CFP: Beyond Roe: Reproductive Justice in a Changing World

Beyond Roe: Reproductive Justice in a Changing World

Throughout 2013, five law schools in the Delaware Valley will hold events exploring various aspects of reproductive justice in the 40 years post-Roe v. Wade. The final event in this series is a conference sponsored by the Rutgers School of Law – Camden that will take place on Friday, October 11 on the Rutgers campus in Camden, New Jersey.* You can find more information about the conference here.

We are now pleased to invite proposals for papers and panels. The conference theme is Beyond Roe: Reproductive Justice in a Changing World. We welcome submissions on any topic related to the law, policy and reproduction, including avoiding reproduction, public policy related to reproduction, and reproductive regulation post-Roe.

Paper abstracts should be no more than 500 words, accompanied by a descriptive title for the paper proposed. Proposed panels should include a description of the overall topic, as well as a panel title and the titles of all the papers and panelists to be included in the panel.  Panels should include no less than 4 proposed panelists. Panel proposals should also be no more than 500 words. All submissions must include the names, e-mail addresses, and full affiliations of all authors.  In the case of panels and co-authored papers, please identify a corresponding author and provide sufficient detail in your abstract or proposal so that reviewers can fully assess your proposal and determine how it will fit with other proposals being reviewed.

There will be two plenary sessions at the conference and some submitted papers might be selected for plenary presentations. If you wish for us to consider your paper for a plenary session, please indicate that desire on your submission.

Please e-mail submissions (in .doc, .docx, or .pdf format) to by April 1, 2013. If you have any questions about the conference, please direct them to Kimberly Mutcherson at

Though the conference will have a primary focus on law, we also invite submissions from other disciplines including philosophy, the social sciences, critical cultural studies (gender and sexuality studies, disability studies, critical race studies, etc.), public health, and others.

We urge you to interpret the conference theme broadly. While this conference emerges from the Roe anniversary, we seek to initiate and support discussion across a wide range of reproductive justice topics and want to build a conference program that looks forward to the world created in the wake of Roe rather than focusing narrowly on the Roe decision itself or on issues related to abortion. Possible topics for inclusion on the program include:

– Burgeoning markets in reproduction fueled by assisted reproductive technology (“ART”), including cross border fertility care (“reproductive tourism”), the market in gametes, creating of kinship ties without biological or genetic links, and informed consent in the fertility industry;

– Public health approaches to abortion, contraception, assisted reproduction, pregnancy and childbirth;

– Race, class, sexual orientation and access to childbearing and the economics of reproduction;

– The medical market and insurance issues related to abortion/contraception, prenatal care, childbirth and fertility services;

– Reproductive justice in the courts, including the future of the Supreme Court’s evolution on abortion access, treatment of pregnant prisoners, access to contraception, reproductive health services for undocumented immigrants, prenatal testing, etc.;

– Issues of abortion access, including training for a new generation of abortion providers, harassment of providers, and TRAP laws;

– Racialized and woman protective arguments against abortion and their impact on abortion access and reproductive health;

–  Familial privacy and the state, including the relationship between access to reproduction and parenting and the power wielded by child protective services;

– Intimate partner violence and reproduction;

– Affordable Care Act implications for reproductive health services;

– Pregnancy and the workplace; and

– Human rights discourse and access to reproductive health services.

There may be a publishing opportunity for interested conference participants. We will share more information about that possibility with panelists whose work is selected for inclusion in the conference program.

* For those unfamiliar with our campus, we are located a few short minutes from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Amtrak’s 30th street station is a 10-minute cab ride from campus and the Philadelphia International Airport is approximately 20 minutes from campus by cab. Philadelphia offers a wealth of cultural opportunities, including world-class museums, fine dining, theater, and an extensive public park system that can be enjoyed while away from the conference (


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University of Baltimore School of Law’s Sixth Annual Feminist Legal Theory Conference

The sixth annual Feminist Legal Theory Conference will be hosted by the University of Baltimore School of Law on Thursday and Friday, March 7-8, at the school. Featuring a series of workshops and a keynote address, this year’s conference will focus on “Applied Feminism and Families.” Both family law specialists and experts from other areas of the law will present papers, join in discussions, and consider a host of questions related to the important issue of applied feminism’s impact on families in the United States and in other countries. The event is free and open to the public; attendance details are listed below.

Papers presented during the conference are expected to address questions such as:

What have been the accomplishments or shortcomings of feminist legal theory for families?
How might feminist legal theory respond to the challenges facing families?
What sort of support should society and law provide to families?
Does feminist legal theory support state interventions into family life? In what circumstances?
How do law and feminist legal theory conceptualize the roles of family members, including mothers, fathers, caretakers, children, and others?
How does feminist legal theory help us understand changes in the institution of marriage and family structure?
How do the needs of families vary across cultural, economic, religious, and other differences?
Are theories of essentialism and intersectionality necessary or helpful in shaping laws that impact families?
In what areas outside of family law could or should feminist legal theory be applied to assist families?
This year’s conference will attempt to address these and other questions from the perspectives of activists, practitioners and scholars. The conference will provide an opportunity for participants and audience members to exchange ideas about the current state of feminist legal theories. Conference organizers say they hope to deepen the understanding of how feminist legal theory relates to families and to move new insights into practice. In addition, the conference is designed to provide presenters with the opportunity to gain feedback on their papers.

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota will serve as the event’s keynote speaker. The first woman elected to represent the State of Minnesota in the Senate in 2006 and a strong advocate for middle-class families on a range of critical issues including economic growth, job creation and fiscal responsibility and accountability in government, Klobuchar will speak on Friday, March 8 beginning at 2 p.m. in the Venable Baetjer Howard Moot Court Room in the School of Law.

There is no charge to attend the conference, but pre-registration is requested as seating is limited. RSVP at

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Qualifications of a Supermodel

Model Cameron Russell gives a remarkably candid and articulate explanation:

I am not a uniquely accomplished 25-year-old. I’ve modeled for 10 years and I took six years to finish my undergraduate degree part-time, graduating this past June with honors from Columbia University. If I ever had needed to put together a CV it would be quite short. Like many young people I’d highlight my desire to work hard. But hard work is not why I have been successful as a model. I’m not saying I’m lazy. But the most important part of my job is to show up with a 23-inch waist, looking young, feminine and white.

Posted in Sexism in the Media | Comments Off

In Defense of Law Review Affirmative Action

As you may have seen, the new Scholastica submission service allows law reviews to collect demographic information from authors. A flurry of blog posts has recently cropped up in response; as far as I can tell, they range from negative to negative to kinda-maybe-negative to negative to still negative. The most positive post I’ve seen comes from Michelle Meyer at the Faculty Lounge, who discusses whether Scholastica’s norms are like symposium selection norms, and in the process implies that Scholastica’s model might be okay. Michael Mannheimer at Prawfs also makes a sort of lukewarm defense that editors were probably doing this anyway.

But is it really the case that law review affirmative action would be a bad thing? Continue reading

Posted in Feminists in Academia, Race and Racism, The Overrepresentation of Men, The Underrepresentation of Women, Where are the Women? | Comments Off

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg headlines Thomas Jefferson Law School Women and Law Conference

Last Friday, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg spoke at the 13th Annual Women and Law Conference at Thomas Jefferson Law School. A packed house listened as panelists discussed a variety of issues relating to women in the judiciary, and the highlight of the day was an extended and candid Q&A with Justice Ginsburg herself.

Justice Ginsburg spoke at moderate length on the unfortunate politicization of the confirmation process. She noted that, “I hope for the day that we can get back to where the system was when I was nominated in 1993. There was a true bi-partisan spirit prevailing in our Congress. We are heading in the wrong direction. We need to reverse gears and go back to the time when there was bi-partisan support for the president’s nominees. I wonder if the president would even nominate me now with my longtime affiliation with the ACLU. During my confirmation, not one Senator asked me about it.”

Justice Ginsburg was also very clear about the need for women on the bench, emphasizing that women judges bring perspective that the court otherwise lacks, and that a commitment to equality requires more than just tokenism. She spoke of how, during her first year on the bench, lawyers would refer to her as Justice O’Connor, although they look nothing alike. But in recent years, the confirmation of additional women Justices has changed the dynamic of the Court.

Justice Ginsburg also gave background on a fascinating case from her days at the ACLU, ultimately involving a woman’s right not to have an abortion. A military servicewoman became pregnant, and the military ordered her to terminate the pregnancy or leave the base. The ACLU took her case, and was successful in defending the woman’s choice. Afterwards, Justice Ginsburg asked the woman if there was anything else that she wanted, and she replied, “I’d love to do flight training.” And they both just laughed at the impossibility of such an idea. But today, women can receive flight training; and in fact the female TJSL student on the Q&A panel was a military pilot prior to law school. My, how times have changed.

The rest of the conference was also fantastic. Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Courts and the Judiciary, Law Schools, Sisters In Other Nations, Upcoming Conferences | Comments Off

Where are the Women? Florida Law Review Edition

Here’s the TOC for Volume 64, Number 6 of the Florida Law Review:

Martin H. Redish & Matthew B. Arnould, Judicial Review, Constitutional Interpretation, and the Democratic Dilemma: Proposing a “Controlled Activism” Alternative

Erwin Chemerinsky, The Elusive Quest for Value Neutral Judging: A Response to Redish and Arnould

Gary Lawson, No History, No Certainty, No Legitimacy . . . No Problem: Originalism and the Limits of Legal Theory

Sergio J. Campos, Erie as a Choice of Enforcement Defaults

George W. Dent, Jr., Corporate Governance: The Sweedish Solution

Ben Trachtenberg, Confronting Coventurers: Coconspirator Hearsay, Sir Walter Raleigh, and the Sixth Amendment Confrontation Clause

Derek W. Black, Civil Rights, Charter Schools, and Lessons to be Learned

-Bridget Crawford

Posted in Where are the Women? | Comments Off

Gilman on “The Class Differential in Privacy Law” and “The Poverty Defense”

Michele Gilman (Baltimore) has posted two articles to SSRN. 

The Class Differential in Privacy Law, 77 Brooklyn L. Rev. 1389 (2012)

This article analyzes how privacy law fails the poor. Due to advanced technologies, all Americans are facing corporate and governmental surveillance. However, privacy law is focused on middle-class concerns about limiting the disclosure of personal data so that it is not misused. By contrast, along the welfare-to-work continuum, poor people face privacy intrusions at the time that the state or their employers gather data. This data collection tends to be stigmatizing and humiliating, and it thus not only compounds the harmful effects of living in poverty, but also dampens democratic participation by the poor. The poor interact with the government and low-wage employers in ways that are on-going and interpersonal, and as a result, the “right to be left alone” embodied in current privacy law does not protect their interests in dignity and autonomy. This article argues that poor Americans experience privacy differently than persons with greater economic resources and that the law, in its constitutional, statutory and common law dimensions, reinforces this differential. This class differential in privacy law has costs not only for the poor, but for all citizens.

The Poverty Defense, 47 Univ. of Richmond L. Rev. 495 (2013)

Poverty is correlated with crime, but it is widely assumed that it should not be a defense. In the 1970s, Judge David Bazelon challenged this assumption, proposing a rotten social background defense, that is, how growing up under circumstances of severe deprivation can subsequently impact a criminal defendant’s mental state and actions. Relatedly, other theorists have posited that poverty should be a defense to crime based on poverty’s coercive aspects or because society forfeits its right to condemn when it tolerates significant economic inequality. Critics counter that a poverty defense should not be adopted because it is not only inconsistent with American norms of individual responsibility, but also practically impossible. This vigorous debate has been deemed an ivory tower exercise. Yet scholars have entirely overlooked that a poverty defense is utilized in thousands of cases a year. In both civil and criminal child neglect cases, various states excuse conduct that would otherwise be neglect on account of a parent’s poverty. In short, a poverty defense is not hypothetical. Courts’ interpretations of the poverty defense in child neglect cases reflect the various theoretical strands posited by scholars. The case law reveals that a poverty defense is workable, but that its potential to help poor defendants is limited unless courts have a rich, multi-dimensional understanding of the causes and effects of poverty. This article explains how the poverty defense works in practice in child welfare cases, and can guide scholars, and more importantly, lawmakers and courts, in considering whether to extend a poverty defense to other areas of the law.

-Bridget Crawford

Posted in Feminism and Economics, Feminism and Law, Invasion of Privacy, Women and Economics | Comments Off

Bernette Johnson Becomes Louisiana’s First African American Supreme Court Chief Justice

Bernette Johnson has been sworn in as Louisiana’s first African American Supreme Court Chief Justice, succeeding Catherine (Kitty) Kimball. Chief Justice Johnson filed a federal lawsuit last year after Justice Jeffrey Victory claimed that he had more seniority than she did and should assume the position of Chief Justice. The dispute arose because CJ Johnson had served as an appointed justice of the Court as well as an elected Justice, and Justice Victory argued that the years for which she had been appointed should not count toward her years of seniority on the Court. The remaining Justices finally decided that total years of service, not merely elected years, should count toward seniority.

Posted in Academia, Feminism and Law, Feminist Legal History, Firsts, Legal Profession | Comments Off

All the “Ladies” in the House? Women, Put Your Hands Up (Gloves Off)

Author Ann Friedman writes in the New Republic “Hey ‘Ladies': The Unlikely Revival of a Fusty Old Label.”  Here is an excerpt:

With its slippery meaning—associations range from grandma’s lavender-scented powder to the raunchiest of rap lyrics—it encapsulates the fundamental mutability of modern feminism….“Lady” has come to occupy the middle ground.

This is new territory for an old and loaded term. “Lady” once implied a proper woman who is not to be disrespected, crosses her legs at the ankle, and never talks out of turn. She doesn’t work; she lunches. Later, of course, it was adopted as a catcall (and cattle call) in the style of the late-’80s Beastie Boys….

Sarah Nicole Prickett over at responds:

There are girls, of course. There was, in 2012, a whole candystorm of girl-titled sitcoms, girl-themed VICE columns, girl-powered rainbow-pop singles. Do all these things exist ’cause, like, revolution? Or does the market research say, gentlemen of the board, it appears we have more girls than ever before in the history of human civilization? Let’s take a census….

Girls are forever. Women, I know, are for life.

For now I often, and not incorrectly, self-identify as a bitch. How you grow up to be a bitch is: You hit puberty, take one look at girl world, and hitch a ride the fuck out of there on your brother’s friend’s motorcycle. Bitches start early, and they don’t quit. As someone who’s been at one time or another enamoured with every Bad Feminist, from Ayn Rand (I was a baby!) to Camille Paglia to Elizabeth Wurtzel to Kara Walker, I do think ’90s bitches are my tribe….

And there are other ways to be female, and will be more still. In my feminist dreamworld, gender is never abolished, only multiplied and made even more fluid. Even then, all possibilities equal, I would still want to be a woman, always a woman, not ever the liberal, pale kind of lady that is feminism’s new white-gloved wave.

Read Prickett’s full response here.  You can follow her work on Twitter @snpsnpsnp

-Bridget Crawford


Posted in Feminism and Culture | Comments Off

Death of Cardiss Collins, 1931-2012, Illinois Congressional Representative

The New York Times reports (here) today on the death of Cardiss Collins, “who reluctantly ran for a Chicago Congressional seat left vacant when her husband died in a plane crash and went on to become Illinois’s first black congresswoman, serving for nearly 25 years as a voice for racial and gender equality and expanded health care for the poor.”  Here is an excerpt:

Mrs. Collins’s husband, George W. Collins, had served two years when he was among 45 people killed in the crash of United Airlines Flight 553 near Midway Airport in Chicago on Dec. 8, 1972. Local Democrats, led by Mayor Richard J. Daley, quickly endorsed Mrs. Collins to succeed him. Mrs. Collins, then 41 and an auditor for the Illinois Revenue Department who was worried about the couple’s 13-year-old son, Kevin, was wary of running but eventually agreed to do so.

She campaigned little but easily won the primary in April and cruised through the general election in June with 92 percent of the vote. Six years later, and after some early struggles in office — she had never considered a political career before she was thrust into one — she became chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus. For much of the 1980s, she was the only black woman in Congress. * * *

Mrs. Collins, who rose to leading roles on a range of Congressional committees, was also a steady supporter of equity in college athletics, pressing the N.C.A.A. to honor the requirements of Title IX and requiring colleges to disclose more details about how they spent federal money.

She was particularly assertive on affirmative action and minority employment issues, criticizing various agencies and industries for what she called their poor records of hiring minorities. The Smithsonian Institution and the airline industry were among her targets.

She pushed through legislation in 1990 expanding Medicare coverage for mammography screening for older and disabled women and introduced resolutions designating October National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. She wrote laws increasing safety labeling on toys, setting safety standards for bicycle helmets and expanding child care services for federal workers nationwide. She also sponsored several measures to make air travel safer.

May her memory be a blessing.

-Bridget Crawford

image source:

Posted in Deaths, Feminism and Politics, Firsts | Comments Off


Because sometimes, no other description will do.

Posted in Masculinity | 1 Comment

Where are the Women? Yale Law Journal Editorial Board Edition

The Yale Law Journal has announced its new editorial board here.

For the 6th year in a row, the EIC is a man. The six officers are all men.

Out of 22 content committee editors for the print journal (Articles, Essays, Notes, and Comments), only 5 are women.

-Bridget Crawford

Posted in Law Schools, Where are the Women? | Comments Off

Manian on “Abortion Restrictions and Side Effects on Women’s Health”

Maya Manian (USF) has posted to SSRN her article Lessons from Personhood’s Defeat: Abortion Restrictions and Side Effects on Women’s Health, Ohio State L.J. (forthcoming).  Here is the abstract:

State personhood laws pose a puzzle. These laws would establish fertilized eggs as persons and, by doing so, would ban all abortions. Many states have consistently supported laws restricting abortion care. Yet, thus far no personhood laws have passed. Why? This Article offers a possible explanation and draws lessons from that explanation for understanding and resisting abortion restrictions more broadly. I suggest that voters’ recognition of the implications of personhood legislation for health issues other than abortion may have led to personhood’s defeat. In other words, opponents of personhood proposals appear to have successfully reconnected abortion to pregnancy care, contraception, fertility, and women’s health in general. Public concern over the “side effects” of personhood laws seems to have persuaded even those opposed to abortion to reject personhood legislation. If this is so, personhood opponents may have struck on a strategy that could apply more broadly. As this Article explains, various anti-abortion regulations — not just personhood laws — have deleterious “side effects” on women’s health. Focusing the public’s attention on these side effects could not only create stronger support for access to abortion care but could also better promote the full spectrum of women’s healthcare needs.

The full article is available here.

Professor Manian blogs more on the topic here.

-Bridget Crawford


Posted in Feminist Legal Scholarship, Reproductive Rights, Women's Health | Comments Off

Claudine V. Pease-Wingenter, “Halting the Profession’s Female Brain Drain While Increasing the Provision of Legal Services to the Poor: A Proposal to Revamp and Expand Emeritus Attorney Programs”

Claudine V. Pease-Wingenter (Phoenix) has posted to SSRN her article, “Halting the Profession’s Female Brain Drain While Increasing the Provision of Legal Services to the Poor: A Proposal to Revamp and Expand Emeritus Attorney Programs,” 37 Oklahoma City Law Review 433 (2012).  Here is the abstract:

The article begins by describing the current female brain drain in the legal profession. Despite years of gender parity in law school, women currently comprise only about a third of practitioners. A number of factors lead to this situation, but a significant cause is the frequent “perfect storm” of simultaneously establishing oneself in a demanding new profession while also meeting significant caregiving responsibilities at home. Women often take time-off from paid employment for family reasons, but find it difficult to return to the legal profession after the isolation of such a hiatus.

The article advocates reforms to the licensure rules to empower lawyers on such a hiatus to do pro bono work. The provision of such pro bono services could make a huge dent in the devastating “justice gap” that currently plagues our society and undermines our legal system. Moreover, such reforms could also alleviate the trend of women who drift away from the legal profession permanently.

The full article is available here.

-Bridget Crawford

Posted in Feminist Legal Scholarship, Legal Profession | Comments Off

CFP: Feminisms and Rhetorics

From the FLP mailbox, this CFP:

The 2013 Feminisms & Rhetorics Conference is now accepting proposals. Submissions are due February 1. Please note that the word limit for individual proposal submissions is 250, and the word limit for panel proposals is 750. You may submit the proposal to . In the email you send with your submission, please include contact information and whether or not you are a graduate student or professional.

The Program in Writing and Rhetoric and the Hume Writing Center invite proposals for the Ninth Biennial Feminisms and Rhetorics conference, to be held at Stanford University September 25-28, 2013 . Our emphasis this year is on links, the connections between people, between places, between times, between movements. The conference theme—Linked: Rhetorics, Feminisms, and Global Communities—reflects Stanford’s setting in the heart of the Silicon Valley, a real as well as virtual space with links to every corner of the globe. We aim for a conference that will be multivocal, multimodal, multilingual, and interdisciplinary, one in which we will work together to articulate the contours of feminist rhetorics.

Building on the 2011 conference, with its focus on the challenges and opportunities of feminism, the 2013 conference will seek to explore links between and among local and global, academic and nonacademic, past and present, public and private, and online and offline communities. In particular, we invite conversations about cross-cultural and global rhetorics, science and technology, entrepreneurship, outreach, or intersections among these.

With the overarching goal of facilitating and complicating links, we invite proposals (panels or individual submissions) that explore a wide range of topics, including but not limited to:

• Historical investigations of feminism
• Feminist Rhetoricians
• Rhetorics of the body
• Disability and the (medical) body
• Rhetorics of race and feminism
• Queer Studies and feminism
• Sexual and gender identification rhetorics
• Feminist models of mentoring
• Political rhetoric and feminism
• Feminist pedagogy
• WPA work and women
• Feminist critiques of power structures
• Feminist critiques/uses of the rhetoric of science

The following list of questions demonstrate some possible links to consider:

* What links do we make or fail/neglect to make in the work we do (in communities, in our field(s), in the classroom setting, across cultures)?
* How are cross-cultural rhetorics embodied?
* How do feminist rhetorics intersect with/operate in global, social, financial, activist, and communication networks? How can we use these links for productive outreach?
* How does or can writing link multimedia worlds?
* What are the specific spaces (geographical, virtual, etc.) where solidarities (strategic, impermanent, etc.) are formed? How do new audiences, contexts, ideas, movements emerge in these spaces? How are the feminisms of the 21 st century “linked in”?
* What kind of genderings/racings/classings happen in the rhetorical situations of internet-based social networks?
* What kind of genderings/racings/classings happen in the rhetorical situations of classrooms, departments, working groups?
* How does the link between feminism and rhetoric help us interrogate nationalism, fundamentalism, violence, and/or war?
* How does the link between feminism and rhetoric help us interrogate composition, writing program administration, departmental debates?
* How does the link between feminism and rhetoric help us interrogate productive links between disciplines?
* What can feminist theory/ies bring to cross/intercultural communication? How can entrepreneurial or social-entrepreneurial efforts help us redefine or improve cross/intercultural communication and outreach?
* How might the study of intercultural rhetorics enrich and complicate accepted narratives of feminisms, western rhetoric and science?

Deadline for submission: February 1, 2013.  250 word limit for individual proposals and 750 for panel proposals. .  Please submit proposals or send questions and comments to:

-Bridget Crawford

Posted in Call for Papers or Participation | Comments Off

CFP: Controversies in Tax Law: A Matter of Perspective

Call for contributions to Controversies in Tax Law: A Matter of Perspective (Anthony C. Infanti, editor):

The Series

The Centre for American Legal Studies at Birmingham City University School of Law in Birmingham, England, has established a “Controversies in …” series of volumes with Ashgate Publishing. The series currently has five books in the pipeline—on equal protection, innocence, the death penalty, health care, and the environment. The newest addition to this series is a volume on controversies in tax law. The proposal for this volume has been accepted by Ashgate, and the book is currently under contract to be delivered in September 2014.

Description of Volume

Despite beginning with the word “controversy,” the title of this volume should itself be without any controversy whatsoever. After all, taxation has been a perennial source of debate and unrest in the United States—and it remains none the less so today.

Historical examples are easily enumerated and include such pivotal events in American history as the Boston Tea Party, Shays’s Rebellion, the Whiskey Rebellion, and the woman suffrage movement. Though less momentous, today’s debates are no less consequential, implicating such important questions as who should pay tax (think of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s remarks about the “47 percent” who pay no income tax) and how much (think of President Obama’s insistence during the 2012 campaign that the Bush tax cuts for those with more than $250,000 of income should expire).

This volume will approach today’s tax controversies in a unique fashion. The subtitle of the volume—“A Matter of Perspective”—reflects the fact that today’s tax debates often turn on the differing Weltanschauungen of the participants in these debates. For instance, a central tension in the academic tax literature—which is filtering into everyday discussions of tax law—exists between “mainstream” and “critical” tax theorists. This tension results from a clash of perspectives: Is taxation primarily a matter of social science or a matter of social justice? In other words, should tax policy debates be grounded in economics or in critical race, feminist, queer, and other outsider perspectives?

Too often the two sides of these academic debates simply talk “at” or “past” each other rather than engage in a dialogue with each other. To capture and interrogate—and perhaps even to begin to bridge—what often seems like a chasm between these two sides of academic (and, increasingly, everyday) tax debates, this volume will comprise a number of pairs of essays. Each pair of essays will approach an area of controversy in the tax laws from two different perspectives. One essay will approach the topic from a “mainstream” perspective while the other will approach the same topic from a “critical” perspective. The authors of each of the essays in a given pair will be afforded the opportunity to read and incorporate reactions to each other’s essays in the writing of their own. In the writing and rewriting of their essays, authors will be asked to pay specific attention to the influence of perspective both on the issue that they are addressing and on the writing of their own contributions to the debate.


Those interested in contributing an essay to this volume should send a proposed title and abstract of no more than 500 words (per individual contribution) to Preference will be given to proposals by pairs of contributors on a predetermined topic (one writing from a critical perspective and the other from a “mainstream” perspective); however, all proposals will be considered and the pairing up of individual proposals will be done wherever possible. The target length for final contributions is 7,500 to 10,000 words. The volume will contain a maximum of eight chapters (and, therefore, eight pairs of essays).

The deadline for proposals is March 15, 2013.

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Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands To Abdicate

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, who has reigned since 1980, when her mother, Queen Juliana stepped down from the throne, is expected to announced her abdication in favor of her oldest son, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, today. According to the BBC, the Queen will set April 30 of this year as the date for the transition of power. Queen Beatrix is the third female to head the nation, and the third monarch in her family to step down; her grandmother, Queen Wilhelmina, who became queen in 1890, abdicated in 1948  to be succeeded by Beatrix’s mother Juliana.

Wilhelmina was the first female sovereign of the Netherlands, becoming queen after the country changed its succession laws in the wake of the deaths of her half-brothers in order that she might succeed her father, William III. Thus, for the past 123 years, a woman has been head of the Dutch royal house.

The Netherlands now recognizes cognatic succession, giving equal rights to males and females. The eldest child of the monarch, whether male or female, inherits the throne. Willem-Alexander and his wife, Maxima, have three daughters, making it likely that after Willem’s reign another woman will take the throne.

Posted in Feminist Legal History | Comments Off

Join us at Pace Law for “Comparative Sex Regimes and Corporate Governance”

Please join us for this symposium at Pace Law School – a series of conversations about the wave of corporate board quotas.  Our discussions will take place at the intersection of feminist theory, corporate governance and democratic legitimacy, informed by social science and critical theory.

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Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roe

[A version of this essay was published in the Cleveland Plain Dealer on January 20, 2013]

January 22, 2013 marks the fortieth anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Since the decision was announced Roe has become synonymous with deeply polarized political conflict. Justice Byron White, in his dissent in Roe, may have foreseen this. It is for this reason perhaps that White opined that the issue of abortion should be left with the people of each state and the political processes they devised to govern their affairs. There is nothing particularly untoward about such an assertion: localized communal concerns have long served as the foundation of criminal prohibitions and this has often inhered to the benefit of the many.

However, there is a danger when either provincial concerns or resistance to social change undergirds legal norms. This is the case with abortion. Abortion became, and continues to be, a battleground in the cultural wars over matters such as sex and sexuality, over continually shifting and increasingly accessible medical innovations that alter when and if a pregnancy begins or ends, and over an atmosphere of pervasive social and cultural change that threatens to permanently redefine established hierarchies. In short, Roe v. Wade, along with other aspects of  reproductive rights discourse, forms a part of a broader contemporary cultural battle that could be summarized as the fight over sex, drugs and rock and roll.

Sex, drugs and rock and roll is a motto that elicits images of free sex, widespread illicit drug use and a new, outsider-created music that upended not only conventional ideals of music and musicianship but also of society. Sex, drugs and rock and roll has, however, been rehabilitated as a general notion. We have come to understand that the phrase conjures not only dystopic images of single-minded excess and anarchy but may also offer the utopian vision of  a broader world of responsibly managed autonomy. The scourge of sex, drugs and rock and roll lay not only (or at all) in the actions themselves but also in the reactionary delimiting responses that fear of the actions engenders.

In discussing the history of abortion the Roe Court noted that abortion laws were a relatively recent development in the United States. Both church and state had either been silent on or offered little sanction for abortion over much of Anglo-American religious and legal history. The Court cited what has been called the first United States law to explicitly bar abortion, an 1821 Connecticut statute. This is a particularly useful example of how efforts to contain the cultural confluence summarized in the expression sex, drugs and rock and roll became the source of abortion law. According to some, the Connecticut statute was adopted in almost direct response to an alleged sexual scandal that took place in Connecticut in 1818 involving a minister named Ammi Rogers who was accused of impregnating a young woman to whom he was not married and then giving her an abortion-inducing substance.

Rogers was a charismatic figure who had a substantial following and who was said to have been especially popular among women. Though ordained in New York, he was barred from the ministry in Connecticut. Rogers was accused of impregnating Asenath Smith, a young single woman. Rogers, in response to the claims against him, alleged that Smith had given false testimony as part of a political and religious plot to discredit him. Roger’s claim merited at least some attention given that Smith and some other witnesses were said to have later recanted much of their testimony. Rogers was by all accounts a thorn in the side of the powerful Episcopalian establishment. Though he had been officially barred from the ministry in Connecticut, he persisted in preaching and representing himself as a clergyman, and his popularity showed no signs of abating even in the face of his official religious unwelcome. Rogers was a rock and roll minister of his times.

Despite his protests of innocence, Rogers was convicted of sexually assaulting Smith and was jailed for two years. Though the most lurid aspects of the testimony against Rogers alleged that he had forced Smith to consume a poisonous substance to induce miscarriage, there was no clear proof that Smith had been pregnant or that she had miscarried.  Moreover, even if Rogers had given Smith some substance that caused miscarriage, were no laws at the time that explicitly forbade such conduct. Acting from outrage over Rogers’ relatively mild censure and the difficulties of prosecuting him, the Connecticut legislature enacted the now oft-cited 1821 law on abortion. The statute criminalized the actions of those who provided “deadly poison” or “noxious substances” to cause a pregnant woman’s post-quickening miscarriage and hence targeted the precise means alleged in Rogers’ case.

In the decades subsequent to Rogers’ case, legal barriers to abortion grew. These laws were often framed as public health or moral imperatives. In many cases, however, the laws seemed to be responses to the way that growing numbers of people could exercise sexual autonomy via access to and knowledge of abortion services, thereby controlling their own lives and potentially imposing changes in the fabric of larger culture. In short, it was fear of sex, drugs and rock and roll that often fueled legal limits on abortion.

-Lolita Buckner Inniss

Posted in Reproductive Rights | Comments Off

CFP Grounding Cosmopolitanism: Theory and Practice Through the Prism of Women’s Rights

Grounding Cosmopolitanism: Theory and practice through the prism of women’s rights – Extended call for papers

The project will explore the outstanding question – both theoretical and practical – of how to live together in diversity through the prism of women’s activism in polarized societies. In so doing, we will engage cosmopolitanism which has become a major framework for meeting the challenge of managing difference. At the heart of the cosmopolitan framework is a dilemma to which women’s issues speak in multi- faceted ways. On one hand, it is argued that we can live together by recognizing our common humanity; on the other,particularities, thick solidarities, and conflict mark everyday politics, calling into question our capacity for engaging the ‘Other.’

Recognizing this, we pose a crucial and underexplored question with regard to the cross-cutting cleavages and aspirations that mark women’s movements: How is mutual recognition negotiated? By seeking to understand the modalities of mutual recognition in practice, our agenda builds on burgeoning research at the nexus of theory and praxis. In so doing, we aim to  address one of the most serious criticisms faced by cosmopolitanism – that it does not have much purchase in reality. Specifically, we are interested in the way cosmopolitan aspirations and grounded commitments unite and clash with respect to women’s rights which are often cited as a core component of an emerging cosmopolitan canon. Yet, the way(s) they are understood, enacted, and indeed the forms of resistance they generate are deeply informed by particularistic positions. Women’s rights therefore represent a promising foil for exploring the tensions involved in the cosmopolitan framework, at once presenting a universal challenge and conjuring up thick significations.

To this end, we are convening an international conference to 1) identify cutting-edge work at the interstices of theory and empirics; 2) learn from empirical studies about how women’s rights are practiced, contested, and negotiated; 3) generate insights for theory building and reflect on implications for extant theoretical frameworks; and 4) facilitate dialogue between leading theorists, scholars conducting fieldwork, and activists. Inthis way, we aim to establish a sustained network and platform to explore the relationship between women’s rights and cosmopolitanism in our shrinking, fragmenting worl

Select conference proceedings may be published in a special edition of Women’s Studies International Forum following a second event in the United States.

The events are being realized in collaboration with the Istanbul Policy Center, the Center for the Study of the Middle East, and the University of Tennessee College of Law. The conferencewill take place in Istanbul, Turkey on 18-19 March, 2013 at Bahcesehir University. 

The themes that will be explored in the conference include but are not strictly limited to:

        What are the experiences of women’s movements in polarized societies (e.g. Turkey, Spain, northern Ireland, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Bosnia- Herzegovina…) In such contexts, what are the sources of cleavages? In what instances do they become more pronounced? How does it impact women’s mobilization?

        What do we learn from the dramatic mobilizations in the Arab world and the CIS in recent years in terms of women’s rights and roles in the process of democratization? How much do women’s rights figure in public debates and election campaigns? How are women’s issues constructed? Are there any explicit or implicit references to cosmopolitan ideas and the universality of women’s rights?

        How do women’s groups position themselves vis-à-vis ethnic, cultural, religious and national ties and commitments?

        To what extent do women’s rights groups perceive European values about gender issues as universal? Are they contested? Are they empowering?

        What strategies do they use to engage the global/European women’s movement? How do they establish and use transnational links?

        What resistance do women encounter? What kinds of patriarchal strategies exist? How is patriarchy manifested differently in different contexts? What are the implications for understanding tensions between particularistic attachments and cosmopolitan commitments?

        How is mutual recognition possible? How is it negotiated in practice?


18 January: Abstract Deadline (extended for those who will present a scholarly paper) 

4 February: Abstract Deadline (for civil society activists who will make a presentation; if you do not wish to present, please submit a brief personal statement) 

25 January: Notification of paper authors 

14 February: Notification of presenters and other participants

18-19 March: Conference

Hande Paker (Assistant Professor of Sociology)

Nora Fisher Onar (Assistant Professor of International Relations)

Department of Political Science and International Relations, Bahcesehir University

Please send abstracts to:

-Valorie Vojdik

Posted in Call for Papers or Participation | Comments Off

Gerda Lerner, Pioneering Feminist and Historian, Dies at 92

NYT obituary here.
From the National Women’s History Museum:

Gerda Lerner’s accomplishments and contributions to the field of women’s history have been fundamental to its development. Her many works include The Grimke Sisters from South Carolina: Pioneers for Women’s Rights and Abolition (1998), The Woman in American History (1971 textbook), The Majority Finds Its Past: Placing Women in History (1979), Why History Matters (1997), and numerous other significant essays and texts that have helped direct the study of American, women’s and global history.

Lerner has offered scholars a guide to and definition of the field of women’s history. In her essay “Placing Women in History,” Lerner explains the evolution of the investigation of women’s pasts and how it has progressed from a focus on the historical narrative to one that concentrates on theory and interpretation. The “Compensatory Stage” in which notable women are identified acknowledges those ignored by scholars, but fails to reveal the role of women within the greater historical narrative. “Contribution History,” which acknowledges women’s roles in social development moves closer to a more complete historical analysis. In the third stage, scholars revisit the general history of a particular period or movement and examine the differing experiences of men and women. The fourth phase, she explains, is an examination of the process of interpretation that occurs in the third phase. Historians seek an understanding of how and why gender dictates meaning and experience for individuals and groups.

Gerda Lerner’s groundbreaking efforts and theories in the field of American history have helped to advance the study of history in the second half of the 20th century. By demanding that attention be paid to the study of women’s roles, contributions, and experiences in society, she has contributed to the successes of the feminist movement, the struggle for gender and racial equality in the United States, and the diversification and development of historical research.

Posted in Feminist Legal History, Feminists in Academia, Firsts | Comments Off

Think Pink

The New York Times notes that the New Hampshire delegation has gone all female. Girls rule in Congress, in the Governor’s Mansion, as Speaker of the State House, and as Chief Justice. Truly, a woman’s place is in the House, and the Senate, and….

Posted in Feminism and Politics | Comments Off

Reddit, Rape and Rapists

Jezebel has an article entitled: Rapists Explain Themselves on Reddit, and We Should Listen. You may find it interesting; it is also both alarming and sad.

Posted in Acts of Violence, Coerced Sex, Sexual Harassment | Comments Off

How Advertisers Failed Women in 2012

Posted in Sexism in the Media | Comments Off

Irresistible Impulse: Supreme Court of Iowa Finds Employer Can Fire Employee He Deems an “Irresistible Attraction”

The question is not before us of whether it would be sex discrimination if Tenge had been terminated because Lori perceived her as a threat to her marriage but there was no evidence that she had engaged in any sexually suggestive conduct. Tenge v. Phillips Modern Ag. Co., 446 F.3d 903 (8th Cir. 2006).

So the question we must answer is the one left open in Tenge— whether an employee who has not engaged in flirtatious conduct may be lawfully terminated simply because the boss views the employee as an irresistible attraction. Nelson v. James H. Knight DDS, P.C. (Iowa 2012).

In Nelson, the Supreme Court of Iowa answered this question in the affirmative.

Continue reading

Posted in Courts and the Judiciary, Employment Discrimination, Feminism and the Workplace | Comments Off

Dating the State: The Moral Hazards of Winning Gay Rights

What new politics and ethical imperatives emerge when the rights of lesbian and gay people begin to gain traction, and when the state becomes a partner in defending those newly-won rights?  In Dating the State: The Moral Hazards of Winning Gay Rights, just published by the Columbia Human Rights Law Review, I offer a critical analysis of the complexities of having the state recognize and then take up gay rights as a cause of its own. I examine three principal contexts – the role of gay rights in the state of Israel’s re-branding campaign, the response to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s 2007 speech at Columbia University in which he claimed that there were no homosexuals in Iran, and the role of gay rights in Romania’s effort to join the European Community – as examples of the moral hazards that a minority faces when the state takes up their interests and uses their rights for purposes that well-exceed the obvious interests of the new rights-bearing community. I conclude that critical awareness of the state’s role as fundamental partner in the recognition and protection of a form of sexual rights should push us to regard these “victories” as necessarily ethically compromised.

The essay turns to several diverse sites of global politics to illuminate the centrality and manipulation of sexuality and sexual rights in struggles for and against the civilizing mission that lies at the heart of key aspects of globalization. I began this essay with the discussion of Israel not to single it out, but to illustrate a larger, more widespread phenomenon. It is worth tracing why, how, and to what effect a state’s posture with respect to the rights of “its” homosexuals has become an effective foreign policy tool, often when negotiating things that have little or nothing to do with homosexuality.

I aim in this discussion to intervene in an ongoing conversation among scholars of international law and politics that has cleaved into two rather unfriendly camps. On the one side are human rights groups and activists who seek to secure human rights protections for subordinated, oppressed, tortured, and murdered sexual minorities around the globe. They have worked hard to bring lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people within the protective infrastructure of the well-organized human rights communities. On the other side is a group, perhaps most provocatively represented by Joseph Massad in Re-Orienting Desire: The Gay International and the Arab World, that derides the work of LGBT human rights actors and organizations for a kind of missionary zeal to universalize Western, sexualized identities that have little or no fit with the ways in which sexuality—or, for that matter, identity—takes form in settings outside the West. “Following in the footsteps of the white Western women’s movement, which . . . sought to universalize its issues through imposing its own colonial feminism on . . . women’s movements in the non-Western world—a situation that led to major schisms from the outset—the gay movement has adopted a similar missionary role,” wrote Massad in Public Culture in 2002.  Not surprisingly, Massad received some pushback from the persons and entities he identified as imperialist missionaries who have sought to redeem their good names and good work.  In the middle of these two polarized perspectives lie a few activists and scholars who have charted a middle course, acknowledging the everpresent risk of imperial effects, if not aims, when undertaking rights work in an international milieu, while at the same time recognizing the important and positive work that rights-based advocacy can bring about.  For this last group, as for Gayatri Spivak, rights are something we “cannot not want,” yet we proceed with them cognizant of the complex effects their use entails.

The present essay carries a brief for neither side of this debate (though I will confess sentiments that strive toward the middle course). Rather, it seeks to introduce an analysis none of the disputants have acknowledged: To focus this discussion on the relationship between LGBT human rights non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the metropole and the potentially colonial subjects they seek to aid misses a third and vastly important actor in this theater—the state. In hugely interesting ways, states have come to see that their political power, their legitimacy, indeed their standing as global citizens, are bound up with how they recognize and then treat “their” gay citizens. A careful analysis of the role of human rights mechanisms and institutions in the expansion of human sexual freedom requires that we recognize and account for the manner in seek to aid, often find their work and their interests taken up and deployed by state actors for purposes that well exceed the articulated aims of something called “human rights.” The Israeli example I opened with is but one of the ways in which sexuality bears a curious relationship to global citizenship, politics, and governance.

Illuminating this complex dynamic reveals some patterns: Modern states are expected to recognize a sexual minority within the national body and grant that minority rights-based protections. Premodern states do not. Once recognized as modern, the state’s treatment of homosexuals offers cover for other sorts of human rights shortcomings. So long as a state treats its homosexuals well, the international community will look the other way when it comes to a range of other human rights abuses.

Katherine Franke, Columbia Law School

Posted in Academia | Comments Off

Most Women Don’t Want Power and Status, She Says

Kay S. Hymowitz of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research writes in the City Journal about “The Plight of the Alpha Female.”  Here’s her explanation for the lack of gender parity in the highest ranks of business, government, academia:

[W]omen are less inclined than men to think that power and status are worth the sacrifice of a close relationship with their children. Academics and policymakers in what’s called the “work/family” field believe that things don’t have to be this way. But nothing in the array of work/family policy prescriptions—family leave, child care, antidiscrimination lawsuits, flextime, and getting men to cut their work hours—will lead women to infiltrate the occupational 1 percent. They simply don’t want to.

Read the full piece here.


-Bridget Crawford

Posted in Employment Discrimination, Feminism and Culture, The Underrepresentation of Women | Comments Off

One Woman’s Message to a Harrasser

Over at Role Reboot, writer Emily Heist Moss writes this “Letter to the Guy Who Harrassed Me Outside the Bar“:

So, to you, the man on the sidewalk, I’m quite sure you will never read this essay. You will never watch Ever Mainard’s comedy, or download Jailbreak the Patriarchy, or spend a minute imagining how those women that you harassed on Friday night actually felt. You probably don’t even remember Friday night, and if you do, your memory is the sound of your friends laughing.

But that is not all that happened. You were a harasser, the guy they make subway posters about, the guy who contributes to rape culture. Ask your female friends, if you have any, if they’ve ever walked home late at night with a key pushed through their knuckles, just in case, if they’ve ever crossed the street to avoid a stranger, just in case, if they’ve ever taken the long way home because of the weird guy on the corner, just in case. Ask them if they’ve ever made up a boyfriend to get a guy to leave them alone, if they’ve ever gotten off a train car and moved to the next because you just never know, if they’ve ever shelled out for a cab because men like you were at the bus stop. Do you really want to be that guy?

Read the full post here.

-Bridget Crawford

Posted in Sexual Harassment | Comments Off

Announcing Third Edition of “Introduction to Feminist Legal Theory”

Martha Chamallas has updated her invaluable text Introduction to Feminist Legal Theory.  Here is the publisher’s description of the new edition:

Widely respected as a leading text in the field, Introduction to Feminist Legal Theory (3d ed. 2012) spans the range of legal issues relating to women and gender, including extensive new treatment of critical race theory and LGBT scholarship. Balancing contemporary topics with historical context, author Martha Chamallas presents an accessible and incisive survey of topics such as sex-based discrimination and sexual stereotyping, sexual harassment, rape, domestic violence, abortion, Title IX, and more. The book thoroughly reviews the evolving paradigms of contemporary feminism from the 1970s through the present and examines backlash forces and major critiques of feminist legal theory.

Updated throughout, the Third Edition features a theory-based structure to include recent entries to the field, such as intersectional feminism, sex-positive feminism and masculinities theory. New applied areas are covered as well, with sections on reproductive justice, marriage equality, transgender legal issues and sex trafficking. While the book remains U.S.-focused, important new material on global and comparative feminism has been added.

Here’s an endorsement from Deborah Brake (Pittsburgh):

“No one better illuminates the richness and continuing relevance of feminist legal theory than Martha Chamallas. At a time when simplistic accounts of gender dominate conventional wisdom (think “the end of men” and the “op-out revolution” that wasn’t), Chamallas’ insight into the complex relationships of women, men, and gender, and the role of law in constructing and regulating them, is more pertinent than ever. The new edition of Introduction to Feminist Legal Theory is perfect for classroom use, providing solid grounding in the basics in a way that makes the concepts accessible and engaging to students. At the same time, it is foundational in the field, a must-read for legal scholars, whether they are visitors to the field of legal feminism or dwell in its domain.”

Time to update the bookshelf!

-Bridget Crawford

Posted in Feminist Legal Scholarship, Recommended Books | Comments Off

Pages In Your Diary: Supreme Court of West Virginia Badly Errs in Deeming Diary Entries Admissible Despite Rape Shield Rule

A defendant is charged with second-degree sexual assault and related crimes after another individual and he allegedly commit sexual crimes against a 13 year-old victim. After the alleged crimes, the alleged victim starts writing in a notebook and writes in that notebook that her only sexual encounters were with “Chris,” who was not either of the individuals involved with the alleged sexual assault. At the defendant’s trial, should he be allowed to admit the notebook? According to the recent opinion of the Supreme Court of West Virginia in State v. Jonathan B., 2012 WL 5898025 (W.Va. 2012), the answer is “yes.” I strongly disagree.

Continue reading

Posted in Acts of Violence, Coerced Sex, Courts and the Judiciary, Invasion of Privacy | Comments Off

CFP: Gendered Rites/Gendered Rights: Sex Segregation, Religious Practice, and Public Live

From colleagues at Brandeis, this CFP:

Sex Segregation, Religious Practice, and Public Life

Call for Papers

The Hadassah-Brandeis Institute Project on Gender, Culture, Religion, and the Law seeks paper proposals for an international conference entitled Gendered Rites/Gendered Rights: Sex Segregation, Religious Practice, and Public Life. The Conference will be held at Brandeis University on April 14-15, 2013. Anat Hoffman, chairperson of Women of the Wall and Executive Director of the Israel Religious Action Center will open the conference, delivering the 5th Annual Markowicz Memorial Lecture on Gender and Human Rights.

Many religious traditions prescribe sexually differentiated roles in religious rites and in public life. Doctrines that deem women the repository of family or communal honor may be interpreted to require that women’s behavior be carefully monitored and controlled. Conceptions of women as vulnerable to temptation or as the embodiment of temptation for men may justify demands for the segregation of women during prayer and study. In both theocratic and secular states, attempts are being made to permit segregationist practices to migrate from the religious realm to the public sphere.

The challenge posed by the intersection of religious traditions that mandate these forms of sex segregation with civic norms of gender equality can be seen around the world and across religious traditions. Recent developments in Israel pose a particularly challenging example as women are subjected to demands for segregation on public buses, trains, supermarkets, doctor’s waiting rooms and merely walking in the street. This conference seeks to explore the historical and theoretical underpinnings of these developments and to identify effective and appropriate responses.

Submissions dealing with these issues in a range of religious traditions and national contexts are invited. The closing date for submission of proposals is December 31, 2012. Please include an abstract of 200 words accompanied by a brief biography. The Project on Gender, Culture, Religion, and the Law has limited funds to support travel and accommodation expenses but participants will be asked to explore funding from their own faculties. Please submit proposals and queries to Lisa Fishbayn Joffe, Director of the Project on Gender, Culture, Religion and Law at

-Bridget Crawford

Posted in Feminism and Religion | Comments Off

“I Am the Woman in Your Department Who Does All the Committee Work.”

… I know you won’t be able to attend the talk by the visiting scholar/groper/stalker you invited to campus, so I’ll happily shell out $60 for a sitter while I try to keep him from getting so drunk he makes slurs during the broadcast of his lecture on college radio.

I am grateful for your presence at our curriculum meeting. It was kind of you to make fifteen minutes in your busy schedule. I think we were all struck by your objections to the proposal we’ve spent two years crafting, and how you are convinced that the current program, designed by you and some venerable dead people in 1971, should stay in place. …

More here!

Posted in Academia, Feminists in Academia, The Overrepresentation of Women | Comments Off

Lesbian Herstory Archives Internships

From the FLP mailbox:

The Lesbian Herstory Archives (located in Park Slope, Brooklyn, NYC) is looking for graduate and undergraduate students who are interested in library and/or archives with a
demonstrated interest in Lesbian Studies, History and Activism.

We have a number of exciting projects going on throughout the year including the digitization of our newsprint collection, ongoing digitization of our audio collection, processing the video oral histories of the Daughter’s of Bilitis and The L.O.V.E. Collective, programing and planning for Black History and Women’s History months as well as providing reference services and research assistance to researchers and visitors.

- The opportunity for practical application of archives and library
– Course credit and letters of recommendation upon request.
– The opportunity for professional workshops and classes
–  Supervision and training by professional librarians and experienced
archives staff


- Available for a minimum of 10 hours per week.
– Experience working in a Library/Archive or completion of core M.L.S.
– Familiarity with cataloging and archival processing
– Skilled in the use of MS Office and/or Google Docs and regular office


*Periodicals – 2 Spaces*

Intern will process incoming newspapers, newsletters, journals and
magazines, update cataloging records and prepare collections for
digitization where necessary.

*Special Collections & Reference – 2 Spaces*

Interns will process collections and create electronic finding aids, staff
the reference desk and provide researcher assistance.

*Photographic Digital Imaging – 2 Spaces*

Interns will assist with the processing, digitization and cataloging of
photographs and graphics.

Special Preference: Proficiency with *Content DM* and/or *Photoshop*

*Video Working Group – 2 Spaces*

Interns will process and catalog film /videos including relabeling and
shifting collections.

*Audio Digitization – 2 Spaces*

Interns will assist with the cataloging, digitization, indexing and
re-housing of audio tapes.

*OPAC Working Group – 2 Spaces*

Interns will perform database cleanup in a variety of collections and
contribute to the design, testing and launch of the LHA’s new OPAC.

*Programming Non-Profit Management and Development – 2 Spaces*

Interns will have the opportunity to research and write grants, create
fundraising campaigns, write press releases, plan events and get first-hand
experience  in non=profit management in an LGBT organization.


*Applications accepted on a rolling basis.  Please read the instructions
below very carefully.*

Candidates must submit a *Cover Letter* (indicating skills, experience,
relevant interests/activities and availability) and *Resume* to Please include the word “Internship” and the area
in which you wish to work in the subject line.   All documents *must* be
attached as a* PDF.*

*NOTE:* LHA cannot provide housing for interns. LHA will provide
confirmation of internship acceptance for candidates who may need this
documentation to accompany a grant or fellowship application.
*LHEF, Inc, 484 14th Street, Brooklyn, 11215. Please, no phone calls*.

Posted in Feminist Legal History | Comments Off

Girls’ Soccer in the Shadow of Amelia Earhart

Floyd Bennett Field, located in Brooklyn, New York, is part of the Gateway National Recreation Area.  Floyd Bennett Field was established in 1931 as the first airport within New York City limits.  Lots of historic flights began there, including a few trips by Amelia Earhart.

One of the former airplane hangars at Floyd Bennett Field has been converted into a recreational facility, complete with two indoor turf soccer fields.  I was super-interested in the history of the place, but my middle-school aged daughter was too interested in the soccer tournament in which she was playing to tolerate much of a history lesson.  I still liked thinking about Amelia Earhart as the girls were playing soccer….

To read more about Floyd Bennett Field, see here.

-Bridget Crawford

Posted in Firsts | Comments Off

Center for Gender & Sexuality Law Spring Symposium – Recognizing the Work of Patricia Williams

The Columbia Law School Center for Gender & Sexuality Law Presents:

A Symposium Honoring the Contributions of Patricia Williams
to the Scholarship and Practice of Gender and Sexuality Law

Friday, March 1st, 2013, 9 am – 7 pm

Jerome Greene Hall, 435 W. 116th Street, rooms 104-106
435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10027
(corner of 116th Street and Amsterdam Avenue)

Please RSVP to the Center for Gender & Sexuality Law,

New York State CLE credits will be provided.  Online CLE registration is now available here. Online registration will close February 22nd.
9:00 – 9:30 Welcome, Katherine Franke

9:30 – 11:00 Panel 1, Race, Gender and the Law – moderated by Olatunde Johnson

Gina Dent, University of California, Santa Cruz, Feminist Studies
Paula J. Giddings, Smith College, Afro-American Studies
Anita Hill, Brandeis University, Senior Advisor to the Provost: Social Policy, Law, and Women’s Studies

11:30 – 1:00 Panel 2, Ethics and the Body – moderated by Alondra Nelson

Lauren Berlant, University of Chicago, English Language and Literature
Evelynn M. Hammonds, Harvard University, Dean of the College
Robert Pollack, Columbia University, Biological Science

1:00 – 2:30 Lunch

2:30 – 4:00 Panel 3, Law As Interdisciplinary Enterprise – moderated by Kendall Thomas

Eduardo Cadava, Princeton University, English
Lani Guinier, Harvard Law School
Anna Deavere Smith, New York University, Performance Studies
4:30 – 6:00 Keynote by Patricia Williams

6:00 – 7:00 Reception

Posted in Academia | Comments Off

Joslin on “Marriage, Biology and Federal Benefits”

Courtney Joslin (Davis) has posted to SSRN her article Marriage, Biology, and Federal Benefits, Iowa Law Review (forthcoming).  Here is the abstract:

This Article approaches the topic of same-sex marriage from a novel perspective by scrutinizing the historical accuracy of primary defense proffered by same-sex marriage opponents – “responsible procreation.” In the context of challenges to Section 3 of DOMA, responsible procreation posits that the federal government’s historic purpose in extending marital benefits is to single out and specially support families with biologically-related children. Because same-sex couples cannot fulfill this long-standing purpose, it is permissible to deny them all federal marital rights and obligations. While advocates disagree about whether and to what extent DOMA furthers this alleged federal interest, to date, all sides have accepted this historical account.

This Article is the first to interrogate the accuracy of this account. To do so, the Article examines two of the largest and most important federal benefits programs – Social Security benefits and benefits for active and retired members of the U.S. military. This analysis demonstrates that Congress has not and does not condition the receipt of federal family-based benefits on biological parent-child relationships. To the contrary, Congress long has implicitly and explicitly extended such benefits to families with children known to be biologically unrelated to one or both of their parents. This Article thus reveals that responsible procreation is based on myth, not history and tradition.

The full piece is available here.

-Bridget Crawford

Posted in Feminism and Families, Feminist Legal Scholarship, LGBT Rights | Comments Off

There is something flawed about this pitch for mammography custom



Posted in Bloggenpheffer, Feminism and Culture | Comments Off

“Not a single woman will lead any of the major House committees in the 113th Congress.”

Details here.

Posted in The Overrepresentation of Men, The Underrepresentation of Women, Where are the Women? | Comments Off

Where are the Women? Another FSU Edition

This time, a tax conference with 14 “featured participants.”  Number of women?  One.

Did noone at Florida State look at this list of speakers and think, “Gee, maybe such an imbalanced list doesn’t present the school in the best light?”  Probably not.  After all, the school used this marketing material advertising their Crim Law program last year.

-Bridget Crawford

Posted in Where are the Women? | Comments Off

A handy guide for discerning the gender of a toy!


Posted in Bloggenpheffer, Feminism and Culture | Comments Off

In Memory of Gary Munneke, 1947-2012

My Pace Law School colleague Gary Munneke died unexpectedly over the Thanksgiving holiday.  Here is an excerpt from the Law School’s announcement:

Professor Munneke was a prolific speaker and writer, authoring law review and journal articles as well as chapters and entire books on professional identity and choices and the legal profession. His most recent works included The Essential Formbook: Comprehensive Management Tools for Lawyers, Volume IV (2004), Law Practice Management in a Nutshell (2d ed. 2003) and Nonlegal Careers: In the Private Sector, Fifth Edition, ABA Career Series (2007 edition with Willliam D. Henslee and Ellen Wayne).

“Gary was a mentor and an inspiration. He seemed to be involved in every aspect of the legal profession and legal education, touching so many lives professionally and personally,” recalls Rachel Littman, Pace Law School Assistant Dean for Career and Professional Development who worked with Professor Munneke on the 2011 NYSBA Task Force on the Legal Profession. “He will really be missed.”

The full announcement is here.  A memorial page is here.

Gary was well known for his work on committees of the American Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association.  He also was a member of the Feminist Law Professors blogroll.  On at least two occasions, Gary fielded a less-than-happy phone call from a disgruntled bar colleague who didn’t like something on this blog…usually a post by me (such as this one) critical of some activity of the organized bar.  Gary’s reports of these phone calls were the starting points for some of the most wide-ranging, funny, realistic, engaged conversations I have had over the years with colleagues.  Gary truly believed that all work of the legal profession — from the organization of the ABA to the professional habits of the solo practitioner to the writing of the law professor blogger — could be improved through civil discourse.  He encouraged my blogging, and if he didn’t agree with some things I said, he wasn’t afraid to state his views.  He always did so in the kindest and most engaged way, though. In talking to Gary, I always felt he heard me, that he considered my views and that we walked away from any conversation better for having had it. That’s not to say Gary suffered fools; his polite remarks in faculty meetings sometimes were followed up with a good eye roll in private.

I will miss my colleague Gary Munneke very much.

May his memory be a blessing.

-Bridget Crawford

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Conference Announcement: 7th Annual Feminist Theory Workshop, Duke U. March 22-23, 2012

From the FLP mailbox:

The Seventh Annual Feminist Theory Workshop
Duke University
Durham, NC
March 22/23rd 2013

The Seventh Annual Feminist Theory Workshop offers a unique opportunity for scholars to engage in sustained dialogue about feminist theory as a scholarly domain of inquiry. The “workshop” approach of this conference requires active participation of both presenters and attendees.

This year’s keynote speakers are:

  • Elizabeth Grosz, Jean Fox O’Barr Women’s Studies Professor in Trinity
    College of Arts and Sciencesat Duke University
  • Martin F. Manalansan IV, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Asian
    American Studies at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • José Esteban Muñoz, Professor of Performance Studies at Tisch School of the
    Arts, New York University
  • Elizabeth A. Povinelli, Professor of Anthropology and Gender Studies at
    Columbia University

Free registration is here.

-Bridget Crawford

Posted in Upcoming Conferences | Comments Off

What Do Elmo and David Petraeus Have In Common? They’re Both Targets of a Sex Panic

The guy who has been the voice and puppeteer for Elmo, Kevin Clash, resigned yesterday from Sesame Workshop on account of recent accusations that he had sex with under age boys.  Maybe he did it, maybe he didn’t – we don’t know yet.  But Sesame Workshop wanted him out as we head into the holiday shopping nightmare extravaganza.

The New York Times contacted me today for a comment in connection with Clash’s resignation and the lawsuit that was filed today by Cecil Singleton, a man who is now 24 years old claiming that Clash had sex with him when we was 15 years old, demanding $5 million in damages.

Here’s what I told the Times:

While I can’t speculate as to the merits of this new lawsuit, that will be left to the judicial process, I am concerned about Kevin Clash’s resignation today.  I assume that he stepped down in response to pressure from Sesame Workshop that felt that it could no longer tolerate the association of it’s corporate brand with notions of homosexuality, sexuality, or illegal sexuality.  I mention all three because I wonder if the “scandal” that threatened Clash’s employment would have been any less troubling for Sesame Workshop if the terms circulating onTwitter had been  “Elmo” and “sex,” or “Elmo” and “gay,” instead of “Elmo” and “under-age-sex”.

Just as I thought it shocking that David Petraeus was driven from public service on account of “marital infidelity” rather than the alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the U.S. government in the Petraeus-led military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq, or the expansion of the CIA’s Predator campaign in Yemen, or his role behind a recent push to expand the agency’s drone flee, (see my recent piece on this issue), so too I worry that Clash is the most recent victim of what we call in my world a “sex panic.”

At precisely the moment when gay people’s right to marry seems to be reaching a positive tipping point, sexuality is being driven back into the closet as something shameful and incompatible with honor (in the case of Petraeus) or decency (as in the case of Clash).  Clash has not been convicted of a crime, but merely accused of one in a completely unsubstantiated, vague complaint.  As you note below, this smacks of a shake down.  But what is telling is Sesame Workshop’s quick overreation, not waiting for any credible evidence of wrongdoing to be presented before making it clear to Clash that the voice of Elmo cannot be associated with sex, legal or otherwise.

To my mind, of equal concern is the other aspect of this issue that stems from a moral sense that sexuality of any kind poses a threat to childhood (in the form of Elmo and other Sesame Workshop characters).  Recall the panic when it was implied years ago that Bert and Ernie were gay, or that the Teletubbies were as well.  Any implication that children or child-like characters had a sexuality was to be immediately disavowed.  It does children a disservice to construe sexuality as something that can only hurt them and from which they must be protected, rather than acknowledging that children are sexual beings whether we like it or not, as sexuality is a natural part of human and child development.  In the name of protecting them from adult predators, so many children, particularly gay children, learn almost nothing about healthy sexuality and are left to figure it out on their own – a predicament that often exposes them to additional risks they could have avoided had they received adequate and age-appropriate sexual education as children.

Here’s what they published:

Elmo Puppeteer Resigns After Fresh Allegation


5:11 p.m. | Updated Kevin Clash, the longtime voice and puppeteer behind “Sesame Street’s” Elmo character, resigned on Tuesday after a new allegation was made that he had underage sexual relationships.

Announcing the decision with what he called a “very heavy heart,” Mr. Clash said in a statement, “Personal matters have diverted attention away from the important work ‘Sesame Street’ is doing and I cannot allow it to go on any longer. I am deeply sorry to be leaving and am looking forward to resolving these personal matters privately.”

His statement came at around the same time that a lawsuit was filed in federal court in New York accusing him of “sexual activity” with a 15-year-old. The accuser, Cecil Singleton, is now 24. The suit said that Mr. Singleton “did not become aware that he had suffered adverse psychological and emotional effects from Kevin Clash’s sexual acts and conduct until 2012.” It sought $5 million in damages.

Mr. Clash had no comment on the lawsuit. He was first accused last week of sexual improprieties by a man who later recanted and said they had an “adult consensual relationship.” That man has remained anonymous and has not filed a suit.

While Mr. Clash’s departure on Tuesday put some distance between the sex allegations and the iconic children’s character, the claims may affect the “Sesame Street” brand in ways that remain to be seen.

Hasbro, the main toy licensee for “Sesame Street” products, said in a statement Tuesday, “We are confident that Elmo will remain an integral part of ‘Sesame Street’ and that ‘Sesame Street’ toys will continue to delight children for years to come.” Macy’s, in a statement, said the episode would have no bearing on “Sesame Street’s” presence in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade later in the week.

Jim Silver, editor in chief of Time to Play, a Web site that follows the toy and licensing business, estimated Hasbro’s wholesale sales of “Sesame Street” branded toys to be about $75 million annually. Elmo-related products account for 50 to 75 percent of that figure, he said, depending on the year.

Before Mr. Clash resigned, Mr. Silver said he was estimating that Elmo-related toy sales would be down perhaps 10 percent because of the stories about Mr. Clash’s personal life. But with the resignation, he said, the total impact will probably be less than that. This fall, Hasbro’s Playskool brand introduced “Playskool Sesame Street LOL Elmo,” a new version of 1996’s “Tickle Me Elmo,” with a suggested $40 retail price tag.

“People are making the separation that this is about Kevin Clash, this is not about Elmo,” he said. “The more people make the separation, the less effect on sales.”

Mr. Clash took a leave of absence last week to defend himself when the first accuser received attention from the gossip Web site TMZ. Production of “Sesame Street” will be unaffected by his absence, in part because Mr. Clash had been helping to identify other puppeteers who could play Elmo.

Still, his name has been synonymous with Elmo for more than 20 years, and especially so since his star turn in a documentary, “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey,” last year. The complaints this month contributed to what Sesame Workshop, the producer of “Sesame Street,” on Tuesday called a distraction.

“None of us, especially Kevin, want anything to divert our attention from our focus on serving as a leading educational organization,” the organization said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the controversy surrounding Kevin’s personal life has become a distraction that none of us want, and he has concluded that he can no longer be effective in his job and has resigned from ‘Sesame Street.’”

The statement concluded, “This is a sad day for ‘Sesame Street.’ ” The organization declined interview requests.

After the resignation announcement, there were unanswered questions about whether Mr. Clash was forced out by the organization (whose publicists announced his departure an hour before his own personal publicist did).

Katherine Franke, a professor of law and the director of the center for gender and sexuality law at Columbia University, said she worried that Mr. Clash was “the most recent victim of what we call in my world a ‘sex panic.’ ” She named a second recent example, David Petraeus, who admitted having an extramarital affair and resigned as the C.I.A. director earlier this month.

“At precisely the moment when gay people’s right to marry seems to be reaching a positive tipping point, sexuality is being driven back into the closet as something shameful and incompatible with honor (in the case of Petraeus) or decency (as in the case of Clash),” Ms. Franke said in an e-mail message. Mr. Clash, she added, “has not been convicted of a crime, but merely accused of one in a completely unsubstantiated, vague complaint.”

I’m already getting really ugly hate mail.  Used to be that when I wrote about gay rights the hate mail swamped my Inbox.  Now it happens when I write about sex.  Many of the critics say I’m defending the likes of Jerry Sandusky (Ann Althouse reposted my Elmo quote on her blog and that’s been the spirit of many of the hostile comments).  Seems it’s too hard for many readers to see a difference between a defense of sex and a defense of sexual exploitation.

Sex is getting such a bad rap these days.  Just as feminists have found it challenging to Theorize Yes to sex, seems the larger public has as well.  Sure, there is dangerous, exploitative, predatory, violent sex.  But not all of it is.  When someone is accused of having (or liking) non-normative sex, let’s wait a moment before we conclude that the moment calls for pitchforks and stockades.  Sex, and life, are so much more complicated.

Katherine Franke, Columbia Law School

Cross-posted from the Gender & Sexuality Law Blog

Posted in Academia | Comments Off

According to the Inside the Law School Scam blog, “Clearly, the fact that law schools have produced an enormous oversupply of people with law degrees over the course of the last generation has an extremely significant gender component.”

And the alleged oversupply of law students is totally the fault of us dumb broads. NB: If you decide to read the post, it is probably best to avoid the comments, in case that needs pointing out.

Posted in Academia, Feminists in Academia, The Overrepresentation of Men, The Overrepresentation of Women, The Underrepresentation of Women | Comments Off

“When Men Are Too Emotional To Have A Rational Argument”

This essay is really good! Below is an excerpt.

Women’s Emotions are “Emotions,” Men’s Emotions are “How People Talk”

A long time ago, in Bullish: What Egg Donation Taught Me About Being a Dude, I quoted Ben Barres, Chair of the Neurobiology department at Stanford, and also a transsexual man:

“It is just patently absurd to say women are more emotional than men. Men commit 25 times the murders; it’s shocking what the numbers are. And if anyone ever sees a woman with road rage, they should write it up and send it to a medical journal.”

What I want to talk about is how emotional outbursts typically more associated with men (shouting, expressing anger openly) are given a pass in public discourse in a way that emotional outbursts typically more associated with women (crying, “getting upset”) are stigmatized.

I wish to dispel the notion that women are “more emotional.” I don’t think we are. I think that the emotions women stereotypically express are what men call “emotions,” and the emotions that men typically express are somehow considered by men to be something else.

This is incorrect. Anger? EMOTION. Hate? EMOTION. Resorting to violence? EMOTIONAL OUTBURST. An irrational need to be correct when all the evidence is against you? Pretty sure that’s an emotion. Resorting to shouting really loudly when you don’t like the other person’s point of view? That’s called “being too emotional to engage in a rational discussion.”

Not only do I think men are at least as emotional as women, I think that these stereotypically male emotions are more damaging to rational dialogue than are stereotypically female emotions. A hurt, crying person can still listen, think, and speak. A shouting, angry person? That person is crapping all over meaningful discourse. …

Posted in Feminism and Politics, Feminists in Academia, Women's Health | 2 Comments

Lance MacMillian, “Adultery as Tort”

Commenting on the Petraeus case, Katherine Franke posted here about the status of adultery as a crime in 27 jurisdictions.  Today I stumbled across an article by Lance McMillian (Atlanta’s John Marshall), Adultery as Tort, 95 N.C. L. Rev. 1987 (2012).  Here is the abstract:

 North Carolina is one of the last remaining states to recognize tort claims arising from adultery. Ignoring criticism of this position, the appellate courts of the state have consistently and steadfastly refused to abandon adultery-based actions, despite many high-profile opportunities to do so. Traditional torts such as alienation of affections and criminal conversation thus retain their viability. Not everyone is pleased with North Carolina’s isolation in this regard. Attempts in the North Carolina legislature to repeal these perceived legal relics have increasingly gained traction in recent years. With the future of these torts in North Carolina in doubt, the time is ripe to assess whether any compelling reasons exist to preserve them.

In this vein, this Article offers a countercultural defense of North Carolina’s continuing embrace of adultery as tort. First, as the ongoing debate over gay marriage demonstrates, citizens of all political stripes look to government to validate marriage as an institution. Gay marriage advocates see state licensing as an essential step in elevating the status of same-sex couples. Gay marriage opponents, on the other hand, look to the state as the decisive authority for protecting the traditional view of marriage as being between one man and one woman. But if the state is the proper vehicle for legitimizing the marriage bond, as all sides seem to agree, then it follows that the state should have a prominent role in protecting that bond. Second, the tort system presently offers robust protection to victims injured when their business or contractual relationships suffer sabotage from third-party tortious interference. Marriage, as a relationship of demonstrably greater importance, deserves the same level of legal respect. Third, through loss of consortium claims, the law already offers strong protection of the marital bed against intrusions by third-party tortfeasors. The ubiquity of loss of consortium claims shows both tort law’s desire to protect marriage from the actions of third parties and its willingness to intrude into the most private of personal details to effectuate this desire.

By contrasting adultery as tort with these other areas of legal interest, I hope to demonstrate that adultery-based torts are not as far out of the legal mainstream as is commonly assumed, perhaps paving the way for a wider acceptance of claims such as alienation of affections once again.

The full article is available here.

-Bridget Crawford

Posted in Feminism and Families | 2 Comments

Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas, “Black Bodies and the Black Church: A Blues Slant”

From Palgrave, this new book by Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas (Religion, Goucher College): Black Bodies and the Black Church: A Blues Slant.  Here’s is the publisher’s description:

There is a problem in the black church. It is a problem with black bodies and a blues problem. This book addresses these problems head-on. It proclaims that as long as the black church cannot be a home for certain bodies, such as LGBT bodies, then it has forsaken its very black faith identity. The black church must find a way back to itself. Kelly Brown Douglas argues that the way back is through the blues.

A sample chapter is available for download here.

-Bridget Crawford

Posted in Feminism and Religion, LGBT Rights, Race and Racism | Comments Off

CFP: The Influence and Legacy of Barbara Grier

From the FLP mailbox, this CFP:

To reflect on the influence and legacy of Barbara Grier (1933-2011), The Journal of Lesbian Studies will be devoting a thematic journal issue to the topic.

2011 witnessed the passing of Barbara Grier, an icon in lesbian literary history and feminist publishing.  From her “Lesbiana” column in Daughters of Bilitis’ magazine The Ladder, to three editions of The Lesbian in Literature (1967, 1975, 1985), to her role as publisher of the Naiad Press
from 1973-2003, Barbara Grier introduced hundreds of new lesbian books to readers and kept several lesbian classics on the literary horizon.

The Journal of Lesbian Studies is an interdisciplinary journal, thus, multi and interdisciplinary approaches are encouraged. We welcome proposals on the intersections of lesbian literary history, the lesbian feminist movement, feminist presses, and/or lesbian feminist publishing, including the work of Naiad Press authors.  Proposals that discuss or contextualize the significance of Grier’s work or influence are especially welcome.

Please direct inquiries or submit a proposal of no more than 500 words with
a brief CV to guest editor Danielle DeMuth at by December
20, 2012. Please put “JLS Special Issue” in the subject line.

Authors will be contacted in early January regarding their proposals. Final
essays of approximately 5000-7500 words will be due April 1, 2013.

-Bridget Crawford

Posted in Call for Papers or Participation | Comments Off

CFP: Gender Matters – Women, Social Policy and the 2012 Election

From the FLP mailbox:

Call for Symposium Papers

Gender Matters: Women, Social Policy and the 2012 Election 

April 2, 2013 at American University Washington College of Law, Washington, DC

The American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law and Women and the Law Program invite papers for a symposium on gender, social policy and the election of 2012. The organizers welcome papers that explore how current or proposed social polices affect the lives of women and their families, and/or that analyze what role, if any, rhetoric about those polices may have played in the recent election. Abstracts from professors or practitioners (sorry, no student pieces) addressing gender and health care, labor and employment, taxation, fiscal policy and social welfare or other relevant social policy are due by midnight January 7, 2013.  Papers selected will be presented at a symposium on April 2, 2013 at American University Washington College of Law, and strongly considered for publication.  To read the full Call for Papers and to submit an abstract online, please visit the symposium website. Please contact the organizers at with any questions.


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Getting (Back) into the Writing Groove: Inspiration from Georgia NeSmith

Georgia NeSmith is an independent writer and editor who has a great website over at Matrix Editorial Services (here).  In revving up to return to writing after a few weeks off, I stumbled upon upon her advice for “Writing the Introduction.”  Her advice is specifically geared toward dissertation writers, but I found much that is applicable to writers of law review articles, too.  Here is an excerpt from her post:

The first draft of most dissertations seems to be very similar: the student is trying to demonstrate competence in all the major literature in any way remotely connected to his or her study. This is not only unnecessary, it is annoying for the average reader.

The Introduction or introductory chapter is often rambling and extensive, leaving the reader who is interested in the actual subject of the research feeling very frustrated. Get to the point! one wants to shout.  * * *

The introduction to a dissertation must do the following, and the following ALONE:

  1. It identifies, locates, and justifies your study within your field. It demonstrates that your study attends to something entirely new, never examined before in the field.
  2. It states the specific problem that your study is to address, a problem not heretofore addressed by previous studies
  3. It states the research questions to be addressed by your specific study
  4.  It states the methods to be used
  5. And finally, it outlines the chapters to come.

The introduction answers the following questions:

  • What is the problem? Why do I study this issue? Why should it be solved?
  • Who will benefit the most from this piece of writing? What is the contribution?
  • What is my purpose?
  • What are my methods?
  • What can the reader expect in the subsequent chapters? * * *

The introductory chapter of a dissertation is much like that first paragraph in the old “five paragraph theme”: essentially, you tell ‘em what you’re gonna tell ‘em. The big difference is that you must also demonstrate that the study about to be read is unique and makes a major contribution to the field in which it is located.

The full post is here.

-Bridget Crawford

Posted in Academia, Feminists in Academia | 1 Comment