UC Davis) announce the Second Annual Equality Law Scholars’ Forum to be held this fall.  This Scholars’ Forum seeks to provide junior scholars with commentary and critique and to provide scholars at all career stages the opportunity to engage with new scholarly currents and ideas.  We hope to bring together scholars with varied perspectives (e.g., critical race theory, class critical theory, feminist legal theory, law and economics, law and society) across fields (e.g., criminal system, education, employment, family, health, immigration, property, tax) and with work relevant to many diverse identities (e.g., age, class, disability, national origin, race, sex, sexuality) to build bridges and to generate new ideas in the area of Equality Law.

We will select five relatively junior scholars (untenured, newly tenured, or prospective professors) to present papers from proposals submitted in response to this Call for Proposals. In so doing, we will select papers that cover a broad range of topics within the area of Equality Law.  Leading senior scholars will provide commentary on each of the featured papers in an intimate and collegial setting.  The Equality Law Scholars’ Forum will pay transportation and accommodation expenses for participants and will host a dinner on Friday evening.

This year’s Forum will be held on November 16-17, 2018 at UC Davis Law School.

Junior scholars are invited to submit abstracts of proposed papers, 3-5 pages in length, by July 1, 2018.

Full drafts must be available for circulation to participants by October 19, 2018.

Proposals should be subtmitted to:

Tristin Green, USF School of Law, tgreen4@usfca.edu.  Electronic submissions via email are preferred.

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Are You Willing to Ask About the Diversity of an Academic Panel Before Accepting a Speaking Invitation?

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If you are invited to speak on an academic panel, are you willing publicly to commit to asking panel organizers what efforts they have made to seek “diversity” among panel members, whatever that term means to you? If yes, please add your name to the public list here.

The background to this request for a public pledge from fellow legal academics originates at least in part from a tweet I made last week via Feminist Law Professors. I tweeted a link to an article about Spanish academics who have taken a public pledge against speaking on all-male panels. I followed up with some additional tweets asking whether any male academics would be willing to take the lead on something similar in the U.S. I forwarded the tweet to ten prominent male bloggers. Here’s the series of tweets sent by me:

Screen Shot 2018-05-31 at 9.35.35 AM

Michael Dorf posted some thoughtful reactions on “Diversifying Academic Panels” here.  Over at Prawfsblawg, Paul Horowitz has some further contributions here. Orin Kerr and others have added constructively to the conversation in the comments to Paul’s post (here).

Because there’s no clear consensus on what “diversity” an academic panels might look like, my on-line list/pledge is intended to simplify things.  If you are a legal academic, and you are invited to speak on a panel, consider asking the organizers what attempts they have made to seek diversity among panel members.  For me, that means gender, race and range of schools, foremost. But whatever “diversity” means to you, if you’re willing to commit to asking the question, please add your name!  All legal academics of all genders very welcome to sign.

(cross post from Faculty Lounge)

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Why Do Ads for Programs Targeted At Female Lawyers Include Cutesy Pictures?

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There’s something about the inclusion of the red shoes in this advertisement that I find … annoying. This is a digital flyer for a program sponsored by the Historical Society of the New York Courts and the New York City Bar’s Women in the Legal Profession Committee.  (Program details here for anyone interested….bonus points if you wear red heels,?)

I get the lady justice image.  But the red shoes…? The program isn’t celebrating a production of the Wizard of Oz. And it’s being sponsored by two substantial organizations within the legal profession.  Why make include the red shoes in an effort to feminize or make the program more “cutesy”?

 

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The Cyptocurrency Gender Gap

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Ms. Magazine has the details here.  I can’t say I’m surprised at the stats.  Apart from whether cryptocurrency is a good/bad investment (and maybe women have figured out what isn’t great about it….), there are significant business opportunities that require fluency with electronic currency concepts and operations.

Long story short: attorneys, bankers, business advisors, entrepreneurs of all genders should get up to speed on on this rapidly-changing field.

I am aware of groups like Women4Blockchain and CryptoChicks that hold events with female professionals as their target audiences. Women4Blockchain is holding a “Hackathon & Conference” in a few weeks at NYU, for anyone in the New York area. It’s being billed as “The first blockchain hackathon combining business, legal, and technical minds.” Hard to evaluate the veracity of that claim, but it looks like a worthwhile program.

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Stop Treating Professional Cheerleaders (and Women in General) Like Property

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Professional cheerleaders are in the news lately and this time it’s not for their horrifically low pay, which, supposedly, is being fixed across the NFL and NBA.  This time, it’s about the ridiculous rules that cheerleaders have to follow, mostly about their appearance and their social media behavior.  In addition to requiring them to buy their own uniforms, keep to an ideal weight, and even act as personal escorts for male sponsors, some teams even dictate what their cheerleaders can wear when they’re not working – no sweatpants in public, ever.  With regard to social media, cheerleaders’ social media activities are often monitored, sometimes without the cheerleaders’ knowledge, and they are forbidden from socializing with the players.

Needless to say, cheerleaders’ athlete counterparts do not have to follow any such rules.  This disparity in treatment led a New Orleans Saints’ former cheerleader to file an E.E.O.C. complaint against the team for gender discrimination after she was fired for posting a “racy” photo on Instagram and talking to a Saints player at a party.  A former Miami Dolphins cheerleader filed a similar complaint with the Florida Commission on Human Relations after being fired for publicly saying she is a virgin and openly discussing her Christian faith.  The crux of their complaints: similarly situated male employees are not treated this way.  Before anyone jumps in here, let me just remind you that cheerleaders are skilled athletes who are required to spend hours training and practicing their routines.

A brief history of professional cheerleading shows how we got here.  At first, only men were “yell leaders” at ivy league college sport events in the 1800s.  During the 1920s, women got involved and then took over the industry during World War II to fill the absences left by the men at war.  Things shifted again in 1960 when the general manager of the Dallas Cowboys decided to have “pretty girls” on the sidelines so the audience (including the television audience) would have something to look at.  In 1972 the mission expanded to have a full complement of professional dancers and the televised 1976 Superbowl sealed the deal.  Over time, beautiful cheerleaders were added to almost every NFL team and to every NBA team.  And the strict rules on appearance and socialization were added at the same time.

This history shows what cheerleaders were created to do: be objects that men can look at.  That’s why they have to look a certain way (follow the makeup “look” they have been given at the beginning of the season), weigh a certain amount (pass the “jiggle test”), wear only the right kinds of clothes when they aren’t working (nothing too skimpy but no sweatpants either).  Otherwise, they aren’t serving their role of pretty objects for men to fantasize about.

Cheerleaders’ socialization restrictions are clearly in place for the same reasons.  Supposedly, the socialization rules are put in place to “protect” the cheerleaders from players harassing them but the players themselves are not given any rules to follow; the onus is on the cheerleaders themselves to prevent their own victimization.  So cheerleaders are expected to both look good for the male gaze and be responsible for any negative fallout that results.  Moreover, the asymmetrical policy belies an underlying intent to control the cheerleaders, to dictate what they do and how they look even when they’re not at work, to essentially treat them like property that belongs to the team.

The two recent NFL gender discrimination complaints were filed in the wake of the #metoo movement, and one hopes that many more will follow.  Underpaid, controlled and devalued, cheerleaders deserve better.  What is more troubling to me, however, is that the way these women are treated speaks of a larger cultural issue of men feeling entitled to control women’s bodies.  The recent rash of “incel” violence against women – committed by men who feel they are not given the sex they are entitled to by women – and some of the media’s hand-wringing response to it further highlights how far we have to go before women, even professional cheerleaders in the public spotlight, are treated like equal human beings in control over their own bodies.  It’s 2018.  It’s time.

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Waldman on “The Preferred Preferences”

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Emily Gold Waldman (Pace) has posted to SSRN her article The Preferred Preferences, (forthcoming, 97 North Carolina Law Review (2018)).  Here is the abstract:

Emily Gold Waldman

In theory, customer preferences cannot justify discriminatory treatment by employers. The reality is more complicated. Built into the structure of federal employment discrimination law are several openings for customer preferences to provide employer defenses to what would otherwise likely be actionable discrimination.

This Article explores when and which customer preferences can enter those openings. In particular, I focus on what I deem the “preferred preferences”: the customer preferences that have formed the basis of successful employer defenses to discrimination claims. I identify six such preferences, ranking them according to how much deference they receive: (1) aesthetic appeal; (2) physical privacy from employees of the opposite sex; (3) psychological comfort/affinity with employees of the same sex; (4) an English-speaking environment; (5) the desire not to be proselytized to/feel judged; and (6) convenience. I also analyze a potential seventh “preferred preference”—diversity—that courts have yet to consider.

I show that each individual preferred preference is not just a one-off exception to the supposed irrelevance of customer preferences, but part of a collective body of doctrine that operates according to its own principles. Although courts are not explicit about this, these preferences intuitively strike courts as reasonable and natural, both because they do not seem invidiously discriminatory and because they align with ingrained social conventions and norms. As a result, courts either (1) consider them weightier than “mere preferences” and/or (2) view compliance with them as imposing only a minor burden on employees. The more that these two factors are satisfied, the more “preference deference” we see.

But courts are not striking the right balance in their preference deference. This largely stems from the tension between the claim that customer preferences are irrelevant in antidiscrimination law and the reality that they sometimes do count. In order to reconcile this dissonance, courts elevate the preferred preferences into virtual needs or minimize how much they burden employees. In the process, biases and inconsistencies sneak in. Courts should begin by acknowledging that all of these preferences are indeed preferences rather than virtual necessities, and show greater awareness of the ways in which policies responding to these preferences can impose differential burdens—particularly with respect to the protected characteristics of sex, race, national origin, and/or religion—on employees. Although I do not argue that all customer preferences should be held invalid, I propose two important guideposts in analyzing these issues: (1) a context-specific look at whether the preference relates to the employee’s actual performance of the specific job and (2) a broad look at the extent to which the preference limits equal employment opportunity in the workplace. Applying these principles, I argue that a re-ordering of the current preference hierarchy is in order.

The full article is available here.

 

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Gilman and Green on “The Surveillance Gap”

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Michele E. Gilman (Baltimore) & Rebecca Green (William & Mary) have posted to SSRN their article The Surveillance Gap: The Harms of Extreme Privacy and Data Marginalization, 42 NYU Rev. L. & Soc. Change 253 (2018). Here is the abstract:

Michele E. Gilman

Rebecca Green

We live in an age of unprecedented surveillance, enhanced by modern technology, prompting some to suggest that privacy is dead. Previous scholarship suggests that no subset of the population feels this phenomenon more than marginalized communities. Those who rely on public benefits, for

example, must turn over personal information and submit to government surveillance far more routinely than wealthier citizens who enjoy greater opportunity to protect their privacy and the ready funds to secure it. This article illuminates the other end of the spectrum, arguing that many individuals who may value government and nonprofit services and legal protections fail to enjoy these benefits because they reside in a “surveillance gap.” These people include undocumented immigrants, day laborers, homeless persons, and people with felony conviction histories suffering collateral consequences of their convictions. Members of these groups often remain outside of the mainstream data flows and institutional attachments necessary to flourish in American society. The harms that surveillance gap residents experience can be severe, such as physical and mental health injuries and lack of economic stability, as well as data marginalization and resulting invisibility to policymakers. In short, having too much privacy can be as injurious as having too little.

The sources of the surveillance gap range from attempts to contain and control marginalized groups to data silos to economic exploitation. This article explores the boundaries of the surveillance gap, evaluates how this emerging concept fits within existing privacy paradigms and theoretical frameworks, and suggests possible solutions to enhance the autonomy and dignity of marginalized people within the surveillance gap.

The full paper is available here.

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Kukura on “Obstetric Violence” in @GeorgetownLJ

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Elizabeth Kukura (VAP, Drexel) has posted to SSRN her article Obstetric Violence, 106 Geo. L.J. 721 (2018).  Here is the abstract:

Professor Elizabeth Kukura

Maternity care in the United States is in a state of crisis, characterized by high cesarean rates, poor performance on various mortality and morbidity measures, and a steep price tag. There are many factors that impede access to high-quality, evidence-based maternity care for certain women. Grassroots organizers have raised awareness about the extent to which giving birth in the United States has become overly medicalized. Perhaps less widely known, however, is the extent to which women experience abuse, coercion, and disrespect while giving birth.

Inspired by activists in Latin America, advocates in the United States have begun to adopt the language of “obstetric violence” to describe and condemn such mistreatment. However, the existing research on obstetric violence is limited, which complicates the task of defining the problem and identifying solutions. To that end, this Article explores the profound mistreatment that some women experience during childbirth at the hands of their health care providers. It identifies various types of provider behavior that qualify as obstetric violence and paints a broad picture of how childbirth can be a damaging experience for some women, even when they leave the hospital with a healthy baby. Having developed a nuanced view of provider mistreatment and its implications, this Article then examines the current failure of law and regulation to provide meaningful prevention or recourse. It concludes by suggesting forms of advocacy within the legal and health care systems that offer promising approaches to shifting maternity care culture and, ultimately, to securing necessary changes in the tort system for women harmed by provider mistreatment during childbirth.

The full article is available here.

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Financial Planning Websites for Women are so . . . Pink

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From Glamour magazine, no less, this article, Financial Sites for Women Are Game Changing—but Do They Have to Be So Pink?  Here is an excerpt:

Yup, a pink purse; from Biker Boutique. No product endorsement intended.

If it succeeds, Dolla Dolla World will launch as an IRL pop-up, first in New York City, then roving across the country, where attendees can take part in workshops about everything from planning a personal budget to investing in the stock market. A project from Gen Z online think tank Irregular Labs (which is also the team that launched the lauded Gen Z community School of Doodle), Dolla Dolla World is woke, social media savvy, and yes, feminist. Whatever winds up happening with the funding, the branding is on point and already fully baked.

Sprinkled with cheeky GIFs and pops of Barbie Dreamhouse pink, the promo material has that certain digital native sparkle, from the vibe and the lingo to the swag and the promo video, which features a haughty Marie Antoinette holding court in a mall alongside Frida Kahlo, Joan of Arc, Cleopatra, and, somewhat inexplicably, the Virgin Mary. The platform is targeted to young millennial and Gen Z women, who are “more sophisticated and demand more from their money” than their predecessors, according to the fund-raising page. It’s also in good company: In 2018 financial fempowerment platforms are officially trending.

The full article is available here.  No product endorsement intended.

Sigh!  I myself teach Income Tax; Estate & Gift Tax; Wills, Trusts & Estates; and Corporations, so perhaps I’m not the target audience for these girly-fied websites, but I’m guessing I’m not the only woman who would prefer a little less…pink.

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I Support @ProfKFranke, Free Speech and Democracy

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From today’s New York Times, this story about Columbia Law professor (and longtime FLP blogroll member) Katherine Franke who was detained for 14 hours at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport and then deported from Israel:

Professor Katherine Franke

Franke told [Roger Cohen of the NYT]: “They were not interested in why I was there. They already had a story. I was a leader of Jewish Voice for Peace. I was there to promote the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement — all this untrue. It quickly ramped up to where the guy was yelling at me for lying. He Googled my name and came up with right-wing trolling sites like Canary Mission or AMCHA that push out ugly stuff about faculty held to be enemies of Israel.” How is it, Franke asked, that “Israel delegates to right-wing trolls the job of determining who should be admitted to Israel?”

Franke has visited Israel a half-dozen times before. She supervises dissertations by graduate students there. She had meetings scheduled with civil rights advocates. She has worked on the Academic Advisory Council of Jewish Voice for Peace and generally she supports its aims but is not a leader of it. A critic of Israel’s human rights record, she has boycotted conferences paid for by the Israeli government, but has participated in other academic conferences in Israel. Faculty members at Tel Aviv University and Hebrew University have told her they are going to write to express their outrage.

In other words, she’s the kind of tough critic a free and democratic society should welcome. Any healthy society is defined by its ability to accommodate civilized debate, not by cries of “traitor” directed at dissenters. Sending her and Vincent Warren, the executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, back to America was a measure of how far Israeli political culture has closed.

The full story is here. This treatment of two U.S. academics is outrageous and antithetical to true and meaningful dialogue about democracy and human rights laws in all their complexities.

I support Katherine Franke’s to speak as she sees fit and encourage all supporters of free speech to retweet this post or spread the news in a way that seems appropriate to you.

-Bridget Crawford

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Thomas on Leveling Down Gender Equality

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Tracy A. Thomas, University of Akron School of Law, is publishing Leveling Down Gender Equality in volume 42 of the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender (2018). Here is the abstract.

The U.S. Supreme Court in Sessions v. Morales-Santana (2017) revived its decades old jurisprudence of “leveling down” — that is, curing an equal protection violation by denying the requested benefit to all rather than extending the benefit to the excluded class. This article challenges that continuation of the conventional acceptance of leveling down or the “mean remedy” and the assumption that leveling down is an equally legitimate remedial option as leveling up for gender discrimination. Instead, it argues for the adoption of an alternative remedial calculus of a strong presumption of leveling up remedies, overcome only rarely by limited equitable considerations. Such a presumption better effectuates the substantive right of gender equality as well as the correlative due process right to a meaningful remedy.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

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@SheWritesToLive on “Why I’m Giving Up on Intersectionality”

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In Quartzy (a “weekly dispatch about living well in the global economy”) over at QZ.com, contributing writer Tamela J. Gordon has an essay entitled, Why I’m Giving Up on Intersectional Feminism. Here is an excerpt:

As time progressed, any hope that intersectional feminism would be this magical path to racial and cultural harmony between white women and non-white women disappeared. Despite the legion of spaces dedicated to intersectionalism—including my own book club, it always seemed that every environment was divided by race. I know what sisterhood is and I know what white women think sisterhood is; they got it all wrong.

Deep down inside I knew what the problem was, I just didn’t have the heart to admit it. Intersectional feminism doesn’t mean anything if white women still struggle to support and advocate for those who’s identities cross intersections that are foreign to theirs.

The full article is available here.  You can follow Tamela Gordon on Twitter @SheWritesToLive.

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ClassCrits New Website and CFP: “Rising Together for Economic Hope, Power and Justice,” Nov 2 & 3, 2018

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ClassCrits has a new website here.

For those who aren’t familiar with this group, ClassCrits is a self-described (see here) “network of academics and activists focused on economic justice. Formed in 2007 in response to growing economic inequality, the name ‘ClassCrits’ reflects our connections to other critical legal scholarship movements, such as critical feminist theory, critical race theory, LatCrit, and queer theory.”

Anyone who is interested in joining the group’s mailing list can become an “Associate Member” at no charge. To become a full “Member” with rights to vote for the ClassCrit board and to receive a discounted conference registration fee, one must pay $25 in annual dues.

ClassCrits has issued its call for participation for its eleventh annual conference to be held at West Virginia University College of Law in Morgantown, WV on November 2 and 3, 2018.  The theme for the 2018 conference is “Rising Together for Economic Hope, Power and Justice.” Here is an excerpt from the CFP:

The current administration continues its reactionary campaign to “Make America Great Again” by rolling back progress in key areas of labor, environmental, health, and civil rights.

A rising and brazen alt-right movement, with its calls for a white ethnostate, empowered by Trump’s victory, continues to grow ever more vocal at campuses across the country. Immigrants are being targeted for deportation, building on authority laid down by the past administrations. Trump’s saber rattling creates the real possibility of a military showdown between the US and North Korea. And the new federal tax law, fueled by plutocratic influence, will exacerbate income inequality by shifting even more money from working Americans to wealthy people and corporations. * * *

Catalyzed by the movement for Black Lives, the West Virginia teacher’s strike, the Women’s March, the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, and the #MeToo movement, an unprecedented number of people are speaking up to challenge workplace sexual harassment, wage disparities, and other forms of patriarchal economic and social oppression.

Now is the time to rethink issues of basic political economy to form the basis of a new politics that seeks to reduce inequality and wealth disparity, and reinvigorate civil rights protections for disadvantaged communities.

The full CFP is here.

Proposals for panels or individual papers are due by  June 1, 2018.  More details are available here. The conference organizers especially welcome junior scholars and have planned works-in-progress sessions for junior scholars to get feedback in small group sessions.

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Maynard on “How the NCAA Infringes on the Freedom of Families”

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Goldburn P. Maynard Jr. (Louisville) has published in the Wisconsin Law Review Online his essay “They’re Watching You: How the NCAA Infringes on the Freedom of Families.”  Here is an excerpt:

This Essay argues that the NCAA’s surveillance of the family and enforcement of its rules amount to a sumptuary restraint on the families of talented NCAA athletes. In order to keep its cartel in place, the NCAA must bar not only the athlete but everyone in his family from extracting any value from his talent. Luxury purchases are in effect barred for poor families. This is where the NCAA’s enforcement and investigative arms step in. Disproportionately, the families of black athletes are put on notice that any signs of extravagant consumption (that is, beyond the level they should be able to afford) will lead to investigations and potential suspensions. At the moment when these families should be happiest, they have to worry lest they give off any appearance of living beyond their means. I argue that the NCAA’s rules disproportionately disadvantage poor individuals of color. This underscores the inherently unjust nature of the college sports system and the complicity required to keep it in place. * * *

The NCAA’s rules affect all athletes, but they disproportionately disadvantage black ones. Once we limit the college athletic arena to the big sports (i.e., football and basketball) and the revenue generating schools, the statistics are stark. A recent study by Shaun Harper found that black men made up only 2.5 percent of undergraduate students enrolled across all 65 such institutions, but they comprised 56 percent of basketball teams and 60 percent of football teams. The study also showed that 16 percent of those coaches at these schools were black. The average salary for the 65 athletics directors in the major conferences was $698,755, but just 14.7 percent of them were black. And none of the commissioners of those conferences, who earned on average $2.58 million annually, were black.

Citations omitted. The full essay is available here.

The essay draws on financial history, sports law, family law, theories of punishment/discipline and critical race theory to provide a new spin on a topic that may be familiar to many sports fans. In a footnote, the author acknowledges that the University of Louisville is currently subject to NCAA sanctions and has weathered quite a few NCAA scandals (see, e.g., here). It is not lost on me that I’m a professor at a school currently suffering sanctions.  Professor Maynard writes, “Fortunately, the NCAA has made itself so unpopular that no one should suspect that there is a causal connection” between his employer and his criticism of the NCAA.

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Boo-hoo! Male Artists Fret About Depicting the Female Form

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In a think-piece with the title Who’s Afraid of the Female Nude?, over at The Cut, author Michael Slenske asks, “Is it still an artistically justifiable pursuit for a man to paint a naked woman?” He proceeds:

13th century depiction of Adam and Eve from portal of the Cathedral of St. Lawrence, Trogir, Croatia (13th century). Source: http://www.christianiconography.info/adamEve.html

To answer this question, I reached out to a number of prominent male artists known for doing just that (as well as for painting nude men). But most of them — including Currin, Carroll Dunham, Jeff Koons, and the young Mexican-American painter Alex Becerra (some of whose nudes are drawn from escort ads) — declined to talk about their work’s relationship to the current social climate. Presumably, they worried about unintentionally saying the wrong thing that would then echo endlessly across social media, damaging their reputations. For emerging artists, there is the fear of a possibly career-derailing gestalt fail.

As expected, essay is full of quotes from male artists blaming hyper-sensitive women for making it impossible for them to express themselves in all their artistic glory.

Read the full piece here, along with a contrasting/companion piece by author Molly Langmuir. Langmuir’s article focuses on seven female artists’ take on the way they represent the female form in their art.

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Haverford College Seeks 1-Yr, Pre-Tenure Visitor for Peace, Justice and Human Rights Program

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From the FLP mailbox:

Haverford College invites applications for a one-year visiting Assistant Professor in its Peace, Justice and Human Rights Program for AY2018-19. The position is open to scholars at all pre-tenure levels with training in the humanities or social sciences who focus in their work on questions of justice, peace and conflict, human rights and related fields. Candidates should be able to teach an introductory course in issues of human rights, as well as offer more specialized courses. The teaching load is five courses.

Candidates for the position should have a Ph.D and demonstrated evidence of strong teaching at all levels of the curriculum. ABD candidates may apply but must also provide assurance of completion of the degree by September 1, 2018 and evidence of relevant teaching experience. Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience and qualifications.

Those wishing to be considered for the job should submit a cover letter addressing your fitness for the position, curriculum vitae, a sample course syllabus for “Intro to Peace, Justice and Human Rights,” and names of three references to jstauffe@haverford.edu. Applications will be read on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

The program in Peace, Justice and Human Rights is an interdisciplinary concentration. Its goal is to foster cross-disciplinary collaboration and creative new perspectives on entrenched problems. For more information, see here.

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@GonzagaLaw Seeks Lecturer for Federal Tax Clinic

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From colleagues at Gonzaga:

GONZAGA UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW seeks applicants for a three-quarter-time Lecturer in its Federal Tax Clinic, with flexibility to serve in other areas as needed by the clinical program. This position is dependent on a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) grant awarded from the IRS. Gonzaga Law School has been receiving the LITC grant for over 15 years. Gonzaga Law embraces its humanist mission of educating the whole person and preparing lawyers to serve marginalized populations in an increasingly international legal market.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: Juris Doctor degree earned from an ABA-accredited law school; experience practicing in the area of Federal tax law; excellent academic records; superior recommendations; eligibility to supervise law students. Complete information about eligibility is available here .

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Henderson on “The Intersectional Life and Times of Lutie A. Lytle”

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Taja-Nia Y. Henderson (Rutgers) has published a new article in the Iowa Law Review:

Lutie Lytle

I Shall Talk to My Own People’: The Intersectional Life and Times of Lutie A. Lytle, 102 Iowa L. Rev. 1983 (2017). For those not familiar with Lytle, she was the daughter of slaves who became a law professor. Here is an abstract of the article:

In the fall of 1898, the Chicago Tribune hailed Lutie A. Lytle of Topeka as the “only female law instructor in the world.” Notwithstanding this purported shattering of the legal academy’s glass ceiling, Lytle’s accomplishments — her path to the professoriate, and her career in the years following her appointment to the faculty of a Nashville law school — have been largely lost to historians of legal education. She is not among

those honored or commemorated by our profession, and her name is largely unknown beyond a small circle of interest. The biographical sketch that follows fills this scholarly gap through an examination of Lytle as a historical figure, using contemporary newspaper accounts and other primary source material to provide context for her achievements and linking her life to previously understudied legal, political and social movements.

The full article is available here.

Taja-Nia Y. Henderson

Some colleagues may not know that Professor Lytle’s legacy lives on in the Lutie Lytle Black Women Law Faculty Writing Workshop, an annual workshop for current and aspiring black women law faculty.  More info about the Lytle Workshop is available here.

 

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Parenting in an Activist High School

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High school students in Parkland, Florida have showed us that our teenagers can be brave and effective when mobilized around a cause. Their work is breathtaking to read about. My children’s high school in New Jersey also made national news recently for related reasons. Last year around the same time the high school was also in the national news. Both times students themselves created the story—using their emerging-activist voices to protest a school policy. This year it is about both a teacher who was suspended for reasons we don’t fully know, but that appear to center on things said during a class discussion about school safety, and also underlying security concerns that our students find unacceptable in the wake of the Parkland and other school shootings.

In the last week of February, students planned and executed two school walkouts, and flooded school superintendent and school board meetings. They appeared on local and national news. After initially threatening the students with suspension and the rescission of their ability to participate in graduation, the senior class trip, and the prom, the school principal wrote a humble retraction letter and the school board began work on a student-activism policy.

Just as Dahlia Lithwick noted about the education system in Parkland, students in our school system enjoy an education that affords them opportunities to learn how to speak in public. They are also taught to speak out on issues they care about, in effect, making them activists-in-training. My kids’ —two teenage daughters—activism generally centers on inclusivity because their activities, volunteer hours, and internships bring them in direct contact with kids who come from different backgrounds and perspectives. They have also participated in national marches for women and for science. Each daughter has addressed our hard-working school board on more than one occasion, talking about issues they care about, ranging from the health issues related to idling cars in school parking lots to the lack of women’s history or gender studies in the high school curriculum.

In my town, the residents agree that schools should be a laboratory for learning to become fully-empowered citizens. That helps explain the regular standing-room-only school board meetings we have been seeing that are filled with as many students as parents. But all of this has also led to some weird calculations that the students have had to make concerning how being an activist can affect their regular studies and their relationships with their peers.

As their parent and a lawyer, I have given a lot of advice and encouragement to my daughters about making their voices heard as they have grown up. My late father’s greatest joys in his law practice came from his ACLU and other civil rights work, and I am delighted that my daughters are following suit. That said, I feel conflicted in advising as a parent because it’s all so new. I believe the questions my daughters ask me are telling of the pressures teens face when trying to balance their desires to change the world with the more mundane aspects of actually living in the world. Continue reading

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Sparer Forum @BrooklynLaw March 22: Low-Income Workers and Sexual Harassment

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Thursday, March 22
4 to 6 p.m.
Reception to follow

Brooklyn Law School
Subotnick Center
250 Joralemon Street
Brooklyn

RSVP online
About the Forum
Amid all of the uproar about sexual harassment in the workplace, little attention has been paid to the lives of women who work in low-income jobs. These women (and sometimes men) often suffer from harassment by supervisors and co-workers on a daily basis and face additional intersectional discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, and age. Their claims rarely surface in the courts since attorneys are typically reluctant to represent low-wage earners. This program will consider the legal and policy issues specific to these workers that should be addressed as employers, courts and legislators re-examine their understanding of sexual harassment.

The annual forum of the Edward V. Sparer Public Interest Law Fellowship Program will feature Tanya K. Hernández, Archibald R. Murray Professor of Law, Fordham University School of Law, a leading scholar in intersectional discrimination; Elizabeth S. Saylor, Partner, Emery, Celli, Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP; LaDonna Powell, the plaintiff in a major sexual harassment lawsuit involving the security guard industry; and Minna Kotkin, Professor of Law and Director, Employment Law Clinic, Brooklyn Law School. Elizabeth Schneider, Rose L. Hoffer Professor of Law and Director of the Sparer Program, Brooklyn Law School, will moderate.

The Edward V. Sparer Fellowship Program
Brooklyn Law School alumnus, Professor Edward V. Sparer, was one of the leading poverty lawyers in this country. The Edward V. Sparer Public Interest Law Fellowship Program was established in 1986 to honor him and encourage law students and lawyers to carry on his legacy. For more information about the Sparer Fellowship program, visit www.brooklaw.edu/sparer.

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Welcome to the Blogroll, @CardozoLaw Colleagues!

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Over the last few days, we have welcomed to the blogroll several new fabulous feminist colleagues from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University:

So glad to have so many Cardozo colleagues, including @CardozoLaw’s dean, join us!

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Welcome to the Blogroll, Loyola LA Colleagues!

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In the last two days, we have welcomed to the blogroll twelve new fabulous feminist colleagues from Loyola Law School Los Angeles:

They join longstanding blogroll member Yxta Maya Murray.

So glad to have so many Loyola LA colleagues join us!

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Campbell on “Women, Poverty, Equality The Role of CEDAW”

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Meghan Campbell (University of Birmingham [U.K.]) has a new book published by Hart Publishing called Women, Poverty and Equality: The Role of CEDAW. Here is the publisher’s description:

The stark reality is that throughout the world, women disproportionately live in poverty. This indicates that gender can both cause and perpetuate poverty, but this is a complex and cross-cutting relationship.The full enjoyment of human rights is routinely denied to women who live in poverty. How can human rights respond and alleviate gender-based poverty? This monograph closely examines the potential of equality and non-discrimination at international law to redress gender-based poverty. It offers a sophisticated assessment of how the international human rights treaties, specifically the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which contains no obligations on poverty, can be interpreted and used to address gender-based poverty. An interpretation of CEDAW that incorporates the harms of gender-based poverty can spark a global dialogue. The book makes an important contribution to that dialogue, arguing that the CEDAW should serve as an authoritative international standard setting exercise that can activate international accountability mechanisms and inform the domestic interpretation of human rights.

Readers of the Feminist Law Prof blog can receive a 20% discount on the book by contacting the marketing manager at Hart and mentioning that you saw the post here at FLP.

 

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Keeping Up With Feminist Scholarship in Other Disciplines

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Feminist Periodicals is an online quarterly generated by the Office of Gender and Women’s Studies Librarian at the University of Wisconsin. It reprints the tables of contents of 150 (non-law) magazines and journals for researchers scanning the current literature in the field of Gender and Women’s Studies. I find that this is a fantastic way to quickly become familiar with articles being published non-law fields.

  • Feminist Periodicals has recently undergone a revamp that makes it more user-friendly and accessible.  Here are some cool methods of searching the resource:
  • One can search and browse via keywords, tags and collection name here.
  • There are links to all of the recent periodicals here.
  • You can browse the most recent issue here.

The display is pretty good on mobile devices, too.  Good way to keep up with feminist scholarship when you’re waiting for the subway or in line at the grocery store!

Thank you to the Gender and Women’s Studies Librarian at the University of Wisconsin.  This is a great service for us all!

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Weissman on “Due Process Should Apply to Victims, Too”

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President Donald Trump recently announced that he favors due process of law. In this instance, however, his concern was on behalf of powerful men who have faced public allegations of gender violence and sexual harassment. * * * Domestic violence victims and advocates know full well the benefit of procedural justice. When administered in a fair and respectful manner, it provides a sense of legitimacy about the law, which in turn serves to encourage people to obey the law. Procedural justice requires all parties in a legal matter to be able to state their case, to be heard, and to be treated with the dignity we might expect to be an inherent characteristic of an unbiased judiciary. * * *

Judges often refuse to consider the full relief that victims require to stay safe, repeating a refrain that “granting custody in DVPO cases is something I don’t do.” Judicial demeanor often is a factor in whether a case is properly heard. Judges may display boredom, appear impatient, or otherwise indicate an eagerness to hurry through the proceedings with little “due process” accorded to either the victim or the perpetrator….Would that the president tweet about that.

Read the full op-ed here.

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Tenzer on #MeToo, Statutory Rape Laws, and the Persistence of Gender @ProfLGTenzer

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Leslie Y. Garfield Tenzer, Pace University School of Law, has published #MeToo, Statutory Rape Laws, and the Persistence of Gender. Here is the abstract.

In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, feminists pushed for reform of statutory rape laws. At that time, states’ laws explicitly provided that only males could be charged with the crime of having sexual intercourse with a female below a certain age. The victims of statutory rape were always female. Feminists advocated that the law should be rewritten in gender-neutral terms. They hoped that formal equality in statutory rapes laws would lead to the recognition that both males and females have sexual agency and greater equality in society as a whole. Unfortunately, the prosecutorial discretion granted by the language of these laws perpetuate rather than abolishes traditional male/female stereotypes.

In October 2017, a social movement erupted out of the unacceptable exercise by men of their power over female subordinates. The #MeToo movement exposed the widespread prevalence of sexual harassment, sexual abuse, and sexual violence that women experience in the workplace. The #MeToo movement’s objective is not dissimilar to the goal of proponents of gender-neutral statutory rape laws, which seek to have men and women treated equally. Unfortunately, #MeToo and state adoption of gender-neutral statutory rape laws share another phenomenon. Both the #MeToo movement and the practical enforcement of gender-neutral laws create a “victimology paradigm.” It seems that recognizing inequality among genders requires conceding perceived female frailties.

Using the example of statutory rape laws, this article explains how movements for increased equality between men and women can fail to meet their stated goals. The article begins by exploring traditional statutory rape laws, which stereotypically gendered perpetrators and victims. It follows with a discussion of the political forces behind the nation-wide change to neutralize gendered statutes. The article dedicates significant attention to the flaws of gender-neutral statutory rape laws, which, by removing gender designations of victims and perpetrators, grant prosecutors unchecked discretion to choose which partner to charge in cases of mutual consent to the same prohibited conduct. Today prosecutors are three times more likely to charge males with statutory rape than they are to charge females with the crime. Parents of females’ alert authorities of prohibited sexual activity of their daughters at a rate that is largely disproportionate to that of parents of males. Prosecutorial stereotyping as it pertains to prohibited sexual intimacy between consenting teens has created an unfortunate return to the female-victim paradigm that proponents of gender-neutral statutory rape laws sought to erase. The article concludes with a recommendation for achieving a more balanced application of gender-neutral laws.

Cultural movements can have unintended consequences. This article explains how the women’s rights movement’s campaign to neutralize gendered statutory rape laws failed to achieve its goal of an equal society. Today, a growing number of voices suggest that #MeToo, like the practical application of gender-neutral statutory rape laws, disempowers women. This article exposes the pernicious effects of the legislative shift to gender neutrality and explains how it serves as a cautionary tale to the #MeToo movement and the fight for workplace equality.

The full text is not available for download from SSRN.

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Funny/Not Funny Parody of Non-Disclosure Agreement in Sexual Harassment Cases

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Feminist law prof Yxta Maya Murray (Loyola-LA) has published with the LA Review of Books a “Leaked Non-Disclosure Agreement Between [Name Redacted] and [Name Redacted] International.” Here is an excerpt:

Professor Yxta Maya Murray

The Releasee understands that the Releasor may disclose via screaming in a stall of the Releasee’s Women’s Restroom, half-articulate yet still overhearable crying to her mother on her iPhone, self-medicatingly drunken texting to a college friend, horrifyingly detailed complaint-making to a journalist, and/or engaging in other forms of post-traumatic candor that must be suppressed through legally binding mechanisms as soon as possible, information relating to an alleged sexual assault, which the Releasee does not admit occurred, and never really happened, but which may have been performed upon the Releasor’s person in a hotel room during an ill-advised “meeting” that an employee of the Releasee, hereinafter referred to as “the Rainmaking Partner,” held with her in order to hammer out details about his wealth, maleness, social status, and consequent license to socialize in a lively manner with female subordinates, and which is hereinafter referred to as “Confidential Information.”

Read the full piece here. It’s very good.

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Are Female Babies Worth “Less” Than Male Babies?

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Lawrence Spizman (SUNY Oswego, Economics) has posted to SSRN a new paper Damages to a Child and the Fair Calculations Act. Here is the abstract:

The Fair Calculations Act introduced in the House of Representatives (H.R.6417) and Senate(S.3489) seeks to prohibit courts from using race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or actual or perceived sexual orientation in awarding damages to plaintiffs in civil actions. The following case study examines economic damages of a male and female child suffering the same traumatic injury shortly after birth assuming the Fair Calculation Act becomes law.

Some of the interesting conclusions from the paper:

[W]hen gender neutral work-life, earnings, and life expectancy are used, the economic damage awards for females with less than a high school degree increase by $78,133 (0.79 percent) compared to gender specific model increasing $94,553 (.9 percent) with a high school degree. The largest increase for females using gender neutral data is $147,463 (1.19 percent) with a Bachelor’s degree. Male economic losses also increased using gender neutral work-life with less than a high school degree ($30,480 or .031 percent) and with a high school degree ($59,608 or 0.57 percent). Economic loss for males with a college degree declined by $725,661 or 5.46 percent) using gender neutral data.

* * * Assuming the jury awards the same yearly damages for pain and suffering to both children, the pain and suffering award to the female child will decline using gender neutral life expectancy while the male child’s award for pain and suffering will increase. Pain and suffering is always a “wild card” in jury awards but, all things the same, a gender neutral life expectancy will lower the award to a female compared to gender specific life expectancy.

For torts scholars, trusts & estates scholars, tax scholars and others whose work involves life expectancy calculations, this paper is an interesting read.  The full paper is available here.

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