Francine Lipman (UNLV) blogs here at the Surly Subgroup about newly-released national and state poverty statistics. The post is a short and clear explanation of how significant anti-poverty relief is delivered through the tax code to millions of people, including over 4 million children. The post is worth a read.
The Wisconsin Journal of Law, Gender & Society has announced its 2017 symposium and this Call for Papers:
Women in the Boardroom:
The Social and Business Arguments that Challenge Executive Board Homogeneity
The positive correlation between the increase of women within corporate boardrooms and financial performance has initiated global business and social debates regarding the need for more diversity within executive boardrooms. We are seeking original scholarship, from both scholars and practitioners, addressing either or both the business and social arguments that surround an effort to increase women presence within the executive, corporate industry.
Ideally, proposals would highlight:
- An analysis of either the business (higher return on equity, return on sales, etc.) or the social argument (gender equality) regarding the importance of increasing the number of women in corporate boardrooms.
- Recommendations as to how boardroom diversity implementation could be improved upon to address issues particular to the needs of women and businesses individually.
Interested parties should send an abstract, plus a 3-5 page outline to firstname.lastname@example.org by November 1, 2016. Those selected for the Symposium will be asked to present their scholarship in our Symposium and will be offered the opportunity to be published in our April 2017 Symposium issue. The selected authors will be notified by mid-November 2016.
Canadian Journal of Women and the Law/ Revue Femmes et Droit: Issue on Missing and Murdered Women Indigenous Women Conference/Symposium sur Meurtres et disparitions de femmes et de filles autochotones
Canadian Journal of Women and the Law/Revue Femmes et Droit
Volume 28, Issue 2, August 2016
CJWL online – http://bit.ly/cjwl282
Project MUSE – http://bit.ly/cjwl282pm
EDITORIAL / ÉDITORIAL
Sexualized Violence and Colonialism: Reflections on the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women
Sherene H. Razack
Canadians live in a society where missing and murdered Indigenous women are so commonplace an occurrence that, for two years now, volunteers have organized to dredge the river that runs through the city of Winnipeg looking for the bodies of Indigenous girls and women who have disappeared. “Drag the Red,” as this organization is called, has yet to find any bodies, but its dredging operations often catch women’s underwear.1 The sheer horror of the prospect of Indigenous girls and women lying at the bottom of the river, a river that volunteers dredge, has yet to hit most Canadians, but, in 2015, Canadians elected a government that announced its intention to hold a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women, women who are unaccounted for across the country.
This issue came together after a symposium, jointly organized by the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law and the Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action, in partnership with the Native Women’s Association of Canada on 30–31 January 2016, explored the prospect of a national inquiry. Indigenous women leaders, family members of missing and murdered women, academics, and activists, joined by six human rights experts from the United Nations and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, came together to explore what an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women could accomplish…. http://bit.ly/cjwl282a
Violence sexualisée et colonialisme : réflexions relatives à l’enquête sur les femmes autochtones disparues et assassinées
Sherene H. Razack
Les Canadiennes et Canadiens vivent dans une société où la disparition et le meurtre de femmes autochtones sont tellement monnaie courante que, depuis maintenant deux ans, des bénévoles draguent la rivière qui traverse Winnipeg dans l’espoir d’y retrouver des corps de filles et de femmes autochtones disparues. « Drag the Red » (draguer la Rouge), le nom de l’organisation, n’a pas encore trouvé de corps, mais ses travaux de dragage ont souvent permis de ramasser des sous-vêtements féminins1. En général, les Canadiennes et Canadiens n’ont pas encore saisi à quel point c’est une horreur sans nom de penser que des filles et des femmes autochtones gisent au fond de cette rivière que draguent des bénévoles, mais en 2015, ils ont élu un gouvernement qui a annoncé son intention de mener une enquête nationale sur les femmes et les filles autochtones disparues et assassinées qui manquent à l’appel dans tout le pays.
Ce numéro spécial de la revue est issu d’un symposium tenu les 30 et 31 janvier 2016 et organisé conjointement par la Revue Femmes et droit et l’Alliance canadienne féministe pour l’action internationale, en partenariat avec l’Association des femmes autochtones du Canada, qui évoquait la possibilité d’une enquête nationale. Des leaders autochtones, les familles des femmes disparues ou assassinées, des universitaires et des militantes, avec six experts en droits de la personne des Nations Unies et de la Commission interaméricaine des droits de l’homme, examinaient ce que pourrait accomplir une enquête sur les filles et les femmes autochtones disparues ou assassinées.
ARTICLES / ARTICLES
Shining Light on the Dark Places: Addressing Police Racism and Sexualized Violence against Indigenous Women and Girls in the National Inquiry
Canada has had a long-standing problem with both societal and institutional racism against Indigenous peoples, especially within the justice system. Numerous national inquiries, commissions, and investigations have all concluded that every level of the justice system has failed Indigenous peoples. More recent inquiries indicate that racism against Indigenous peoples is particularly problematic in police forces in Canada. Yet, despite the evidence, little has been done in Canada to act on the recommendations. This has resulted in the over-incarceration of Indigenous peoples, numerous deaths of Indigenous peoples in police custody, and the national crisis of thousands of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls. This article seeks to highlight the lesser-known problem of police-involved racialized and sexualized abuse and violence against Indigenous women and girls as a root cause of the large numbers of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls in Canada. It is argued that an in-depth look at police-involved disappearances, sexual assaults, and murders of Indigenous women should be included in a national inquiry into the high rates of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls. It is hoped that such an investigation under the national inquiry will result in evidence-based analysis and recommendations for legislative and policy-based changes that are consistent with the human rights protections afforded Indigenous women and girls and with the calls for action by Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, various United Nations human rights bodies, and the families, communities, and nations of the Indigenous victims. http://bit.ly/cjwl282c
Sherene H. Razack
In 2011, thirty-six-year-old Cindy Gladue, a Cree woman, bled to death in a hotel bathtub in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. On the night she died, Gladue had contracted for sexual exchange with Bradley Barton, a white man who worked as a trucker. In 2015, Barton was tried for the murder of Cindy Gladue. With more than 1,200 missing and murdered Indigenous women, there is compelling reason to focus on the violence Barton inflicted on Gladue, understanding it as a part of a history of the sexual brutalization and attempted annihilation of Indigenous women. To show that Gladue’s death and the trial of Barton for her murder are part of a history of colonial terror, it is necessary to unpack the framework utilized by the court, a framework that revolved around the ideas of consent and contract. I propose that we utilize a framework of disposability instead, focusing on the Indigenous woman’s expendibility in settler colonialism. Sexualized violence is key to disposability, and flesh is the site at which racial and sexual power are both inscribed. I emphasize the excessive violence that is meted out to Indigenous women as evidence of colonial power imprinted on their bodies. http://bit.ly/cjwl282d
A Long Road Behind Us, a Long Road Ahead: Towards an Indigenous Feminist National Inquiry
Since the invasion of North America by white male colonizers, Indigenous women and girls have been constructed as homogenized and dehumanized “Indian princesses” and “savage squaws.” These constructions, albeit false, have real consequences, resulting in disproportionate rates of male violence against Indigenous women and girls in the context of a contemporary for-profit rape culture. In 2015, the Canadian federal government announced a long-awaited inquiry into violence against Indigenous women and girls. This article recommends an expressly Indigenous feminist framework in order to comprehensively address the issue of male violence against Indigenous women and girls in a national inquiry. http://bit.ly/cjwl282e
Indian Act Sex Discrimination: Enough Inquiry Already, Just Fix It
This article links ongoing historical sex discrimination in the Indian Act to the high levels of violence against Indigenous women. The status provisions have been recognized as an underlying cause contributing to the existing vulnerabilities that make Indigenous women more susceptible to violence. Addressing violence against Indigenous women will be impossible unless and until the underlying discrimination is also comprehensively addressed. The author further contends that fixing the Indian Act does not require waiting for an inquiry. Successive federal governments have been well aware of the ongoing sex discrimination under the Act and its implications for Canada’s human rights record. The article concludes by calling for the immediate amendment of the status provisions in the Indian Act once and for all. http://bit.ly/cjwl282f
Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Crisis: Technological Dimensions
Jane Bailey and Sara Shayan
This article considers how digital technologies are informed by, and implicated in, the systematic and interlocking oppressions of colonialism, misogyny, and racism, all of which have been identified as root causes of the missing and murdered Indigenous women crisis in Canada. The authors consider how technology can facilitate multiple forms of violence against women—including stalking and intimate partner violence, human trafficking, pornography and child abuse images, and online hate and harassment—and note instances where Indigenous women and girls may be particularly vulnerable. The authors also explore some of the complexities related to police use of technology for investigatory purposes, touching on police use of social media and DNA technology. Without simplistically blaming technology, the authors argue that technology interacts with multiple factors in the complex historical, socio-cultural environment that incubates the national crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. The article concludes with related questions that may be considered at the impending national inquiry. http://bit.ly/cjwl282g
Balancing Transparency and Accountability with Privacy in Improving the Police Handling of Sexual Assaults
Amy Conroy and Teresa Scassa
This article considers the potential for the adoption in Ontario of a model, developed in Philadelphia and implemented in other US cities, that has proven successful in significantly improving police handling of sexual assault cases and public confidence in the system. This model directly involves front-line sexual assault victim advocates working with police in systematic reviews of police sexual assault records, with a particular focus on “unfounded” cases. Resistance to the adoption of this model in Canada has focused on arguments around public sector privacy legislation. We therefore explore the Philadelphia model through a transparency and accountability lens in the Canadian context. We suggest that the concepts of “transparency” and “accountability” are too often conflated with the disclosure of data or information through access to information channels, and we argue for a more robust understanding of these concepts. We also argue that the conventional access to information model should not be allowed to obstruct meaningful transparency and accountability by using privacy arguments to create barriers to change. http://bit.ly/cjwl282h
Public Inquiries and Law Reform Institutions: “Truth Finding” and “Truth Producing”
Nathalie Des Rosiers
This article examines how the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls Inquiry (MMIWGI) will be evaluated and what it means for its design and ambitions. It argues that a public inquiry, like a law reform body, must aim to be a “truth-finding” body as well as a “truth-producing” enterprise. It must understand itself as wanting to create the right leverage so that meaningful changes can occur, irrespective of whether its recommendations are immediately adopted or not. It can accomplish such a goal by having a process that becomes the message, by ensuring that it does not get derailed, and by proposing recommendations that set the stage for change, such as addressing the accountability vacuum and aiming to design a process that models the values and behaviour that it wants other institutions to adopt. http://bit.ly/cjwl282i
The Berger Inquiry in Retrospect: Its Legacy
The following article was originally presented as the inaugural lecture of the Willms and Shier Speaker Series in Environmental Law, in collaboration with the Centre for Environmental Law and Global Sustainability in the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa on 29 September 2015 by the Honourable Justice Stephen T. Goudge. Reflecting on the lessons and impacts of the McKenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry, chaired by then Justice Thomas Berger, the article considers the lasting impact of the Berger Inquiry forty years later, including the successful recommendation to abandon plans to develop the north slope of the Yukon, in favour of conservation. The Berger Inquiry has had lasting social impacts by contributing to the rise of a collective northern voice and highlighting the fundamental importance of Indigenous interests in charting the future. In his postscript, Justice Goudge adds his hope that the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Inquiry will emulate the Berger Inquiry in three fundamental ways: by developing inquiry processes that build trust among those most affected; by proposing expeditious and timely recommendations; and, most importantly, by doing what is right. http://bit.ly/cjwl282j
The National Inquiry on Murders and Disappearances of Indigenous Women and Girls Recommendations from the Symposium on Planning for Change: Towards a National Inquiry and an Effective National Action Plan
Feminist Alliance for International ActionNative Women’s Association of Canada
On 30–31 January 2016, the Native Women’s Association of Canada, the Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action, and the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law convened a symposium in Ottawa to engage in dialogue about the upcoming national inquiry on the murders and disappearances of Indigenous women and girls. Forty Indigenous women leaders, family members of murdered and disappeared women, academics, and allies were joined by six human rights experts from the United Nations and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. This document is distilled from presentations and dialogue at the symposium…. http://bit.ly/cjwl282k
L’enquête nationale sur les meurtres et disparitions de femmes et de filles autochtones
Document final du Symposium sur les Meurtres et disparitions de femmes et de filles autochtones planifier le changement : Vers une enquête nationale et un Plan d’action national efficace
Feminist Alliance for International ActionNative Women’s Association of Canada
L’Association des femmes autochtones du Canada, l’Alliance canadienne féministe pour l’action internationale et la Revue Femmes et droit ont organisé à Ottawa, les 30 et 31 janvier 2016, un symposium en vue d’entamer un dialogue au sujet de l’enquête nationale à venir sur les meurtres et disparitions de femmes et de filles autochtones. Quarante leaders féminines autochtones, des membres des familles des femmes et des filles disparues et assassinées, des universitaires et des alliés ont été rejoints par cinq expertes en droits de la personne des Nations Unies et un expert de la Commission interaméricaine des droits de l’homme. Le présent document est issu des présentations et des dialogues qui ont eu lieu pendant le Symposium. … http://bit.ly/cjwl282l
BOOK REVIEWS / CHRONIQUES BIBLIOGRAPHIQUES
Re-Imagining an Agentic Ashley: Looking for Ashley: Re-Reading What the Smith Case Reveals about the Governance of Girls, Mothers and Families in Canada by Rebecca Jaremko Bromwich
Josephine L. Savarese
Dying from Improvement: Inquests and Inquiries into Indigenous Deaths in Custody by Sherene H. Razack
Information posted originally for Canadian Journal of Women and the Law by T. Hawkins.
Announcing the Publication of Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court
I am excited to announce that Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court has been published by Cambridge University Press. This volume, edited by Kathy Stanchi (Temple), Linda Berger (UNLV) and me includes contributions from over 50 law professors. After a very long wait, the book is now in hand. I couldn’t be more pleased and honored to see in print the work of so many outstanding national colleagues who worked together on this project.
What would United States Supreme Court opinions look like if key decisions on gender issues were written with a feminist perspective? Feminist Judgments brings together a group of scholars and lawyers to rewrite, using feminist reasoning, the most significant U.S. Supreme Court cases on gender from the 1800s to the present day. The twenty-five opinions in this volume demonstrate that judges with feminist viewpoints could have changed the course of the law. The rewritten decisions reveal that previously accepted judicial outcomes were not necessary or inevitable and demonstrate that feminist reasoning increases the judicial capacity for justice. Feminist Judgments opens a path for a long overdue discussion of the real impact of judicial diversity on the law as well as the influence of perspective on judging.
A copy of the book’s (substantive) Introductory chapter and full Table of Contents is available on SSRN (here). A series of Feminist Judgments books is also in the works. We have plans for follow-on volumes that focus on Tax, Reproductive Justice, Employment Law, Family Law and Torts, to name just a few projects that currently in development. You can follow the Feminist Judgments project on Twitter @usfemjudgments
Here is a list of the cases and contributors to Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court:
Introduction to the U.S. Feminist Judgments Project
Kathryn M. Stanchi, Linda L. Berger, and Bridget J. Crawford
Talking Back: From Feminist History and Theory to Feminist Legal Methods and Judgments
Berta Esperanza Hernández-Truyol
Chapter 3. Bradwell v. Illinois, 83 U.S. 130 (1873)
Commentary: Kimberly Holst
Judgment: Phyllis Goldfarb
Chapter 4. Muller v. Oregon, 208 U.S. 412 (1908)
Commentary: Andrea Doneff
Judgment: Pamela Laufer-Ukeles
Chapter 5. Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965)
Commentary: Cynthia Hawkins DeBose
Judgment: Laura Rosenbury
Chapter 6. Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967)
Commentary: Inga N. Laurent
Judgment: Teri McMurtry-Chubb
Chapter 7. Stanley v. Illinois, 405 U.S. 645 (1972)
Commentary: Nancy D. Polikoff
Judgment: Karen Syma Czapanskiy
Chapter 8. Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973)
Commentary: Rachel Rebouché
Judgment: Kimberly M. Mutcherson
Chapter 9. Frontiero v. Richardson, 411 U.S. 677 (1973)
Commentary: Iselin M. Gambert
Judgment: Dara E. Purvis
Chapter 10. Geduldig v. Aiello, 417 U.S. 484 (1974)
Commentary: Maya Manian
Judgment: Lucinda M. Finley
Chapter 11. Dothard v. Rawlinson, 433 U.S. 321 (1977)
Commentary: Brenda V. Smith
Judgment: Maria L. Ontiveros
Chapter 12. City of Los Angeles Department Dep’t of Water & Power v. Manhart, 435 U.S. 702 (1978)
Commentary: Cassandra Jones Havard
Judgment: Tracy A. Thomas
Chapter 13. Harris v. McRae, 448 U.S. 297 (1980)
Commentary: Mary Ziegler
Judgment: Leslie C. Griffin
Chapter 14. Michael M. v. Superior Court, 450 U.S. 464 (1981)
Commentary: Margo Kaplan
Judgment: Cynthia Godsoe
Chapter 15. Rostker v. Goldberg, 453 U.S. 57 (1981)
Commentary: Jamie R. Abrams
Judgment: David S. Cohen
Chapter 16. Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57 (1986)
Commentary: Kristen Konrad Tiscione
Judgment: Angela Onwuachi-Willig
Chapter 17. Johnson v. Transportation Agency, 480 U.S. 616 (1987)
Commentary: Deborah Gordon
Judgment: Deborah L. Rhode
Chapter 18. Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, 490 U.S. 228 (1989)
Commentary: Dale Margolin Cecka
Judgment: Martha Chamallas
Chapter 19. Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992)
Commentary: Macarena Sáez
Judgment: Lisa R. Pruitt
Chapter 20. United States v. Virginia, 518 U.S. 515 (1996)
Commentary: Christine M. Venter
Judgment: Valorie K. Vojdik
Chapter 21. Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, Inc., 523 U.S. 75 (1998)
Commentary: Margaret E. Johnson
Judgment: Ann C. McGinley
Chapter 22. Gebser v. Lago Vista Independent School District, 524 U.S. 274 (1998)
Commentary: Michelle S. Simon
Judgment: Ann Bartow
Chapter 23. United States v. Morrison, 529 U.S. 598 (2000)
Commentary: Shaakirrah R. Sanders
Judgment: Aníbal Rosario Lebrón
Chapter 24. Nguyen v. INS, 533 U.S. 53 (2001)
Commentary: Sandra S. Park
Judgment: Ilene Durst
Chapter 25. Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003)
Commentary: Kris McDaniel-Miccio
Judgment: Ruthann Robson
Chapter 26. Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005)
Commentary: Patricia A. Broussard
Judgment: Maria Isabel Medina
Chapter 27. Obergefell v. Hodges, 135 S. Ct. 2584 (2015)
Commentary: Erez Aloni
Judgment: Carlos A. Ball
Brad Areheart (Tennessee) has posted to SSRN his working paper “The Symmetry Principle.” Here an abstract.
Antidiscrimination principles have been studied and written about for decades. Surprisingly, the question of how some laws protect symmetrically, while others protect asymmetrically, has received little attention. Even more surprising is the fact that legal scholars have not provided any systemic account of symmetry’s function in antidiscrimination law. Title VII, for example, makes it illegal to discriminate against both blacks and whites, against both men and women. In contrast, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act’s scope is asymmetrical in that it protects only those over the age of forty. This Article proposes “the symmetry principle” as a major normative theory for considering the design of antidiscrimination laws. When antidiscrimination laws are symmetrical they have the capacity to harness a unique mix of strengths—while minimizing weaknesses—from previous normative theories regarding the means and ends of antidiscrimination law. The symmetry principle is thus a design compromise, somewhere between the poles of particularism and universalism, in fashioning laws to prevent and rectify subordination.
The full paper is available here.
From colleagues at FIU, who are looking for a speaker to round out an upcoming symposium, due to a last-minute cancellation by a previously-scheduled speaker:
Florida International University College of Law will be holding a symposium on reproductive rights, “New Approaches and Challenges to Reproductive Justice” on November 3-4, 2016. We are looking for one speaker to fill a panel. The talk can be on any aspect of reproductive rights but we are particularly interested in hearing from scholars working on race and reproductive rights or Latina perspectives on law and reproductive rights. There is an opportunity to also publish a short piece based on the talk. FIU is an R1 public research institution in Miami. The law review will cover costs of travel and accommodation to Miami. Please contact, Professor Cyra Akila Choudhury at email@example.com by September 16 with a 200-word abstract if you are interested.
Instagram is at it again. Remember when Instragram twice deleted the photo by Rupi Kaur of a fully clothed woman lying on a bed, because the woman’s trousers showed a period stain? (See here.) Looks like women’s periods are just … too gross for Instagram. Last week the company shut down photographer Harley Weir’s account because of art photographs of a model with menstrual blood on her legs. The images are viewable here. The images have now been restored to Instagram and the company has apologized.
Michael Higdon (Tennessee) has posted to SSRN his paper, Divorce and the Serial Monogamist: The Ex Ante Consequences of Legalized Polygamy. Here is the abstract:
The question of whether the fundamental right to marry might also include the right to polygamy is one that has long intrigued legal scholars. In the wake of Obergefell v. Hodges, that question has taken on even greater significance. Although other scholars have attempted to answer this question, this Article does so in a novel way. Specifically, this Article looks at the practice of polygamy through a law and economics lens, exploring the ex ante consequences of legalization, not on practicing polygamists, but on serial monogamists — i.e., those who never intend to have more than one spouse at any given time but are, nonetheless, prone to marry more than one person in their lifetime. When looked at in that manner, the degree to which legalized polygamy would harm the state becomes much more evident. After all, if polygamy were legal, the current laws prohibiting bigamy would no longer be in operation. In turn, separating couples would lose one of the strongest incentives they currently face to pursue formal divorce in lieu of simply deserting one another. In essence, then, a serial monogamist could marry multiple times in his lifetime without ever getting a divorce, safe in the knowledge that his actions are no longer subject to a criminal charge of bigamy. Such actions — dubbed “sequential polygamy” — are quite harmful to the state’s substantial interest in protecting its citizens from financial harms. Indeed, the current law of divorce is designed to encourage separating couples to elect that formal course of action so as to provide the state some assurance that those leaving a marriage are not doing so to their financial detriment. With the legalization of polygamy then, goes the prohibition against bigamy, thus eroding the state’s ability to encourage divorce as a means of protecting all its citizens; but in particular its poorest citizens, who would likely be hardest hit by any societal shift away from formal divorce.
The full article is available here.
From colleagues at the University of Baltimore:
CALL FOR PAPERS
APPLIED FEMINISM AND INTERSECTIONALITY:
EXAMINING LAW THROUGH THE LENS OF MULTIPLE IDENTITIES
The Center on Applied Feminism at the University of Baltimore School of Law seeks paper proposals for the Tenth Anniversary of the Feminist Legal Theory Conference. We hope you will join us for this exciting celebration on March 30-31, 2017.
This year, the conference will explore how intersecting identities inform — or should inform — feminist legal theory and justice-oriented legal practice, legal systems, legal policy, and legal activism. Beginning in 1989, Kimberlé Crenshaw identified the need for law to recognize persons as representing multiple intersecting identities, not only one identity (such as female) to the exclusion of another (such as African American). Intersectionality theory unmasks how social systems oppress people in different ways. While its origins are in exploring the intersection of race and gender, intersectionality theory now encompasses all intersecting identities including religion, ethnicity, citizenship, class, disability, and sexual orientation. Today, intersectionality theory is an important part of the Black Lives Matter and #SayHerName movements. For more information, see https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/in-theory/wp/2015/09/24/why-intersectionality-cant-wait/.
We seek submissions of papers that focus on the topic of applied feminism and intersecting identities. This conference aims to explore the following questions: What impact has intersectionality theory had on feminist legal theory? How has it changed law and social policy? How does intersectionality help us understand and challenge different forms of oppression? What is its transformative potential? What legal challenges are best suited to an intersectionality approach? How has intersectionality theory changed over time and where might it go in the future?
We welcome proposals that consider these questions from a variety of substantive disciplines and perspectives. As always, the Center’s conference will serve as a forum for scholars, practitioners and activists to share ideas about applied feminism, focusing on connections between theory and practice to effectuate social change. The conference will be open to the public and will feature a keynote speaker. Past keynote speakers have included Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison, Dr. Maya Angelou, Gloria Steinem, Senators Barbara Mikulski and Amy Klobuchar, NOW President Terry O’Neill, EEOC Commissioner Chai Feldblum, and U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner.
To submit a paper proposal, please submit an abstract by Friday October 28, 2016 to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your abstract must contain your full contact information and professional affiliation, as well as an email, phone number, and mailing address. In the “Re” line, please state: CAF Conference 2017. Abstracts should be no longer than one page. We will notify presenters of selected papers in November. About half the presenter slots will be reserved for authors who commit to publishing in the annual symposium volume of the University of Baltimore Law Review. Thus, please indicate at the bottom of your abstract whether you are submitting (1) solely to present or (2) to present and publish in the symposium volume. Authors who are interested in publishing in the Law Review will be strongly considered for publication. For all presenters, working drafts of papers will be due no later than March 3, 2017.
Presenters are responsible for their own travel costs; the conference will provide a discounted hotel rate as well as meals.
We look forward to your submissions. If you have further questions, please contact Prof. Margaret Johnson at email@example.com. For additional information about the conference, please visit law.ubalt.edu/caf.
Sarah Lynnda Swan, Columbia University Law School, is publishing Between Title IX and the Criminal Law: Bringing Tort Law to the Campus Sexual Assault Debate in volume 64 of the the Kansas Law Review (2016). Here is the abstract.
In the last few years, campus sexual assault has risen to prominence as a national public concern. As policy-makers scramble to figure out how best to address this problem, the contours of the conversation in scholarship, media articles, and policy-making have devolved into two competing adjudicative frameworks: criminal law or Title IX. In this criminal law versus Title IX debate, two questions dominate. First, who can better adjudicate claims of campus sexual assault: criminal courts using criminal laws, or schools using Title IX? Second, if schools do adjudicate sexual assault claims under Title IX, are students entitled to the same procedural protections as criminal defendants? In this Symposium piece, I argue that this criminal law versus Title IX framing is unduly narrow. It ignores a third, important mode of adjudication for sexual assault claims: tort law. In this essay, I show why tort law has been left out of the campus sexual assault debate, and the potential impact of its inclusion. Incorporating tort law into the campus sexual assault debate has three specific benefits. First, conceptualizing campus sexual assault as a tort reminds us that the same wrong can be legitimately framed and addressed in multiple ways. Second, tort law sets a useful standard for determining the scope of procedural protections in campus sexual assault proceedings. Third, tort law suggests that affirmative consent may be appropriate for campus sexual interactions. Ultimately, bringing tort law into the campus sexual assault debate opens up the vast and fertile ground between the two poles of criminal law and Title IX, and creates a space where better institutional design and a more effective solution to this social problem might be found.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.
Jon Herskovitz writes for Yahoo, “Texas Students Use Sex Toys to Protest New Gun Laws On Campus“:
To protest a new state law that makes the carrying of concealed handguns legal in college classrooms, students at the University of Texas on Wednesday openly displayed sex toys, an act considered illegal under local indecency laws.
“We are fighting absurdity with absurdity,” said Jessica Jin, leader of the protest called “Cocks Not Glocks: Campus (Dildo) Carry,” where hundreds of sex toys were given away at the rally on Wednesday that coincided with a return to classes at university’s flagship campus.
“Texas has decided it is not all obnoxious or illegal to allow deadly concealed weapons on campus. But walking around with a dildo could land you in trouble,” Jin said.
On Aug. 1, a so-called “campus carry” law backed by the state’s Republican political leaders went into effect that allows concealed handgun license holders aged 21 and older to bring handguns into classrooms and other university facilities.
Read the full story here.
From the Huffington Post (here):
The same bill unanimously passed in the Assembly in early June. It now heads back to the Assembly for final approval, and then to Gov. Jerry Brown (D), whose office declined to say if he will sign the bill into law or not. The measure would save California women an estimated $20 million annually, and has the support of the state’s tax board .
California is one of 39 states where tampons, pads and other similar items are not classified as necessities and are thus subject to sales tax, unlike many other medical products .
The legislation, introduced by state Assemblywomen Cristina Garcia (D) and Ling Ling Chang (R) earlier this year, would exempt menstrual products from the state sales tax. The bill’s proponents argue that items like tampons are not simply “feminine hygiene products,” but a medical necessity for women, and that subjecting the products to sales tax is a glaring example of gender inequality.
“The state of California should not be in the business of putting a tax on half the population because they were born as women,” Garcia told The Huffington Post in April.
Read the full article here.
Call for Papers – Friday September 16th Deadline
The Feminist Legal Theory Collaborative Research Network
Seeks submissions for the
Law and Society Association Annual Meeting
Mexico City, Mexico, at the Sheraton Maria Isabel, June 20 – 23, 2017
Dear friends and colleagues,
We invite you to participate in the panels sponsored by the Feminist Legal Theory Collaborative Research Network at the Law and Society Annual Meeting in 2017. The Feminist Legal Theory CRN seeks to bring together law and society scholars across a range of fields who are interested in feminist legal theory. Information about the Law and Society meeting is available at http://www.lawandsociety.org.
This year’s meeting is unique in that it brings us to the Global South, and invites us to explore the theme Walls, Borders, and Bridges: Law and Society in an Inter-Connected World. We are especially interested in proposals that explore the application of feminist legal theory to this theme, broadly construed. This might include papers that explore feminist legal theory in comparative or transnational contexts, as well as in relation to the impacts of globalism and other intersections within particular locations, relationships, institutions, and identities. We are also interested in papers that will permit us to collaborate with other CRNs, such as the Critical Research on Race and the Law CRN, and welcome multidisciplinary proposals.
Our goal is to stimulate focused discussion of papers on which scholars are currently working. Thus, while you may submit papers that are closer to publication, we are particularly eager to receive proposals for works-in-progress that are at an earlier stage and will benefit from the discussion that the panels will provide.
The Planning Committee will assign individual papers to panels based on subject. Panels will use the LSA format, which requires four papers. We will also assign a chair, and one or two commentators/discussants for each panel, to provide feedback on the papers and promote discussion. For panels with two commentators/discussants, one may be asked to also chair.
As a condition of participating as a panelist, you must also agree to serve as a chair and/or commentator/discussant for another panel or participant. We will of course take into account expertise and topic preferences to the degree possible.
The duties of chairs are to organize the panel logistically; including registering it online with the LSA, and moderating the panel. Chairs will develop a 100-250 word description for the session and submit the session proposal to LSA before their anticipated deadline of October 19. This will ensure that each panelist can submit their proposal, using the panel number assigned.
The duties of commentator/discussants are to read the papers assigned to them and to prepare a short commentary about the papers that discusses them individually and (to the extent relevant) collectively, identifying ways that they relate to one another.
If you would like to present a paper as part of a CRN panel, please email:
- An 1000 word abstract or summary,
- Your name and a title, and
- A list of your areas of interest and expertise within feminist legal theory
to the CRN Planning Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Please do not send submissions to individual committee members.)
Note that LSA is imposing a requirement that your summary be at least 1,000 words long. Although a shorter summary will suffice for our purposes, you will be required to upload a 1,000 word summary in advance of LSA’s anticipated deadline of October 19. If you are already planning a LSA session with at least four panelists (and papers) that you would like to see included in the Feminist Legal Theory CRN, please let the Committee know.
In addition to these panels, we may try to use some of the other formats that the LSA provides: the “author meets readers” format, salon, or roundtable discussion. If you have an idea that you think would work well in one of these formats, please let us know. Please note that for roundtables, organizers are now required to provide a 500-word summary of the topic and the contributions they expect the proposed participants to make. Please also note that LSA rules limit you to participating only once as a paper panelist or roundtable participant.
Please submit all proposals by Friday, September 16 to the email provided above. This will permit us to organize panels and submit them prior to the LSA’s anticipated deadline of October 19. In the past, we have accommodated as many panelists as possible, but have been unable to accept all proposals. If we are unable to accept your proposal for the CRN, we will notify you by early October so that you can submit an independent proposal to LSA.
We hope you’ll join us in Mexico City to share and discuss the scholarship in which we are all engaged and connect with others doing work on feminist legal theory.
2017 LSA Feminist Legal Theory CRN Planning Committee
Aziza Ahmed (co-chair)
Elizabeth MacDowell (co-chair)
Cyra Akila Choudhury
Please see the “second edition” of the White Paper on Title IX & the Preponderance of the Evidence at the link below, including the first 100 signatures from law professors across the country. We will continue to accept signatures from law faculty members as long as law faculty members wish to sign on to the White Paper, and we will post updated editions of the White Paper as we receive additional signatures. To add yourself as a signatory, please email your full name and the URL for your faculty webpage to Nancy Chi Cantalupo at email@example.com.
CFP: “Intersectional Inquiries and Collaborative Action: Gender and Race,” Notre Dame, Mar 2-4, 2017
From the FLP mailbox:
Intersectional Inquiries and Collaborative Action: Gender and Race
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, Indiana USA
March 2-4, 2017
Deadline for submissions: Saturday, October 1, 2016
Questions of race and gender continue to undergird broad sections of inquiry in the academy and beyond. The ongoing legacies and current manifestations of racism and sexism continue to demand intellectual analysis, institutional recognition, and collective intervention. Reaching a critical crescendo during the political upheavals of the 1960s’ civil rights/anti-colonial era and the responding cultural turn in the humanities, Black feminists have discussed the ways in which both race and gender are co-constitutive and rely on intersecting paradigms of power and constructions of difference. Indeed, the concept of “intersectionality,” coined by Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, has become a key mode of framing how identities and sites of contestation around identity are multiple and complex. Furthermore, critics and activists from a myriad of socio-political milieus have underscored the importance of intersectional approaches in struggles for social justice and in the making of inclusive public spaces. From feminist scholarship to human rights policy to commentary via Twitter memes, intersectionality as a theoretical concept, method of analysis, and mode of collaborative action circulates in both grassroots and intellectual discourse.
The Intersectional Inquiries conference will offer a platform for scholars from various fields to interrogate the intersections of race and gender–as manifested materially and discursively–from a broad range of historical, global, and contemporary contexts. We call on scholars, activists, and students to attend rigorously to the ways that race structures gender, sexualities, class, and dis/ability and the dominating matrices of biopolitical violence and imperialism, as well as to trace how racialized subjectivities and non-normative embodiments challenge and radically fracture hierarchy. With this conference, our hope is to inspire impactful intellectual dialogue and assist in building ties that might lead to scholarly- and social justice-focused collaborations.
Our confirmed keynote speaker is Professor Patricia Hill Collins, Distinguished University Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park. Professor Collins recently co-authored Intersectionality (Polity 2016) with Sirma Bilge. Her first book, Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment (Routledge 1990), won the Jessie Bernard Award of the American Sociological Association for significant scholarship in gender, and the C. Wright Mills Award of the Society for the Study of Social Problems. Professor Collins is also the author and editor of several books dealing with race, gender, education, and politics, including On Intellectual Activism (Temple 2012); Another Kind of Public Education: Race, the Media, Schools, and Democratic Possibilities (Beacon 2009); and From Black Power to Hip Hop: Racism, Nationalism, and Feminism (Temple 2006).
The Organizing Committee invites proposals for individual papers, pre-constituted panels, pre-constituted roundtables, and creative works that address one or more of the following topics, or other topics aligned with the conference theme:
coloniality and imperialism
violence, terror, and war
social movements and activism
religion and spirituality
environment, climate change, and sustainability
space, place, and geography
labor and economics
family and marriage
literature, visual culture, and performance
popular culture (social media, film, television, music, sports, gaming, etc.)
digitization and technicity
theory and/or methodology
The deadline for submissions is 11:59 PM (US Eastern Daylight Time) on Saturday, October 1, 2016.
Please submit your proposal here: NDIntersectional.submittable.com/submissions You will first need to become a member of Submittable (which is easy and free).
To allow for as many voices as possible at the conference, proposers may apply for only two of the following roles: paper presenter, creative works presenter, panel chair, roundtable coordinator, or roundtable participant.
We welcome submissions from scholars, activists, artists, and students, including those at the undergraduate level.
Open Call Papers
Individuals submitting paper proposals should provide an abstract of 250 words, a short bio, and contact information. Co-authored papers are acceptable.
Panel chairs should submit a 250-word rationale for the pre-constituted panel as a whole. For each participant, chairs should submit a 250-word presentation abstract, a short bio, and contact information. Panels should include 3-4 papers. Co-authored papers are acceptable. Panels that include a diversity of panelist affiliations and experience levels are strongly encouraged.
Roundtable coordinators should submit a 250-word rationale for the pre-constituted roundtable as a whole. For each participant, coordinators should submit a 250-word abstract of planned comments, a short bio, and contact information. Roundtables should include no more than 6 participants (inclusive of coordinator). Roundtables that include a diversity of panelist affiliations and experience levels are strongly encouraged. Roundtable participants’ remarks at the conference should be brief in order to create substantive discussion with attendees.
Open Call Creative Works
Proposals for audiovisual and other creative works should consist of a 250-word abstract (including the length and format of the work), a short bio of the producer/director, contact information, and requirements for exhibition. Co-authored work is acceptable. If the work is viewable online, please submit a URL.
Please direct any questions about the conference and the submission process to: NDIntersectional@gmail.com.
Updates about the conference schedule, events, travel and lodging, and more will be posted here.
Conference Organizers: Tara Hudson, Z’étoile Imma, Mary Celeste Kearney, and Christine Venter, University of Notre Dame.
Alison Piepmeier, currently receiving hospice care for brain cancer, has written a beautiful column for the Charleston City Paper. Here is an excerpt:
What does it mean when the rest of your life may be measured in weeks? My brain tumor is growing. I am in hospice care. I am surrounded, constantly, by family and friends.
There are too many acts of kindness to report. People send me meals, cookies, and delicious treats from Charleston and all over the country. I receive prayers and poems. There are volunteers teaching Maybelle to ride a bike, because I can’t. Maybelle, Brian, and I have more loving offers of support than we can possibly accept.
Of course, I know what’s up. All this amazing generosity is, sadly, another sign of my imminent death. How can I exist in this place, where I’m so grateful and so sad? * * *
I am a tenured full professor who can’t pee without help. A scholar of feminist disability studies who now lives in disability’s embrace.
In a future that may only be days away, I will lose the ability to communicate before losing the ability to live. For now, my constant failures to understand and to make meaning are signs of things to come. The simplest conversation drags on as I struggle to find the right words. Dictating the first draft of this column took two hours, as my mother patiently typed.
Little by little, I’m learning that who I thought I was is sliding away. I’m sitting at the table holding coffee someone else made for me. Someone else is feeding Maybelle, putting her lunch together, getting her dressed and ready for summer camp. I’m just sitting there, no longer the mother helping Maybelle prepare for her day. * * *
I hope this won’t be my last column. Perhaps, though, knowing that it might be is a gift I should accept.
Because I should not go without saying thank you to all those whose caring has sustained me and whose kind words have created many moments of joy and beauty. Even as I feel myself slipping away, I know that Maybelle will be held up, supported for the rest of her life by a community’s love more deep, more powerful, more transcendent than any I could supply. * * *
To my brothers, parents, friends, teachers, students, co-workers, lovers, and readers, I ask forgiveness for anything I’ve done to hurt you. Thank you for my beautiful life.
If there’s a heaven, or whatever, I’ll see you there.
Read the full column here.
In the annals of weird product placement, consider this story out of the UK about the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service sending female college applicants samples of tampons and sanitary napkins “so you can stay your fresh and confident self as you prepare for whatever next year brings.” From one Twitter user:
According to the (UK) Independent (here):
Both Ucas and Procter & Gamble have yet to respond to the Independent’s request for comment. However, a Ucas spokesperson told The University Paper it regularly works with companies that provide useful products and services aimed at students, and that females who opted in to receiving commercial emails were recently alerted to let them know they would be sent samples.
Let’s hope the Law School Admission Council doesn’t follow this example.
Bridget J. Crawford recently spoke with Zoe Salzman, Esq. of Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP in New York. Ms. Salzman is representing the plaintiffs in a class action that challenges the New York “tampon tax,” the state sales tax imposed on feminine hygiene products. The Complaint in Seibert, et al. v. N.Y. State Dep’t of Taxation and Finance, et al. was filed on March 3, 2016. On May 25, 2016, the New York State legislature voted to exempt feminine hygiene products from state sales taxes.
In this interview, Ms. Salzman explains why the plaintiffs sought to challenge the law, how a claim for sales tax refunds would work and why the case is important
Bridget Crawford: Can you tell me a little bit about how this case came about?
Zoe Salzman: We’ve seen increasing attention to the discriminatory tampon tax at both the national and international levels. There had been attempts in New York to repeal the tax with legislation – but nothing was happening. We decided it was time to force change through litigation.
Crawford: How did you become involved in the case?
Salzman: Some women who were already working to end the tampon tax approached our firm and suggested that we get involved. Once we learned about the issue, we were determined to do something about it.
Crawford: The tampon tax has gotten coverage in many media outlets, including Time and Cosmopolitan magazine. What is it about the cultural zeitgeist that makes people so interested in this issue?
Salzman: Maybe the fact that a lot of people still think “tampon” is a dirty word and it’s scandalous to see it in print? But all joking aside, I think people are drawn to this issue because the tampon tax is so obviously wrong, discriminatory, and unjustifiable. It’s not often that an issue is this clear-cut. Women and men alike are shocked and I think that leads them to be inspired by this campaign.
Crawford: Why did your clients want to pursue legal action, even though there was already some indication that the New York State legislature was moving in the direction of a repeal of the sales tax on feminine hygiene products?
Salzman: Attempts to repeal the tampon tax through legislation had been languishing in Albany for years. Earlier this year, Utah rejected a similar measure. New York women were tired of waiting and so we turned to litigation—and, lo and behold, after we filed our case, the legislature and the governor got motivated enough to finally end the tampon tax. There’s no question that the lawsuit brought a lot of attention to this issue and was a powerful catalyst for change.
Crawford: I notice that this case has five named plaintiffs. What went into the decision to have more than one named plaintiff? How were they selected?
Salzman: A lot of women wanted to be plaintiffs in this lawsuit. Every woman I spoke to was outraged and shocked by this unfair, regressive tax. The five plaintiffs who put their names on the lawsuit saw themselves right from the beginning as standard-bearers for all New York women. They are a diverse group, from all walks of life, but all of them were burdened by this discriminatory tax and all of them were determined to do something to end it.
Crawford: Your Complaint asks for both declaratory relief – essentially a ruling that the sales tax should not apply to feminine hygiene products – and refunds of past sales tax paid. How does the subsequent repeal of the New York sales tax on these products impact your case?
Salzman: The change in the law moots the injunctive claims but the refund claims remain.
Crawford: How does a sales tax refund work in New York? Would it come from the state government, or does it come from the retail vendor of the product? Is there a time period beyond which refunds could not be granted, like only with respect to sales in three years prior to any decision?
Salzman: The State collected the tax, so the refund would come from the State. We have claims under federal law for the violation of the federal Equal Protection Clause and the Due Process Clause and the statute of limitations for those claims is three years.
Crawford: Practically speaking, if women were to win this case, how would they get refunds? Would they have to show receipts? Not that many people hang onto receipts for everyday purchases from the corner store last week, let alone last month or last year. What would happen to any unclaimed award?
Salzman: That will have to be worked out after additional discovery in the case and the assistance of experts, but there are several options for how the refunds could be distributed. Class actions distribute refunds to millions of people all the time.
Crawford: Your Complaint estimates that New York State collects approximately $14 million in sales tax on tampons and other feminine hygiene products. Is there any precedent in New York for that level of refund claim being paid in the context of a sales tax imposed on a consumer product?
Salzman: I haven’t researched that issue specifically. Certainly people apply for and receive refunds from the State all the time – here, the size of the refund reflects the amount the State unlawfully collected from New York women for years under the guise of this discriminatory tax. The State gets the benefit of the three year statute of limitations, but the reality is that the damage to women who have been paying this tax their entire lives is far greater. It’s also a small fraction of the entire annual New York State budget – less than one hundredth of one percent.
Crawford: One interesting thing about this case is that the New York Department of Taxation and Finance seems to have made a very deliberate decision to tax tampons and pads, whereas adult diapers, incontinence pads, condoms and hair regrowth treatments like Rogaine are not subject to tax. Why do you think the Department decided to tax tampons and pads? Do you think there was a discriminatory intent? Continue reading
Bridget J. Crawford recently spoke with Dana Brooks Cooper, Esq. of Barret, Fasig & Brooks in Tallahassee, Florida. Ms. Brooks is representing the plaintiff in a class action that challenges the Florida “tampon tax,” the state sales tax imposed on feminine hygiene products. The Complaint in Wendell v. Florida Department of Revenue et al. was filed in the Circuit Court, Second Judicial Circuit, in and for Leon County, Florida, on July 6, 2016.
In this interview, Ms. Cooper explains the background to the case, the grounds for the legal challenge and why the case is important.
Bridget Crawford: Can you tell me a little bit about the background to this case?
Dana Brooks Cooper: Our plaintiff is an impressive 23-year old woman who had already started a non-profit, “FLOW” (For the Love of Women), for purposes of removing the stigma associated with women’s periods and putting sanitary products in women’s shelters in the Tampa/St. Pete area.
Crawford: How did you become involved in the case?
Cooper: I was contacted by one of the other attorneys who was already on the case who I have worked with in the past on constitutional challenges.
Crawford: I notice that the two other named partners in your firm are men, and seven of the ten attorneys at your firm are men. How did your colleagues – at your firm and otherwise – react to your taking on this case?
Cooper: Well, we recently hired another attorney, who is a woman, so now we’re 36% female! That is actually quite high for a firm that is 100% plaintiff trial lawyers. Women are still woefully underrepresented among trial lawyers, especially on the plaintiff’s side.
To answer your question, there was 100% unanimous support from the very beginning. Although every one of my male partners has important women in their lives—mothers, sisters, daughters, wives, like me, they don’t see this as a women’s issue; it’s a fairness issue.
I’m the managing partner in this firm so I’m the one dealing with maternity leave and other issues. My partners have always supported by efforts at gender parity. I make sure that our female attorneys are not penalized when they go on maternity leave – we make sure they receive the same pay and benefits but we also have the other attorneys (male and female) help maintain her caseload so she doesn’t miss out on the additional income she could and would have made, but for the pregnancy. Same thing with sick leave – we pay our employees for unused sick time but I realized that women take more leave than men. Investigating further, I found out it was mainly because they suffered from reproduction-related health problems, like menstrual cramps, excessive bleeding, anemia, headaches, etc., which reduced their leave substantially compared to their male counterparts. Those are real dollars women are losing compared to men. Luckily, it was simply a matter of opening my male partners’ eyes to this – they had never even thought about things like that until they had a female managing partner.
Bottom line – I work in an exceptional law firm and my partners are like my father and brothers.
Crawford: Your Complaint in the case argues that the Florida law improperly classifies tampons and pads and thus subjects them to sales tax, while similar products like adhesive tape, Epson salts, athlete’s foot treatment, Rogaine and petroleum jelly are not subject to tax. As a technical matter, this happens in Florida law through a tax exempt classification for certain medical products as well as “common household remedies recommended and generally sold … for the cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of illness or disease in human beings.” In your Complaint, you say that tampons and pads “are far more necessary to the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of illness or disease than other products the State of Florida considers medically exempt.” I don’t think you are saying that menstruation is an illness or disease. What did you mean?
Cooper: No, of course menstruation, in and of itself, isn’t a disease. It is a natural process, but one for whom no woman has the opportunity to “opt out.” However, sanitary products play an essential role in reducing and preventing the spread of blood borne illnesses. If you think about it, if an athlete gets injured and starts bleeding in a basketball game, s/he must leave the game specifically to avoid the potential spread of disease. In Florida, the absorbent products used for that active bleeding – gauze, tape, band-aids, etc. – would be tax exempt for both male and female athletes. Women use sanitary products for the same reason – to keep from bleeding all over the place – yet they are taxed for similar absorbent products. Women don’t use these products for fear of their own blood – it’s for the protection of everybody else. Simply put, it’s a public health safety issue, the costs of which are solely borne by women. These products are not luxuries – women can’t just stay home until they stop bleeding. Imagine the world if every menstruating woman opted out of paying for this “luxury,” and just stayed home from school, work, church, shopping, and volunteering while they were bleeding. The average start of menarche is age 12 and the onset of menopause is usually around age 51-52. Women have their periods every 28 – 30 days for 5-7 days. If you do the math, the average woman spends between 6.6 and 9.2 years of her life on her period! With a life expectancy of 78 years, the average woman spends 8.5-11.8% of her life bleeding for no other reason than the fact of being born female.
Crawford: Why do you think that the Florida Department of Health, which is responsible for creating the list of “common household remedies” that are exempt from Florida sales tax, did not include feminine hygiene products on that list and exempt them from tax? Continue reading
Is there nothing that escapes commercialization? A U.K. company called Pink Parcel is hawking “Period Subscription Boxes” to deliver to your home each month tampons, pads, tea, chocolate, beauty products (like tweezers! hand cream!). Goodies come in recyclable and biodegradable boxes. The website includes gushing endorsements such as these:
- “That time of the month can be tough, and having a little box of goodies arrive each month to make it a little easier can only be a good thing – it’s the perfect excuse for a little extra pampering time.”
- “Let’s not beat around the bush; your er, time of the month, is never a walk in the park. But this where Pink Parcel steps in. Perfect for those who really get it bad around that time, or just to make Mother Nature’s visit a little more palatable.”
But that’s not all. Pink Parcel has its own PR firm (see here) that aims to raise the company’s profile and “engage Pink Parcel in relevant conversations surrounding the abolition of the [U.K.] ‘tampon tax’ (where VAT is imposed on sanitary items).” And the company’s blog includes (laudable) posts against body-shaming (see here). So maybe we can point to Pink Parcel as an example of a company trying to capitalize on a certain female-positive activism-chic?
image source here
In May, the New York State legislature passed a bill eliminating the sales tax on feminine hygiene products. As expected, that bill was signed into law yesterday by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
In the press release (here) issued by the Governor’s office, Cuomo said, “This is a regressive tax on essential products that women have had to pay for far too long and lifting it is a matter of social and economic justice.” Some local press coverage can be found here.
The estimated budget impact, according to some reports (e.g., here) is $10 million per year. A class action lawsuit filed in March of this year (before the legislative repeal) estimates that the “tampon tax” generated over $14 million for New York State.
Although New York has prospectively changed its law, the lawsuit is going forward, as the plaintiffs have requested restitution for past tax paid.
Last month the New York City Council passed laws requiring the City to provide free menstrual hygiene products in schools, homeless shelters and jails. Here’s an excerpt from the press release:
Feminine hygiene products are essential for the health and well-being of women and girls. Inadequate menstrual hygiene management is associated with both health and psycho-social issues, particularly among low-income women. Access to feminine hygiene products has proven to be limited for certain populations, including public school students, the homeless, and incarcerated women. * * *
“Feminine hygiene products are not a luxury for women, but rather an essential part of women’s health,” said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “Whether it’s in public schools, shelters, or even our city jails, giving women access to these products is a no-brainer, and long overdue. I’d like to thank Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland and all my colleagues for their work and leadership on this crucial legislative package.”
“I am so proud that the Council will pass three pieces of sensible yet groundbreaking legislation which will guarantee access to menstrual hygiene products to tens of thousands of New Yorkers. For students who will no longer miss class because they do not have a pad or tampon to mothers at shelters and women in prison who will have access to these critical yet often overlooked products, this package makes our City a more fair place. I thank Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Women’s Issues Chair Laurie Cumbo, and all my colleagues who again are setting a standard for equality and access for the rest of the country to follow,” said Council Finance Chair Julissa Ferreras-Copeland.
“The provision of free feminine hygiene products in public schools is an important service to students who would otherwise not be able to afford them,” said NYC Education Committee Chairperson Daniel Dromm, co-prime sponsor of Intro 1128-A. “These free tampon and sanitary napkin dispensers will ensure that girls and young women avoid the discomfort and embarrassing situations that can get in the way of learning. I am proud to work alongside Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland to make our schools safer and healthier places for our students.”
The full press release is here.
UPDATE 7/15/16: NYC Mayor Bill DiBlasio signed the legislation into law on July 13, 2016. The mayor’s press release, including statements from a variety of City Council members and community supporters, is here.
From the FLP mailbox:
Call for Papers:
Analysis and Comment on Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt and the Constitutionality of Laws Surrounding Reproductive Health
The Syracuse Law Review seeks manuscripts that address the constitutionality of laws surrounding reproductive health and how the Supreme Court’s decision of Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt has and will continue to affect the landscape. A book of Volume 67 of the Law Review will be dedicated to addressing constitutional themes that emerged from last year’s Supreme Court term, and we would like to include an article on reproductive health in the conversation. The article’s subject was left intentionally broad so as to leave room for authors to choose individual, specific topics within the field. Article submissions should be approximately 10,000 words (flexible) and must be submitted to the Law Review no later than October 1, 2016 (deadline open to negotiation). If you are interested in submitting or if you have any questions, please contact Lead Articles Editors Hillary Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org and Matthew Petrone at email@example.com.
“A Papa Murphy’s take-and-bake pizza is not essential in the same way as feminine hygiene products are to menstruating women”
This week the Appellate Court of Illinois, Fifth District, has served up some very quotable dicta. The court affirmed the dismissal of a putative class action against Papa Murphy’s International, a pizza franchisor, and a local franchisee, located in Edwardsville, Illinois. The plaintiff in Karpowicz v. Papa Murphy’s International had alleged that the imposition of an 8.8% tax on his “take and bake” pizza violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act because applicable taxing law and regulations impose a sales tax of only 1% on “food for human consumption that is to be consumed off the premises where it is sold (other than alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, candy and food that has been prepared for immediate consumption).” Applicable state regulations further provide that if the retailer provides premises for food consumption, then “a rebuttable presumption is created that all sales of food by that retailer are considered to be prepared for immediate consumption and subject to tax at the high rate.”
The defendant moved to dismiss the complaint on several grounds, including failure to state a valid claim under the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act, a procedural inability to recover under Illinois law, and the “voluntary payment doctrine.” That is the notion that a taxpayer cannot recover taxes paid voluntarily, even if those taxes were illegal, unless specifically authorized by the statute.
In Karpowicz, the plaintiff argued that he had paid the tax on his pizza under duress, and therefore the “voluntary payment doctrine” did not preclude him from challenging the law. The plaintiff in Karpowicz relied heavily on the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision in Geary v. Dominick’s Finer Foods, Inc., 129 Ill. 2d 389 (1989), which held that female consumers had paid a sales tax on feminine hygiene products under “duress” and therefore the voluntary payment doctrine did not prevent those plaintiffs from challenging the law.
Here’s the dicta from Karpowicz: “A Papa Murphy’s take-and-bake pizza is not essential in the same way as feminine hygiene products are to menstruating women. The plaintiff did not pay the tax involuntarily; reasonable alternatives exist that fulfill a consumer’s basic need for sustenance.”
In other words, a pizza is not like a tampon, and we can cite the Appellate Court of Illinois, Fifth District for that!!
H/T Arthur R. Rosen
From the mailbox:
Appel à communications – édition spéciale dans la Revue femmes et droit Commémoration des travaux de la professeure Nicole LaViolette
La Revue femmes et droit sollicite des observations rédigées en français sur l’intersection des LGBTQ et des réfugiés. Cette édition spéciale commémore les travaux de la professeure Nicole LaViolette dont le travail a contribué à mieux comprendre les croisements entre l’orientation et l’identité sexuelles et la migration forcée au Canada et à l’échelle internationale. Dans ce numéro spécial, on cherche à faire avancer les travaux de la professeure LaViolette. Les auteurs sont invités à puiser dans une bibliographie annotée que la professeure LaViolette et Mary Kapron ont compilée en vue de générer des idées ou de l’utiliser comme source (http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2457503).
Les articles, d’une longueur maximale de 10 000 mots, doivent être finalisés d’ici le 1er octobre 2016.
Nous sommes ouverts à la collaboration de nouveaux chercheurs et étudiants des cycles supérieurs. Veuillez faire parvenir des résumés de 500 mots maximum à Jamie Liew (firstname.lastname@example.org) et Mary Kapron (email@example.com) au plus tard le 1er août 2016.
Call for papers – Special Issue in Canadian Journal of Women and the Law
Commemorating the work of Professor Nicole LaViolette
The Canadian Journal of Women and the Law is welcoming submissions written in French on the intersection of LGBTQ and refugees. The special edition is commemorating the work of Professor Nicole LaViolette whose work contributed to understanding the intersection of sexual orientation and gender with forced migration both in Canada and internationally. The edition hopes to further the work of Professor LaViolette. Writers are welcome to mine an annotated bibliography that Professor LaViolette and Mary Kapron compiled to generate ideas or use as source material (http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2457503). Papers no more than 10,000 words must be completed by October 1, 2016.
We welcome emerging scholars and graduate students. Abstracts of 500 words should be submitted to Jamie Liew (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Mary Kapron (email@example.com) by no later than August 1, 2016.
Jamie Abrams (Louisville) has posted to SSRN her article The Feminist Case for Acknowledging Women’s Acts of Violence, Yale J. Law & Feminism 101 (2016).
Here is the abstract:
This Article makes a feminist case for acknowledging women’s acts of violence as consistent with—not threatening to—the goals of the domestic violence movement and the feminist movement. It concludes that broadly understanding women’s use of strength, power, coercion, control, and violence, even illegitimate uses, can be framed consistent with feminist goals. Beginning this conversation is a necessary—if uncomfortable—step to give movement to the movement to end gendered violence.
The domestic violence movement historically framed its work on a gender binary of men as potential perpetrators and women as potential victims. This binary was an essential starting point to defining and responding to domestic violence. The movement has since struggled to address women as perpetrators. It has historically deployed a “strategy of containment” to respond to women as perpetrators. This strategy includes bringing male victims of domestic violence within existing services, monitoring exaggerations and misstatements about the extent of women’s violence, and noting the troublesome line between perpetrator/victim for women. This strategy achieved specific and important goals to domestic violence law reforms. These goals included retaining domestic violence’s central and iconic framing as a women’s issue, preserving critical funding sources and infrastructure to serve victims, and thwarting obstructionist political challenges largely waged by men’s rights groups.
While acknowledging that these goals were sound and central to the historic underpinnings of domestic violence law reforms, this Article considers whether the strategy of containment is too myopic and reactive to endure. It begins a discussion of whether moving beyond a strategy of containment might paradoxically advance the efficacy of both domestic violence law reforms and the feminist movement. It suggests that moving beyond the strategy of containment would strengthen the infrastructure and foundation of the domestic violence movement. It would move beyond the limited masculinist frame dominating domestic violence, beyond the pathologized and marginalized frame depicting women abusers, and toward a more inclusive movement. It further examines potential gains to the broader feminist movement, such as preserving the movement’s sustained legacy, diffusing gender stereotypes, righting skewed legal standards, and advancing women’s political and professional status.
The full paper is available here.
The annual meeting of the Law and Society Association kicks off tomorrow in New Orleans. There are some super panels being organized by the Feminist Legal Theory Collaborative Research Network. A full list is here. A few panels that caught my eye include:
Friday, June 3, 12:45 to 2:30 pm
[Panel 1224] Advancing Diversity with Feminist Legal Theory
Room: 2nd Floor, Studio 9
Chair: Jessica Clarke
1. Supporting Faculty
Panelist: Meera Deo, Thomas Jefferson School of Law
Commentator: Wendy Greene
2. The Collapse of the House that Ruth Built: The Impact of the Feeder System on Female Judges and the Federal Judiciary, 1970-2014
Panelist: Alexandra Hess, Law Clerk, Second Circuit Court of Appeals
Commentator: Victor Quintanilla
3. Mapping the European and international legal framework concerning gender equality in employment and working life
Panelist: Aija Valleala, Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki
Commentator: Marley Weiss
4. Gender In/sight: Examining Culture and Constructions of Gender
Panelists: Adam Chang and Stephanie Wildman, Santa Clara Law
Commentator: Luke Boso
Friday, June 3, 4:45 to 6:30 pm
[Panel 1228] Policing, Masculinities, and Gender
Room: 3rd Floor, Salon E
Chair: Leigh Goodmark
1. Policing and the Clash of Masculinities
Panelist: Ann McGinley, William S. Boyd School of Law, UNLV
Commentator: Leigh Goodmark
2. The Feminist Case for Acknowledging Women’s Acts of Violence
Panelist: Jamie Abrams, University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law
Commentator: Jane Stoever
3. The Violent Ends of Violent Delights
Panelist: Leslie Y. Garfield, Professor, Pace Law
Commentator: Cynthia Godsoe
From colleagues at the Southern University Law Center:
SULC hiring for a Director of Library Services (at Assistant/Associate Professor rank)
The Director of the Law Library
Reports to the Chancellor of the Southern University Law Center
Responsible for all aspects of library operations including management, budgeting, hiring, and supervision of library staff
Strategic planning and collection development
Initiating and monitoring innovative library programs and services
Juris Doctor (JD) from an ABA accredited institution
Law library administrative experience
Law practice or law teaching experience is required
A M.L.S. from an ALA accredited institution is preferred.
To apply for this position, a letter of application, curriculum vita and at least (3) three references should be sent to:
Chair, Faculty Appointment, Retention, Promotion and Tenure Committee
Southern University Law Center
P.O. Box 9294
Baton Rouge, LA 70813-9294
Call for Papers
Trusts & Estates Section
2017 AALS Annual Meeting
January 4-7, 2017 – San Francisco, CA
The Section on Trusts and Estates is pleased to announce a Call for Papers …
Sex, Death, and Taxes: The Unruly Nature of the Laws of Trusts and Estates
Trusts & Estates is a far-reaching and broad-based discipline of law that impacts private citizens’ decisions about sex, death, and taxes. This legal discipline is based on speculation about donors and their intentions that, by their very nature, create unintended consequences because the laws exist largely unseen until they come into play. Moreover, ascertaining these preferences prove difficult because individuals are entrenched with idiosyncratic preconceptions about death, family, property rights, personal legacies, paternalism, altruism, investment strategies, taxes, and many other effective interests. In addition, the field sits at the crossroads of other legal disciplines such as family law, property law, elder law, and tax law. For students, T&E makes an appearance in law schools and the bar exam, but is not like a constitutional law class that is unabashedly theoretical in its presentation and in meeting students’ non-expectations of a skills-centric classroom experience. In practice, some of the most thriving areas require expertise in T&E. In ordinary people’s everyday lives, the legal discipline is like an operating system that quietly runs in the background, but in reality organizes and informs the end user’s experience, often without the end user’s full awareness. In the academy, it is caught between the practical and theoretical—a microcosm of the questions at the heart of debates about the value and normative objectives of a legal education. Yet, during a time when T&E is becoming more relevant than ever, the discipline may be under–theorized and marginalized in the academy. Therefore, this panel will interrogate T&E’s unruly nature, entertaining inquiries about the intersectionality of gender, race, sexual orientation, and class; the pervasiveness of succession law in aligned fields; its history of adaptation to changing social norms; and the development and evolution of law reform in this area. The panel will explore new visions for the field and frameworks that disrupt and reimagine the field, while looking forward to practical and theoretical responses to such things as the pending elder care issues, concentration of wealth, taxation, large wealth transfers, social fixity, and the ongoing privatization of family caregiving and support.
Submissions, due dates and method:
Submissions should be of abstracts between 250 and 1000 words, inclusive of any footnotes. Scholarship may be at any stage of the publication process from work-in-progress to completed article, but if already published, scholarship may not be published any earlier than 2015. Each potential speaker may submit only one abstract for consideration.
There are two submission due dates. The Section seeks detailed abstracts in late summer, with final papers due in late fall.
- The due date for detailed abstracts is August 15, 2016.
- The due date for final papers is November 15, 2016.
Abstracts and papers should be submitted electronically to: Professor Lee-ford Tritt at firstname.lastname@example.org
Submission review, selection, conference attendance:
Abstracts and papers will be reviewed by members of the Section’s Executive Committee. Selected presenters will be announced in Fall 2016. The Call for Paper presenters will be responsible for paying their registration fee and hotel and travel expenses.
Inquiries or questions:
Any inquiries about the Call for Papers should be directed to Professor Lee-ford Tritt at email@example.com , (352) 273-0952.
From the students at the Penn State Law Review:
The Penn State Law Review is conducting a direct article review to fill positions in Volume 121: Issue 1 and 2. Any article submitted to this review between now and May 9th will be considered and evaluated by May 13th. If you have submitted an article to the Penn State Law Review previously, you must resubmit your article for consideration in this direct review.
By submitting your article, you agree to accept an offer for publication, should one be extended. Any articles accepted will be published in Volume 121: Issue 1 or Issue 2 of this review. Issue 1 is currently scheduled for publication in September 2016.
If you have an article that you would like to submit, please e-mail an attached copy of the article, along with your cv and cover letter, to firstname.lastname@example.org . Please include “2016 Direct Article Review” in the subject line.
Please feel free to contact Brett Atanasio, Editor-In-Chief, with questions.
Michelle Anderson, feminist law prof and outgoing dean at CUNY Law School, has been named President of Brooklyn College. Here is a portion of CUNY’s press release:
The Board of Trustees of The City University of New York today appointed Michelle J. Anderson as the tenth President of Brooklyn College. She is presently the Dean and Professor of Law at the CUNY School of Law. Chancellor James B. Milliken recommended Dean Anderson’s appointment to the CUNY Board of Trustees after a national search.
In a joint statement, Board of Trustees Chairperson Benno Schmidt and Chancellor Milliken stated: “Dean Anderson brings to Brooklyn College a record of extraordinary academic leadership and success, a strong commitment to students, an exemplary record of public service and a deep belief in Brooklyn College’s mission of academic excellence and opportunity. She will build upon an exemplary foundation of student and faculty achievement nurtured and enhanced by President Karen Gould at an institution so vital to our State, City and nation.”
The nomination was approved unanimously. The appointment is effective August 1, 2016.
Founded in 1930, Brooklyn College serves nearly 18,000 undergraduate and graduate students and was recently rated the number one “Best Bang for the Buck” college in America by Washington Monthly.
The full announcement is here.
Congratulations Michelle Anderson!
Andrea Schneider blogs here at Indisputably about Secret’s new ad. She writes: “I love that wage gap is now part of the commercial lexicon and that asking for it is portrayed so wonderfully.” Read the full post here.
Via Anita Silvert at JUF News:
It started with Dr. Susannah Heschel. The story you may have heard goes something like this: After a lecture given in Miami Beach, a man (usually Orthodox) stood up and angrily denounced feminism, saying that a woman belongs on a bima (pulpit) the way an orange belongs on a Seder plate. To support women’s rightful place in Jewish life, people put an orange on their Passover tables.
It’s a powerful story. And it’s absolutely false. It never happened.
Heshchel herself tells the story of the genesis of this new ritual in the 2003 book, The Women’s Passover Companion (JPL). It all started with a story from Oberlin College in the early 1980’s. Heschel was speaking at the Hillel, and while there, she came across a haggadah written by some Oberlin students to bring a feminist voice into the holiday. In it, a story is told about a young girl who asks a Rebbe what room there is in Judaism for a lesbian. The Rebbe rises in anger and shouts, “There’s as much room for a lesbian in Judaism as there is for a crust of bread on the seder plate.”
Though Heschel was inspired by the idea behind the story, she couldn’t follow it literally. Besides the fact that it would make everything-the dish, the table, the meal, the house-unkosher for Passover, it carried a message that lesbians were a violation of Judaism itself, that these women were infecting the community with something impure.
So, the next year, Heschel put an orange on the family seder plate, “I chose an orange because it suggests the fruitfulness for all Jews when lesbians and gay men are contributing and active members of Jewish life.”
The symbolism grew to include people who feel marginalized from the Jewish community: the widow, the orphan, women’s issues in general, but solidarity with the gay and lesbian Jewish community was at the core. It wasn’t a navel orange; it had to have seeds to symbolize rebirth, renewal. And spitting out the seeds reminds us to spit out the hatred and ostracization of homosexuals in our community, and others who feel prejudice’s sting. The orange is segmented, not fragmented. Our community has discrete segments, but they form a whole. The symbolism of the orange may have expanded, but its origins are clearly from a desire to liberate an entire segment of our community from their painful mitzrayim-narrow place.
Passover is a holiday of liberation, and in thanking God for our own national liberation, we must also take notice of those around us who are not free, but still in chains either seen or felt. There are so many Haggadot on the market today. Each has a different perspective, perhaps, but each tells the same story. There was a people enslaved by others, and they were freed with God’s outstretched arm. But God didn’t act alone. God needed human partners to make the liberation a reality. Who are we reaching out to today? Who needs that outstretched arm and open hand? And what new symbols or rituals can you bring into your Seder to deepen the meaning of this most fundamental gathering?
Read the full column here.
The ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice is hosting this free teleconference, co-sponsored with the ABA Section on Taxation. Feminist Law Prof Francine Lipman (UNLV) is one of the featured speakers.
The Tax Code and Income Inequality: Limitations and Political Opportunities
“Welfare” has become “workfare,” delivered through the Tax Code, e.g., the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit. How well is that really working for low and middle income Americans, much less those in poverty? At the same time, tax deductions, credits—and avoidance/evasion schemes—are increasingly benefitting wealthy individuals and big corporations, which increasingly pay a smaller portion of federal tax revenue—revenue that could fund government programs, bolster economic growth and benefit the bottom 99% by providing jobs and increase skills of lower income American. Panelists will discuss how changes to the Tax Code can address income inequality in the U.S. and political opportunities for reform.
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
12:30 – 2:00 p.m.
REGISTRATION REQUIRED: please RSVP here
- Dean Baker, Economist and Co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research
- Francine Lipman, William S. Boyd Professor of Law, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
- Alexandra Thornton, Sr. Director of Tax Policy, Center for American Progress
- Marilyn Harbur, Sr. Asst. Attorney General, Oregon Department of Justice; Vice Chair, ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice Economic Justice Committee
More info here.
From the FLP mailbox:
Women’s Learning Partnership (WLP) has undertaken a three-year research/advocacy project leading to a global campaign on reform of discriminatory laws against women in the family. The project will focus on the relationship between articles of the law and perpetration of violence against women and girls. The attached document describes the terms of reference for the eleven country case studies the results of which will contribute to developing strong advocacy methods for our global campaign. Applicants must have a graduate degree in a related field, extensive research experience, and good drafting skills in English. Interested candidates should submit a CV, letter of interest, names of three professional references, and a writing sample in English to email@example.com by April 28, 2016. Please note: Candidates should also list the country in which they are based and the country or countries where they can carry out a case study from among the 11 countries listed in the terms of reference. The initial phase of the project will include case studies from the following 11 WLP partner countries: Egypt, Kyrgyzstan, Senegal, Lebanon, Morocco, Jordan, Palestine, Turkey, Iran, and Brazil, as well as an additional case study from India.
The full details are here. This is a paid opportunity.
SAVE THE DATE: Central States Law Schools Scholarship Conference
The Central States Law Schools Association 2016 Scholarship Conference will be held on Friday, September 23 and Saturday, September 24 at the University of North Dakota School of Law in Grand Forks, ND.
CSLSA is an organization of law schools dedicated to providing a forum for conversation and collaboration among law school academics. The CSLSA Annual Conference is an opportunity for legal scholars, especially more junior scholars, to present working papers or finished articles on any law-related topic in a relaxed and supportive setting where junior and senior scholars from various disciplines are available to comment. More mature scholars have an opportunity to test new ideas in a less formal setting than is generally available for their work. Scholars from member and nonmember schools are invited to attend.
Registration will formally open in July. Hotel rooms are already available, and more information about the CSLSA conference can be found on our website at www.cslsa.us.
CUNY Law School has announced two of the four finalists in its dean search. One of the finalists is Feminist Law Prof Lolita Buckner Inniss. The other is the Honorable Fern Fisher. (The two others have not yet been announced.)
Here is Dr. Inniss’ bio:
Dr. Lolita Buckner Inniss is a professor at Cleveland‐Marshall College of Law,Cleveland State University. She teaches several courses including property law, criminal law, comparative racism and the law and real estate transactions. She has served in a number of campus leadership positions, such as secretary of the University‐wide Faculty Senate, an elective position, and chair of the University‐wide Admissions and Standards committee.
She holds a Ph.D. in Law with a specialization in Comparative Equality Jurisprudence, African Diaspora Studies and Feminist Legal Theory from Osgoode Hall, York University. She also holds an LL.M. with Distinction from Osgoode Hall, York University, where one of her principal topics was African American reparations, a J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she was an extern for the Honorable Consuelo B. Marshall of the United States District Court for the Central District of California and an editor of the National Black Law Journal.
Dr. Inniss also holds an A.B. from Princeton University, where she majored in Romance Languages and Literature with certifications (minors) in African American and Latin American Studies. From 2012 to 2014 she held the Elihu Root Peace Fund Visiting Professorship in Women’s Studies, a distinguished visiting chair at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, where she offered interdisciplinary gender, race and law courses to undergraduates.
Before coming to Cleveland‐Marshall, Dr. Inniss served as a clinic director at Seton Hall University Law School in New Jersey, where she led the Immigration Clinic. She also served as a clinic director at Widener University Law School in Delaware, where she founded and led an Immigration Clinic. Before joining the legal academy, Dr. Inniss was a founder and leader of two law practices in New Jersey where she focused on real estate transactions and litigation, immigration law, and criminal law. She was also a pro bono attorney for the National Lawyer’s Guild Immigration Project.
From the FLP mailbox:
The New Corporatocracy and Election 2016
Loyola University Chicago School of Law
and The Loyola University Chicago Business Law Center
Chicago IL * October 21-22, 2016
Call For Papers and Participation
We invite panel proposals, roundtable discussion proposals, and paper presentations that speak to this year’s theme, as well as to general ClassCrits themes. Proposal due: May 16, 2016.
As the U.S. presidential election approaches, our 2016 conference will explore the role of corporate power in a political and economic system challenged by inequality and distrust as well as by new energy for transformative reform.
In January 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Citizens United v. FEC, redesigned the functioning of our constitutional democracy. By giving corporations a fundamental right to bankroll elections, the Court effectively shifted power to a new economic ‘royalty’ that sits atop the most massive capital aggregations in history. Further, other government officials, influenced by elite lobbying and theory, have diminished longstanding rules and systems of corporate accountability (including criminal liability for financial crimes and basic norms of corporate disclosure) on the premise that some corporations and institutional forces are too big or important to fail or control. The result is that, along with other billionaires, these corporate and financial elites now may hold more influence in our political system than ever before.
Kathryn Pogin has drafted a response to the AAUP’s report on Title IX to be submitted on behalf of Faculty Against Rape. The group is seeking additional signatories to its letter, here, excerpted below. You can add your signature here. The deadlines for doing so is tomorrow.
As members of Faculty Against Rape (FAR), a group of more than 300 faculty and civil rights activists from across the U.S., we write to express grave concerns regarding the American Association of University Professor’s (AAUP) draft report on Title IX. We started FAR in the summer of 2014 as an ad-hoc volunteer collective whose mission is to get more faculty involved in preventing sexual assault and sexual harassment and improving campus responses. FAR is also committed to protecting faculty who experience retaliation for doing so. Over the past two years, FAR has provided resources for faculty to learn how to best support survivors, tools for faculty who want to get more involved in reform efforts, and support for faculty who face retaliation. Collectively, our members have supported literally hundreds of survivors at campuses across the country. Many of them have endured significant retaliation from university administrations who want to protect the university brand, even at the cost of the safety and well-being of students. We have seen the crisis of campus sexual violence, and the nature of Title IX enforcement as practiced, often inadequately, across campuses in the United States, first-hand.
Our experiences, as members of educational communities involved in these issues on the ground, have made evident that Title IX enforcement at institutions of higher education is, indeed, a matter of pressing concern. However, if the AAUP seeks to adequately understand, and competently comment on this issue, it must take care to, at the very least, attend to the body of existing expert scholarship— including scholarship by some of its own members— on this topic. As it stands, we are troubled by much of the framing, content, unrepresentative nature of, and failures of accuracy within, the draft report.
The overall impression given by the report is that the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights is ‘overreaching’ in its mandated mission of providing guidance to universities and ‘abusing’ Title IX; this, despite the fact that there is broad underreporting of campus sexual assault by universities. The American Association of University Women (AAUW) analyzed DOE data and found that 91% of colleges did not report any rapes in 2014, leading the AAUW to exclaim that “The data reported by the nation’s colleges simply defy reality and common sense,” given that they “don’t reflect campus climate surveys and academic research.”
While we would ordinarily join with the AAUP in resisting the corporatization of institutions of higher learning, we are deeply concerned that the AAUP’s analysis of this issue as it pertains to Title IX, by pitting student concerns for campus safety against faculty interests, reinforces the symptoms instead of addresses the problem. Students and faculty alike are rightfully alarmed by universities and colleges placing the protection of their reputation before the integrity of their campus communities — but these concerns ought to unite, rather than divide us. The AAUP is right to remind us that administrative overreach into the classroom may be driven by a misguided focus on public relations, but we should also acknowledge that it is this very feature of the contemporary university that victims of campus sexual misconduct have been decrying as they witness justice, safety, and prevention sacrificed time and again for the sake of the bottom line.
Read the rest of the letter here.
Over at The Conversation, Andrea Curcio (Georgia State) writes about What Schools Don’t Tell You About Campus Sexual Assault. Here is an excerpt:
Throughout the summer before my daughter left for college, I repeatedly warned her: never put a glass down at a party; use the buddy system when going to parties; and never go upstairs at a fraternity party.
Instead, what I should have told her is: the place you are most likely to be assaulted is in your dorm; you are most vulnerable the first weeks of the semester; and your attacker is most likely to be a friend or acquaintance.
In the past couple of years, much has been written about the high rate of sexual assaults on college campuses. What no one seems to be talking about is that most assaults occur in the dorms.
The full piece is available here.
Elaine Craig, Dalhousie University School of Law, is publishing Section 276 Misconstrued: The Failure to Properly Interpret and Apply Canada’s Rape Shield Provisions in the Canadian Bar Review. Here is the abstract.
Despite the vintage of Canada’s rape shield provisions (which in their current manifestation have been in force since 1992), some trial judges continue to misinterpret and/or misapply the Criminal Code provisions limiting the use of evidence of a sexual assault complainant’s other sexual activity. These errors seem to flow from a combination of factors including a general misunderstanding on the part of some trial judges as to what section 276 requires and a failure on the part of some trial judges to properly identify, and fully remove, problematic assumptions about sex and gender from their analytical approach to the use of this type of evidence. A lack of clarity as to how section 276 works, and the ongoing reliance on outdated stereotypes about sexual assault to interpret the provisions, are particularly problematic because trial judges continue to face applications to adduce evidence of a complainant’s sexuality activity which are inflammatory, discriminatory, and clearly excluded by section 276 of the Criminal Code. The reality that some defence counsel continue to ignore, or attempt to undermine, the legal rules dictated by section 276 heightens the need for competence, rigor, and accuracy among trial judges tasked with the adjudication of these applications. Following a brief explanation of how Canada’s rape shield regime works, four types of problems with the interpretation and application of section 276 are identified using examples from recent cases.
Download the article from SSRN at the link.
Interesting essay by journalist Michelle Dean in the New Republic, here. An excerpt:
I learned as I suspected that the gap between Rich and Sontag was not so very wide as it looked. In Sontag’s archive at the University of California, Los Angeles, there is a letter from Rich . . . .She cited mutual acquaintances and a love of Marie Curie. To this, Sontag eagerly replied that she, too, would like to meet when Rich was next in New York. Suddenly, in those two letters, the image of Rich as a polemical firebrand falls right through the floor.
I do not know if the two ever met in the end. I do know that eventually Rich came to see herself as engaged in a project analogous to Sontag’s, at least in terms of its intellectual seriousness. In the preface to Arts of the Possible, Rich quoted Sontag’s complaint that the serious had become “quaint” and “ ‘unrealistic,’ to most people.” In fact, Rich, too, had become dissatisfied with feminism as it existed by the end of her life. She disliked the sudden rise of personal essays, “true confessions” as she called them. She felt that this displaced a feminism actively opposed to capitalism or racism or colonialism.
Perhaps this explains why Rich left such strict instructions against a biographer digging into her life. She simply, and admirably, did not want her personal life to overshadow the things she believed in.
A good read.
Over at Role Reboot, there is a sweet essay by writer Allison Barrett Carter, “To the Donor Who Made Me an Aunt.” The essay is written in the form of a letter to the man who provided the sperm necessary for the author’s sister and the sister’s wife to have a baby. Here is an excerpt:
I am learning how this brave new world works, and I still have questions, but this I know: My letter to you will never be sent. We will never have a conversation about why you made the decision you did. I won’t hear you explain why you walked into a clinic to donate your sperm.
I can speculate, of course. The writer in me has spent the past year concocting brilliant narratives about you. Our society assumes the only reason a man would part with his DNA for complete strangers is for money.
But I like to believe differently. Donor, I made a different story for you.
I imagine a piece of you knew that out there, in the big world, two women had grown up desperately trying to please others and to conform. They struggled with their families, against their families, and with their own hearts to be “normal.” They wanted their lives to be what was presented to them, what Hollywood lauded, and certainly what their churches pushed.
The full essay is available here.
I was struck by the author’s line that “Our society assumes the only reason a man would part with his DNA for complete strangers is for money.” I think that is an accurate descriptive statement of cultural assumptions about male gamete providers (as opposed to female gamete providers, around whom there is a narrative of altruism). This essay invites the reader to consider male motivation in the context of a family that clearly loves its most recent addition!
Bumping to the front in anticipation of April 15 deadline. The conference organizers invite paper presentations on a variety of topics related to gender and the law, feminist legal theory and equality issues.
THE U.S. FEMINIST JUDGMENTS PROJECT:
REWRITING THE LAW, WRITING THE FUTURE
Call for Papers and Presentations
Deadline April 15, 2016
We are seeking proposals for papers to be presented during the U. S. Feminist Judgments Project conference October 20-21, 2016 at the Center for Constitutional Law at The University of Akron School of Law in Akron, Ohio. We are also seeking proposals for “snapshot” presentations to be included in the final plenary of the conference. The conference is co-sponsored by The University of Akron School of Law and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas – William S. Boyd School of Law.
This conference will celebrate the 2016 publication of U.S. Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court. That volume brought together more than fifty feminist legal scholars and lawyers to rewrite, using feminist reasoning, significant Supreme Court cases from the 1800s to the present day. (For more information, see the project website here.) Illustrating the value of this method of practical scholarship, the volume demonstrates that different processes and different outcomes would have been possible had decision makers applied feminist theory and methods in critical Supreme Court cases despite the restrictions of stare decisis.
The conference is designed to provide the appropriate setting and the essential participants for a structured conversation that explores and assesses the effects of feminist methods and theories on real-world judicial decision making. We expect the conference will identify common core principles and propose directions for future scholarship.
To this end, we seek proposals for papers that incorporate feminist theory and methods or report on research that furthers feminist thought. The organizers view feminism and feminist theory broadly as covering issues of inequality related to gender and gender norms, but also intersectional dynamics related to race, sexual orientation, immigration status, socioeconomic class, and disability.
Potential topics cover a broad range, including women in the judiciary, women in the legal profession, women and rhetoric, women in politics, empirical studies involving gender or gender norms, feminist theory, reproductive freedom, pregnancy, reproduction, families, sex, sexuality, violence against women, employment, sexual harassment, or affirmative action. We welcome with enthusiasm proposals from faculty in disciplines other than law, and we would especially appreciate proposals from new voices in feminism and feminist theory.
Our hope is to build on the insights of the U.S. Feminist Judgments book and to explore new avenues of inquiry for feminist legal scholarship. We hope to provide a supportive atmosphere to foster scholarship and networking among teachers, scholars, and others who are interested in gender equality and the law.
The conference will include plenary sessions related specifically to the U.S. Feminist Judgments book as well as sessions that will be more general in focus, concurrent sessions drawn from this Call for Papers, and a closing panel also drawn from this Call for Papers. The closing panel will be a brainstorming session to consider future directions for scholarly and practical projects that relate to gender equality, the judiciary, future Feminist Judgments projects, or all of the foregoing.
Concurrent Sessions – Paper Proposals
The concurrent sessions will feature presentations on any topic related to gender equality issues, with preference given to presentations related to the topics of women in the judiciary, women in the legal profession, women and rhetoric, women in politics, empirical studies involving gender or gender norms, feminist theory, reproductive freedom, pregnancy, reproduction, families, sex, sexuality, violence against women, employment, sexual harassment, or affirmative action. We will organize the presentations into panels based on the subject matter of the proposals.
Interested persons should submit a brief written description of the proposed paper (no more than 1000 words) and a resume. Please let us know in the proposal which of the above categories or what other, non-listed category best fits your proposal. Please use the subject line “U.S. Feminist Judgments Project October Conference Paper Proposals” and e-mail these materials to Maria Campos (firstname.lastname@example.org) by April 15, 2016. We will notify selected speakers by June 1, 2016.
Brainstorming Presentations – Snapshot Proposals
The final plenary session of the conference will feature snapshots, or very brief presentations, of ideas for future projects that will advance gender equality in the law. Each selected participant will be limited to five minutes to present her or his idea or project. The presentations will be followed by audience feedback and comments. We welcome proposals for this brainstorming session on any topic related to gender equality.
Interested persons should submit a brief written description of the proposed presentation (no more than 300 words) and a resume. Please use the subject line “U.S. Feminist Judgments Project October Conference Snapshot Proposals” and email these materials to Maria Campos (email@example.com) by April 15, 2016. We will notify selected speakers by June 1, 2016.
Anyone interested in issues of law and gender equality is eligible to submit a proposal, including full-time faculty members, fellows, visitors, and adjuncts who teach in undergraduate or graduate schools; judges; practitioners; government officials; and business, community, and non-profit leaders. The conference is free and open to the public.
There is no publication commitment associated with the conference. Presentation abstracts will be made available on the website of the Center for Constitutional Law at The University of Akron, and by mutual agreement of interested authors and journal editors, remarks may be published in a special symposium issue of ConLawNOW, the online companion journal run by the Center for Constitutional Law.
There is no registration fee for the conference but proposers and panelists must pay all of their own expenses associated with conference attendance. There will be a conference-negotiated rate at a local hotel. The University of Akron is located approximately 15 minutes from the Akron-Canton Airport and approximately 40 miles southeast of Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.
R.M. Douglas (Colgate, History) writes in today’s Chronicle of Higher Education (here) about his forthcoming book, On Being Raped. Professor Douglas is a rape survivor. He writes about how his decision to go public with his story may impact his classroom:
This spring, accompanied by my family, I’m on research leave in France. I’m also publishing a short book that takes my own encounter with rape as the starting-point of a reflection on the meaning and impact of sexual assault when the victim is male. * * *
[C]an my personal exposure to sexual violence be other than a distraction from whatever it is we are seeking to accomplish in the classroom? On the other hand, however difficult it may be to deal with, this knowledge and the fact of my possessing it nonetheless exist. Ought my students and I establish and preserve a polite fiction through the remainder of our respective tenures at university, carefully avoiding any mention of something that, sometimes at least, is likely to be prominent in all our minds?
I don’t yet know the answers to these questions. In the next academic year, though, I’m going to have to find out. While I’m unable to predict the result, it seems doubtful that my existing mode of engagement with the students I teach will go unaffected. Much of what I do in the classroom need not, and will not, change. But for better in some respects and, it seems inevitable, worse in others, the public erosion of the wall of separation between the two kinds of knowledge embodied in me can hardly fail to affect the ways in which I’ll perform my professorial role, as well as the ways in which that performance will be received.
Brave indeed. Thank you, Professor Douglas.
From the FLP mailbox:
The M. Katherine Baird Darmer Equality Scholarship Fund was named in memory of the late M. Katherine Baird Darmer, an activist, law professor, and champion of change for the LGBT community in Orange County and beyond. The Fund, which is sponsored by the Orange County Lavender Bar Association (OCLBA) and the Orange County Equality Coalition (OCEC), will award one or more scholarships each year to academically qualified law students who have demonstrated commitment to advancing equality for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community in Orange County. Determinations regarding the amount and number of awards are at the sole discretion of the scholarship committee jointly appointed by OCLBA and OCEC and the Liberty Hill Foundation.
To be considered for the Darmer Equality Scholarship, an applicant must meet all of the following criteria:
- Be a current or incoming law student.
- Demonstrate commitment to advancing equality for the LGBT community in Orange County.
- Make every effort to be available for a personal interview should one be required.
More information and applications are available here. Deadline is 5:00 p.m. on May 1, 2016.
H/T Francine Lipman
The folks at motherboard.com report here on a London pop-up shop called “Timeless.” It looks like a beauty-product store but is designed to inspire conversations about female fertility and egg freezing. Here’s how the article describes the shop:
The Timeless displays are simple but arresting. One wall is devoted to a graph representing women’s decreasing fertility with age, rendered in numbered cosmetics bottled filled to different levels. The difference between age 20 and 30 is stark.
Here is the display that has inspired strong reactions both pro and con:
Image source: here
One of the most interesting details from the article is that the project is supported by Wellcome Trust and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Anne Phillips, a professor of political science at LSE, appears in a film associated with the project. I suspect we’ll be reading a few academic papers associated with this project fairly soon.
H/T Kara Swanson.