What Universities Don’t Understand About Menopause

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From Linda Nordling, Why Menopause Matters in the Academic Workplace, Nature (May 11, 2022):

In Australia, where women make up 57% of the higher-education workforce and 78% of the health and social-care sector, a survey last year of menopausal women working in health care and universities discovered that many felt guilty about their perceived underperformance3. Many of the respondents also said they wished to cut down on their working hours to improve their health and work–life balance. And a 2019 UK survey of 1,400 women experiencing menopause symptoms found that nearly two-thirds were less able to concentrate at work, more than half experienced more stress and nearly one-third took sick leave because of symptoms (see go.nature.com/3lrkjxc).

Brewis has found that many women working in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), are reluctant to discuss menopause with their bosses and colleagues. She suspects they fear it becoming another source of bias against women. “Anything that affects your ability to process information, your decision making, your focus — that’s not a good look for an academic,” she says.

She would know. Her own menopause symptoms have made it difficult for her to concentrate, with spells of forgetfulness. She recalls her embarrassment sitting down next to a colleague at a conference, only to draw a complete blank on her name. “We had a very warm professional relationship. And I could not remember her name.”

So, what can academic and private-sector scientific workplaces do to help staff navigate this time? Brewis, who has written guidelines for UK higher-education institutions on how and why they should support staff during their menopause journeys (see go.nature.com/3yuf5r7), says the most important thing is to raise awareness of what menopause is, and isn’t (see ‘Menopause resources’). “Menopause is still quite widely misunderstood,” she says. “There’s this assumption that suddenly you are a flushing, incapable mess.”

The full piece is here.

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CFP: Gender and the Law Emerging Scholar Award – Pace Law School

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The Elisabeth Haub School of Law is pleased to announce the competition for its annual Gender & the Law Emerging Scholar Award.  This paper competition is open to all having with five (5) or fewer years of full-time law teaching experience as of July 1, 2022. The deadline for submissions is July 1, 2022.

The purpose of the award is to encourage and recognize excellent legal scholarship related to gender and the law.  The work chosen for the Gender & the Law Emerging Scholar Award should make a substantial contribution to legal literature and reflect original research and/or major developments in previously reported research.

Papers will be reviewed on a blind basis by a committee comprised of three members of the Haub Law faculty with expertise in this area: Bridget Crawford, Noa Ben-Asher and Emily Gold Waldman.  The winner of the competition will be invited to present the paper to selected students and faculty at Haub Law (located in White Plains, NY) during the 2022-2023 academic year, with reasonable travel expenses from within the continental U.S. paid, or via Zoom, as circumstances permit and by mutual agreement.

ELIGIBILITY:

  • All persons who have held full-time teaching positions for five (5) or fewer full academic years as of July 1, 2022 are eligible for consideration. One does not have to be on the tenure-track or tenured to be eligible. Time as a VAP or Fellow does not “count” against the five (5) year clock.
  • There is no subject-matter limitation for submissions, as long as the paper relates in some way to gender and the law.
  • Jointly authored papers are accepted as long as each author independently meets the eligibility requirements.

PUBLICATION COMMITMENTS/LIMITATIONS:

  • There is no publication commitment associated with the competition. 
  • Papers are eligible regardless of whether they were published prior to submission date, are scheduled to be published after the submission date, or are not yet under submission.
  • Each applicant is limited to one (1) entry.
  • Papers considered in prior years’ competitions are eligible for resubmission.
  • There are no page-length or word-count limitations.
  • All publications (including scholarly articles, book chapters, legal briefs and other writings) are eligible for consideration.

SUBMISSION:

  • We will accept submissions for the Emerging Scholar Award from May 10, 2022, through July 1, 2022. The winner will be announced by August 30, 2022.
  • To participate, please email your article, redacted as necessary to preserve anonymity (for the blind judging process), as a portable data file (PDF) to Judy Jaeger, Senior Staff Associate, at jjaeger@law.pace.edu with the subject line “Emerging Scholar Award.”
  • Please include in the body of the email your name, institutional affiliation and confirmation that you meet the eligibility requirements.
  • Unredacted or late papers will not be considered.

Information on Emerging Scholar Award and the Elisabeth Haub School of Law

The Elisabeth Haub School of Law is pleased to host an annual paper competition for its Gender & the Law Emerging Scholar Award.  The law school at Pace University is one of a small number of schools in the United States named after a woman, and we are proud of our school’s long-standing commitment to gender justice.

Since the establishment of the Women’s Justice Center in 1991, Haub Law has made gender justice a priority.  Students have the ability to pursue a path to practice in Women, Gender & the Law, through which they develop skills and strategies for effective representation and advocacy for gender justice, regardless of what career they pursue.  The Haub Law faculty includes nationally-recognized academic experts and advocates for gender justice. Our faculty teach, research and write about gender equality and justice as it relates to constitutional law, corporate law, criminal law, education, environmental law, estate planning, juvenile justice, legal theory, poverty, public health, social media, and taxation, to name just a few areas.  An important hallmark of Haub Law is that in addition to our specialty classes that focus on gender, issues involving gender are also integrated into a wide range of other courses.

Prior Winners

2020 – Greer Donley, University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Contraceptive Equity: Curing the Sex Discrimination in the ACA’s Mandate, 71 Ala. L. Rev. 499 (2019).

2021 – Marie Amélie George, Exploring Identity, 54 Fam. L.Q. 1 (2021)

 

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CFP: Nevada Law Journal, “Dark Necessity? The Supreme Court’s Shadow Docket”

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Call For Papers: Dark Necessity? The Supreme Court’s Shadow Docket
Volume 23, Issue 3 of the NEVADA LAW JOURNAL
University of Nevada, Las Vegas  
William S. Boyd School of Law  


The NEVADA LAW JOURNAL is pleased to announce a call for papers for its symposium issue, Dark Necessity? The Supreme Court’s Shadow Docket. This symposium will address what the “shadow docket” is and what it could become.  
The Supreme Court is composed of nine justices—appointed for life or good behavior. The justices decide which cases they will review by selectively granting certiorari. They typically receive briefings from petitioners, respondents, and amici curiae, then hear oral arguments before issuing opinions. The opinions identify authors and votes. But the Supreme Court’s shadow docket does not follow these procedural standards.  

The shadow docket is comprised of emergency orders and summary decisions. Because these cases are decided on applications for emergency relief, the merits may be unresolved at the lower courts. And because these decisions are outside of the Supreme Court’s main docket, the abbreviated proceedings are without both parties’ complete written and oral advocacy. Here, any five (to nine) justices may anonymously affirm or overrule legal doctrine without saying why. That is, the shadow docket allows the Supreme Court to issue unsigned, unexplained orders with short and long term effects.  


The shadow docket has become a hot topic among scholars, senators, and even the justices themselves. On the one hand, those that fear the shadow docket stress that it is beginning to resemble “some ghoul in a late night horror movie.” On the other hand, those that revere the shadow docket believe that the Court’s legitimacy is in fact bolstered by issuing these decisions. Yet what underlies this debate remains undisputed: the shadow docket’s use has considerably increased in recent years.  


This NEVADA LAW JOURNAL issue seeks to explain the shadow docket’s past and present use as well as its substantive effects on particular areas of law. We invite interested parties to submit abstracts of at least 375 words; we welcome longer summaries and draft papers. The abstracts should be proposals for articles between 15,000 and 30,000 words. Submissions should be sent to Alyssa Williams, Symposium Editor, at alyssa.williams@unlv.edu with the subject line “NLJ Call for Papers.”  

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Marc Spindelman on “Queer Black Trans Politics and Constitutional Originalism”

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Marc Spindelman (OSU) has posted to SSRN his essay “Queer Black Trans Politics and Constitutional Originalism,” 13 ConLawNOW 93 (2022). Here is the abstract:

 

Queer Black trans politics offer an important frame for understanding the current constitutional moment. This is a moment in which the Supreme Court’s newly enthroned constitutional originalist project is taking off in ways that have race, sex, sexuality, and trans equality rights in its sights. Thinking with queer Black trans politics—and, in particular, their demands for intersectionality and for centering Black trans lives—this Essay presents a distinctive topology of LGBTQ rights and their intersections with constitutional race and sex guarantees. It considers how a queer Black trans-focused intersectional thinking plays out, including in the context of reproductive rights, and traces how intersectionality isn’t only being used by progressives in pro-racial justice directions, but also by social conservatives in regressive ways that warrant attention in anti-racist circles. After surveying what all this means for the future of LGBTQ legal rights, the Essay concludes by underscoring the stakes—both dangers and opportunities—in the days ahead, as pressures on LGBTQ rights continue to mount in the courts and as struggles for LGBTQ rights increasingly shift to the field of politics. With an eye on those shifts, the Essay closes by calling on LGBTQ communities to attend to queer Black trans politics and their visions with care, resisting the ostensible seductions and comforts that a return to older ways of thinking about and practicing “white club” LGBTQ politics might provide.

The full essay is available here.

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Paudel & Shah on the Relationship Between Menstrual Discrimination and Child Marriage

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The Global South Coalition for Dignified Menstruation andRadha Paudel Foundation have published a report by Radha Paudel and Noor Jung Shah, Isn’t Menstrual Discrimination a Driver for Child Marriage. Here is the abstract:

This study is undertaken to examine the connections between child marriage and menstrual discrimination in policies and practices at national, regional and global levels. The four specific objectives are: i) to explore menstrual discrimination in countries that have high numbers of child marriages, ii) to examine the national policies and legal interventions against child marriage and menstrual discrimination, iii) to examine the networks advocating against child marriage with regards to menstrual discrimination, and iv) to assess the global policies and declarations against menstrual discrimination and child marriage. A qualitative approach with secondary resources reviews the issues in Bangladesh, India and Niger, countries which have the highest rate of child marriage. As well as the regional and global networks which are working to end child marriage, namely South Asia Initiative to End Violence, the African Union and Girls not Brides. Likewise, the study reviews the major international human rights instruments such as Human Rights Declaration 1948, Convention of Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Girls and Women 1979, Convention of Child Rights 1989 and Sustainable Developmental Goals 2016-2030. The worldwide scope and impact of discriminatory menstrual practices have been omitted from the policies, plans and activities of governments, international organizations and NGOs. Because menstrual discrimination has been used as justification to disempower women in the power structure and patriarchies, women have been left without a voice to negotiate their human rights, education, and socio-economic opportunities. Menstrual discrimination should be openly included in the discussion of the real drivers of early or child marriage.

The full report is available here.

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CFP – ClassCrits XIII: Unlocking Inequality: Revisiting the Intersection of Race and Class

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Call for Papers and Participation

ClassCrits XIII: Unlocking Inequality: Revisiting the Intersection of Race and Class

Co-Sponsored by ClassCrits, Inc., TapRoot Earth, and Thurgood Marshall School of Law

October 21-22, 2022

Where: Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Houston, TX (we anticipate a live conference)

Proposal Types:  Individual Presentations, Panels, Junior Scholar Works-in-Progress

 Deadline:  June 30, 2022

Conference Proposals:  Submit at www.classcrits.org

Conference Theme, Unlocking Inequality: Revisiting the Intersection of Race and Class

The Civil Rights Era of the mid 20th century brought about some reforms, it did not achieve substantive equality for people of color, and in particular for African American, Latinx and Native American communities.  The wealth and income of these communities are far below that of whites, their poverty and unemployment rates are far above the national average, and they are far underrepresented among college graduates and in professions requiring higher education.  There is still widespread de facto racial and ethnic segregation in schools and residential living patterns.  And people of color are often harassed and brutalized by police and private citizens when engaged in normal human activities. 

For several decades, scholarship in Critical Race Theory and LatCrit Theory has examined the role of ongoing racial discrimination in perpetuating persistent injustices and inequalities against African Americans and other people of color.  A somewhat different perspective is found in the literature on “racial capitalism.”  Inspired by scholars in the Black radical tradition such as W.E.B. DuBois, Cedric Robinson, and Sylvia Wynter, historians and theorists of capitalism have begun to trace the relationship between global capitalism and white supremacy.  From the dispossession of indigenous people in the “New World” to the establishment of Atlantic slavery, through the construction of empires of cotton, sugar, bananas, and other commodities that pulled colonized and racialized peoples around the globe into new supply chains designed to serve the European metropoles, the cheap land and labor produced by white supremacy has been central to the emergence of capitalism.  The climate crisis, which currently threatens the well-being of the entire world and of which people of color and other marginalized communities bear the brunt, is an outcome of a globalized economic system based on extraction from and exploitation of these communities and of the planet at large.  Indeed, new historical research suggests that capitalist tools and mechanisms—from accounting and management practices to mortgages, the corporate form, and private property itself—are the products of a mindset that has distributed the privileges of “humanity” unequally.  This account refuses the conventional question of “Is it race or class?” and suggests that the two are intimately intertwined.

This backdrop poses several questions.  Is it possible to overcome white supremacy with the existing tools of American law?  Can white supremacy and capitalism be disentangled?  Is it possible, given what DuBois called the “wages of whiteness,” to build a more egalitarian society with minimal wealth and income disparities, high quality education and guaranteed employment for all, and comparable opportunities to seek fulfillment in life?  Despite the enormous power of the moneyed elite, is it possible and what would it take to transform our society from one based on competition, profit, and individual satisfaction to one whose core values are working cooperatively, meeting people’s needs, and fairly sharing what society collectively produces among all its members? 

Proposals

We invite proposals for individual paper presentations and panels that speak to this year’s theme of Unlocking Inequality: Revisiting the Intersection of Race and Class as well as to general ClassCrits themes.[1] We anticipate at present that our conference will be live and in-person, although that could easily change with new developments in the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

[1] ClassCrits themes include:

  • The legal and cultural project of constructing inequalities of all kinds as natural, normal, and
  • The relationships among economic, racial, and gender inequality.
  • The development of new methods (including the interdisciplinary study and development of such methods) with which to analyze and criticize economics and law (beyond traditional “law and economics”).
  • The relationship between material systems and institutions and cultural systems and
  • The concept and reality of class within the international legal community, within international development studies and welfare strategies, and within a “flattening” world of globalized economics and geopolitical relations.

[1] ClassCrits themes include:

  • The legal and cultural project of constructing inequalities of all kinds as natural, normal, and
  • The relationships among economic, racial, and gender inequality.
  • The development of new methods (including the interdisciplinary study and development of such methods) with which to analyze and criticize economics and law (beyond traditional “law and economics”).
  • The relationship between material systems and institutions and cultural systems and
  • The concept and reality of class within the international legal community, within international development studies and welfare strategies, and within a “flattening” world of globalized economics and geopolitical relations.
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Kentanji Brown Jackson Confirmed to Serve on U.S. Supreme Court

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Image from the White House website here.

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Vulnerability and the Human Condition Initiative Fellowship – Call for Applications

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Vulnerability and the Human Condition Initiative Fellowship

2022-2024 Research Fellowship or Postdoctoral Fellowship

  1. Vulnerability theory presents an alternative to both a “rights-based” and a “social contract” paradigm for thinking about state responsibility, decentering the individual and focusing attention on the law’s construction and maintenance of the social structures and relationships in which we all live our day-to-day lives. Vulnerability theory explores the distorting effects of current conceptions of “liberty” and “equality” on the ways we understand and order essential social institutions such as the family, workplace, financial system, or health care, as well as considering the proper ordering of the paired relationships of cooperation and contribution contained within these institutions (parent/child; employer/employee etc.).  The theory draws theoretical attention to the inherent inequality and unavoidable dependence of the human condition, which we argue must be acknowledged and justly addressed through the ways law shapes and maintains these social institutions and structures.

The Vulnerability and the Human Condition Initiative holds regular workshops and hosts visiting scholars from around the world. Learn more about the Initiative at our website. You can find our updates on Facebook and Twitter and learn more about the theory at Vimeo, SoundCloud, Apple Podcasts, and SSRN.

  1. Job Description: Applicants for this position should be interested in vulnerability theory and articulate how they intend to use the theory in their research.

Responsibilities of a research or postdoctoral fellow include the following:

  • Assume primary responsibility for the development of your research and career.
  • Play an active role in seeking career and research advice, both from the faculty supervisor and from other faculty members as appropriate.
  • Perform the research required by the faculty supervisor to a high standard and in accordance with all institutional and federal regulations.
  • Assist in teaching courses aligned with VHC’s mandate when appropriate and attend the Initiative’s workshops and events.
  • Work in a collegial and cooperative manner with the faculty supervisor and other co-workers.
  1. Start Date: The appointment will be a two-year full-time Research or Post-Doctoral Fellowship and will commence on August 1, 2022.
  2. Remuneration: Your salary will be set at $60,000.00 per year. Benefits include medical, dental, vision, life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment, short-term and long-term disability, and retirement savings. More information here.
  3. Research Assistance: You will also be provided a research fund of $1,200 per year to cover costs of your research and you may apply for additional funding if attending relevant conferences or for business-related travel. 
  4. Minimum Qualifications: A doctoral degree or equivalent (Ph.D., M.D., etc) in an appropriate field. Excellent writing ability and strong oral communication skills. The ability to work effectively and collegially with colleagues.
  5. Competitive candidates will have a background or interest in jurisprudence, critical theory, philosophy, or political science, as well as vulnerability theory.
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Spindelman on Kavanaugh on Dobbs

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Marc Spindelman’s new essay, Dobbs‘ Dilemma (Why Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s Ideal of “Scrupulous Neutrality” in Dobbs is a Pipe Dream), is available here on SSRN.  It’s also published in today’s National Law Journal (here; paywalled).

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CFP: The COVID Care Crisis Symposium Part II: Imagining Solutions and Taking Action

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Topics proposed in the call for papers include but are not limited to responses to the following:

  • What has been the impact on caregivers’ scholarship and knowledge production during the pandemic? What may we have lost in these last two years?
  • What is the “new normal” in academia? What should it be?
  • What lessons about teaching, scholarship, and service have we learned during the pandemic that we can use in the future to make academia more equitable?
  • Has the US learned from the COVID Care Crisis in terms of addressing the needs of families with caregiving responsibilities? What were the international responses that we adopted or failed to adopt?
  • How did border closures, conference cancellations, and uneven global impacts of and responses to the pandemic affect inequalities in the global legal profession? What innovations or lessons from the pandemic can we build on to foster a more diverse and accessible profession in the U.S. and globally?
  • How has the pandemic changed the legal profession, legal institutions, and law schools? How should legal academia respond to or anticipate these changes?
  • In the latter part of the pandemic, we have seen an exodus from work and workplaces; how has this shaped our views of work?
  • How can we measure, memorialize or quantify the negative impacts of the pandemic and the COVID Care Crisis on knowledge production, promotion, and equality, from educational contexts to careers to public and civic participation?
  • What concrete steps did Promotion and Tenure Committees or other campus leadership take to mitigate the impact of the COVID Care Crisis on faculty and staff at all or any levels? What different strategies were used to support legal scholarship, clinical practice, academic support, leadership positions, or other roles? What could have been done better? How can we better support caregivers in these precarious positions going forward?
  • How have things changed or stayed the same for subordinated communities, including those who are in the intersections of race x gender x sexuality in our workplaces?
  • If we could reimagine academia into the ideal workplace, what would that look like? How can we achieve it?

Full details here.

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FIU Law Review Symposium Edition: The COVID Care Crisis and Its Implications for Legal Academia

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The FIU Law Review has published (here) a Symposium Issues on “The COVID Care Crisis and its Implications for Legal Academia.”

Here is the table of contents:

The COVID Care Crisis and its Implications for Legal Academia, Cyra Akila Choudhury

Blood, Sweat, Tears:” A Muslim Woman Law Professor’s View on Degenerative Racism, Misogyny, and (Internal) Islamophobia from Preeclampsia and Presumed Incompetent to Pandemic Tenure, Nadia B. Ahmad

The Center Cannot Hold: Zoom as a Potemkin Village, Hadar Aviram

Stereotypes, Sexism, and Superhuman Faculty, Teneille R. Brown

The Foundational Care Crisis, Stephanie M. H. Moore

The Need for Social Support from Law Schools During the Era of Social Distancing, Michele Okoh, Ines Ndonko Nnoko

Crisis, Rupture and Structural Change: Reimagining Global Learning Engagement While Staying in Place During the COVID19 Pandemic, Shruti Rana, Hamid Ekbia

Everything I Know About Teaching Was Reinforced by Auditing Remote Kindergarten, Allie Robbins

Archiving The Pandemic: What it Has Meant To Chronicle What We Wish To Forget, Katyayani Suhrud

So many of these essays will resonate with many of the readers of this blog!

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What’s Wrong with the Latest Proposed Federal “Menstrual Products Right to Know Act “

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Emily Waldman (Pace) and I have a lot to say about the absence of adequate federal oversight of menstrual products in our forthcoming book, Menstruation Matters: Challenging Law’s Silence on Periods (forthcoming June 21, 2022, NYU Press). We devote an entire chapter to consumer health and environmental issues, including the “Menstrual Products Right to Know Act,” first proposed by U.S. Representative Grace Meng (D-NY) in 2017.  That bill would have required all manufacturers of menstrual products to list the names of each ingredient or component on product packaging. Unfortunately, the bill has been introduced repeatedly without advancing. A new version under discussion represents a massive step back.

Representative Meng is a fantastic advocate for menstrual equity. She is responsible for so many positive changes, including federal laws giving incarcerated individuals the right to free menstrual products and the ability to buy menstrual products with flexible spending accounts.

The latest version of the Menstrual Products Right to Know Act, currently under discussion for reintroduction, does not require meaningful disclosure of all of the ingredients in menstrual products. The “Baby and Adult Hygiene Product Association” (yup, the industry group representing the big commercial manufacturers of menstrual products) is pushing for watered down language. Under the version of the bill favored by industry, the FDA could set its own thresholds that trigger any obligation to disclose added ingredients like artificial fragrances. Needless to say, that takes a lot of the “teeth” out of the legislation as an effective consumer disclosure law.  First, the dangerous ingredients in menstrual products are not necessarily those intentionally introduced during the fabrication process but rather those found in the materials that make up the product components. Second, why should there be any safe harbors for added fragrances?  We already know that scented tampons can alter the pH levels of the vagina and increase the risk for yeast infection and bacterial vaginosis. Neither the FDA nor the industry group has  demonstrated that any level of added fragrance is safe for consumers.

In 2019, New York enacted a law requiring the disclosure of ingredients intentionally added to menstrual products. That already represented a step back from the proponent’s original goal of requiring all packages of tampons in the state to carry a “plain and conspicuous printed list of all ingredients with percentages of the components of the tampon and the applicator” (emphasis added).

Why does the industry group oppose full disclosure of what is in  tampons and pads? Because if people actually knew what was in their products there were buying, consumers might think twice about their purchases. Contemporary research suggests that many of the common menstrual products that millions of people use regularly for several days every month for multiple years may, in fact, contain chemicals with harmful or unknown long-term effects on human health.

There is shockingly little federal research about the contents of menstrual products, and the FDA does not require that companies guarantee these products’ safety.

Anything short of full disclosure will allow manufacturers to continue to keep the contents of their products a mystery, to the detriment of the health of those who uses these products inside their bodies or very close to highly absorbent vaginal tissue.

 

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Open Access Book Announcement—The Politics and History of Menstruation: Contextualising the Scottish Campaign to End Period Poverty

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On May 28, 2022, Menstrual Hygiene Day, the Open Library of Humanities will publish a new open-access volume, The Politics and History of Menstruation: Contextualising the Scottish Campaign to End Period PovertyHere is the publisher’s description:

In 2021, Scotland became the first country in the world to make universal access to free period products a legal right. This has attracted extraordinary attention internationally, positioning Scotland as a leader on menstrual policy. Yet, little is known about why Scotland has been able to take on this role, and why at this historical moment of watershed change in many practices and policies surrounding menstruation, including sustainable period products, transgender menstruation, workplace menopause, tracking apps, menstrual disorders.

This special collection tracks the roots of the current developments through the history of politics, activism, medicine, public health, the arts and education around menstruation in Scotland and transnationally. It is the first collection to analyse and contextualise Scottish menstrual policy. Using archives, interviews, and case studies from other countries and historical periods, our collection poses the question: Why Scotland? Why menstrual rights? Why now?

The volume is edited by Bettina Bildhauer (University of St Andrews), Camilla Røstvik (University of Leeds) and Sharra Vostral (Purdue University, USA). A few of the essays have already been published. If interested, head over to the Open Library of Humanities (here) to read these essays:

I’m excited to read the entire book!

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University of San Francisco Seeks Visitors 2022-2023

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The University of San Francisco School of Law is seeking applicants for one or more Visiting Professorships for the 2022-2023 academic year.  USF Law welcomes outstanding candidates in subjects including property, human rights, international law, contracts, torts, evidence, and critical race theory. The Visitor(s) may also have the opportunity to teach an elective/seminar, if the schedule permits, as part of a commitment to two courses each semester. 

The University of San Francisco School of Law is steeped in a commitment to social responsibility and justice, hallmarks of Jesuit education, and focused on the training of skilled, ethical, and engaged lawyers. The Law School has a proud 110-year history of preparing its diverse graduates to be excellent and ethical attorneys who serve their clients and communities with integrity and in a socially responsible manner. The law school is committed to recruiting and retaining BIPOC faculty to reflect its mission and practice.


USF is located in one of the world’s most dynamic and progressive cities, which affords our community a global perspective and access to premier arts, culture, and centers of innovation. The campus sits in a beautiful neighborhood just north of Golden Gate Park and halfway between Ocean Beach and the Financial District. 


Successful candidates possess a J.D. degree from an ABA-accredited law school and will demonstrate:

  • a record of professional excellence and strong classroom teaching skills;

  • a commitment to service and potential for success as a contributing member of a dynamic and diverse community

  • a willingness and ability to perform in either an in-person, hyflex, or remote modality. 


The Visiting Professor is a temporary non-tenure-track appointment given to faculty with special skills to complement the law school curriculum. The appointee will usually be on leave or be retired from a full-time faculty position at another university. While in residence, the Visiting Professor will plan, organize, and teach in the school’s programs; perform research, and complete any other duties as assigned by the Dean or Associate Dean.


For additional information and to apply, please visit the USF Job Listing.

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What Questions Law Review Editors Ask Peer Reviewers

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I’ve been asked twice in the last two submission cycles to provide an “external peer review” for a law journal where many of us would be thrilled to publish. 

I’ve noticed some similarities in the questions I’ve been asked each time. I pass them along here in generic form.  Many of us wonder what happens when our submissions go out for review.  Here’s a slice of insight:

  1. Is the Article’s account of the X [the state of the law/the development of the law] accurate and thorough?
  2. Does the Article’s discussion of Y [interesting particular problem/question/focus that the author has] make a significant contribution to the scholarship in the field?
  3. Is the Article’s evaluation of the problem identified by the author compelling compelling?
  4. Does the Article make a persuasive case for adopting the normative solution the author advances?

These are good questions that could also help students who might be assigned to read a law review article for a class, among other scenarios.

Sharing this info FWIW!

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Emory Law Seeks Two New Faculty Members: (1) AI, Machine Learning, Data Science; (2) Bankruptcy/Commercial Corporate Law

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Emory University School of Law is seeking applications for two newly posted faculty positions. Additional information about both positions can be found below:

 

Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Data Science

Emory University School of Law seeks applications from legal scholars whose work engages issues related to artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and data science. Candidates should have exceptional records in research, teaching, and service and have attained a J.D., Ph.D., or equivalent degree.   

Over the next several years, across its departments, Emory University “will hire 50 to 60 faculty members with a focus on, but not limited to, four topical areas: AI and Health; AI and Social Justice/Law; AI and Business/Economics and Entrepreneurship/Law; and AI and the Humanities and Arts.” Additional information about this initiative can be found here

Candidates for the position must complete the online application, which requires creating an account, uploading a resume or CV, and providing basic personal information. In addition, applicants should submit a cover letter, a current CV, a published or unpublished academic article, a brief research agenda, and an indication of teaching interests (if not listed on the CV) to the chair of the Faculty Appointments Committee at law.faculty.appointments@emory.edu. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis over the next several academic terms.  

 

Emory University School of Law seeks to fill positions in bankruptcy, commercial and/or corporate law. The positions are open to entry-level candidates and lateral candidates of all levels of experience.  Candidates must have a J.D., Ph.D., or equivalent degree, and a distinguished academic record. Candidates should have a strong track record and/or show outstanding promise in research in bankruptcy,  commercial law, corporate law or related fields, and the ability to teach one or more courses in these areas. 

Entry-level candidates are strongly encouraged to participate in the AALS Faculty Appointments Register when the portal is opened for the 2022-23 hiring cycle. Lateral candidates must complete the online application which requires creating an account, uploading a resume or CV, and providing basic personal information. In addition, applicants should submit a cover letter, a current CV, a published or unpublished academic article, a brief research agenda, and an indication of teaching interests (if not listed on the CV) to the chair of the Faculty Appointments Committee at law.faculty.appointments@emory.edu. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis over the next several terms for positions beginning in the 2022-23 and 2023-24 academic years.

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Book Pre-Launch Event March 9, 12:50pm EST “Menstruation Matters: Challenging Law’s Silence on Periods” @haublawatpace @egwaldman @nyupress Comments by @noa_asher @czarnezki @ KTQ @ProfLGTenzer + more

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On March 8, 2022, 12:50pm-1:40 pm, Pace University is pleased to host a virtual book pre-launch for Menstruation Matters: Challenging Law’s Silence on Periods by Emily Gold Waldman and me.  The book will be published in June 2022 by NYU Press.

The Zoom event is free and open to members of the public, with pre-registration here

Here’s the description of the program and the line-up:

   

Menstruation Matters:
Challenging the Law’s Silence on Periods

Virtual Book Pre-Launch and Spotlight on Haub Law Faculty

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 9 | 12:50 pm – 1:45 pm

Explores the burgeoning menstrual advocacy movement and analyzes how law should evolve to take menstruation into account.

Approximately half the population menstruates for a large portion of their lives, but the law is mostly silent about the topic. Until recently, most people would have said that periods are private matters not to be discussed in public. But the last few years have seen a new willingness among advocates and allies of all ages to speak openly about periods. Slowly around the globe, people are recognizing the basic fundamental human right to address menstruation in a safe and affordable way, free of stigma, shame, or barriers to access.

Menstruation Matters explores the role of law in this movement. It asks what the law currently says about menstruation (spoiler alert: not much) and provides a roadmap for legal reform that can move society closer to a world where no one is held back or disadvantaged by menstruation. Bridget J. Crawford and Emily Gold Waldman examine these issues in a wide range of contexts, from schools to workplaces to prisons to tax policies and more. Ultimately, they seek to transform both law and society so that menstruation is no longer an obstacle to full participation in all aspects of public and private life.

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ERA Symposium, March 3-4, 2022 @ERAProjectCLS @columbiajgl

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This Zoom event is free and open to the public.  Registration is here.

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Sage Advice on Law Review Submissions via Break Into Tax from Leandra Lederman, Jonathan Choi & Indiana Law Journal 3L Editor Abbi Semnisky

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Some colleagues may know that Leandra Lederman (Indiana) and Allison Christians (McGill) are the cohosts of a YouTube video series called Break Into Tax that reviews important tax-related concepts and ideas in a fun and student-friendly way.

In a recent session, Professor Lederman and special co-host fellow tax prof Jonathan Choi (Minnesota) talked with Indiana 3L Abigael Semnisky, who is finishing up her time as the Executive Articles Editor of the Indiana Law Journal. Their session, called “Optimizing Law Review Submissions,” is available here. Even though I’m in my 20th year teaching, I learned many new things!

Here are a few tips/stats/facts from the program that I jotted down in my notes:

  • Many journals, including the Indiana Law Journal and the Minnesota Law Review fill their entire books during the spring submissions season. They do not have August/September seasons.
  • Last year, the Minnesota Law Review received 1585 submissions for the spring cycle (with 475 of those arriving on the very first day that submissions were open!). The journal received 1270 total submissions in February and 315 in March. By the end of March, they had filled their volume completely. The Indiana Law Journal reports similar figures.
  • The Indiana Law Journal accepts about 5% of the submissions they receive. Approximately 2/3 of the offers extended to authors are accepted.  Minnesota accepts about 2% of all submissions. Approximately 2/3 of their offers extended are accepted.
  • In the view of outgoing EAE 3L Abbi Semnisky, the abstract is infinitely more important than the cover letter. Jonathan Choi revealed that he typically revises his abstracts multiple times. The abstract should set up the article’s subject for a general audience, explain why it is important, and why the article’s claims are novel. Don’t be shy about asking your home institution’s EAE for tips on making your abstract punchier (but please don’t recommend a buddy’s articles to your home institution’s journal; follow instead the advice of the NYT Ethicist here).
  • The cover letter is less important in Abbi Semnisky’s view.  If you submit one, make sure that it is different from the abstract. Your letter should refer to your expertise and why the article matters (without repeating the abstract). A reference to your personal citation counts isn’t unwelcome, either.
  • How about titles? Punny or long ones are disfavored (i.e., there appears to be some anecdotal truth to the conventional wisdom that one should avoid titles with semi-colons).
  • What about those footnotes? 3L Abbi Semnisky is looking for approximately a 70% text to 30% footnote ratio. Footnotes not filled in or sparsely footnotes parts of the paper may rise some eyebrows.
  • Indiana Law Journal prefers to receive submissions in MS Word form, even though the Scholastica platform permits submission of either a PDF or a Word document. Having a Word document allows the student editors to see how many journal pages the article might take up in its formatting program. The sweet spot for article length is 20k-28k words.
  • For those who like Mendeley (I’m talking to you, Louie), Jonathan Choi has created a Bluebook extension here.  Amazing!
  • On expedites, this EAE tends not to distinguish between expedites from specialty journals versus main journals (this is somewhat contra the conventional wisdom I’ve heard through the years). Expediting definitely bumps an author out of the undifferentiated pile. Jonathan Choi and Leandra Lederman both do not counsel sending your article to a journal that you would not accept “just to get an offer.” The EAE will not necessarily expedite based on the fact that the author is under board review at another journal.
  • Deadlines to respond to an offer may range from 1 week to 2 weeks, subject to negotiation. Be honest, be kind, and try to meet the journal half-way. Jonathan Choi did mention that there are some journals that expect answers on the spot or in a few hours.

Thanks to Leandra, Jonathan and Abbi for doing this helpful video!

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Nunna, Price & Tietz on “Hierarchy, Race & Gender in Legal Scholarly Networks”

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Keerthana Nunna (Michigan JD ’21), W. Nicholson Price II (Michigan) and Jonathan Tietz (Michigan) have posted to SSRN their working paper Hierarchy, Race & Gender in Legal Scholarly NetworksHere is the abstract:

A potent myth of legal academic scholarship is that it is mostly meritocratic and that it is mostly solitary. Reality is more complicated. In this Article, we plumb the networks of knowledge co-production in legal academia by analyzing the star footnotes that appear at the beginning of most law review articles. Acknowledgements paint a rich picture of both the currency of scholarly credit and the relationships among scholars. Building on others’ prior work characterizing the potent impact of hierarchy, race, and gender in legal academia more generally, we examine the patterns of scholarly networks and probe the effects of those factors. The landscape we illustrate is depressingly unsurprising in basic contours but awash in details. Hierarchy, race, and gender all have substantial impacts on who gets acknowledged and how, what networks of knowledge co-production get formed, and who is helped on their path through the legal academic world.

The full paper is available here.

Here’s a short summary of some of the paper’s main findings:

Not to hide the ball: we find that authors tend to acknowledge scholars from peer schools, most of all their own school, but also to typically acknowledge folks from somewhat fancier schools. We find that men are acknowledged more than women and nonbinary scholars,3 and white scholars more than scholars of color. We examine intersectional effects, which are complex; read on to find out more. One bright spot here: networks of scholars of color appear to be particularly robust.

I’m looking forward to digging into the data more.

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CFP—Rewriting the Abortion Narrative: The Power of Popular Culture

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Abstracts are due 2/15/22
 
Rewriting the Abortion Narrative: The Power of Popular Culture
 
With the Supreme Court poised to radically change or even overturn Roe v.
Wade after hearing the Mississippi Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health
Organization case, critical attention is being turned toward the changing
ways popular culture depicts abortion. Popular culture is uniquely
positioned to offer these narratives, particularly given the research that
suggests that the way abortion is depicted in popular culture impacts
cultural perceptions of abortion and may even, as Steph Herold has noted,
“have very real ‘policy implications,’ particularly in such a politically
charged climate.”
 
We are currently accepting proposals for essays that deal with
popular-culture depictions of abortion in the last 20 years that are
changing the narrative about abortion in a wide range of popular culture,
including film, television, literature, and music, blogs, podcasts or
social media.
 
Underlying questions of the project include, but are not limited to:
 
   – How can popular culture contribute to the destigmatization of
   abortion?
   – How can popular culture correct misinformation and misunderstanding
   about abortion?
   – How have abortion narratives changed in the last 25 years?
   – To what extent might the entertainment industry influence pulic policy
   pertaining to abortion rights?
   – Are current abortion narratives showing the obstacles and barriers to
   abortion experienced by many women?
 
Possible topics include but are not limited to:
 
   – Greater opportunities for first-person abortion narratives
   – Absence of race, ethnicity, and class diversity in abortion narratives
   – Availability of medication abortions
   – Safety of abortion
   – Abortion comedies
   – Backlash against anti-choice legislation
   – Abortion stigma
   – Family and friend support for abortion
 
Please submit a 250-word abstract by Feb. 15, 2022.
 
*Submission Information:  *Submit proposals of 300 to 500 words by *Feb. 15*
to Brenda Boudreau at bboudreau@mckendree.edu and Kelli Maloy at
kem25@pitt.edu.  Abstracts should outline the author’s theoretical
framework and identify the goals of the essay  Complete essays, of
approximately 4000-6000 words, will be due by June 1, 2022.
 
*About the Editors*
 
Brenda Boudreau is a professor and the James M. Hammil Chair of English at
McKendree University.  She has published on a wide range of film and
television series.  She serves on the Popular Culture Association board and
currently serves as the VP of Awards.
 
Kelli Maloy is an Associate Professor of English at the University of
Pittsburgh at Greensburg.  Her publications and areas of research include
contemporary writing by Irish women and topics in popular culture.
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Ever Wondered About Best Way to Submit Piece to an Online Law Review or Journal?

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Here is some info about submitting to the online companions at 20 journals.

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New Book Announcement: Anthony C. Infanti, Tax and Time: On the Use and Misuse of Legal Imagination

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Anthony C. Infanti (Pitt) has published Tax and Time: On the Use and Misuse of Legal Imagination (NYU Press 2022).  Here is the publisher’s description:

green book cover

The relationship between tax law and society, Anthony C. Infanti asserts, is too often overlooked by those who work outside of the field of fiscal policy. Yet, the way a country collects and spends its revenue can be viewed as a quantifiable reflection of how a country sees itself, sending messages about both what it values now and what it aspires to be in the future.

Tax and Time sheds light on two of the most misunderstood universal human experiences: time and taxes. Anthony C. Infanti asserts that time in tax law is the product of pure imagination and calls into question the world beyond time that we have created for ourselves. Written with clarity and powerful insight, Tax and Time demonstrates how the tax laws have been used to imaginatively manipulate time in ways that perpetuate economic and social injustice. With its social justice focus, the book brings a sorely needed critical perspective to technical tax policy discussions. Infanti calls for a systematic reexamination and reworking of the relationship between time and tax law, asserting that the power of the legal imagination to manipulate time in tax law can both correct past injustices and help us to envision—and actually work toward—a better and more just society.

For anyone who is interested, the book’s Introduction is available for free on SSRN here.

NYU Press logoTony Infanti is the foremost American scholar of U.S. tax law and policy’s multiple intersections with LGBT taxpayers. Chapter 2 of the book, Time Travel Avoided (or, Justice Denied), explores how the IRS seemingly failed to apply its own rules of construction when it came to recognizing rights of same-sex couples in the pre-Windsor era, and the tax law’s ongoing and stubbornly persistent preferences for “married” taxpayers. The Chapter also looks at the ways the IRS struggled with issues of tax exemptions for racially segregated school in the wake of Brown v. Board of Education. At least in the early days, the IRS “chose not to apply substance-over-form principles in an apparent effort to disturb existing power structures in US society as little as possible.” (p. 88)

For anyone interested in the relationship between taxation and a capacious understanding of justice, this book is a must-read. It is completely accessible to non-tax scholars and students and would make for great reading in a seminar or other course looking at the intersections of financial institutions/systems and equality/inequality.

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Lessons from Outgoing Editors at Stanford Law Review, Harvard Law Review, and Yale Law Journal (and please stop calling scholarship “sexy”)

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Tonight I attended the “Stanford-Harvard-Yale Joint Journal Information Session” billed as follows:

Description: Wondering how to submit to the Stanford Law Review, Harvard Law Review, or Yale Law Journal? Join our live Q&A webinar next week, January 31 at 4:00 PM PT/7:00 PM ET. This joint session, co-hosted by the outgoing Articles Chairs of all three journals, will answer your questions about the nuts and bolts of the article selection process. The event aims to increase transparency and encourage submissions, so will be centered around your questions and concerns. We particularly encourage young scholars, first-time authors, scholars of color, and other diverse scholars to attend. We can’t wait to see you there!

The program was informative and I’m grateful to the students for their time. I’ve never had an article advance very far in the process at any of those three journals, but I figured I’d log on and try to learn something. Hope springs eternal, right? Judging by the questions from the audience, many people found the session informative and helpful.

What did I learn? The journals have some similar practices. Some issues they handle differently.  Here are some of my main take-aways (idiosyncratic to me; I was not trying to take detailed notes):

Observations Across All Three Journals

  • What good is an “exclusive” submission? Well, it may give the students a head start on processing your article, but it does not mean that the article will necessarily be fast-tracked.
  • The students do say they look at every article and take preemption and peer review seriously.
  • The journals are take seriously anonymity and peer review.
  • The journals try to respond to expedite requests as best they can, but turn-arounds of hours or a few days are almost impossible to accommodate.

Yale Law Journal

  • Yale’s “fall” submissions seasons runs from approximately July 15 through the end of the first week in August.
  • They don’t read cover letters or resume (because they are too busy with the articles). You can include these materials, but they won’t be read.
  • So what’s the “extra” document upload on the YLJ site for? Appendices to empirical pieces, mostly.
  • If you get to final board review, your chances of acceptance are roughly 10%.

Harvard Law Review

  • If you get to final board review, your chances of acceptance are roughly 50%.
  • The journal will consider proposals for book reviews (or completed book reviews, but they don’t get many) in April.
  • The journal receives submissions every day of the year, but they have especially robust submission/review cycles approximately February 1 to mid-April and then again August 1 to mid-September.

Stanford Law Review

  • If you get to final board review, your chances of acceptance are roughly 10%.
  • If you submit an article “exclusively” to Stanford, they assume you are not submitting to any other journal. You can let them know the submission is exclusive via Scholastica.
  • They don’t read cover letters or resume (because they are too busy with the articles). You can include these materials, but they won’t be read.
  • They start reviewing when their portal opens and stop reviewing around the first week of March. There is another week after their quarter ends–around March 21–but otherwise, they will be done reviewing for the academic year at the end of March.
  • The students leave about 7 slots for articles to be accepted in the fall cycle.
  • The Stanford Law review looks for two kinds of articles: “hawks” and “owls.” “Hawks” are “sexy and innovative.” “Owls” take a fresh look at a more familiar topic.

The “sexy” reference for scholarship was completely cringeworthy. I assume only good intentions on the part of the students–the desire to convey enthusiasm for articles with new perspectives and original topics.  But we all can do better than using terms like “sexy” to describe excellent scholarship.  The term is lazy, sensationalist and unnecessarily sexual.

 

 

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CFP: Third Bienniel Conference on Critical Trusts and Estates @OCULaw April 8-9, 2022

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building on blue backgroundOklahoma City University School of Law will host the Third Biennial Conference on Critical Trusts and Estates  April 8-9, 2022 in Oklahoma City.  The conference provides a forum for a wide range of work dealing with connections between succession law, broadly defined, and systemic inequality.   We invite submissions of proposals for both individual papers and panels from any of a wide range of perspectives – historical, empirical, doctrinal, textual, theoretical and practical.  We especially welcome submissions from junior scholars and those who have not attended in the past.  Please send 200-300 word proposals to Phyllis Burke, at pdburk@okcu.edu by February 21, 2022.    

There is no charge to attend the conference and remote-participation options likely will be available. There is no publication commitment associated with the conference. Participants are expected to pay their own travel and hotel. Some meals will be provided.   

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#Menopause as a Lens for Evaluating the Intersections of Ageism & Sexism & Racism

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What started off a few years ago as an investigation of state sales taxes on menstrual products has taken my work in many unexpected directions.

My colleague Emily Gold Waldman (Pace) and I have combined forces (and expertise) to write a book that takes a 360-degree look at the many ways that menstruation intersects with the law. We undertake a sustained investigation of the intersections of menstruation and sales tax, for sure, but also poverty, education, employment, prisoners’ rights, environmental issues, corporate law, and cultural taboos, to name some of the major topics we cover. The book will be published this coming June by NYU Press. The book is called Menstruation Matters: Challenging the Law’s Silence on Periods.

The work on menstruation has led—unexpectedly and wonderfully— to a series of three related forthcoming pieces, co-authored with Naomi Cahn (UVA). In that trio, we look at menopause as another life-cycle event with unexpected intersections with the law. We focus on menopause in the employment context; the legal treatment of menopause as compared with pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menstruation; and how menopause is conceptualized both as a medical problem and something that can be “managed” through technology (with all of the attendant privacy-related concerns). For anyone who is interested, here are those three menopause papers:

We’d be excited to hear from anyone else working on similar issues or in related areas!

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Evaluating Menstrual Leave as a Viable Workplace Policy

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Marian Baird (University of Sydney Business School), Elizabeth Hill (Political Economy, University of Sydney) and Sydney Colussi (University of Sydney Business School) have published their article Mapping Menstrual Leave Legislation and Policy Historically and Globally: A Labor Entitlement to Reinforce, Remedy, or Revolutionized Gender Equality at Work? 42 Comp. Lab. L. & Pol’y J 187 (2021). Here is an except from the introduction:

Woman with blond hair

Professor Marian Baird

Women’s participation in the labor market continues to be of interest to governments in most nations, yet it is widely acknowledged that women do not participate on equal terms or with equal outcomes to men. While gender and cultural norms are important determinants of women’s labor market experience, institutional arrangements, and particularly formal labor law, also have a significant influence in shaping women’s work life. Over 2.7 billion women across the world are legally restricted from having the same choice of jobs as men. Amongst the 189 economies assessed by the World Bank in 2018, 104 economies were found to have laws preventing women from working in specific jobs, while 59 economies have no laws on sexual harassment in the workplace and, in 18 economies, husbands can legally prevent their wives from working.

woman with blond hair

Professor Elizabeth Hill

While these and other laws remain a critical focus in achieving gender equality at work, and have received  considerable academic and policy attention, menstrual leave and its role as a workplace measure to promote women’s advancements in paid work remains largely unacknowledged and under examined, despite growing interest in the subject, in both academic and public spheres. There are no cross-national global studies of menstrual leave and there is little discussion of its use or implications for workplace gender relations. Available studies primarily focus on the policy’s historical development, including its complex relationship with both pronatalist state agendas and feminist trade union movements.This literature also sheds light on the class implications of menstrual leave, which evidently has the capacity to divide women from men, and each other. Menstrual leave is also rarely addressed in the critical menstrual studies literature, which provides broad analysis on the systemic disconnect between menstruating bodies and public spaces, but seldom engages with menstruation in the workplace, and rarely as a workplace gender equality measure.

woman with brown hair

Research Associate Sydney Colussi

It is in this context that we argue it is timely to evaluate menstrual leave legislation and policy and its potential role in improving or undermining women’s equality in paid work. Our analysis focuses on the design, motivation and intent embedded in national labor codes and company menstrual leave policies, and the official discourses used to frame their introduction. This is a necessary first step given the lack of  empirical literature evaluating the impact of menstrual leave on workplace gender equality.

The full article is available on ProQuest, Lexis and Westlaw (institutional subscription required; sorry). It’s worth a read for anyone interested in gender inequality and employment law.

Professor Baird, Professor Hill and Research Associate Sydney Colussi are co-convenors of TheBody@Work Project at the University of Sydney Business School.  That project “reimagines the future of embodied work and investigates how workplaces can make radical strides to offer a truly inclusive and supportive experience for all workers.” (More info here.)

Emily Gold Waldman (Pace) and I take up the topic of menstrual leave in the U.S. context in our forthcoming book, Menstruation Matters: Challenging Law’s Silence on Periods, due out from NYU Press in June 2022. Our conclusion there is that, unless carefully crafted, menstrual leave policies would be subject to constitutional challenge. We also discuss the lack of consensus in the U.S. context about the need for menstrual leave. Ultimately, even if well-drafted policy passes constitutional muster, the details matter. One concern is potential backlash against those who actually take menstrual leave.

I look forward to following this issue and to reading more from Marian Baird, Elizabeth Hill and Sydney Colussi!

 

 

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What’s the Difference Between an Article and an Essay? Part 3

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I’ve previously mused here and here on the differences between an “article” and an “essay” intended for publication in a law review.

Today I stumbled across this definition from the editors of the Harvard Law Review:

A piece will be considered an essay if it is 25 law review pages or fewer in length, and its primary purpose is to advance an idea, summarize a development, or initiate or engage in discussion.

This question is one that is on my mind more often than not—probably because I don’t want to overclaim about what it is I’m writing. But I am not sure that the HLR definition nails it. I think “articles” advance ideas and engage in discussion, too. So is the only difference length?

I think I’m less certain of the answer than when I first blogged about this almost ten years ago!

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It’s Not a Feminist Judgment, but 9th Cir. Judge Writes Shadow Opinion to His Own Majority Opinion

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image of man with facial hair

Judge Lawrence VanDyke

So, it’s not remotely a feminist judgment, in the sense of embracing feminist methods or values (however broadly defined). All the same, a concurring opinion of Judge Lawrence VanDyke of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals embraces the project’s methods. Using the same law and facts that he used to write the majority opinion for a three-judge panel deciding a Second Amendment challenge to COVID-related gun store closures, Judge VanDyke has written an “alternative opinion” (to his own opinion) as a concurrence.

His point? Show his colleagues, whom he predicts will hear the case en banc, how to reach the same conclusion with different reasoning.

Read more after the jump.

Continue reading

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#PeriodTok is #MenstrualCapitalism in Disguise (and Period Underwear May Not be as Safe as You Think)

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picture of underwear with two blood drops

image source: Plan International UK

In an article for the New York Times, Menstruation Gets a Gen Z Makeover, writer shines a light on the the stigma-busting, shame-free ways that some young people are talking about menstruation. She writes:

Members of Gen Z and beyond are more forthcoming about their periods than generations past, and they are more likely to care whether the products they use are environmentally sustainable. The convergence of the two ideals may signify a cultural shift in how young people are approaching menstruation.

More options for reusable period products like absorbent underwear, menstrual cups, cloth pads and panty liners, and applicator-free tampons are on the market now than ever before — some made just for teens and tweens…..

The article even features a picture of Nadya Okamoto (but no mention of her ouster from the organization she co-founded, Period) who has reinvented herself as a sustainable menstrual products entrepreneur.  Okamoto and others take to Instagram and TikTok to share experiences and product tips. One pediatrician hailed these videos as sources that young people gravitate toward, because “Teens are looking for conversations around people’s experiences, not five-star Amazon reviews.”

But let’s be clear: Most of the “influencers” promoting products on #PeriodTok are there to sell something. Yes, the messages feel more “real” and personal than glossy ads or typical web promo text. Yes, the messages often promote body positivity and empowerment. That is great. The savvy consumer will remember, though, that there’s a whole industry out there selling menstruation-related products and services that seek to profit from menstruation.  In a nutshell, this is simply the latest incarnation of menstrual capitalism: the marketing and selling of menstrual hygiene products by means of feminist messages that attempt to create a public-relations “halo effect” for companies that are, at their core, commercial enterprises that seek to profit from the bodies of menstruating individuals.

Oh, and the New York Times article is framed with a profile of a woman who “together” with her two daughters have founded a company to sell “a line of undergarments for tweens, which includes reusable period underwear that offers an environmentally friendlier alternative to disposable pads and tampon.” (As someone who teaches Corporations, Tax Trusts & Estates, I have lots of questions about the venture’s potential structure and operation, but that’s not the subject of this post.) Special products for tweens are wonderful. They have different needs that adults do, to be sure. But it’s all part of the same cycle (no pun intended) of selling more products.

Historian Lara Friedenfelds, quoted in the article, notes that Gen Z concerns about at the nexus of menstrual products and environmental issues are not new to the 21st century. For those who can afford more sustainable products, menstrual cups, period underwear and even modern riffs on cloth pads may be welcome alternatives. 

round picture showing products that contain PFAs

image source: riversideca.gov

With the emphasis on menstrual products’ environmental profile, it is easy to overlook that some of these eco-conscious products raise serious health concerns. As Emily Gold Waldman and I explain in our forthcoming book, Menstruation Mattters: Challenging Law’s Silence on Periods (NYU Press 2022), some period underwear contains nanosilver, commonly used as an odor reducer in athletic clothes and shown in animal studies to enter the bloodstream after contact with genital tissue. Researchers have also found that the period underwear Thinx contains high levels of PFAs— substances that make cookwear non-stick. (There are also contradictory studies; the company itself denies that its products contain PFAs, but its patent application suggests otherwise.) What are PFAs? I’m no scientist, but some perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances have been linked to all sorts of problems, including reduced fertility, disruptions to the immune system, thyroid disease, cancer, liver damage and pregnancy-induced hypertension. So choosing period underwear because of its reusability may come with trade-offs that should be part of the conversation. I don’t think #PFAs are trending on #PeriodTok.

If that weren’t enough, add into the mix the insufficient about links between toxic shock syndrome and menstrual cup use. Given that a common recommendation is to change one’s cup every 8-12 hours, there need to be more and better warnings about the risks of toxic shock syndrome.

Discussions about menstruation should be free of shame and stigma. But the conversations also should acknowledge that some participants have profit-minded goals when products are the subject. And even products that are “better” for the environment may not be better for human health.

 

 

 

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Don’t Leave Students Questioning How and Why We Use the Socratic Method

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photo of woman with brown hair and glasses

Professor Jamie Abrams

As our Feminist Law Prof community finalizes syllabi for 2022 in a rapidly-changing COVID-19 teaching environment, it is time again to reflect on the robust literature critiquing the Socratic method. We can all continue to modernize this technique to better meet the needs of all students. Certain performances of the Socratic method, which I call “problematic performances” in a recent law review article about inclusive Socratic teaching, are marginalizing and harmful for students when deployed in ways that are professor-centered, power-centered, fear-inducing, and abstractly framed around the “norm of perspectivelessness.” Literature revealing the gendered and racialized harms of the Socratic method is well-documented, sustained, and notably pioneered by the influential work of Professor Lani Guinier. The Socratic method can – indeed, must – be performed inclusively. It can be styled around techniques that are student-centered, skills-centered, client-centered, and community-centered, as I argue in a forthcoming book project with the University of California Press on the imperatives of inclusive Socratic teaching.

One simple and straightforward way to perform the Socratic method inclusively is to bring clarity and transparency to how this technique aligns with our course learning and outcomes and how students should engage with it effectively. What do we want our students to be able to do at the end of our class? How does the Socratic method help students achieve these goals? Faculty, for example, might deploy the Socratic method to build analytic reasoning skills, apply legal doctrine to diverse client representations, critique the strengths and weaknesses of legal rules, and so much more. Both faculty and students alike will benefit from transparency in articulating why we use the Socratic method in our classrooms and how students can perform with it. Here is some simple proposed language to stimulate your thinking:

I will use the Socratic method as a tool for class participation. The Socratic method positions students as active class contributors engaging, analyzing, and thoughtfully evaluating the material and how it affects our communities and lives. It also can contribute to your professional development as you work on legal reasoning, public speaking, and rule-based application skills. We will all approach the Socratic method transparently and collaboratively. All students will be on call. When on call, relax as best as you can, and remember that this is a conversation and a dialogue roleplaying the practice of law in our communities on behalf of clients. The key to Socratic participation when not on call is to recognize that your classmates will be presenting key concepts and rules, not your professor. Listen carefully and take notes while your classmates participate. We are all committed to the same goals – learning the legal rules, testing their boundaries, and bridging these rules into practice readiness. 

For further reading on these topics, consider reading my prior writings on Reframing the Socratic Method and Legal Education’s Curricular Tipping Point Toward Inclusive Socratic Teaching

 —Jamie R. Abrams, University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law

 

 

 

 

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Laufer-Ukeles on The Power of Blood: The Many Faces of Menstruation in Jewish Law and Beyond @UDaytonLaw

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Pamela Laufer-Ukeles, University of Dayton School of Law; Academic Center for Law & Science (Mishpat College of Law), is publishing The Power of Blood: The Many Faces of Menstruation in Jewish Law and Beyond in volume 41 of the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law (2021). Here is the abstract.

This Essay discusses competing narratives relating to menstruation as portrayed in Jewish law and culture, and assesses the implications of such narratives for modern legal systems. These narratives depict menstruation in all its contradictions — as taboo and power, as health and imperfection, and as reflecting biological difference but not inequality. Each narrative will be discussed from a textual, legal, communal and, occasionally, personal perspective, conveying different meanings that have different cultural impacts, modern applications and reflect different aspects of the quest for equality.

Download the essay from SSRN at the link.

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In Memoriam Lani Guinier, 1950-2022

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image source: BOHN, John GLOBE STAFF/The Boston Globe

Rest in peace and power, Professor Guinier. You will be missed.

The New York Times obituary is here.

Harvard’s notice is here.

 

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All In by @BillieJeanKing is a Fabulous Read

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Cover Image of Billie Jean King memoir, I just finished reading Billie Jean King’s memoir (written with Johnette Howard and Maryanne Vollers), All In. It’s a fantastic read for anyone interested in sports, second-wave feminism, Title IX, LGBT rights, social change (or several or all). The last few chapters, devoted mostly to her post-tennis life, won’t appeal to everyone, but they are what law professors might call “bring down” chapters–explaining how everything in the book (her life!) leads up to her current views on social change/social justice and current projects.

Billie Jean King is someone who lives her values. I had tears rolling down my eyes by the end of the book, which she ends this way:

It’s been a lovely, sometimes lonely, often soul-shaking, ultimately gratifying ride. It’s been full of sparks and recrimination. But I came through it.

I am free.

Amen and thank you, Billie Jean King.

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Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Property Opinions–Change the Way You Teach Your 1L Course This Spring

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Eloisa C. Rodriguez-Dod (FIU) and Elena Maria Marty-Nelson (Nova Southeastern) have edited a wonderful collection of Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Property Opinions (Cambridge U Press 2021).

For anyone interested in teaching with feminist judgments, Linda Berger, Kathy Stanchi and I have some ideas here.

Faculty whose libraries subscribe to the Cambridge Core already have digital access to all of the Feminist Judgments books, so assigning a chapter or two to students is a (copyright-hassle-free) great option.

Among the contributors to this fabulous volume are Hannah Brenner Johnson, Lolita Buckner Inniss, Dan Burk, Andrea B. Carroll, Richard Chused, Phyliss Craig-Taylor, Olympia Duhart, Angela Fernandez,  Alexandra Flynn,  Jill Fraley, Brian Frye, Jon Garon, Erika George, Marc-Tiroc Gonzalez, Lindsey Gufstason, Carrie A. Hagan, Hannah Haksgaard, Taja-Nia Henderson, Berta Hernandez-Truyol, Meghan Hottel-Cox, Susan Etta Keller, Diane Klein, Stevie Leahy, Stacy Leeds, Donna Litman, Guadalupe Luna, Julia D. Mahoney, Elena Maria Marty-Nelson, Kali Murray, Meredith Render, Eloisa Rodgriguez-Dod, Stephanie M. Stern, Natasha N. Varyani, Pamela A. Wilkins, Danaya C. Wright, and Lua Kamal Yuille.

Check it out!

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Free Menstrual Products for 141 Middle Schools in Loire, France

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Via the podcast Nova, this news of a program in the Loire-Atlantique region of France to make menstrual products available for free in 141 middle schools:

Après une expérimentation de plusieurs mois dans quelques établissements, la mesure est étendue sur toute la Loire-Atlantique.

D’après le département, en France, 1,7 millions de filles et de femmes sont touchées par la précarité menstruelle et doivent trouver des alternatives. Ces alternatives ne sont pas toujours bonnes, et peuvent avoir de graves répercussions sociales et sanitaires telles que l’absentéisme ou la mise en danger de la santé.

C’est pour ces multiples raisons que 141 collèges publics comme privés bénéficient de cette mesure. Normalement, deux distributeurs seront installés dans chaque établissement.

En plus de cela, les filles de 6ème auront un kit des premières règles constitué de tampons et de serviettes avec un guide pédagogique. Et les garçons de 6ème auront aussi un livret informatif pour mettre fin au tabou autour des règles.
Le conseil régional des Pays de la Loire travaille aussi sur ce projet, mais pour les lycées.

 The regional government is sponsoring a similar program for high schools.

H/T Mary Anne Case.

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Menopause and the Law: 3 Forthcoming Articles Exploring Intersections of Gender, Age, Disability

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Emily Gold Waldman (Pace), Naomi Cahn (UVA) and I have just posted to SSRN three working papers on menopause and the law. We had so much to say that we needed three articles to do it! Here they are:

Harvard JL&G LogoContextualizing Menopause and the Law, forthcoming in the Harvard Journal of Law & Gender – an analysis of menopause in the broader context of the socio-legal treatment of pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menstruation, arguing that the law should move beyond individual one-off accommodations for “abnormal” manifestations of these conditions and instead recognize the broad spectrum of what can be considered “normal” experiences

Wash U Law Review LogoWorking Through Menopause, forthcoming in the Washington University Law Review – situates menopause in U.S. equality jurisprudence broadly and suggests a place for menopause in employment law in particular. We articulate a normative vision for menopause equity in the workplace and suggests possible pathways for achieving it.

U Chicago Legal Forum LogoManaging and Monitoring the Menopausal Body, forthcoming in the University of Chicago Legal Forum – a look at menopause hormone therapy, menopause apps and other digital technologies, with a critique of “menopause capitalism.” We define (and critique) that as the marketing and selling of menopause-related products through messages that celebrate autonomy, community, or femininity by businesses that are, at their core, commercial enterprises.

Each article in the trio has one of our names first, second, third, reflecting the joint efforts.

We would be glad for any and all feedback!

 

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Please add your tributes to #GloriaWatkins #bellhooks here

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Please use the comments to post your tributes to Gloria Watkins (aka bell hooks) here. We’ll aggregate all of the comments into a single post after December 30, 2021.

May she rest in peace and power.

Photo of Gloria Watkins Writer bell hooks. Liza Matthews bell hooks Institute

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bell hooks, a literary giant

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bell hooks, a literary giant, has passed on. In the single, brief interaction that I had with her, she reminded me of what it takes to achieve such greatness.

 

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Will Colorado be the Next State to Repeal the #TamponTax?

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Watch out for legislation coming in 2022.  The Denver Post has a story here.

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CFP: Integrating Doctrine & Diversity: Inclusion and Equity Beyond the First Year

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From Nicole P. Dyszlewski, Raquel Gabriel, Suzy Harrington-Steppen, Anna Russell and Genevieve Tung:

We are pleased to invite you to contribute a proposal for a new book, Integrating Doctrine & Diversity: Inclusion and Equity Beyond the First Year to be published by Carolina Academic Press. This work will build on the foundations established in our previous project, Integrating Doctrine & Diversity: Inclusion and Equity in the Law School Classroom, published earlier this year.

This new title will present case studies, teaching strategies, and personal reflections centered on how law faculty can engage with diversity, equity, and social justice topics in the upper-level JD curriculum. While we seek to present a wide spectrum of subjects, we intend to emphasize widely taught courses, including Evidence, Professional Responsibility, Criminal Procedure, Administrative Law (and/or courses with a substantial administrative component, such as Environmental Law), Tax, and Business Organizations. We also welcome submissions focused on upper-level experiential course work and Academic Success.

Each chapter will feature contributions from multiple authors. Each chapter will also have a selected annotated bibliography of additional resources, written by a law librarian, specific to each subject.

Format:

If you are interested in contributing, please email a statement of interest and a one paragraph summary of your piece to Genevieve Tung at gtung@law.upenn.edu. The deadline for proposal submissions is December 1, 2021.

Completed contributions must be no longer than 3500 words. The final manuscript will be prepared using The Bluebook, 21st ed. and The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed.

First drafts due: June 30, 2022

Final drafts due: Nov. 30, 2022

Publication: Spring 2023

Contact:

Please direct any questions to a member of the editorial team:

Nicole P. Dyszlewski, ndyszlewski@rwu.edu

Raquel Gabriel, raquel.gabriel@law.cuny.edu

Suzy Harrington-Steppen, sharrington-steppen@rwu.edu

Anna Russell, Anna_Russell@LB9.uscourts.gov

Genevieve Tung, gtung@law.upenn.edu

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New Issue of Columbia Journal of Gender & Law, 2021 Thirtieth Anniversary Symposium: Are You There Law? It’s Me, Menstruation

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Here are the essays published in Volume 41, Number 1 of the Columbia Journal of Gender & Law:
 
Anita Bernstein
Are You There, Law? It’s Me, Semen
 
Ann Bartow
“Are You There, Trademark Law? It’s Me, Misogyny.”
 
Naomi Cahn
Justice for the Menopause: A Research Agenda
 
Elizabeth B. Cooper
What’s Law Got to Do With It? Dignity and Menstruation
 
Christopher A. Cotropia
Law’s Ability to Further the “Menstrual Movement”
 
Bridget J. Crawford
Menstruation and the Bar Exam: Unconstitutional Tampon Bans
 
Amy Fettig
Menstrual Equity, Organizing and the Struggle for Human Dignity and Gender Equality in Prison
 
Michele Estrin Gilman
Periods for Profit and the Rise of Menstrual Surveillance
 
Beth Goldblatt, Linda Steele
Disposable Menstrual Products as Law’s Objects
 
Valeria Gomez, Marcy L. Karin
123-32
Menstrual Justice in Immigration Detention
 
Victoria J. Haneman
Menstrual Capitalism, Period Poverty, and the Role of the B Corporation
 
Lolita Buckner Inniss
It’s About Bloody Time and Space
 
Margaret E. Johnson
Asking the Menstruation Question to Achieve Menstrual Justice
 
Pamela Laufer-Ukeles
The Power of Blood: The Many Faces of Women’s Monthly Menses in Jewish Law and Beyond
 
Prianka Nair
Menstruation: An Ableist Narrative
 
Carla Spivack
Are Women Human? Tampon Taxes and the Semiotics of Exclusion
 
Divya Srinivasan, Bharti Kannan
Establishing the Unconstitutionality of Menstrual Exclusion Practices in India
 
Hawi Teizazu, Marni Sommer, Caitlin Gruer, David Giffen, Lindsey Davis, Rachel Frumin, Kim Hopper
“Do We Not Bleed?” Sanitation, Menstrual Management, and Homelessness in the Time of COVID
 
Emily Gold Waldman
Compared to What? Menstruation, Pregnancy, and the Complexities of Comparison
 
Jennifer Weiss-Wolf
Menopause and the Menstrual Equity Agenda
 
Deborah A. Widiss
Menstruation Discrimination and the Problem of Shadow Precedents
 
Inga T. Winkler
Menstruation and Human Rights: Can We Move Beyond Instrumentalization, Tokenism, and Reductionism?
 
Laura Agyropulo Coryton, Lucy Marie Russell
Paying for Our Periods: The Campaign to Tackle Period Poverty and End the Tampon Tax in the UK
 
Kit Johnson
Tales of a Flow Stayed By Nothing: Menstruation in Immigration Detention
 
Stevie Leahy
Benefits and Challenges to “Period Policies” – Menstruating Individuals Are Empowered Through Inclusive Dialogue and Advocacy
 
Maria Ni Fhlatharta
Menstrual Regulation as a Means of Reproductive Control: The Law’s Response to Disabled Bodies and Menstruation
 
Dara E. Purvis
How Sex Ed Fails People With Periods
 
Also, readers may be interested in the fourteen symposium companion essays that were published earlier this year:

Continue reading

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Michigan Repeals the Tampon Tax

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The Office of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s announcement is here.

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New Book Announcement – “Gender and Social Movements” by Jo Reger

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Jo Reger (Department of Sociology, Anthropology, Social Work and Criminal Justice, Oakland University) has published a new book called Gender and Social Movements (Wiley 2021). Here is the publisher’s description:

How does gender influence social movements? How do social movements deal with gender?

In Gender and Social Movements, Jo Reger takes a comprehensive look at the ways in which people organize around gender issues and how gender shapes social movements. Here gender is more than an individual quality, it is a part of the very foundation of social movements, shaping how they recruit, mobilize and articulate their strategies, tactics and identities. Moving past the gender binary, Reger explores how movements can shift understandings of gender and how backlash and countermovements can often follow gendered movement successes. Adopting both an intersectional and global lens, the book introduces readers to the idea that gender as a form of societal power is integral in all efforts for social change.

With a critical overview across different types of movements and gender activism, such as the women’s liberation, #Metoo and transgender rights movements, this book offers a solid foundation for those seeking to understand how gender and social movements interact.

Here is a list of women-owned book stores, if you’d like to order through one of them.

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25th Anniversary Silver Jubilee Celebration of Margaret Thornton’s Iconic Work, “Dissonance and Distrust: Women in the Legal Profession”

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On Thursday, November 18, 2022, 10-11:30 a.m. [that’s evening time on Wednesday, November 17, 2022 on the east coast in the US and Canada; time zone converter here], the Australia National University College of Law will be holding a celebratory webinar in honor of Dissonance and Distrust: Women in the Legal Profession (Oxford 1996), a path-breaking work by Margaret Thornton.

Picture of book cover Dissonance and Distrust, Margaret Thornton

Here is a description of the program:

In 1996 Margaret Thornton’s landmark book Dissonance and Distrust was published. This webinar is a celebration of the book’s insights and its continuing relevance and resonance for study of women in the legal profession today. The seminar brings together Emerita Professor Mary-Jane Mossman for her opening address, followed by three Australian speakers, each taking one of the key themes in Dissonance and Distrust: Associate Professor Heather Roberts (ANU College of Law) on the Legal Profession and the Judiciary, Dr Susan Bartie (University of Tasmania) on the Legal Academy, and Associate Professor Ann Genovese (Melbourne Law School) on Critical Feminist Legal Theory. The event will close with a response from Professor Thornton and questions from the audience.

About Dissonance and Distrust

In Dissonance and Distrust: Women in the Legal Profession (Oxford 1996), Margaret Thornton provides a compelling theoretical account of the continuing resistance to the participation of women as legal professionals, despite their increased presence in law schools and in some areas of legal practice. She suggests that women are still ‘fringe-dwellers in the jurisprudential community’ (Thornton 1996: 3-4) and will remain so until it is recognised that the issue is not simply one of women being ‘let in’ to the profession in equal numbers to men, but also involves posing fundamental questions about the character and constitution of law as it is taught and practised.

About Margaret Thornton

Emerita Professor Margaret Thornton is a socio-legal and feminist scholar whose work on the legal academy and the legal profession is internationally recognised. She is regularly invited to participate in international projects.

She has published extensively in the area of discrimination and the law. Her book The Liberal Promise (Oxford, 1990) remains the only critical study of discrimination law in Australia. Her book, Dissonance and Distrust (Oxford 1996) is the only study of women in the legal profession in Australia. It was translated into Mandarin and published in Beijing (Law Press, 2001).

Margaret also has a particular interest in the impact of the corporatisation of universities on the legal academy and has conducted research in the UK, Canada and New Zealand, as well as Australia. Publications from this research include Privatising the Public University: The Case of Law (Routledge, 2012). Her current ARC-funded research focuses on work/life balance in corporate law firms, particularly the gendered effects of globalisation, competition and technology.

More details and the registration link are here.

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Michigan on Target to Repeal #Tampon Tax

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From the AP (here):

The Michigan Senate on Tuesday passed legislation that would eliminate the so-called “tampon tax” on menstrual products, sending it to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer who is expected to sign it into law.

Michigan would join over 20 other states that have either ended the sales tax on menstrual products or never had one…. * * * 

Both chambers in the Republican-controlled Legislature have voted in the last month to approve lifting the tax, and now one of the bills is heading to Whitmer’s desk where it is expected to be signed into law. The Democratic governor has backed efforts to abolish the tax in Michigan.

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CFP–Inheritance: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

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Call for Book Chapters

Inheritance: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Editors:

Suzanne Lenon, Associate Professor, Dept. of Women & Gender Studies, University of Lethbridge, Canada

Daniel Monk, Professor, Department of Law, Birkbeck, University of London, UK

Abstract Submission Deadline: January 15, 2022

Why Inheritance?

Inheritance catapults private intimacies into the public domain of law. Behind the seemingly strict legal formalism of inheritance, succession and probate law – writing wills/determining intestacy – lies a whole set of social, cultural, familial, and affective processes. It is this intersection of the social and the legal that interests us.

Inheritance is a topic of interest to a wide range of scholarly fields/inquiry. Historians of the distant and recent past have used wills to reveal and sometimes challenge assumptions about religious practice and the role of women. Philosophers have focused on the principle of testamentary freedom to question the notion of life and harm after death. And the centrality of will-writing in fiction has meant that many literary scholars know more about the subject than most lawyers. More critically, social historians, political theorists, critical race scholars and feminists have focused on inheritance as a site to address issues of nation-making, the creating and entrenching of classed, gendered and racial inequalities, and perpetuating biological models of race, white supremacy and patriarchy. In doing so they expose and trouble the violence underlying colloquial phrases such as ‘family money’, and the practices and protection of the legal industry of ‘estate planning’.

At the same time, other scholars point to inheritance – and particularly will-writing – as practices for sustaining existing religious, and other minority groups and for imagining and recognising new communities and relationships of care. All these scholars highlight the centrality of inheritance to shifting, contesting and queering understandings of ‘kinship’ and ‘family’. Scholarship here – most notably within the field of sexuality studies

  • looks at inheritance not only as the set of legal processes for the distribution of wealth and property upon death, but as an affective structure of belonging and as co- constitutive relationships between the personal and the social and the legal. In doing so it reveals the richness and complexity of ideas and practices associated with ‘passing on’, ‘legacies’ and ‘heirlooms’ and begs the questions: what do we do with our inheritances, what do our inheritances do to us?

Thinking about inheritance reveals the tenacity of existing power structures but also the essential and constant work of ‘private’ law to sustain them, and, consequently, the possibilities of alternatives. In foregrounding ‘generationality’, scholarship about inheritance provides a space to think about both the past and the future, of both society and the self.

We hope to explore these questions and more and in bringing together contributions from across disciplines our aim is to demonstrate the foundational place of inheritance in law and society. The following are suggestive only of the potential subjects of interest:

  • The Politics of Testamentary Freedom
  • Making and Remaking Family and Kinship
  • Sustaining and Challenging Inequality
  • Queering Inheritance
  • The Practices of Will-Writing
  • Religious Laws and Practices
  • Heirlooms and Material Objects
  • Inheritance in Literature
  • Inheritance & Reparations
  • Methodological Approaches to Inheritance
  • Property & Kinship
  • Historical Perspectives
  • Inheritance Families
  • Inheritance & Racial Inequalities
  • Inheritance in Settler Colonial and Post-Colonial Contexts

We welcome proposals that look beyond legal doctrinal analysis and adopt different approaches and understandings of ‘inheritance’ from diverse fields such as law, sociology, anthropology, history, political theory, feminism, critical race studies, socio- legal studies, queer studies, and law & literature.

We welcome contributions from both established and junior scholars (including PhD students).

To submit your chapter proposal, please send a 500-word abstract with title, short bio, and contact information to Suzanne Lenon (suzanne.lenon@uleth.ca) and Daniel Monk (d.monk@bbk.ac.uk) by January 15, 2022. Selected authors will be expected to submit a full paper (length 6000-8000 words) by July 15, 2022.

Please feel free to contact us if you would like to informally discuss a potential proposal. We are in conversation with an academic press regarding publication.

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Toxic Substances in Tampons and Pads Near You (Really Near You)

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In a Journal of Women’s Health preprint, researchers at the University of Michigan have published the results of their study of exposure to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in 25 users of tampons and menstrual pads.

Here is an excerpt from Ning Ding et al., Feminine Hygiene Products & Volatile Organic Compounds in Reproductive-Aged Women Across the Menstrual Cycle: A Longitudinal Pilot Study, J. Women’s Health (2021), DOI: 10.1089/jwh.2021.0153:

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) include a wide variety of chemicals in many household products, including personal care products, paints, adhesives, gasoline, and building materials….VOC exposure has been associated with developmental, reproductive, neurologic, immunologic, and carcinogenic effects in animal models and humans. Several VOCs are listed on the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)’s Substance Priority List due to their known or suspected toxicity and the potential threat to human health. ***

Vaginal and vulvar tissues are more permeable than exposed skin due to differences in tissue structure,  occlusion,  hydration,  and  susceptibility to friction. The mucosa of vaginal and vulvar epithelia have high permeability to contaminants given the absence of a keratinized stratum corneum and loosely packed skin layers. Arteries, blood vessels, and lymphatic vessels are abundant in the walls of the vagina, which allows for direct uptake of chemicals through peripheral circulation.

Given the  toxicity  of  certain  VOCs  and  the  unique characteristics of the vaginal and vulvar tissues, potential VOC exposure through this exposure pathway should be minimized. ***

In the present study, we detected 36 VOCs in a small cohort of women, including hexane, n-nonane, hexanal, non- anal, benzene, toluene, p-isopropyltoluene, 2-butanone, and methyl isobutyl ketone. We did not observe significant longitudinal changes in urinary VOC concentrations across the menstrual cycles. Compared with women who used pads or liners during the period, tampon users had significantly higher 2-butanone and methyl isobutyl ketone concentrations. Higher n-nonane, benzene, and toluene estimated from menstrual products were associated with higher urinary concentrations in women. While our findings from this pilot study do not support the hypothesis that the use of menstrual products increases urinary VOC concentrations during the period, they do suggest that tampons may contribute to higher exposure to 2-butanone and methyl isobutyl ketone than sanitary pads. Future studies with repeated measurements and a larger sample size are warranted to confirm our results.

Upshot: There is a whole lot we don’t know about the safety of tampons and pads. Menstrual products are almost entirely unregulated by the federal government, as Emily Waldman and I explain in our forthcoming book, Menstruation Matters: Challenging Law’s Silence on Periods (NYU Press 2022). And state disclosure laws have been so watered down as to be largely ineffective.

The lack of knowledge about the long-term safety of menstrual products used close to highly-absorbent tissue or inside the human body should ring alarm bells. But it’s not clear that our legislators are listening.

 

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New Italian Budget Still Discriminates in the Form of Tampon Taxes

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In world news (here), the draft budget for 2022 in Italy still endorses gender discrimination in the form of the tampon tax, but decreases the VAT from 22% to 10%. Governments continue to generate money from the literal bodies of those who need these products to manage an involuntary biological process. 

Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s cabinet on Tuesday passed a draft budget for 2022 worth some 23 billion euros (26.7 billion U.S. dollars), which would deliver expansionary measures including a sharp cut in income taxes.

The draft indicates the main policy framework the government intends to follow for next year, including the targeted budget balance and the projections for expenditure and revenue.

The budget aims at boosting Italy’s growth to 4.7 percent next year, according to the forecast provided by the Economy and Finance Ministry in late September. * * *

Overall, the government set aside some eight billion euros to implement the tax cut. The measure would be mainly devoted to decreasing the tax wedge, namely the difference between the total labor costs borne by an employer and the net take home pay of a single average worker.

Despite having partially reduced it recently, Italy still showed the fifth highest tax wedge — amounting to 46 percent of total labor costs — among the 37 countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 2020.

The cabinet approved a cut from 22 percent to 10 percent of the so-called tampon tax, meaning the value-added tax charged on feminine hygiene products such as tampons.

The draft budget also included stimulus measures to help the euro-zone’s third largest economy keep recovering from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Read the full article here.

 

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CFP: Journal of Feminist Scholarship Issue on “Global Tipping Points” 3/1/22 Deadline

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Call for Papers

2020-2021 and Feminism: Global Tipping Points

Journal of Feminist Scholarship

For Publication in Issue 21, Fall 2022

Issue Contact Email: Jeannette E. Riley (jen_riley@uri.edu) or Kathleen M. Torrens (kmtorrens@uri.edu)

Tipping point: “the critical point in a situation, process, or system beyond which a significant and often unstoppable effect or change takes place.” Merriam Webster.

An argument could be made that 2020 itself was a tipping point for the world, and it also could be seen to have contained numerous tipping points. This issue considers the former, 2020-2021 as a major global tipping point that thrust populations and subpopulations into unfamiliar behaviors, procedures, and situations and forced immense, sometimes irreversible changes on their lives. In particular, the issue calls for feminist responses and considerations of these tipping points and discussions of how COVID-19 shaped and influenced feminisms and feminist movement.

From the pandemic to global climate crises, massive employment and economic hardship, new definitions of work and health and safety, and, according to McKinsey’s Global Institute 2020, COVID-19’s “regressive effects on gender equality,” the transformations and adjustment to daily life across the globe would have been unimaginable in December 2019. Newspaper and magazine articles suggest critiques of and opportunities for feminism during this year. For example, “Don’t Call the Pandemic a Setback for Feminism,” published in Time (December 2020), asserts that Covid-19 has revealed “key fissures in white-feminist ideology” (i.e. “the ways in which mainstream feminism has not evolved beyond an empowering anthem for white women and those aspiring to their privilege”) ways that open the possibility for “mainstream feminism” to evolve and take into consideration the views of those in more marginalized communities. “The Coronavirus is a Disaster for Feminism,” in The Atlantic (March 2020) points out the detrimental impacts on women that the pandemic has had, but also argues that it has provided the opportunity to make visible women’s disproportionate performance of unpaid care work within the household. In a similar fashion, an opinion piece in The New York Times (December 2020), titled “Feminism Has Failed Women” argues that the changes brought to women’s lives by the pandemic “require a new feminism, one that understands that the politics of motherhood are inherently intersectional for the simple reason that while not all women have or want children, those who do come from every race, sexual orientation and socioeconomic background.” This new feminism, according to the author, would be “grounded in solidarity as opposed to ‘success.’” And, the African American Policy Forum has featured “Under the Blacklight: The Intersectional Vulnerabilities that COVID Lays Bare,” moderated by Kimberlé Crenshaw, examines the financial, social and political inequities that have impacted lives across the United States (https://www.aapf.org/ep1-utb).

For this special edition, we invite articles that contemplate the idea of “tipping points” and how feminisms, feminist theorizing, and feminist activism has responded – or not — to this period of time marked by the pandemic. Possible areas of investigation include but are not limited to:

  • How have feminisms, feminist theorizing, feminist activists responded to the Covid-19 pandemic?
  • What gender-related trends are scholars and practitioners recognizing; with what issues are they grappling?
  • How might feminist responses to labor, healthcare, policy, and education in a time of disruption lead to substantive change?
  • Recognizing that 2020-2021 is a watershed moment, there are legacies of the past that remain salient and there are those who wish to go back to the way things were. What might feminist movement want to continue and why?
  • What have been the feminist responses to the impact of the pandemic on employment, motherhood, childcare, gender dynamics, education, housing shortages, increasing violence?
  • How might feminism and feminist action address racial, socioeconomic, and geopolitical inequities in health that the pandemic highlighted?
  • What are the implications of the pandemic for feminisms globally? and for cross-border feminist solidarities during a time of “vaccine nationalism”?

Submissions are due March 1, 2022 at https://digitalcommons.uri.edu/cgi/submit.cgi?context=jfs Further information on formatting requirements can be accessed on the Journal of Feminist Scholarship website at https://digitalcommons.uri.edu/jfs/styleguide.html Any queries can be sent to jen_riley@uri.edu

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