Politics Not From Any Dictionary: Theorizing (and Living) a Trans-Welcoming Feminist Movement

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Over at Signs is the most recent Feminist Frictions piece: Exploring Transgender Law and Politics by Catharine A. MacKinnon, with Finn Mackay, Mischa Schuman, Sandra Fredman, and Ruth Chang. It contains some very important insights from the authors, especially Professor MacKinnon, on feminism’s capaciousness:

For the first time in over thirty years, it makes sense to me to reconsider what feminism means. Trans people have been illuminating sex and gender in new and insightful ways. And for some time, escalating since 2004 with the proposed revisions in the UK Gender Recognition Act, a substantial cohort of self-identified feminists have opposed trans peoples’ existence as trans. Male power, which seldom takes seriously anything feminists say, has weaponized the feminist critique against trans people in both the US and the UK. In the process, many issues central to the status of the sexes have been newly opened or sharpened; many are unresolved. I hope to learn from our discussion. My thoughts are provisional and could be subtitled “what I’ve learned so far.”

Much of the current debate has centered on (endlessly obsessed over, actually) whether trans women are women. Honestly, seeing “women” as a turf to be defended, as opposed to a set of imperatives and limitations to be criticized, challenged, changed, or transcended, has been pretty startling. One might think that trans women—assigned male at birth, leaving masculinity behind, drawn to and embracing womanhood for themselves—would be welcomed. Yet a group of philosophers purporting feminism slide sloppily from “female sex” through “feminine gender” straight to “women” as if no move has been made, eventually reverting to the dictionary: a woman is an “adult human female.” Defining women by biology—adult is biological age, human is biological species, female is biological sex—used to be criticized as biological essentialism. Those winging to the Right are thrilled by this putatively feminist reduction of women to female body parts, preferably chromosomes and reproductive apparatus, qualities chosen so that whatever is considered definitive of sex is not only physical but cannot be physically changed into.

Feminism, by contrast, is a political movement. If some imagine a movement for female body parts, the rest of us are part of some other movement, one to end the subordination of women in all our diversity. In other words, what women “are” does not necessarily define the woman question: our inequality, our resulting oppression. Those of us who do not take our politics from the dictionary want to know: Why are women unequal to men? What keeps women second-class citizens? How are women distinctively subordinated? The important question for a political movement for the liberation of women is thus not what a woman is, I think, but what accounts for the oppression of women: who is oppressed as a woman, in the way women are distinctively oppressed?

Women are not, in fact, subordinated or oppressed by our bodies. We do not need to be liberated from our chromosomes or our ovaries. It is core male-dominant ideology that attributes the source of women’s inequality to our nature, our biological sex, which for male dominance makes it inevitable, immutable, unchangeable, on us. As if our bodies, rather than male dominant social systems, do it to us. It is as if Black people’s melanin content is the cause of police violence against them, rather than the meaning police attribute to their appearance (racial markers in this instance) and the law and culture of impunity for their actions. If women’s oppression is defined by what defines women, and that is our sexed biology as this group defines it, the very most we can change is the excesses of male power. Never male power itself.

In reality, women’s inequality—with the oppressive practices that inequality makes possible and that reinforce it through gender, specifically gender hierarchy—has long been recognized as a social and political, not biological, arrangement. Inferiority, not difference, is the issue of hierarchy, including gender hierarchy. On the technical meaning of sex as physical and gender as its social meaning, sex is equal. It is gender that is unequal. Women are not men’s biological inferiors; we are constrained to be men’s social inferiors. Who knew we would have to keep repeating this. It is gender that constructs women as men’s inferiors, as valued less to worthless, as weak and dependent, as stupid and illogical and emotional, as soft and yielding and receptive, as bitchy and ditsy, whiny, seductive, and manipulative, destined only to reproduce. These attributions, this power division, not our bodies, is what makes women a political group, caste, or class; resistance to them is what makes the women’s movement a political movement.

(Citations omitted.) Read the full piece here. It’s very worthwhile.

Posted in Feminism and Culture, Feminism and Politics, Feminist Legal Scholarship, LGBT Rights | Leave a comment

Who Benefits from Tampon Tax Repeal? Research Suggests It’s Not Customers

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This article in Reuters has some fascinating coverage of emerging research on who benefits from tampon tax repeal. Here is an excerpt:

“People are using tea towels, T-shirts, socks, toilet paper,” said Tina Leslie, founder of Freedom4Girls, one of several charities that successfully lobbied the British government to scrap a 5% VAT rate on period products in 2021.
But two years on, many campaigners say the impact on prices has been disappointing.
The lion’s share of the saving has been retained by retailers, giving them an annual windfall estimated at about 15 million pounds ($18 million), according to research published in November 2022 by Tax Policy Associates, a nonprofit.
“At most, tampon prices were cut by around 1%, with the remaining 80% of the benefit retained by retailers,” said the study, which factored in the effect of inflation by tracking the prices of period products alongside other common hygiene goods.
A spokesperson for the Treasury said the government had kept its promise to scrap the tax, urging retailers “to pass the savings on to shoppers”.
Several large retailers, including the pharmacy chains Boots and Superdrug, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation they had cut the price of period products by 5% in January 2021 to reflect the VAT changes. Supermarket chain Waitrose said it had voluntarily reduced its prices four years prior to the tax cut.
But as British campaigners ratchet up pressure on retailers, experts say scrapping the tampon tax is unlikely to reduce prices without stringent controls to ensure implementation, such as detailed price research and monitoring companies for non-compliance.
Tax policy changes alone are insufficient: They must be implemented fully, resourced adequately in terms of quality control, and (have the) price change monitored,” said Susan Fox, deputy director at consulting organisation Global Health Visions, in a 2020 study on tax advocacy of menstrual products.
Without that, tax cuts can fall flat.
In Tanzania, VAT was reinstated a year after sanitary pads were exempted after it became clear that suppliers were not passing lower prices to consumers.
Part of the problem is market domination by a few companies who control prices, experts say.
Always – which dominates the Kenyan pads market – maintained its prices while other brands set their pricing to align with it following the VAT cut, Fox’s study said.
Procter & Gamble, which owns the Always brand, did not reply to requests for comment. Other leading manufacturers contacted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation either declined to comment or said distributors and retailers were responsible for setting prices.
The full article is available here.
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Which Countries Have Scrapped the Tampon Tax?

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Writing for Reuters, author Diana Baptista has a nice summary here. An excerpt:

Since Kenya became the first country to scrap VAT on sanitary pads and tampons in 2004, at least 17 countries have followed suit, according to research by the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Among the latest countries to pass laws to abolish the tampon tax are Mexico, Britain and Namibia.
Another 10 countries have designated sanitary products as tax-exempt goods or have exempted the tax on imported raw materials used to make them.
Advocates against period poverty usually campaign for sanitary products to be zero-rated for VAT, as this means producers can also claim back taxes on raw materials, making the final product truly tax-free.
Although Tanzania and Nicaragua had also scrapped the tax on period products, both countries reintroduced it in 2019.
Mainly in Europe, 17 countries have reduced the VAT on sanitary products, with Italy the latest to do so this year.
The European Union last year revised a directive that previously only allowed member states to reduce VAT on sanitary products by 5%. The change means nations can now apply lower tax rates to some goods.
Posted in Sisters In Other Nations, Women and Economics, Women's Health | Leave a comment

Catharine A. MacKinnon Receives American Philosophical Society’s Henry J. Phillips Prize in Jurisprudence

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Many people will have read the good news at Brian Leiter’s blog (here) announcing the recent election of three law professors to the American Philosophical Society: James Forman (Yale), Catharine MacKinnon (Michigan/Harvard), and Dorothy Roberts (Penn).

In further good news, in April of this year, Professor MacKinnon received the American Philosophical Society’s Henry M. Phillips Prize, established in 1888. Formerly an award for “the best essay of real merit on the science and philosophy of jurisprudence,” since 1999, the Henry M. Phillips Prize is awarded to “recognize outstanding lifetime contributions to the field of jurisprudence and the important publications, which illustrate that accomplishment.” Prior winners include Karl Llewellyn, John Rawls, Ronald Dworkin, Louis Henkin, Bruce Ackerman, Frank Michelman, Cass Sunstein, Martha Nussbaum, Jeremy Waldron, Laurence Tribe, and Owen Fiss. Rare company, indeed.

Professor MacKinnon’s award was presented by Linda Greenhouse who began by noting that in the 125 years since the prize’s inception, the American Philosophical Society has bestowed this award only 27 times. Linda Greenhouse read Professor MacKinnon’s citation:

In recognition of her intellectual and political leadership in international law, constitutional law, political and legal theory, and jurisprudence, and in particular her pioneering work on gender equality, sexual abuse, and sexual exploitation, including sexual harassment, rape, prostitution, sex trafficking and pornography, and her effective framing of such harms as civil rights violations in the United States, in other countries, and in international law, bringing recognition and transformation in theory and practice.

Professor MacKinnon accepted the award with these remarks (reprinted with permission):

This is astounding. Thank you to the Committee and to this Society for this honor of a lifetime.

It is especially meaningful to me to be honored in the memory of Henry M. Phillips, who practiced law for a living.  

I am grateful for your understanding that a vision of equality, critical of the realities of the dominance of men and subordination of women, is philosophy.

Thank you for knowing that practicing law for change in the real world for survivors of sexual violation counts as jurisprudence.

And thank you for lifting up someone whose method is to listen to people designated to be silenced and to act on what they say, someone made “controversial” who acts on seeing and saying what power doesn’t want seen and said.

Thank you especially for seeing through all the lies about my work. 

And thank you to all my angels out there, which is why I am able to be here.

I hope that giving this prize to me inspires young people to choose meaningful work over the lures of conventional career advancement, and encourages them to take real risks to their self-interest and not be corrupted by dangled success.

And I hope that many more women, nonbinary people, trans people, and people of color will be given this high honor and this award in the years to come.

Thank you.

Congratulations to Professor MacKinnon! 



Posted in Academia, Chutes and Ladders, Feminists in Academia, Legal Profession, Sexual Harassment | Leave a comment

CFP: Fifth Annual Equality Law Scholars’ Forum

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Call for Proposals for the Fifth Annual Equality Law Scholars’ Forum

November 10-11, 2023 – Boston University School of Law

Building on the success of the Equality Law Scholars’ Forum held at UC Berkeley Law in 2017, at UC Davis Law in 2018, at Boston University Law in 2021, at Loyola Los Angeles Law in 2022, and in the spirit of academic engagement and mentoring in the area of Equality Law, we (Tristin Green, Loyola Los Angeles; Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Boston University; and Leticia Saucedo, UC Davis) announce the Fifth Annual Equality Law Scholars’ Forum  and Reunion, to be held in Fall 2023.  

This Scholars’ Forum seeks to provide junior scholars with commentary and critique and to provide scholars at all career stages the opportunity to engage with new scholarly currents and ideas.  We hope to bring together scholars with varied perspectives (e.g., critical race theory, class critical theory, queer theory, feminist legal theory, law and economics, law and society) across fields (e.g., criminal system, education, employment, family, health, immigration, property, tax) and with work relevant to many diverse identities (e.g., age, class, disability, national origin, race, sex, sexuality) to build bridges and to generate new ideas in the area of Equality Law.  

This year, because this year’s gathering also will include a reunion, we will be selecting fewer Equality Law Scholars than in prior years. Specifically, we will select three to five relatively junior scholars (untenured, newly tenured, or prospective professors) in the United States. to present papers from proposals submitted in response to this Call for Proposals. In so doing, we will select papers that cover a broad range of topics within the area of Equality Law.  Leading senior scholars will provide commentary on each of the featured papers in an intimate and collegial setting.  The Forum and Reunion will take place all day Friday through lunch on Saturday.  Participants are expected to attend the full Forum and Reunion. The Equality Law Scholars’ Forum will pay transportation and accommodation expenses for participants and will host a dinner on Friday evening.  

This year’s Forum will be held on November 10-11, 2023, at Boston University School of Law.

Junior scholars are invited to submit abstracts of proposed papers, 3-5 pages in length, by June 15, 2023.   

Full drafts of papers must be available for circulation to participants by October 20, 2023.  

Note: We urge submission of proposals for drafts that will still be substantially in progress in October/November 2023 over drafts that will be in late-stage law review edits at that time.

Proposals should be submitted to:

Leticia Saucedo, UC Davis School of Law, lmsaucedo@ucdavis.edu.  Electronic submissions via email are preferred.

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Women’s Health Research is Underfunded

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The publication Nature has some informative graphics here.

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Miami Faculty Hiring Announcement 2024-2025

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The University of Miami School of Law seeks several entry-level and lateral candidates (Tenure-Track or Tenured) to join our intellectual community beginning in the 2024-25 academic year. We welcome applications from outstanding scholars in any area of focus who will add to the diversity of our faculty, contribute to the intellectual life of the school, enhance our teaching mission, and engage in meaningful service.  We have particular needs in Civil Procedure, Civil Rights, International Law (public or private), and Law & Technology. Juris Doctor degree required. 

Applicants may apply for the position via the University of Miami employment portal https://www.hr.miami.edu/careers/  and submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, the names of three references, and teaching evaluations (if available) in PDF format.  Questions can be directed to Professors Donna Coker and Kele Stewart, Co-Chairs, Faculty Appointments Committee, at AppointmentsCommittee@law.miami.edu 

The University of Miami is an Equal Opportunity Employer – Females/Minorities/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities are encouraged to apply. Applicants and employees are protected from discrimination based on certain categories protected by Federal law. Click here for additional information.

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The Macroeconomic Cost of Menopause? $1.8 bn in the US Alone

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There is a new study from the Mayo Clinic, here: Impact of Menopause Symptoms on Women in the Workplace.

The NY Times has a nice write-up here (paywall; sorry):

Menopause costs American women an estimated $1.8 billion in lost working time per year, according to a Mayo Clinic study published this week. The paper examined how hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings and the myriad other symptoms associated with this time of life affect women in the workplace. It’s the largest study of its kind to have been done in the United States.

Stigmas at the intersection gender, aging and disability have long kept discussions of menopause out of public discourse (and legal scholarship). Naomi Cahn (UVa), Emily Waldman (Pace) and I are working on changing that. We have a series of three articles that are relevant:

Working Through Menopause, 99 Wash. U. L. Rev. 1531 (2022) 

Contextualizing Menopause and the Law, 45 Harv. J. L. & Gender 1 (2022) 

Managing and Monitoring the Menopausal Body, 2022 U. Chi. L. Forum 41 (2022).

Posted in Women and Economics, Women's Health | Comments Off on The Macroeconomic Cost of Menopause? $1.8 bn in the US Alone

CFP: Women, Gender & the Law Emerging Scholar Award @HaubLawatPace

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Women, Gender & the Law Emerging Scholar Award: Call for Submissions

The Elisabeth Haub School of Law is pleased to announce the competition for its annual Women, 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, 2023. The deadline for submissions is July 1, 2023.

The purpose of the award is to encourage and recognize excellent legal scholarship related to gender and the law.  The work chosen for the Women, 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 members of the Haub Law faculty with expertise in this area.  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 2023-2024 academic year, with reasonable travel expenses from within the continental U.S. paid, or via Zoom, as circumstances permit and by mutual agreement.


  • All persons who have held full-time teaching positions for five (5) or fewer full academic years as of July 1, 2023 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.


  • 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.


  • We will accept submissions for the Emerging Scholar Award from May 10, 2023, through July 1, 2023. The winner will be announced by August 30, 2023.
  • To participate, please email your work, 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 Women, 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 women and gender justice, regardless of what career they pursue.  The Haub Law faculty includes nationally recognized academic experts and advocates for women and 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)

2022  –Elizabeth D. Katz, Sex, Suffrage, and State Constitutional Law: Women’s Legal Right to Hold Public Office, 33 Yale J. Law & Feminism 110 (2022)

Posted in Call for Papers or Participation | Comments Off on CFP: Women, Gender & the Law Emerging Scholar Award @HaubLawatPace

Siegel on How “History and Tradition” Perpetuates Inequality: Dobbs on Abortion’s Nineteenth-Century Criminalization @HoustonLRev @YaleLawSch

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Reva Siegel, Yale University Law School, is publishing How “History and Tradition” Perpetuates Inequality: Dobbs on Abortion’s Nineteenth-Century Criminalization in volume 60 of the Houston Law Review. Here is the abstract.


In this Commentary, I show how the tradition-entrenching methods the Court employed to decide New York State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n, Inc. v. Bruen and Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization intensify the gender biases of a constitutional order that for the majority of its existence denied women a voice in lawmaking and restricted women’s roles. The tradition entrenching methods the Court employed to decide Bruen and Dobbs elevate the significance of laws adopted at a time when women and people of color were judged unfit to participate and treated accordingly by constitutional law, common law, and positive law. The methods the Court employs are gendered in the simple sense that they tie the Constitution’s meaning to lawmaking from which women were excluded and in the deeper sense that the turn to the past provides the Court resources for expressing identity and value drawn from a culture whose laws and mores were more hierarchical than our own.

Sampling their recent opinions, Part II of this Commentary shows that the conservative Justices have repudiated past practices when those practices expressed racism or nativism to which the Justices objected. Yet, Part III of this Commentary shows that in Dobbs the conservative Justices embraced past practices as the nation’s history and tradition, counting abortion bans enacted with the support of the nineteenth-century anti-abortion campaign without scrutinizing evidence that the campaign mixed arguments for protecting unborn life with arguments that banning abortion would prevent ethnic replacement and would enforce wives’ marital and maternal roles. In Part IV, I suggest that Justice Alito might have refused to defer to prejudice of the past as he did in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue if he saw religious liberty, rather than abortion rights, at stake.

There are several reasons for revisiting the claims about abortion, history, and tradition on which the Dobbs decision rests. Even if the Supreme Court itself never acknowledges Dobbs’s selective and inaccurate account of the historical record, as it acknowledged historical errors of Bowers v. Hardwick in Lawrence v. Texas, there is value in recognizing that the Court’s claims about the past have a politics. In demonstrating that the Court selectively defers to the past, this Commentary shows how the Court’s history-and-traditions method provides new justifications for enforcing old forms of status inequality. This Commentary builds the historical record critical to debates over the criminalization of abortion in state courts and legislatures. And it contributes to Professor Melissa Murray’s remarkable and wide ranging account of how the jurisprudence of Bruen and Dobbs is gendered: Children of Men: The Roberts Court’s Jurisprudence of Masculinity.


Download the article from SSRN at the link.

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Monopoli on Situating Dobbs @ProfMonopoli @ConLawCenter

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Paula A. Monopoli, University of Maryland School of Law, has published Situating Dobbs at 14 ConLawNOW 45 (2023). Here is the abstract.

The recent decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health has been characterized as an outlier because its effect is to erase a previously recognized constitutional right. This paper situates Dobbs in a broader feminist constitutional history. It asks if this retrenchment is really such a unique turn in American jurisprudence when it comes to protections or “rights” that matter most to women’s lived experience. The paper argues that if one opens the aperture of constitutional history to embrace a more capacious view of rights, those afforded to women have often been eroded or erased by state legislatures, Congress, and courts. Using Reva Siegel’s work on constitutional memory, it theorizes about why commentators have not identified this thread in American constitutional history when discussing Dobbs. The paper then highlights three examples that illustrate a historical pattern of such erosion or erasure: voting, Prohibition, and protective labor legislation. It concludes that we can both note Dobbs’ outlier status and situate the decision in a historical continuum to correct the erasure of previous retrenchment in our constitutional memory. In so doing, we can more effectively respond to Dobbs’ implications for reproductive self-determination.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

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U San Francisco Seeks Visitors

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The University of San Francisco School of Law is seeking applicants for a visiting professor in Criminal Law for the 2023-2024 academic year. The Visitor may also have the opportunity to teach an elective/seminar, if the schedule permits, as part of a commitment to two courses each semester.


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Gender-Based Price Discrimination in Germany

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For anyone doing comparative anti-discrimination work, a fact sheet (here) prepared by Iris an der Heiden and Maria Wersig and published by the German Federal Anti-Discrimination Agencyprovides insight into gender-based price discrimination. Here is a summary:

The survey systematically examines the gender-based differentiation of prices (gender pricing) in case of the same or very similar products and services in Germany. Moreover, on the basis of empirical findings on gender pricing a legal evaluation with regard to the General Equal Treatment Act (German abbreviation: AGG) is conducted. The survey is based on empirical research into the product and services category of the basket of goods and services of the Federal Statistical Office.

Some of the most salient conclusions are:

Of the 1,682 products which could be identified as similar in the survey only 3.7 per cent had different prices. In 2.3 per cent of those cases women pay higher prices for the female variant of the same product, in 1.4 per cent of those cases men pay higher prices for the male product variant. The average surcharge for women and men amounts to approximately 5.00 .

The more obvious gender-based price differences refer to services offered by dry cleaners and hairdressers: 89 per cent of the hairdressers offer different rates for the same short haircuts for women and men, whereas women pay an average surplus amount of 12.50 . One third of the dry cleaners have different flat rates for men’s shirts and women’s blouses. The price difference in this case, too, is borne by women, who on average have to pay 1.80 more for the dry cleaning of blouses than men for shirts.

Read the full piece here.

Posted in Sisters In Other Nations, Women and Economics | Comments Off on Gender-Based Price Discrimination in Germany

20% Discount On all US Feminist Judgments Books

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Cambridge University Press is offering a 20% discount on all titles in the US Feminist Judgments Series. Use the code Fem23 at Cambridge.org. 

Here are all the published titles in the series:

Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court

Edited by Kathryn M. Stanchi, Linda L. Berger, Bridget J. Crawford


Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Tax Opinions

Edited by Bridget J. Crawford, Anthony C. Infanti


Feminist Judgments: Reproductive Justice Rewritten

Edited by Kimberly M. Mutcherson


Feminist Judgments: Family Law Opinions Rewritten

Edited by Rachel Rebouché


Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Trusts and Estates Opinions

Edited by Deborah S. Gordon, Browne C. Lewis, Carla Spivack


Feminist Judgments:Rewritten Employment Discrimination Opinions

Edited by Ann C. McGinley, Nicole Buonocore Porter


Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Tort Opinions

Edited by Martha Chamallas, Lucinda M. Finley


Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Property Opinions

Edited by Eloisa C. Rodriguez-Dod, Elena Maria Marty-Nelson


Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Criminal Law Opinions

Edited by Bennett Capers, Sarah Deer, Corey Rayburn Yung


Feminist Judgments: Corporate Law Rewritten

Edited by Anne M. Choike, Usha R. Rodrigues, Kelli Alces Williams


Feminist Judgments: Health Law Rewritten

Edited by Seema Mohapatra, Lindsay Wiley


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Yale Journal of Law & Feminism Symposium – Meeting the Moment: Legal Frameworks for Feminist Futures

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The Yale Journal of Law & Feminism invites you to register for our symposium: Meeting the Moment: Legal Frameworks for Feminist Futures. This event will be held on Friday, March 31—the last day of Women’s History Month—at Yale Law School from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. It is free and open to the public. 

Both globally and domestically, trans and nonbinary people, women, the LGBTQ+ community, and racially subjugated groups are under attack from political regimes hostile to our rights and liberation. Against this backdrop, it is vital that we envision and build feminist futures. The purpose of this symposium is to grapple with the relationship between feminist legal theory and practice, with an eye toward what you can do to meet the moment. We’re bringing preeminent feminist scholars together with legal advocates and practitioners to discuss some of the most pressing issues of our times. We hope you’ll join the conversation.

Meeting the Moment

Legal Frameworks for Feminist Futures

(This schedule is tentative. More speakers will be added!)

8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Registration & Breakfast

(Registration will be open all day.)

Morning Panels

9:00 a.m. – 10:10 a.m.

We, the Feminists

The Symposium’s opening panel will reflect on how the field of feminist legal thought emerged and grapple with the question of which groups of people have been integral, or marginal, to its development.

Sarah Deer

University Distinguished Professor at the University of Kansas and Chief Justice for the Prairie Island Indian Community Court of Appeals

Deborah Dinner

Professor of Law at Cornell School of Law

Joanna L. Grossman

Ellen K. Solender Endowed Chair in Women and the Law and Professor of Law at SMU Dedman School of Law

Serena Mayeri

Professor of Law & History at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School

10:20 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Meeting the Moment: Why Feminist Legal Thought Matters

This panel will frame the Symposium and address why feminist legal thought matters—and why it matters now.

Alexandra Brodsky (moderator)

Staff Attorney at Public Justice & Visiting Lecturer in Law at  Yale Law School

Elizabeth F. Emens

Thomas M. Macioce Professor of Law at Columbia Law School

Catharine A. MacKinnon

Elizabeth A. Long Professor of Law at University of Michigan Law School & James Barr Ames Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School

Keina Yoshida

Barrister Ass. at Doughty Street Chambers, Legal Adviser at Center for Reproductive Rights & Visiting Fellow at the Center for Women, Peace & Security

11:40 a.m. – 12:40 p.m.

Keynote Address

Welcome Remarks: Jelani Hayes (J.D. ’23, Ph.D. candidate in History at Harvard University)

Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Journal of Law & Feminism  

Keynote speaker to be announced!

12:40 p.m. – 1:40 p.m.


(Lunch will be provided to the first 150 attendees.)

Afternoon Panels

1:50 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. 

Beyond “Choice”

Contributing to the post-Dobbs reproductive justice dialogue, this panel is designed to move the discussion beyond the question of “choice” and give weight to the ways in which discourses around the right to have an abortion have shaped law and public opinion.

Aziza Ahmed

Professor of Law and R. Gordon Butler Scholar in International Law at Boston University School of Law

Michele Goodwin

Chancellor’s Professor of Law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law

Patrice D. Douglass

Assistant Professor in Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of California, Berkeley

Patrice D. Douglass holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Culture and Theory from the University of California, Irvine and a M.A. in Ethnic 

3:10 p.m. – 4:20 p.m.

Challenging Carceral Feminism

This panel engages with the critique of carceral feminism–and the critique of the challenge to the feminist reliance on the criminal legal system.

Kate D’Adamo

Policy & Advocacy Advisor at Reframe Health & Justice Consulting

Aya Gruber

Professor of Law at the University of Colorado Law School

I. India Thusi

Professor of Law at the Maurer School of Law at the Indiana University Bloomington & Senior Scientist at the Kinsey Institute

4:30 pm. – 5:40 p.m.

Rethinking Family Regulation

This panel will interrogate the structural harms imbedded in the family regulation system, including its roots in punitive public welfare regimes, disparate harms in Black and Indigenous communities, discrimination against parents with disabilities, and the system’s recent intramentalization in efforts to remove children from their homes who seek gender-affirming care. 

Douglas NeJaime (moderator)

Anne Urowsky Professor of Law at Yale Law School   

Jennifer Levi

Senior Director of Transgender and Queer Rights at GLAD

Robyn M. Powell

Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma College of Law

Lisa Sangoi

Co-Founder & Co-Director at Movement for Family Power

BeKura Shabazz

President & Founder at Coalition for Families Against Child Separation

Posted in Upcoming Conferences | Comments Off on Yale Journal of Law & Feminism Symposium – Meeting the Moment: Legal Frameworks for Feminist Futures

Call For Applications: Research Associate, Protecting Girls From Harm Project

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From Dr. Kim Barker, Senior Lecturer in Law, Head of Department, Director, Observatory on Online Violence Against Women, The Open University Law School


We are seeking to recruit a Research Associate to work on the Protecting Girls from Online Harm (PGOH) project which is funded through the REPHRAIN Centre. The PGOH Project aims to address the challenge of protecting young people (under 18) from online harms and is based at the Observatory on Online Violence Against Women in the Open University Law School. Our vision here is to close the knowledge gap that exists in relation to how young girls from diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds experience and respond to harmful online behaviours.


We are looking for a proactive post-doctoral researcher with a background in law, education or educational policy, or similar.


The successful applicant will lead desk-based systemic literature reviews on online harms affecting children and young people. The role will require the post-holder to collect and analyse data through surveys and focus groups with teenagers in inner city schools, work collaboratively with the project team, and support dissemination activities of the research to stakeholders, including core educational partners, police, academics ad policymakers.


Full details, including of terms and conditions are available via the job description. You can find the link to the job advert and full information here: https://www.open.ac.uk/about/employment/vacancies/postdoctoral-research-associate-protecting-girls-online-harm-20804 (scroll down for job description).


For queries, or questions relating to the vacancy, please contact Dr Kim Barker via email: kim.barker@open.ac.uk.

Posted in Academia | Comments Off on Call For Applications: Research Associate, Protecting Girls From Harm Project

@MarcSpindelman on Dobbs & State-Level Constitutional Amendments

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Marc Spindelman (OSU) has posted to SSRN a version of his essay Countering Dobbs: A Sex Equality Approach by States Could Protect Abortion Rights, and then Some, published earlier this month in the American Prospect (Feb. 21, 2023), here.

Here is the abstract:

This brief commentary engages state-level constitutional amendment efforts to counter the Supreme Court’s Dobbs ruling. It urges reformers to consider a sex equality approach to state constitutional amendments (and interpretation), given the benefits of such an approach over autonomy-focused rivals presently advancing in different jurisdictions.

You can read the essay on SSRN here: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=4366225.

Posted in Women's Health | 1 Comment

Is Testosterone the New Frontier of Menopause Treatment?

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Depends on who you ask.  Over in the UK, television presenter Davina McCall has been touting its benefits to her. The London Mail has some coverage in an article here.

Some excerpts:

Topping up testosterone levels can transform a woman’s flagging libido, [testosterone advocates] say, banish brain fog, and improve energy and mood. In the longer term, advocates add, it could even stave off dementia, improve bone strength and maintain muscle mass. * * *

Last week, figures revealed how powerful the so-called ‘Davina effect’ has been. NHS prescriptions for testosterone gels have rocketed ten-fold in the last seven years, with a significant uptick following the airing of Davina McCall’s documentary on the subject.

The data, from a Freedom of Information request by the Pharmaceutical Journal, revealed 4,675 women over 50 were prescribed testosterone in November 2022 alone – up from 429 in November 2015. The same pattern was true for women aged 49 and under.

But experts have pointed out these figures are only the tip of an iceberg. GPs remain cautious about prescribing the hormone – partly because there is no licensed testosterone drug specifically for women in the UK.

Far more patients are thought to get it privately, at a significant personal cost, from private doctors: the same doctors who are extolling its benefits the loudest. It means the true number of women taking it remains unknown, but it could run to more than 100,000.

***[D]octors and scientists say there is no evidence to justify most of the claims regarding testosterone.

Women are being exploited, they argue, by those who say the hormone gels are ‘the answer’ to their menopause problems.

They warn that, without appropriate supervision, patients could end up taking the hormone when they don’t need it, or taking too much – risking a wide range of side effects including acne, excess hair growth, greasy skin and even voice changes. They also warn of a condition called clitoromegaly, which causes the clitoris to become permanently enlarged.***

Hormone specialist Dr Annice Mukherjee said: ‘Women are being hood winked to some extent. Testosterone is a trend, driven by social media, which promises a one-size-fits-all approach to the menopause which is simply not the reality. When the right women get it, it’s transformational. When the wrong women get it, it can cause harm.

‘Some are struggling to feed their families during a cost-of-living crisis, and are being rightly told by their GP they don’t need testosterone. Yet they feel they’re being deceived because of what they’ve heard online. Many pay hundreds of pounds a year privately for it.

‘I’ve never seen so much confusion and distress among women because they feel they can’t get hold of what they think they need. It is so wrong.’

Read the full article here.

Posted in Women's Health | 1 Comment

On the Origins of the Term “Cis Gender”

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Over at HuffPo, Dana Dufosse writes, “I Coined The Term ‘Cisgender’ 29 Years Ago. Here’s What This Controversial Word Really Means.”

I coined the term “cisgender” in 1994. Nearly three decades later, the word has had ramifications I never dreamed of.

It began innocently enough. I was in graduate school and writing a paper on the health of trans adolescents. I put a post on alt.transgender to ask for views on transphobia and inclusion on the campus of the University of Minnesota. I was struggling because there did not seem to be a way to describe people who were not transgender without inescapably couching them in normalcy and making transgender identity automatically the “other.”

I knew that in chemistry, molecules with atoms grouped on the same side are labeled with the Latin prefix “cis–,” while molecules with atoms grouped on opposite sides are referred to as “trans–.” So, cisgender. It seemed like a no-brainer. I had no idea that hitting “enter” on that post would start an etymological time bomb ticking.

It took years for the term to take off….

Before now, I have not spoken publicly, or even disclosed my role in the origin of the word cisgender to anyone beyond a few close friends and colleagues. Although I’ve not yet experienced personal attacks for being associated with its creation, it is painful when people imply it was intended to hurt others. I never believed that adding the word to the lexicon caused problems ― it only revealed them. Whatever the fate of the word, I feel compelled to speak out against the idea that it is hateful.

Read the full piece here.

Posted in LGBT Rights | 1 Comment

Breanne Fahs on What “Radical Feminism” Really Means

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Breanne Fahs (Women and Gender Studies, ASU) has a smart essay over at Signs (here) called The Urgent Need for Radical Feminism Today. Here is an excerpt:

Though in some ways short-lived, and certainly not without its limitations, second-wave radical feminism opened up new understandings of gender and power, reimagined solidarity between movements, made space for angry and impatient agitators, and embodied notions of feminist praxis. For example, radical feminists demanded the outright abolition of abortion laws and argued for a constitutional amendment that guaranteed women the fundamental right to bodily autonomy. They also demanded deep-seated revisions to the economic distribution of resources and the commutation of prison sentences for women who acted in self-defense against domestic violence. Far more than their liberal counterparts, radical feminists understood the role of race and class in women’s liberation, and that the links between the civil rights movement, the women’s movement, and labor movements were critical. * * *

Given the rich and varied histories of radical feminism and their ties to other radical movements, it is all the more tragic that radical feminism is now seen, particularly online, as synonymous with the figure of the TERF: an acronym for trans-exclusionary radical feminist. Indeed, most of the time radical feminism is mentioned on social media is in the context of the rejection of TERF-dom. This fusion links the histories, ideologies, and practices of radical feminism to the figure of the TERF, reducing the complexity of radical feminism to trans exclusion. This not only falsely represents radical feminism, it also promotes the false narrative that trans activism and radical feminism do not have common origins, goals, and enemies. The belief that one must either be for trans rights or identify as a radical feminist has problematic implications for trans liberation and women’s liberation.

The full piece is here.

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Five Colleges Women’s Studies Research Center Call for 2023-24 Research Associates

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From the Five Colleges Women’s Studies Research Center:

Are you a feminist thinker, writer, artist, scholar, or activist seeking interdisciplinary community to help build your work? Are you local to the Five Colleges or Western Massachusetts and trying to carve out dedicated time to move your ideas forward? Are you a non-local or international feminist thinker looking to be in conversation with a vibrant scholarly and cultural community?

The Five College Women’ s Studies Research Center is now accepting applications for its 2023-24 Research Associates (Visiting Scholars) program. Located on Hampshire College campus, the FCWSRC provides Research Associates with access to resources in the Five College Consortium and surrounding area, including important archival and museum collections. Research Associates, in residence for a semester or academic year, have opportunities to network with preeminent scholars, workshop and present their projects, and build feminist community across discipline, methodology, and geography.

The deadline is Friday, February 24, 2023.

The program is holding a Zoom information session Monday, January 23, 2023, 1-2pm EST.

More information is available here.

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Symposium 2/24—The Federal Income Tax: Racially Blind But Not Racially Neutral

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Boso on “Religious Liberty, Discriminatory Intent, and the Status Quo Constitution”

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Luke Boso (U San Francisco) has posted to SSRN his working paper, Religious Liberty, Discriminatory Intent, and the Status Quo Constitution. Here is the abstract:

The Supreme Court shocked the world at the end of its 2021-22 term by issuing landmark decisions ending constitutional protection for abortion rights, expanding gun rights, and significantly weakening what remained of the wall between church and state. The thread uniting these blockbuster cases is originalism — a backwards-looking theory of constitutional interpretation focused on founding-era meaning and intent. The Court has been clear that preserving the status quo and insulating the Constitution from change is originalism’s core function.

Originalism is not the only mechanism by which an increasingly conservative Court has sought to protect traditional social norms and hierarchies from disruption. This Article identifies the discriminatory intent doctrine as another useful tool for fortifying status quos. The Burger and Rehnquist Courts laid the contemporary foundation for discriminatory intent’s manipulation in the equal protection context, effectively shielding many racist and sexist legal structures from constitutional reproach.

Today, discriminatory intent rules are creating radical change in religious liberty jurisprudence. In free exercise claims, the Court has gone out of its way to infer even the possibility of discriminatory intent against Christians when the government seeks compliance with pandemic-era public health measures and LGBTQ-inclusive antidiscrimination laws. In establishment claims, the Court has seemingly abandoned longstanding intent rules prohibiting favoritism or hostility towards religion; instead, the sole relevant question is now whether majoritarian founding-era practices support the government’s religious involvement. Together, these shifting roles for discriminatory intent effectively protect conservative Christian interests from encroaching progressive change, leaving religious minorities and non-believers with diminished constitutional protection.

The full paper is available here.

Posted in Feminism and Religion, Feminist Legal Scholarship | Comments Off on Boso on “Religious Liberty, Discriminatory Intent, and the Status Quo Constitution”

Advice from Gender & Law Journal Editors: Tips for Prospective Authors—Free Webinar Sponsored by @usfemjudgments

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Advice from Gender & Law Journal Editors: Tips for Prospective Authors

Live Zoom Webinar Sponsored by the U.S. Feminist Judgments Project

January 20, 2023 2-3 pm Eastern/11am-12n Pacific

advance registration required (here; free)

Specialty law journals are important outlets for legal scholars working on gender-related issues. What are gender journal editors looking for when they review articles? How can authors improve their chances of receiving an offer of publication? What is the best time to submit an article to a gender journal? What role do the author’s cover letter and CV play in the selection process? Hear from current student editors at three journals—the Harvard Journal of Law & Gender, the Michigan Journal of Gender & Law, and the Yale Journal of Law and Feminism—with answers to these questions along with advice and tips for navigating the submission process. 

Moderators: Bridget J. Crawford (Pace) & Kathryn M. Stanchi (UNLV)

Participating Editors: Renée Mihail, Yale Law ’24; Hannah Mezzacapa, Michigan Law ’23; Addie Davies, Harvard Law ‘23

The webinar is free  and open to all with pre-registation (here). The event is co-sponsored by the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University and the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, together with The Feminism and Legal Theory Project, The Vulnerability and the Human Condition Initiative, the Institute for Feminist Legal Studies at Osgoode, and the AALS Section on Women in Legal Education.


Posted in Academia | 1 Comment

States Where Schools Are Required to Provide Menstrual Products

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There’s an interactive map over here at Aunt Flo. Some state legislation is more (or less) comprehensive.

And in related news, USA Today reports here that the Department of Education is considering making menstrual product provision part of schools’ Title IX mandate, at least in part in response to the public comments filed (here) by Professors Marcy Karin (UDC), Margaret Johnson (Baltimore), Elizabeth Cooper (Fordham), Naomi Cahn (Virginia), Emily Waldman (Pace) and me, here. A group of public health scholars and clinicians made similar recommendations in their comments (here).

Posted in Women and Economics, Women's Health | 1 Comment

How Much Would It Cost to Put “Free” Tampons and Pads in All School Bathrooms in the US? $60 Million a Year

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I have previously blogged here, here, and here with speculation about how much it costs for schools to provide “free” menstrual products in bathrooms.

Based on actual data from the Cambridge (MA) Public Schools, the figure appears to be approximately $2.48 per menstruating student (see here). If that number is correct, I ask myself, how much would it cost to provide menstrual products to all public school students nation-wide? My rough (and admittedly inaccurate) estimate is approximately $60 million.  States like Texas would have a big bill (about $6.4 million per year); states like Wyoming would be paying about $117,00 per year.

While these seem like big dollar amounts, in most jurisdictions, the outlay would represent an extremely small share (less than two one-hundreths of one percent) of total current spending on students and likely would boost student attendance numbers.

My back-of-the-envelope calculations (extremely rough) on a per state basis appear after the fold.

Continue reading

Posted in Primary and Secondary Education, Women and Economics, Women's Health | Comments Off on How Much Would It Cost to Put “Free” Tampons and Pads in All School Bathrooms in the US? $60 Million a Year

The Time Students for Life America Got Punk’d by Two Yale Undergrads

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A few weeks ago, two Yale undergrads, Zoe Larkin and Ella Attell, interviewed Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life America, Borat-style. Their spoof video (embedded above) is a funny-not-funny commentary on the absurd rhetoric deployed by anti-abortionist activists (Hawkins endorsed the concept of a clothing line targeted toward pregnant tweens….!).

Apparently, Hawkins and Students for Life America did not take too kindly to finding out that the interview was satire (did she miss the red flags that one of her interlocutors would be “Bertha Child”? How about some of the absurd questions the student interviewers, in character, asked Hawkins?). Hawkins has threatened to sue the students and gone so far as to contact the Dean of Yale College and summer employers (!) of the students.

Brava, Larkin and Attell!

The Yale Daily News has coverage here.

You can follow the student filmmakers on Instagram @saveyalenow

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Who Benefits from #TamponTax Repeal? In Germany, Consumers Do

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A UK study suggests that consumers there did not benefit from repeal of the tampon tax (see here).  A new study out of Germany suggests contrary results in that country.

Here is the abstract of VAT Pass-Through: The Case of a Large and Permanent Reduction in the Market for Menstrual Hygiene Products by Alisa Frey and Justus Haucap, both of the Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf – Department of Economics:

This paper is about the price effects caused by a VAT (value-added tax) reduction for menstrual hygiene products in Germany. Several aspects make this VAT reduction particularly interesting: The exogeneity of the reduction under otherwise constant economic conditions, the reduction was substantial and permanent, demand for the products is inelastic and in many cases, pass-through rates are more than 100 percent. We find that the VAT reduction is completely passed through to consumers. Despite this complete pass-through, we still detect a significant effect of retailer competition: When more retailers offer a product, the price reduction is larger.

The full paper is available here.

Posted in Sisters In Other Nations, Women and Economics | Comments Off on Who Benefits from #TamponTax Repeal? In Germany, Consumers Do

The Gender Wealth Gap in Retirement Savings: A German Case Study

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Carla Cardova (Pomona College), Markus Grabka (German Institute for Economic Research — DIW Berlin) & Eva Sierminska (LISER; DIW Berlin) have posted to SSRN their working paper, Pension Wealth and the Gender Wealth Gap. Here is the abstract:

We examine the gender wealth gap with a focus on pension wealth and statutory pension rights. By taking into account employment characteristics of women and men, we are able to identify the extent to which the redistributive effect of pension rights reduces the gender wealth gap. The data for our analysis come from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), one of the few surveys collecting information on wealth and pension entitlements at the individual level. Pension wealth data are available in the SOEP for 2012 only. While the relative raw gender wealth gap is about 35% (or 31,000 euros) when analysing the standard measure of net worth, it shrinks to 28% when pension wealth is added. This reduction is due to redistributive elements such as caregiver credits provided through the statutory pension scheme. Results of a recentered influence functions (RIF) decomposition show that pension wealth reduces the gap substantially in the lower half of the distribution. At the 90th percentile, the gender wealth gap in net worth and in augmented wealth remains more stable at roughly 27-30%.

The full paper is available here.

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Did the Pandemic Disrupt Your Period?

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You’re not alone.

Here’s the abstract for Martina Anto-Ocrah et al., Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)–Related Stress and Menstrual Changes, Obstetrics & Gynecology (October 27, 2022; DOI 10.1097/AOG.0000000000005010).

A total of 354 women of reproductive age across the United States completed both the menstrual and COVID-19–related stress components of our survey. More than half of these women reported at least one change in their menstrual cycles since the start of the pandemic (n=191), and 10.5% reported high COVID-19–related stress (n=37). Compared with those with low COVID-19–related stress, a greater proportion of women with high COVID-19–related stress reported changes in cycle length (shorter or longer; P=.008), changes in period duration (shorter or longer; P<.001), heavier menstrual flow (P=.035), and increased frequency of spotting between cycles (P=.006) compared with prepandemic times. After adjusting for age, smoking history, obesity, education, and mental health history, high COVID-19–related stress was associated with increased odds of changes in menstrual cycle length (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 2.32; 95% CI 1.12–4.85), duration (aOR 2.38; 95% CI 1.14–4.98), and spotting (aOR 2.32; 95% CI 1.03–5.22). Our data also demonstrated a nonsignificant trend of heavier menstrual flow among women with high COVID-19–related stress (aOR 1.61; 95% CI 0.77–3.34).


High COVID-19–related stress is associated with significant changes in menstrual cycle length, alterations in period duration, and increased intermenstrual spotting as compared with before the pandemic. Given that menstrual health is frequently an indicator of women’s overall well-being, clinicians, researchers, and public health officials must consider the association between COVID-19–related stress and menstrual disturbances.

The full article is available here.

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Who Benefits From #Tampon Tax Repeal? Not Consumers, Says New Report

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A copy of the report by the (UK) Tax Policy Associates is here. Some highlights:

5% VAT applied to tampons and other menstrual products until January 2021. Then, following the high-profile “tampon tax” campaign, it was abolished. Many expected that the benefit of the tax saving would go to women, in the form of reduced prices.

However, an analysis of ONS data by Tax Policy Associates demonstrates that the 5% VAT saving was not passed onto women. At least 80% of the saving was retained by retailers (and very possibly all of it).

The key piece of evidence is this chart showing price changes before and after the abolition of the “tampon tax” on 1 January 2021. Ignoring the large spike in December 2020, average prices after the change are only slightly lower than before the change. For reasons explained further below, this likely reflects normal market movements rather than the passing on of the VAT saving.

Read the full report here.

A related news article appears in the  (UK) Daily Mail here.

Posted in Sisters In Other Nations, Women and Economics | Comments Off on Who Benefits From #Tampon Tax Repeal? Not Consumers, Says New Report

The Contribution of Shareholder Primacy to the Racial Wealth Gap @lenorepalladino @rooseveltinst

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Lenore Palladino (Roosevelt Institute) has posted a working paper, The Contribution of Shareholder Primacy to the Racial Wealth Gap. Here is an excerpt:

I find a Blackwhite ratio of 0.013 and a Hispanicwhite ratio of 0.016 for total shareholder payments made over the period from Q1 2004 to Q2 2019. Total shareholder payments made to white households during that time frame totaled $13 trillion, while $181 billion went to Black households and $212 billion to Hispanic households. This measure gives a clear sense that shareholder payments, in the form of corporate dividends and stock buybacks, are flowing disproportionately to white households.

The full paper is available here.

H/T Francine Lipman

Posted in Race and Racism, Women and Economics | Comments Off on The Contribution of Shareholder Primacy to the Racial Wealth Gap @lenorepalladino @rooseveltinst

The Discourse of Tampon Tax Repeal

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Proving that there is a Foucauldian approach to just about everything, Shu-Chien Chen (Erasmus University Rotterdam) has posted to SSRN Discourses in the Tampon Tax Campaign, 2022 Analize: Journal of Gender & Feminist Studies 114. Here is the abstract:

The Tampon Tax Campaign is a global social movement that aims to abolish consumption tax on menstruation hygienic products and provide free universal access to them as the ultimate goal. In the campaign, there are different discourses supporting abolishing the tampon tax and discourses casting doubts on the campaign. Discourses supporting the campaign center around breaking the menstruation taboo, including eradicating menstruation poverty, ensuring menstruation health, pursuing human rights, and ending tax discrimination. Doubt-casting discourses include the revenue reduction and economics inefficiency in the market after abolishing tax on menstruation hygienic products. These doubt-casting discourses talk about money. I will use Foucault’s discourse analysis approach, not only to analyze discussions from scholars, but also to compare legislation records of Australia, California and Scotland between 2017 and 2020 that are in response to the tampon tax campaign. The comparison demonstrates that all these conflicting discourses exist in all three jurisdictions. Furthermore, this essay also analyzes less-heard of or less-discussed discourses in response to the tampon tax campaign. These discourses are produced by non-profit organizations that receive subsidies from the tampon tax fund in the UK and by major hygienic products manufacturing companies in Australia via submitting their public consultation opinion. This essay argues that menstruation inequality is an intersectional issue, as well as the discourses around it. Focusing on ‘tax’ is a smart strategy for a movement, but there should be continuous efforts to address the menstruation taboo. The tampon tax campaign is not only about tax nor about tampons, but the power relations underlying the socially constructed menstruation taboo.

The full article is available here.

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Australia Has a Majority-Female High Court: Why That Matters

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Jayne Jagot was sworn in last week as the 56th justice of the High Court of Australia. She is the Court’s seventh woman appointed to the High Court, which now has a female majority.  See news reports here.

Law professor Heather Roberts (ANU) has thoughts (here; paywall — sorry) on why the gender balance of the High Court is significant. Professor Roberts also has a short video (below and here) providing some context for discussions of gender and judging, in light of Justice Jagot’s appointment.


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“Tools for Tackling the Toxic Workplace” Panel at NYU Law 10/26/22

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A Conversation with Gretchen Carlson and Julie Roginsky

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

7:00-9:00 p.m. EDT

Furman Hall, Lester Pollock Colloquium
245 Sullivan Street
New York, NY 10012

Please join the Birnbaum Women’s Leadership Network and Lift Our Voices for a discussion and training with Gretchen Carlson and Julie Roginsky — leaders in the global #MeToo movement who took on Fox News and its chairman Roger Ailes — moderated by Frederick I. and Grace Stokes Professor of Law and BWLN Faculty Director Melissa Murray.

The session will include practical tips on knowing your workplace rights, the kinds of protective tools that are available, what the law does (and doesn’t) say — and how women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQIA+ community are uniquely impacted by oft-used contractual silencing mechanisms such as concealment clauses, NDAs, and forced arbitration. And it will feature candid conversation that focuses on mobilizing to change the narrative around toxic workplace culture from the start — especially how law and business students can play a part.

Light hors d’oeuvres will be available. In accordance with NYU’s COVID safety protocols, you will be asked to provide proof of COVID vaccination and booster. While this event is free and open to the public, registration is required. We are unfortunately unable to accept walk-ins. Kindly register via Qualtrics.

For questions, please email womensleadership@nyu.edu.

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What Does Tax Law Have to Do with Racial Inequality?

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Quite a bit.

For those who would like to know more, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy has issued a new report on The Geographic Distribution of Extreme Wealth in the U.S. Here are a few of the report’s key findings:

More than one in four dollars of wealth in the U.S. is held by a tiny fraction of households with net worth over $30 million. Nationally, we estimate that wealth over $30 million per household will reach $26 trillion in 2022 with roughly one-fifth of that amount ($4.5 trillion) held by billionaires.

A nationwide tax of 2 percent on wealth over $30 million could have raised nearly $415 billion if it were in effect this year, while a similar tax applying only to wealth in excess of $1 billion could have raised $62 billion. This tax would affect just 1 in 400 households nationwide, or 0.25 percent of the population. No state would see more than 0.5 percent of its population affected by such a tax.

New York is home to the highest concentration of extreme wealth in the nation. Of all wealth over $30 million per household found in the U.S., more than 1 in 5 of those dollars can be found in New York. This finding points to the outsized importance of Wall Street as a source of extreme wealth in the U.S. and to the economic clout of New York City more broadly. (For more about the novel methodology behind this finding, see Appendix E.)

Other states with an outsized concentration of extreme wealth achieve that distinction through a variety of means, including industry mix and the location decisions of a small number of billionaires. Other states with above-average shares of wealth in excess of $30 million are Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, Washington State, Wyoming and the District of Columbia.

The Northeast is home to a higher concentration of extreme wealth than any other region and would therefore pay a significant share of a tax on wealth over $30 million per household. The Midwest and South would be least affected by such a tax as these regions possess smaller amounts of extreme wealth.

A large share of extreme wealth is held in the form of unrealized capital gains, meaning investment income on which these families have yet to pay tax (and may never pay tax under current law). Nationally, among families with more than $30 million in wealth, an estimated 43 percent of that wealth takes the form of unrealized gains.

Lawmakers could consider taxing the existing stock of unrealized capital gains either as part of a transition to taxing such gains on an annual basis or under a standalone, one-time tax. A one-time tax on the current stock of unrealized capital gains over $10 million per household could generate between $529 billion and $3.9 trillion depending on the parameters chosen for the tax.

The federal government and states have no shortage of options for taxing extreme wealth, including net worth taxation, mark-to-market taxation, ending stepped-up basis, raising rates on realized capital gains and strengthening or creating estate and inheritance taxes. Notably, many options that the federal government might pursue in taxing extreme wealth would also be helpful to states seeking to diversify their own revenue streams to include extreme wealth within their tax bases.

H/T Francine Lipman

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Law Professor Commentary on Proposed Title IX Regs

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Law professors are among those commenting on the proposed regulations under Title IX, issued by the Department of Education, Docket #ED-2021-OCR-0166:

It’s anyone’s guess on when the final regulations will be issued, but the best guess from insiders is about 6 months from now.

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Privacy Concerns and Period Trackers; Mozilla Takes Notice

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The concerns are not new. Michele Gilman (Baltimore) and others have been sounding this alarm for some time now.  (Read Professor Gilman’s important essay, Periods for Profit and Menstrual Surveillance, 41 Colum. J. Gender & Law 100 (2021)  here.)

What is new is the attention that journalists and tech companies themselves are now paying to the lack of privacy when it comes to period trackers and other health-related apps. Consider, for example, a new study by Mozilla, reported over at The Verge:

Most popular period and pregnancy tracking apps don’t have strong privacy protections, according to a new analysis from researchers at Mozilla. Leaky privacy policies in health apps are always a problem, but issues that fall into this particular category are especially concerning now that abortion is illegal in many places in the United States.

Period and pregnancy tracking apps collect data that could theoretically be used to prosecute people getting abortions in places where it’s illegal. Data from period tracking apps isn’t the biggest thing used to tie people to abortions right now — most often, the digital data used in those cases comes from texts, Google searches, or Facebook messages. But they’re still potential risks.

Read the full article at The Verge here.

The interesting question is whether tech companies will take any action in response, or whether they will continue to function as profit facilitators for those who traffic in health data.

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Menstrual Products are Free in Scotland

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Yup.  The NYT has full coverage here.

As Emily Waldman (Pace) and I write in our book, Menstruation Matters: Challenging the Law’s Silence on Periods (NYU Press 2022):

On an international level, the most dramatic menstrual equity development that occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic was Scotland’s November 24, 2020 passage of the Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Act, which requires local authorities to ensure that period products are obtainable free of charge by all who need them. This law, described further in Chapter 9, passed unanimously in the Scottish Parliament. Although it had been in the works even before the pandemic began—a draft bill had received initial approval in February 2020—the pandemic heightened its urgency. The lawmaker who had submitted the bill, Monica Lennon, explicitly linked its final passage to the pandemic, telling her fellow lawmakers right before the vote that “[i]n these dark times, we can bring light and hope to the world this evening.” Lennon further reflected that the bill “matters now more than ever, because periods don’t stop in a pandemic.”

The law passed in 2020 has now taken effect. This is a giant occasion.

For those interested more in the background to the Scottish reform, check out this special issue of Open Library of Humanities has a special issue devoted to “The Politics and History of Menstruation: Contextualising the Scottish Campaign to End Period Poverty.” The editors are Bettina Bildhauer (University of St Andrews), Camilla Røstvik (University of Leeds) and Sharra Vostral (History, Purdue University).



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What are the “Most Important and Discussed Feminist Issues Currently”?

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On a Women’s Studies listserv, one poster recently asked for subscribers’ thoughts on “the most important and discussed feminist issues currently.” Writer Katha Pollitt responded  as follows (reprinted with permission):

I think the major feminist issues are the same as always: repro rights and justice, male violence  and coercion (rape, assault, dv, murder, sexual harassment) and the failure of society to take them seriously, poverty, domestic inequality,  lack of adequate and respectful health care, affordable childcare,  lack of pay equity and the many ways women are  sidelined at work, lack of political representation, impoverishment of  women in old age, misogynist pop culture, including misogynistic pornography.

An important reminder to many of us that the more things change, the more things stay the same, for sure.

-Bridget Crawford

Posted in Feminism and Law | Comments Off on What are the “Most Important and Discussed Feminist Issues Currently”?

Where are the Women? Hard to Find Many Among Speakers at Upcoming Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy Symposium or on the Journal’s List of “Advisors” @HarvardJLPP #manel

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The Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy and the Harvard Law School Federalist Society have announced a symposium to be held on October 29, 2022:

It’s a symposium on Adrian Vermeule’s book, which certainly has female readers …. Was it simply not possible to strike a gender balance?

I checked the journal’s list of “advisors” here and—mirabile dictu—not so many women on the journal’s list there, either:

E. Spencer Abraham, Founder
Steven G. Calabresi
Douglas R. Cox
Jennifer W. Elrod
Charles Fried
Douglas H. Ginsburg
Orrin Hatch
Jonathan R. Macey
Michael W. McConnell
Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain
Jeremy A. Rabkin
Hal S. Scott
David B. Sentelle
Bradley Smith
Jerry E. Smith

Couldn’t the students find any more women to speak at the program or serve as an “advisor”? Maybe they consulted binders full of women for both, but none could participate. Did any of the speakers ask about the gender or other diversity of the program speakers? I don’t know.


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Open Library of Humanities Special Issue on “The Politics and History of Menstruation: Contextualising the Scottish Campaign to End Period Poverty”

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The Open Library of Humanities has a special issue devoted to “The Politics and History of Menstruation: Contextualising the Scottish Campaign to End Period Poverty.” The editors are Bettina Bildhauer (University of St Andrews), Camilla Røstvik (University of Leeds) and Sharra Vostral (History, Purdue University). Here is a description of the journal’s special issue:

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?

Here is the current table of contents, which will be updated as additional articles are added:

  • Introduction: The Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Act 2021 in the Context of Menstrual Politics and History, Bettina Bildhauer, Camilla Mork Røstvik and Sharra L Vostral
  • Uniting the Nation through Transcending Menstrual Blood: The Period Products Act in Historical Perspective, Bettina Bildhauer
  • Researching the Researchers: The Impact of Menstrual Stigma on the Study of Menstruation, Lara Owen
  • The Red Gown: Reflections on the In/Visibility of Menstruation in Scotland, Camilla Mørk Røstvik, Bee Hughes and Catherine Spencer
  • ‘A Crisis of Transition’: Menstruation and the Psychiatrisation of the Female Lifecycle in 19th-Century Edinburgh, Jessica Campbell and Gayle Davis
  • ‘Responsible Body’: Menstrual Education Films and Sex Education in the United States and Scotland, 1970s–1980s, Saniya Lee Ghanoui

The entire issue is open access and available here.

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Guide to Submitting Shorter Pieces to Online Law Review Companions

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I’ve expanded the coverage from journals at 20 schools to 45 schools, here.

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Elizabeth D. Katz Wins Haub Law Emerging Scholar in Gender & Law Prize

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Professor Elizabeth D. Katz of Washington University in St. Louis School of Law has been selected as the 2021-2022 Haub Law Emerging Scholar in Gender & Law for her paper Sex, Suffrage, and State Constitutional Law: Women’s Legal Right to Hold Public Office, 33 Yale J. Law & Feminism. 110 (2022). Professor Katz is an Associate Professor of Law at Washington University in St. Louis School. During the 2022-2023 academic year, Professor Katz will be a visiting professor of law at Northwestern, Duke, and Boston College. She teaches first-year criminal law, family law, and a seminar on the law’s treatment of race and religion in family contexts, historically and today.

Congratulations, Professor Katz!

Read the full press release here.

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The Voice of the Valley: Erlea Maneros Zabala Rebukes Franco’s Brutalization of the Female Figure with Feminist Basque Art

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Grapple with American novelist and ArtForum writer Dodie Bellamy’s revelatory feature of Los Angeles-based Basque multimedia artist, Erlea Maneros Zabala in her piece, “Erlea Maneros Zabala: A feminist reimagining of Spain’s fascist past,” (July 25, 2022).  

Read the excerpts below to better understand Bellamy’s impression of Maneros Zabala’s work in a post-Roe context as well as Maneros Zabala’s central message within her art: to reclaim the female figure and female voice despite the residue of Franco’s fascist violence.

“BORN AND RAISED IN THE BASQUE COUNTRY, Erlea Maneros Zabala relocated to Los Angeles in 2000. I met her briefly in 2007 through Raymond Pettibon. Though we instantly clicked, our paths didn’t cross again until 2019, when we found ourselves at the same Christmas Eve party. In May, I visited Erlea in her house in the high desert, two hours outside of Los Angeles, where she walked me through a slide presentation of “The Voice of the Valley,” her solo exhibition currently on view at Artium Museoa, Museum of Contemporary Art of the Basque Country through September 18, 2022. The show comprises four installations that are loosely in conversation with one another. I was particularly engaged by Prompt Book, 2016–22, a response to gruesome depictions of women in artworks created during the Franco Regime.

Since my visit to Joshua Tree in early May, Erlea and I have talked on the phone for dozens of hours, open-ended conversations about our personal lives, gossip, politics, history, art. The more we looked at and discussed misogynist art from the Spanish fascist period, the more apparent were its resonances with current attacks on women’s rights. Situated in the same room as Prompt Book is the eponymous The Voice of the Valley, 2017, a video of Erlea’s hands in her Joshua Tree studio doing various art-related tasks such as sanding a frame as she listens to the local right-wing radio station. Watching the four-hour video is an act of endurance, witnessing the epic cultural assault of angry male voices upon Erlea, i.e., the female artist, i.e., women in general. When Roe v. Wade was overturned, I reaffirmed my commitment to spotlight feminist projects such as Erlea’s. So, over Zoom on June 26, she and I discussed her Artium exhibition and its ramifications.”

EMZ: Until recently, the Spanish public has been unable to address the forty years of the fascist regime they endured. As I saw visitors walk through the room—so small that it felt more of a passage space between larger rooms—I was bewildered by how seldom anyone actually stopped to look at any of it.

But what struck me was the fact that every female figure in these small, cutesy artworks was being subjected to physical violence. The film, projected to fill the whole wall, consisted of a seventy-three minute monologue of a man not only making excuses for his son killing his wife but also blaming another woman for brainwashing the son into doing it.

Observing these brutalized female figures trapped in these artworks ticked me off. As I looked at them, they became animated; they turned into protagonists in a play. I imagined the thoughts and conversations they might be having all taking place in Euskara (my mother tongue) in the spirit of a group of women talking in a coffee shop or a hair salon in my hometown, sharing their grievances.

DB: Was it your intent to leave Prompt Book in Basque?

EMZ: I liked the idea that the text would be written in a language that was illegal in Spain when the artworks were created. Most people who would have seen that version of Prompt Book would not have been able to understand what the women were saying so they would have experienced the text merely as image. Later they would have been able to access the full breadth of the project by reading the translation.

For more, read the complete article here.


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A Guide to Gender-Inclusive Legal Writing

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Read the British Columbia Law Institute’s newly published guide, “Gender Diversity in Legal Writing: Pronouns, Honorifics, and Gender-Inclusive Techniques,” (June 27, 2022), which urges legal scholars to make a conscious shift to inclusive and expansive language, particularly regarding gender and gender identity, in their writings.

Read the abstract below:

Like the law, language and styles of writing evolve over time to meet the needs of new generations. One such shift is towards language that reflects a modern understanding of gender and gender identity. Inclusivity can no longer be limited to masculine and feminine but must be extended to include people who identify as non-binary, agender, two spirited, or genderqueer. To meet these needs, the British Columbia Law Institute is creating a guide to "Gender Diversity in Legal Writing: Pronouns, Honorifics, and Gender-Inclusive Techniques."
Legal writing comprises many forms: legislation, court submissions, opinion letters, transactional writing (e.g., contracts, wills), communications with clients and other lawyers, legal memoranda, legal texts and academic writing, court forms, judgments and decisions, and other reports and papers. Ultimately, the writer must choose the gender inclusive techniques needed for their audience and subject matter. The methods and tools explored in this publication give legal writers guidance to consider inclusivity in their writing.
The Guide:
- Defines terms and addresses common misconceptions associated with certain terminology (e.g., transgender, not transgendered);
- Outlines techniques to reflect inclusivity and gender neutrality, including review of honorifics, greetings, and pronouns;
- Provides examples of how to incorporate gender inclusivity into one’s own writing style; and
- Provides a list of resources for legal writers who want to learn more.

Find the attached article here. 


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UK Government Excludes Migrant Women from Protections in Key Anti-Gender Violence Treaty

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As reported in the recent Human Rights Watch piece, “UK: Tackling Violence against Some Women, But Not All,” (July 22, 2022), although the United Kingdom government has just sworn to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women as of July 31, 2022, over a decade after its initial signing, this landmark measure is stained by the exclusion of migrant women from its protections.

Its reservation to Article 59 will force migrant women victims of domestic violence to continue to be reliant on their abusers for residency status, therefore “putting their health and lives at ongoing risk…without assured access to crucial support and a pathway to escape violence.”

Read excerpts from the piece to better understand the effects of this exclusionary treaty:

“Patel said the government will apply a reservation to Article 59 while awaiting the evaluation of the Support for Migrant Victims scheme, a pilot project introduced alongside the Domestic Violence Act of 2021 to support a limited number of women who cannot access public benefits. People on visas tied to spouses or fiancés have “No Recourse to Public Funds” under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, making them ineligible for most government benefits, which often includes refuge spaces.

The Support for Migrant Victims scheme, which concluded in March, was roundly criticized by key organizations led by-and-for Black and minoritised and migrant women as “wholly inadequate” both in scope and in substance to meet the needs of migrant women victims of violence.

Significant evidence already points to the need for greater protections for migrant women victims of violence with precarious residency status. In research by the Latin American Women’s Rights Service, 62 percent of migrant women in London surveyed said their abusers had threatened deportation if they reported the abuse to authorities.
Southall Black Sisters, which ran the Support for Migrant Victims Scheme, has reported that over 60 percent of women seeking their assistance have insecure immigration status. Research from the office of the Domestic Abuse Commissioner for England and Wales highlights that women in such circumstances are less likely to seek or benefit from services or escape abuse.

The UK has long positioned itself as a champion of tackling violence against women and girls internationally, but has faced mounting evidence of inadequate prevention, response, and accountability measures domestically and failure to prioritize combating it at home.”

Read the complete article here.


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Does Feminist Legal Theory Matter to the Schlesinger Library? Or Smith? Or Duke? Or Brown?

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Earlier this week, Ms. Magazine published an article (here) revealing the somewhat surprising decision of the Schlesinger Library at Harvard University to decline the records of the Feminism and Legal Theory Project, begun at the University of Wisconsin in 1984 and still going strong at Emory University, under the leadership of path-breaking scholar Professor Martha Fineman.  Here‘s an excerpt from the story:

For close to four decades, Fineman’s Feminism and Legal Theory Project has hosted hundreds of conversations where feminist thinkers from across the United States and world have shaped and explored a wide range of concepts relating to women’s position within law and society. Those conversations delved into the “public nature of private violence,” the legal regulation of motherhood, feminism’s reception in the media, the relevance of economics to feminist thought, the complexities of sexuality, conflicting children’s and parental rights, the origins and implications of dependency and vulnerability, and the extent and nature of social responsibility. ***

Out of these conversations emerged the first anthology of feminist legal theory, At the Boundaries of Law, published in 1991. Many more followed, including over a dozen collections, numerous special issues of law reviews and hundreds of individual articles developing an interdisciplinary approach to feminist legal theory.

“In the Feminism and Legal Theory Project, we created what I called ‘uncomfortable conversations’—events where people who shared values, but disagreed about strategies and implementation, could talk,” said Fineman. “If there were areas of disagreement around collective objectives, you could talk about them and work through them hopefully in a constructive manner. That’s how actual progress can be made.” ***

Fineman recorded all of these conversations—a treasure trove of close to four decades of feminist intellectual history. But she is now struggling to find a home for this invaluable archive of the first generation of feminist legal thinkers.

“History has something to teach us. If we don’t collect the history and preserve it, then it can’t teach us,” said Fineman.

The Schlesinger Library at Harvard University is one of the few facilities that currently has the resources to care for the Fineman’s collection, but they told her that although they saw its value, they would not take her archives because they had other priorities. According to Fineman, a representative from Harvard told her: “We do see the real importance of the conferences, the ideas generated, and know it is an important resource for scholars. Unfortunately, it doesn’t align with our current strategic priorities, which involve a heightened focus on lives of women of color. We wouldn’t be able to commit the resources the archives need to its care.”

Others archives, including the Sophia Smith Collection of Women’s History at Smith College, the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture at Duke University and the Pembroke Center Archives at Brown University, indicated they have other priorities (e.g. Smith is prioritizing papers related to sex workers’ rights while Duke “does not focus on the papers of legal scholars”) or they do not have the resources or technical capacity to house the collection.

“Some people are telling me the size of the collection is prohibitive,” said Fineman. “They talk about the necessity to digitize everything initially—but then explain that current technology will need ongoing updating, and this will all add to the cost, ironically decreasing the amount of material that they can actually collect.”

Read the full story here.

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Buenos Aires Bans Gender-Neutral Language

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Read World Politics Review writer Graciela Monteagudo’s piece, “Argentina’s Feminist Backlash Takes Aim at Inclusive Spanish,” (July 19, 2022), which tackles the ongoing struggle for Latin American educators to adopt gender neutral language within the restrictive masculine/feminine designations that Spanish harbors. This past June, the city government in Buenos Aires banned teachers from including any gender-neutral language in the classroom or in communications with parents, insisting such language violated the grammatical rules of Spanish and put students’ “reading comprehension” in jeopardy.

Here is an excerpt:

In what could be seen as petty revenge for Argentina’s legalization of abortion in 2020, Horacio Rodriguez Larreta, the chief of government of the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina’s capital, has banned gender-inclusive language in the city’s public schools.
The decision, which was announced at the end of June, is the latest development in what many consider a widening war on feminism in Argentina. The main advocates of the ban, the Royal Spanish Academy and the Argentine Academy of Letters, have argued that changing the Spanish language to accommodate gender neutrality would be confusing and, in any case, unnecessary. As Alicia Zorrilla, president of the Argentine Academy of Letters, explained, “The grammatical masculine is already inclusive [and] covers that function as an unmarked term of the gender opposition.

Read the complete World Politics Review article here, accompanied by New York Times writer Ana Lankes’s recent piece contextualizing the struggle for the acceptance of gender neutral terms in Romance languages in her work, “​​In Argentina, One of the World’s First Bans on Gender-Neutral Language,” (July 20, 2022).


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Bolivian social groups push government to reinforce gender violence protections

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Read La Prensa Latina’s piece, “Bolivia moves reform bill to strengthen gender violence law” (July 20, 2022) which touches on community leaders’ efforts to legally curb rising numbers of femicides and sexual violence.

Here is an excerpt below:

The Bolivian government on Tuesday moved a bill that seeks to strengthen a 2013 law on violence against women, the full application of which has been an ongoing demand of social organizations.

Justice minister Iván Lima and presidency minister María Nela Prada separately highlighted that the draft was worked on with broad participation from various sectors, with more than 1,000 proposals to improve Law 348 – the Comprehensive Law to Guarantee Women a Life Free From Violence.

[Social leader Flora Aguilar to President Luis] Arce highlighted some measures taken by his government, such as the creation of a commission that reviewed cases in which those sentenced for femicides and infanticides were released, and the recent approval of a law that establishes punishments against judicial officials that in any way favor those accused of these crimes.

The bill creates “a special criminal procedure to punish differentiated crimes of violence that eliminates unnecessary stages or hearings to reach trial” and reinforces the application of special protection measures for victims, Aguilar said.
It also establishes the “priority of searching for women in case of disappearance” if there is a history of violence and proposes the creation of a “differential sanctioning administrative system in the areas of health, education, work and communication,” she said.

Read the complete article here.


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