Motherhood & Forced Climate Migration in Marathwada, India

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As the number of climate migrants rises exponentially due to the dire state of the climate crisis and warming planet, drought-prone areas like the Indian state of Maharashtra are most at risk of displacing their population. In Maharashtra, millions of civilians were forced to move to bigger cities in search for water, such as Mumbai and Pune. In particular, it was found that pregnant migrant mothers bore the brunt of adverse health conditions within these journeys and relocations.

Scholars Ashish Pardhi, Suresh Jungari, Parshuram Kale and Priyanka Bomble’s explore this topic and others in their article, “Migrant motherhood: Maternal and child health care utilization of forced migrants in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India,” (March 2020).

Here is an excerpt:

There is growing concern that climate change will lead to more frequent extreme weather events and natural disasters that could adversely affect short- and long-term health outcomes of the affected populations in developing countries (Datar et al., 2013, Rodriguez-Llanes et al., 2011). India is one of the most vulnerable drought-prone countries in the world. Large parts of the country have experienced a drought at least once every three years in the last five decades. Since the mid-nineties, the frequency of droughts have increased and there have been prolonged and widespread droughts in consecutive years (Mishra & Singh, 2010).

In 2015, the Government of Maharashtra had declared a “drought-like condition” in 14,708 villages of the state where about 34% of the state was affected by drought. The Marathwada region of Maharashtra was the worst affected and declared nearly all 8,522 villages affected by drought. In the three years since then, the region received insufficient rain, thus worsening the crisis. Due to the persistent drought, millions of people were forced to leave their homes and move to bigger cities like Mumbai and Pune in search of work and water. Most of the families which migrated included elderly people, pregnant women and children. These migrants do not have homes in the city with many living in makeshift shelters on construction sites, footpaths, under bridges in Navi Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan, and other areas. The living condition of the forced migrant’s population is challenging with limited job opportunities. With many migrants unable to find employment, their vulnerability has increased and more so among the women and children.


Several studies have also found that migrant women who are pregnant are less likely to get maternal and healthcare services, vaccination, adequate nutrition, sufficient rest and peace of mind at their destinations (Stephenson and Matthews, 2004, Almeida et al., 2013, Abrol et al., 2008, Sudhinaraset et al., 2016, Bollini et al., 2009, Gawde et al., 2016, Nitika et al., 2014). Studies also show that children in the forced migration children are at greater risk of diseases because they miss immunization schedules against life threatening diseases, are not exclusively breastfed and do not get adequate nutritional supplements (Hildebrandt and McKenzie, 2005, Kusuma et al., 2010, Pakhare et al., 2014, Kusuma et al., 2018a). A study by Upadhyay et al. (2017) documented that forced migration during infancy has a significant adverse effect on a child’s cognitive well-being at later age.

Read the complete article here.

-PS

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Memorial Information for Browne Lewis

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From the NCCU Chancellor, here:

Dear NCCU Community: 

A celebration of life ceremony will be held on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, at St. Joseph AME Church, 2521 Fayetteville St., Durham, NC, 27707. The viewing will begin at 11 a.m., followed by her funeral service at 1 p.m.

An additional ceremony will be held on Monday, June 27, 2022, at Restoration Apostolic Ministries, 175 Fairgrounds Rd., Natchitoches, LA 71457. The viewing begins at 12 p.m. and the service will commence at 2 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family of Dean Lewis requests that donations be made in her name to the following causes which were dear to her: the NCCU School of Law Social Justice Racial Equity Institute (SJREI) and Grambling University Scholarship Fund.

Please continue to keep Dean Lewis’ family, friends and colleagues in your thoughts and prayers.

Thank you.

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Period Tracking and Privacy in the Post-Roe Age

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Just as many of our calendars have become digitized in the last decade, millions use apps like Flo and Clue to track their menstrual cycles. Yet in light of the leaked draft of the Supreme Court opinion on Roe v. Wade comes a rising concern for the possibility of this health data being used as a penalty for those seeking an abortion. 

Read NPR writer Rina Torchinsky’s take on the issue below in her piece, How period tracking apps and data privacy fit into a post-Roe v. Wade climate (May 10, 2022):

The personal health data stored in these apps is among the most intimate types of information a person can share. And it can also be telling. The apps can show when their period stops and starts and when a pregnancy stops and starts.

That has privacy experts on edge, because if abortion is ever criminalized, this data — whether subpoenaed or sold to a third party — could be used to suggest that someone has had or is considering an abortion.

“We’re very concerned in a lot of advocacy spaces about what happens when private corporations or the government can gain access to deeply sensitive data about people’s lives and activities,” says Lydia X. Z. Brown, a policy counsel with the Privacy and Data Project at the Center for Democracy and Technology. “Especially when that data could put people in vulnerable and marginalized communities at risk for actual harm.”

And “it’s more than just period apps” we should worry about:

Evan Greer, director of the digital rights advocacy group Fight for the Future, says period apps aren’t the only ways technology can be used to connect someone to an abortion. If someone is sitting in the waiting room of a clinic that offers abortion services and is playing a game on their phone, that app might be collecting location data, she says.

“Any app that is collecting sensitive information about your health or your body should be given an additional level of scrutiny,” Greer says.

Search histories could also be identifying, says Brown. Activist groups — regardless of what they’re advocating for — might try to purchase a dataset that would show where people have been searching for information related to abortion.

For a further analysis of the risk of health surveillance, read through Professor Deborah Lupton of the University of Canberra, Canberra, Australia’s Faculty of Arts & Design’s illuminating article, “Quantified sex: a critical analysis of sexual and reproductive self-tracking using apps,” (June 11, 2014). Below is the abstract:

Digital health technologies are playing an increasingly important role in healthcare, health education and voluntary self-surveillance, self-quantification and self-care practices. This paper presents a critical analysis of one digital health device: computer apps used to self-track features of users’ sexual and reproductive activities and functions. After a review of the content of such apps available in the Apple App Store and Google playe store, some of their sociocultural, ethical and political implications are discussed. These include the role played by these apps in participatory surveillance, their configuration of sexuality and reproduction, the valorising of the quantification of the body in the context of neoliberalism and self-responsibility, and issues concerning privacy, data security and the use of the data collected by these apps. It is suggested that such apps represent sexuality and reproduction in certain defined and limited ways that work to perpetuate normative stereotypes and assumptions about women and men as sexual and reproductive subjects. Furthermore there are significant ethical and privacy implications emerging from the use of these apps and the data they produce. The paper ends with suggestions concerning the ‘queering’ of such technologies in response to these issues. 

Read the complete article here.

-PS

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Iowa Poised to Repeal its Tampon Tax

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Iowa State flagIowa appears poised to repeal its state sales tax on menstrual products. The Iowa legislature passed Senate File 2367, which also repeals the state sales tax in diapers and adult incontinence pads and treats as tax-free income a governor-declared retention bonus for teachers, correctional officers, police officers and child care workers.

The bill still needs to be signed by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, a Republican. She is expected to do so. In January, Governor Reynolds was chosen to give the Republican response to President Biden’s State of the Union address (see here), and has been called a “rising star” in the party. Her support for the bill is just further evidence that tampon tax repeal is a bipartisan issue, drawing support from people at all points on the political spectrum.

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The Tampon Shortage is Real

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And what happens when there are supply-chain problems, staffing shortages and more? Companies jack up the prices. That’s capitalism — not just menstrual capitalism. Of course, what makes the shortage of menstrual products especially salient is that alternative products (like menstrual cups or period underwear) can be expensive, impractical, or unusable by some people. Check out Time Magazine’s coverage of “The Great Tampon Shortage of 2022” here.

Here is an excerpt:

“To put it bluntly, tampons are next to impossible to find,” says Michelle Wolfe, a radio host in Bozeman, Montana, who wrote a piece on her radio station’s website in March about not being able to find tampons in Montana. “I would say it’s been like this for a solid six months.” * * *

Increased demand, staffing shortages, raw material shortages—none of these factors are unique to tampons. Yet what makes the tampon shortage so persistent and problematic is that unlike most other items that the supply chain has made it hard to access, tampons are not something women can stop buying until supplies return. You may be annoyed that your couch delivery is delayed or that you still can’t find your favorite running shoes, but you can wait—or buy something else. Women get their period every month, and if they’ve used tampons for their entire adult lives, they need tampons.

The fact that women will keep trying to find tampons, even if the shelves are empty and prices are rising, has allowed companies to increase the prices of feminine care products. Procter & Gamble said in April 2021 that it would increase prices on baby care, feminine care, and adult incontinence products. Then, in April of this year, it said it would again raise prices on its feminine care products. P&G posted its biggest sales gain in decades in the most recent quarter, and the amount of money it made from sales in its feminine care division was up 10%.

Read the full article here.

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President of Chile Publicly Apologizes to Woman who was Sterilized Without Her Consent

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On May 26, the President of Chile Gabriel Boric publicly apologized to Francisca, a Chilean woman with HIV who was sterilized without her consent in 2002 while giving birth. Soon after becoming pregnant, Francisca had tested positive for HIV, then prompting her to take antiretroviral treatment in hopes of not transmitting the virus to her baby. She was unknowingly sterilized while under anesthesia for a Cesarean section, even though she never requested or consented to it, either in writing or verbally, as mandated by law since 2000. After a decade of legal battles against the state of Chile, in August 2021, the Center for Reproductive Rights and Chilean HIV/AIDS service group Vivo Positivo won big, for “the government of Chile agreed to end forced sterilization, provide Francisca with reparations, and reform its policies to address discrimination against people living with HIV,” as described by the Center. Furthermore, this victory sits as a model of one’s sacred right to health, personal liberty and security and life without gender-based violence.

Read the complete report in the Center for Reproductive Rights’ news page within the Latin American & Caribbean Program entitled, President of Chile Issues Public Apology to Woman who was Sterilized Without Her Consent in Landmark Case at the IACHR (May 27, 2022).

I also recommend reading the excerpt below from a Center for Reproductive Rights hearing before the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women on Sept. 17, 2012 in order to better understand the deep-rooted history of legal struggles against the Chilean government as rights-groups aimed to expand the agency of Chileans living with HIV/AIDS who chose to have children. Within the letter they wrote to the UN Committee, it is evident that the Center was trying to rally international support against Chile’s draconian sterilization policies and demand the country move towards a system of consent.

Recognizing that its international legal obligations required informed consent, Chile revised its law governing sterilization in 2000. The new law states that “[t]he decision to undergo sterilization is personal” and mandates that it should be provided through written consent as well as that health care providers offer counseling on alternative forms of contraception, the irreversible nature of sterilization and the potential risks involved before obtaining a patient’s written informed consent for the procedure. Voluntary, informed consent must be obtained in writing prior to the sterilization. Despite the revision of the law, forced and coerced sterilization of women living with HIV/AIDS continue to occur in Chile.

Prior to 2000, the law governing surgical sterilization codified medical practitioners’ ability to make decisions on their patients’ behalf in “serious cases,” in addition to restricting surgical sterilization to specific medical issues and requiring spousal consent. Although HIV/AIDS was not explicitly included among the medical indications for sterilization, medical practitioners routinely read the “other medical causes” provision to include HIV/AIDS, and used this provision to justify involuntary sterilization of women living with HIV. Involuntary sterilization can take the form of coerced or forced sterilization. Coerced sterilization occurs when the individual does not provide free and informed consent prior to the sterilization. It may result from the use of intimidation tactics, misinformation, directive counseling or financial or other incentives which compel a person to undergo sterilization. The conditioning of health services on consent to sterilization is another form of coercion. Sterilization is considered forced when a person is sterilized without his or her knowledge or is not given an opportunity to provide consent. Due to sterilization’s permanent nature, it is critical that women provide informed consent prior to the procedure.

Read the complete letter here.

PS

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Pace Law Seeks Visitor for Spring 2023 Semester

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Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University invites applications for a Visiting Professor for Spring 2023 

Pace Law logoThe Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University is currently seeking applicants for a podium-fill visitor to teach during the Spring 2023 semester. We are particularly interested in applicants who can teach Constitutional Law and/or Corporations and other courses in the business law area.

All applicants should have excellent academic credentials as well as demonstrated skill and experience in teaching.  The position is a temporary, non-tenure-track appointment.

Applicants should be willing and available to teach using in-person or hybrid formats, depending on changing circumstances and the needs of the particular classes.

Applications are encouraged from people of color, individuals of varied sexual and affectional orientations, individuals who are differently-abled, veterans of the armed forces or national service, and anyone whose background and experience will contribute to the diversity of the law school.  Pace University is committed to achieving completely equal opportunity in all aspects of University life.

Please apply via https://careers.pace.edu/postings/22602. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.

Pace University’s Elisabeth Haub School of Law offers J.D. degrees, Masters of Law degrees in both Environmental and International Law, and a series of joint degree programs including a Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) in Environmental Law. The school, housed on the University’s campus in White Plains, NY, opened its doors in 1976 and has over 8,000 alumni around the world. The school maintains a unique philosophy and approach to legal education that strikes an important balance between practice and theory. For more information, visit http://law.pace.edu.

Please direct any questions via email to Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Law Operations, Professor Jill Gross, at jgross@law.pace.edu.

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Race, Gender & Class & “Intersecting Inequalities” within Filipina Care Work

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Read scholars Jennifer Nazareno, Cynthia Cranford, Lolita Lledo, Valerie Damasco and Patricia Roach’s newly published article in Vol. 36 of the Gender & Society journal entitled, Between Women of Color: The New Social Organization of Reproductive Labor. Together these sociologists unpack the complex relationship between migration, race, gender and class and care work through the lens of Filipina elder care workers in Los Angeles, California.

Below is the abstract:

In this article, we examine citizenship inequalities in paid reproductive labor. Through an analysis of elder care in Los Angeles, California, based on interviews with Filipina home care agency workers and owners, we delineate citizen divisions made up of two interlocking dimensions. The longstanding U.S. welfare state abdication of responsibility for elder care for its citizens generates a racialized, gendered citizenship division that facilitates another citizenship division between women of color. The outsourcing of elder care by the government to the private sector including small business in the ethnic economy allows Filipina immigrants with legal citizenship to become middle-women minorities who hire undocumented Filipinas to provide care for white, middle-class, older adult women and their families. Through this new social organization of reproductive labor, responsibility is directed away from the state and generating tensions between women of color with different legal statuses. Our findings show how racialized, gendered inequalities are reinforced through this new social organization of reproductive labor but also demonstrate potential for undermining intersecting inequalities.

Read the complete paper here.

-P.S.

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Professor Marcy Karin Receives Fulbright for Study in Scotland

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Professor Marcy Karin (UDC) has been named as the Fulbright Scotland Distinguished Scholar for the 2022-2023 academic year. Professor Karin will continue her work on menstrual equity during the 2022-2023 academic year. Here is an excerpt from the school’s press release:

The U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board have selected UDC Law Professor Marcy L. Karin as the Fulbright Scotland Distinguished Scholar at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at University of Edinburgh. During the 2022-2023 academic year, Karin will work on a project titled Menstrual Justice at Work and School: Public Policy Lessons from Scotland’s Period Products Law.  

Prof. Marcy L. Karin

Karin is a leading scholar, advocate and legislative lawyer on the issue of menstrual equity, a rapidly expanding area of law and policy. Menstrual equity broadly encompasses efforts to eliminate systemic oppression related to menstruation and to support menstruating individuals, including through access to affordable – or free – and safe menstrual products.

“UDC Law is proud of Professor Karin’s phenomenal menstrual equity work with her students, in her scholarship and in service,” said Dean Renée Hutchins. “This Fulbright Distinguished Scholar Award will provide a platform to develop new collaborations and produce academic and practical reform work at the intersection of employment, education, gender, racial, disability and menstrual justice.” 

Karin is Director of the UDC Law Legislation and Civil Rights Clinic, where she has worked with students to represent nonprofit clients advancing menstrual equity legislation on the local and national levels. She has led successful campaigns to eliminate the tampon tax in the District of Columbia; improve menstrual education and product access in schools, shelters and carceral spaces and minimize menstruation-related barriers during standardized exams for entering the legal profession. As a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar, she is looking forward to adding a comparative international lens to her work, and she is excited to engage with others researching at the Institute and her co-hosts at genderED and Edinburgh Law School.  

Read the full announcement here.

 

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Nebraska Repeals its Tampon Tax and Broadens Access for Prisoners and Detainees

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On April 20, 2022, Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts signed into law Nebraska LB 984. Effective October 1, 2022, menstrual products will not be subject to state sales tax and city. The same bill also requires state, county and city jails and detention facilities to provide menstrual products to those who need them.

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In Memory of Browne Lewis

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Browne Lewis, the Dean of NCCU Law, died suddenly while attending a conference on June 2, 2022. Here is the announcement from the NCCU Chancellor:

image from law.nccu.eduIt is with profound sadness that I announce the sudden passing of Atty. Browne C. Lewis, dean of the North Carolina Central University (NCCU) School of Law. Dean Lewis was attending a conference in Colorado with colleagues at the time of her untimely death on Thursday, June 2, 2022.

An accomplished legal scholar, attorney and author, Dean Lewis joined the Eagle family on July 1, 2020, and immediately made an indelible impact on the School of Law. Her vision was clear from Day One in leading the school as one that provides unique opportunities for diverse, talented future attorneys to be practice-ready practitioners in their chosen legal careers. She accumulated numerous accomplishments for the university and School in Law in her short, nearly two years at its helm. She began laser focused on reaccreditation with the American Bar Association (ABA), which was approved in full compliance with the ABA Standards in November 2020. Equally important, enrollment has consistently increased year-over-year at a time when other law schools saw steady decreases. Additionally, Bar passage rates have been above average.

Under her leadership, the School of Law received a number of gifts from corporations and foundations and prestigious law internships and fellowships have been awarded to students. This includes a transformational $5 million contribution from Intel Corporation that created the NCCU-Intel Tech Law and Policy Center—the first at an HBCU and the only tech and law policy center that focuses on technology disparities and social justice.

Dean Lewis was extremely passionate about social justice and its intersection with law. I encourage you to read an interview with her that was published by Attorney at Law Magazine in March 2022. In it, Dean Lewis shared,

The key value I want to imprint on the law school is overcoming the impossible through hard work, perseverance, and tenacity. It is important to overcome adversity and realize that you can accomplish any goal even if you do it in bite-sized pieces. I’m one of 12 children from a family in a small country town in Louisiana. I grew up knowing that you have to persevere, overcome adversity, and keep pushing forward. Likewise, NCCU School of Law is one of only six HBCU law schools in the country. We’re the underdog pushing forward.

We will share details in the coming days regarding how we will formally celebrate Dean Lewis’ life and contributions to NCCU.

I would ask that you pray for members Dean Lewis’ family, as well as students, faculty and staff in the School of Law and the entire Legal Eagle community.

Browne Lewis was a cherished national colleague and friend. The shock of her death is considerable.

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Menopause Is Not Always a “Problem” to be Stopped

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Menopause is an inevitable aspect of aging for approximately half the population. Its symptoms vary widely. For some people, the symptoms are relatively mild. For others symptoms can be outright debilitating. Emily Waldman (Pace), Naomi Cahn (UVa) and I explore multiple intersections of law and menopause in a trio of forthcoming articles (here, here and here).

I read with interest this article on Neo.Life: Is it Time to Cancel Menopause? about some scientists who are answering that question in the affirmative, in order to “extend women’s fertility but also postpone the onset of a cascade of potential health problems.” I get the part about postponing health problems, but not all want to extend their fertility.

What’s driving this research and potential market? No doubt, postponing menopause has medical utility for many. And I’m all for more research into ovarian function. But I can’t help but wonder if there isn’t some agism, misogyny, and even capitalism underlying the quest to “cancel menopause,” too.

This paragraph caught my eye:

Anyone who succeeds will potentially strike a massive untapped market, with an estimated 1.3 million women in the United States reaching menopause each year. Globally, it’s estimated that 1 billion women will be in menopause by 2025. If that prospect draws investors and scientists into the space, [Jennifer] Garrison [, an assistant professor at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging] is happy to have them. But she still wants something more than a therapeutic Band-Aid. She wants to identify the fundamental, original cause of ovarian aging—the signal or combination of signals in the body that starts the ovaries aging to begin with—and correct it.

The commodification of bodies of those who do or did menstruate nothing new, of course. That’s menstrual capitalism and menopause capitalism at its finest. But still…wow.

Read the full article here.

H/T SV

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On the “Screaming Fan Girl” as IP Creator

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The Atlantic has an excerpt adapted from Kaitlin Tiffany’s forthcoming book, Everything I Need I Get From You: How Fangirls Created the Internet as We Know It. Here is an excerpt:

We have seen so many screaming girls. Every time we see them, we’re like, They’re screaming. And that’s it. Yet the screaming fan doesn’t scream for nothing, and screaming isn’t all the fan is doing. It never has been.

Tiffany argues for a re-imagining of the screaming fan girl, as Beatles fans, Bieber fans, and others have interpreted by popular media.

I’m looking forward to the book!

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Spanish Menstrual Leave Legislation Tucked Into Abortion Law

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Last month, draft legislation was introduced in Spain that would provide for three days of sick leave every month for painful menstruation. This was an attention-getting part of a larger bill that contains greater restrictions on surrogacy but the loosening of some restrictions around abortion.  The BBC has coverage here.

Courtesy of Feminist Law Professor’s summer intern PS ‘s language skills, here are excerpts of one Spanish-language news source’s coverage of the same bill:

Nueva ley sobre el aborto en España incluirá baja laboral por menstruación dolorosa

New law on abortion in Spain will include sick leave due to painful menstruation (May 18, 2022), by Pau Mosquera, CNN España (here)

The Council of Ministers of Spain approved a reform of the Law of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy that dates from the year 2010, better known as the abortion law, which means minors under 16 and 17 years of age who apply for this benefit will be allowed to request without parental consent, and women who prove to suffer from painful and incapacitating menstruation will be able to obtain sick leave for the days they need off as detailed by their medical chart. Social security, not employers, will pay for their leave.

“We are the first country in Europe to regulate a temporary disability paid in full by the State for painful and incapacitating menstrual cramps,” said Irene Montero, Minister of Equality of the Government of Spain, when she presented the reform and emphasized the new relative rights to menstrual health that the bill would welcome. 

Among the different measures that this reform will include (which offers up to three days of menstrual leave a month), there is also an improvement in access to abortion, making it easier for this to be a guaranteed benefit in all public health centers and eliminating the so-called three-day reflection period that until now applied before a patient could submit themselves to the process of voluntary termination of pregnancy. 

In order to promote greater accessibility and co-responsibility with regard to contraception, the reform also promotes the development of male hormonal contraception and expands public financing of the methods intended for this purpose, including the morning-after pill, which will be distributed free of charge in health centers and specialized sexual and reproductive health services.

Read the full article (in Spanish) here.

-Bridget Crawford and P.S.

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Launch of The Legal Accountability Project by @AlizaShatzman & Matthew Goodman

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Aliza Shatzman (JD 2019, Wash U Law) and Matthew Goodman (JD 2019, Wash U Law) have announced the launch of The Legal Accountability Project. Here is a description of the non-profit’s aims:

The Legal Accountability Project’s goal is to ensure that as many law clerks as possible have positive clerkship experiences, while extending support and resources to those who do not. Through data collection, analysis, programming, and partnerships with law schools and other stakeholders, we intend to quantify the scope of harassment, discrimination, and diversity issues in the courts, and use the results of our research to craft effective solutions.

Here is the launch video:

One of the group’s initiatives is partnering with law school affinity groups on programming related to harassment in the judiciary. The group aims “to combat the toxic culture of silence in the legal community that discourages law clerk reporting.”

Anyone interested in getting in touch with The Legal Accountability Project can do so here, through the webpage.

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Faith Ringgold: “You asked me why I wanted to become an artist and I said I didn’t know. Well I know now. It is because it’s the only way I know of feeling free.”

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The retrospective “Faith Ringgold: American People” leaves the New Museum of Contemporary Art on June 5, 2022.  The exhibit reveals how multi-media artist, activist, feminist, academic and writer Ringgold has made an indelible mark on the Black feminist movement within the art world and beyond for over half a century.

Her work particularly indicts the dehumanization of Black women in America, instead uplifting Black agency, Black beauty, Black motherhood, and Black re-imaginings of the Western art canon. Through her adamant art and activist practice, she began to topple the hierarchies of exclusionary art movements, particularly through her trademark quilting acting as a rich form of resistance to “conventional” craft and existing as a symbol of inherited inter-generational tradition, and therefore intergenerational storytelling and protest. 

Read below for more about her works (especially the feminist lens discussed within the analysis of ​​United States of Attica, 1972, Slave Rape #3: Fight to Save Your Life, 1972, Woman on a Bridge #1 of 5: Tar Beach, 1988 and Dancing at the Louvre: The French Collection Part I, #1, 1991) or more on her legacy of protest within the New York art world during her time organizing in the collective she founded in 1969, the Women Artists in Revolution (WAR), as seen in a recently published primer of WAR’s manifestos and correspondence in a 1973 text named, A Documentary HerStory of Women Artists in Revolution:

Earlier this year, Alex Greenberger reviewed the show for ARTNews (here).  Here are some excerpts from his piece, 6 Works to Know by Faith Ringgold: How the Artist Fights Racism and Inspires Hope:

On United States of Attica, 1972:

From almost the very start of her career, Ringgold saw no separation between her art and her politics. Starting in the late 1960s, she joined and formed various activist groups in an attempt to raise the visibility of Black artists—and often in particular Black women artists—within an art world dominated by white men. Ringgold, whom feminist art historian Lucy R. Lippard calls “determinedly marginal and proud of it” in the New Museum catalogue, started the group Women Students and Artists for Black Art Liberation in 1970 with Wallace; among its early activities was a protest against the 1970 Venice Biennale, which the group demanded should be “not only white male ‘superstars’ but ‘50% women’ and ‘50% people of color,’” as Wallace once recalled. Ringgold also attended demonstrations at the Whitney Museum by the Black Emergency Cultural Coalition and joined Where We At, a famed collective of Black women artists that staged what Ringgold considers to be the first New York show composed entirely of Black women.

Ringgold’s activist sensibility also infiltrated her art in the form of posters such as this one, a lithograph paying homage to the inmates who died during a prison uprising at the Attica Correctional Facility in New York the year before the print’s making. The prisoners revolted in protest of their poor living conditions, and armed officers killed more than 40 inmates during the effort to quell them. Ringgold inscribes this event within a larger history of violence in the U.S. that includes conflicts (the Revolutionary War, World War I), racist killings (the assassination of Martin Luther King, anti-Japanese actions during World War II), and colonialist carnage (the Long Walk of the Navajo, the Trail of Tears). In denoting this bloodshed all over the map, Ringgold asserts that violence is just as integral to American identity as the landscape itself. She hints that this history is hardly complete by way of a note at the bottom that encourages viewers to add mention of events not already marked.

On Slave Rape #3: Fight to Save Your Life, 1972:

As she told the New York Times in 2019, the “Slave Rape” series was “heavily inflected with my feminist perspective in both content and aesthetics,” so it can be connected to some of her political activities. But it also can be tied to an ongoing interest in art history and its limits that has persisted in Ringgold’s work…Indeed, the emphasis of motherhood is literally threaded into this painting—Ringgold’s own mother, Willi Posey Jones, who had educated the artist early on about quilt-making, helped her sew the work.

Read the complete Art News article here.

-P.S.

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CFP: 4th Annual Equality Law Scholars’ Forum

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

November 4-5, 2022 – Loyola Law School, Los Angeles

Building on the success of the Equality Law Scholars’ Forum held at UC Berkeley Law in 2017, at UC Davis Law in 2018, and at Boston University Law in 2021, and in the spirit of academic engagement and mentoring in the area of Equality Law, we (Tristin Green, University of San Francisco, visiting Loyola Los Angeles AY 2022-23; Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Boston University; and Leticia Saucedo, UC Davis) announce the Fourth Annual Equality Law Scholars’ Forum to be held in Fall 2022. 

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.

We will select five or six relatively junior scholars (untenured, newly tenured, or prospective professors) in the U.S. 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 will take place all day Friday through lunch on Saturday.  Participants are expected to attend the full Forum.  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 4-5, 2022, at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.

Junior scholars are invited to submit abstracts of proposed papers, 3-5 pages in length, by June 10, 2022.   

Full drafts of papers must be available for circulation to participants by October 20, 2022

Note: We urge submission of proposals for drafts that will still be substantially in progress in October/November 2022 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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Aliza Shatzman on “Dismantling the Myth of the Untouchable Judge”

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Aliza Shatzman has published The Judiciary Accountability Act: Dismantling the Myth of the Untouchable Judge, N.Y.U. J. Legis. & Pub. Pol’y Quorum (2022). Here is an except:

Photo by Ekaterina Bolovtsova via Pexels

Over a month has passed since I submitted a Statement for the Record for a House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing detailing my personal experience of harassment and retaliation by a former DC judge.1 The judge for whom I clerked told me I was “aggressive” and “nasty” and “a disappointment” and that I made him “uncomfortable” because I did not conform to gender stereotypes about women in the workplace. On the day I passed the DC Bar Exam, he called me into his inner chambers and told me, “You’re bossy! And I know bossy because my wife is bossy!” I cried on the walk to work; cried in the courthouse bathroom; and cried myself to sleep.

I wanted to be reassigned to a different judge. However, the DC Courts did not have an Employee Dispute Resolution (EDR) plan in place that might have provided for a reassignment—it was adopted one year after my clerkship ended. I knew that if I complained, the judge could retaliate and fire me. Eventually, the judge ended my clerkship four months early because I “made him uncomfortable” and “lacked respect for” him. Human Resources for the DC Courts told me there was nothing they could do because “HR doesn’t regulate judges” and “judges and law clerks have a unique relationship.”

One year later, I was finally back on my feet, having secured my dream job as a federal prosecutor in the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO), when I received life-altering news. Just two weeks into training, the USAO alerted me that the judge had made negative statements about me during my background investigation. They told me that I “would not be able to obtain a security clearance” and that my job offer was being revoked.2 An interview offer for a different position with the USAO was revoked a few days later, based on the same negative reference. I was only two years out of law school when I discovered that the judge had limitless opportunities to trash my reputation and destroy my career.

Read the full piece here. It is powerful.

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“What’s In Your Period Product?” New Report by @women4earth

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Women’s Voices for the Earth has some answers and lots of questions in a new report of the same name, here.

Here are some of the report’s “main findings,” as summarized by WVE (here).

  1. Ingredient information is now standard on period product packages – this is a significant change in 2021 compared to just a year prior. More information is available on chemical exposures from period products in the U.S. than ever before.
  2. Numerous additives to period products are now being disclosed for the first time, indicating that chemical exposure from period products is much more complicated than previously assumed.

    Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels

  3. There are ingredients newly disclosed in period products – which are of concern to users – including chemicals which can cause skin irritation, cause allergic reactions, which may contain toxic contaminants that can cause cancer, and which release microplastic particles into the environment.
  4. Compliance with the NY law is not perfect. A few products evaluated in this field study were found not to disclose ingredients at all. More frequently, compliance with the labeling law was incomplete, with only vague descriptions of ingredients disclosed. We found that actual chemical names of ingredients were commonly omitted, with descriptions of ingredient functions such as “fragrance”, “adhesive”,“surfactant” or “ink” disclosed instead. The intentionally added ingredients which provide for these functions must be disclosed in compliance with the NY law.
  5. All manufacturers have room to improve to provide useful ingredient information to their customers. The ideal period product ingredient disclosure should include the chemical name and function of the ingredient, and the component of the product where the ingredient can be found.
  6. The NY law is having a national impact. We commonly found products in other states with ingredient disclosures on the package similar or identical to what is required in New York, affording period product users across the country the right to know what is in their products.

Read the full report here.

I’m less sanguine than WVE about the effectiveness of severely hobbled disclosure laws, as New York’s is, but time will tell. I’d love to be wrong.

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Exploration of “Menstrual Pollution” Beliefs in Sweden

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Josefin Persdotter (PhD candidate in Sociology, University of Gothenburg) has published her thesis, Menstrual Dirt: An Exploration of Contemporary Menstrual Hygiene Practices in Sweden, as an open-access book, available for free download here. A short description of the book follows:

Why is menstruation so often considered a dirty phenomenon, in both material and symbolic terms? How do ideas and realities of menstrual pollution affect the lived experience of menstruation and everyday hygiene practices?

Josefin Persdotter’s study Menstrual Dirt explores how notions and materializations of pollution are enacted in different menstrual practices: in what products to use, in how to get rid of menstrual waste, how to clean reusables, wash the body and stained underwear, scrub toilets and avoid unwanted smells. It unpacks taken for granted aspects of menstrual life and reveals persistent gendered inequalities in relation to menstruation.

In focus are two specific menstrual technologies: the disposable pad and the reusable cup. The author shows how the promotion and use of these everyday technologies (re)produce menstruation as something dirty, symbolically and as a lived experience. Theoretical tools from the sociology of dirt, science and technology studies and anthropology are used to make sense of a wealth of fascinating interview and documentary material.

The study makes visible how menstrual pollution beliefs are (re)shaped in Sweden, a country with a comparatively high level of gender equality and menstrual activism. The results have implications in a wider context and for policies and technological changes to make menstruating into a less laborious and less negatively felt experience.

The full book can be accessed here.

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Media, Young People and Messages About Menstruation

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Since Emily Gold Waldman (Pace) and I embarked on researching and writing about the intersections of law and menstruation for our book Menstruation Matters: Challenging the Law’s Silence on Periods, I’ve become newly attuned to the ways that menstruation is relevant to many of the topics I teach. Apart from the tampon tax, there are issues of access to menstrual products in schools, workplaces, prisons, jails, and detention facilities, issues of corporate social responsibility, environmental issues, consumer health and safety, human rights.  The list goes on.

This past semester, I found myself integrating discussion of menstruation into class, in places where there seemed like a fit. For example, the sales tax on menstrual products is a powerful example when talking about the regressive nature of sales taxes or even the expressive value of taxation.

Knowing my interest in the subject, several students also began to send me ads or video clips of TV shows, etc. where menstruation is discussed. One student had fantastic reflections on the new Disney movie, Turning Red.  The student wrote up their thoughts which I share here with permission, but without attribution, at the student’s request.

The messaging that young people receive regarding menstruation is complex and contradictory. Persistent, self-perpetuating stigma and the barriers to menstrual equity associated with it has historically led to a loss of dignity and autonomy for girls, women, and all who menstruate. Lack of access to period products caused by period poverty or embarrassment and shame combine to deny opportunities to menstruators.   Perhaps the most critical arena in which to make progress for menstrual equity is our schools, where negative stereotypes myths are propagated, and this manifests in absences and under-performance in class.  The second most critical arena, I think, is the media young people view. 

Continue reading

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Wage Gap Data – Evidence from Greece

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Nick Drydakis (Business and Law, Anglia Ruskin University, UK) has posted to SSRN his working paper, Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Labor Market Against Gay Men. Here is the abstract:

The study replicates the first European field experiment on gay men’s labor market prospects in Greece. Utilizing the same protocol as the original study in 2006-2007, two follow-up field experiments took place in 2013-2014 and 2018-2019. The study estimated that gay men experienced occupational access constraints and wage sorting in vacancies offering lower remuneration. It was found that in 2013-2014 and 2018-2019, gay men experienced increasingly biased treatment compared to 2006-2007. Moreover, the results suggested that unemployment bore an association with occupational access constraints and wage sorting in vacancies offering lower remuneration for gay men. In each of the three experiments, this study captured recruiters’ attitudes toward gay men. A one standard deviation increase in taste-discrimination attitudes against gay men decreased their access to occupations by 9.6%. Furthermore, a one standard deviation increase in statistical-discrimination attitudes against gay men decreased their access to occupations by 8.1%. According to the findings, in 2013-2014 and 2018-2019, firms excluding gay applicants expressed a higher level of taste- and statistical-discrimination attitudes compared to 2006-2007. A gay rights backlash due to the LGBTIQ+ group’s attempt to advance its agenda, rising far-right rhetoric, and prejudice associated with economic downturns experienced in Greece might correspond with increasing biases against gay men.

The full paper is available here.

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2022 Virtual Summer Feminist Legal Theory Series: New Books in the Field – Gender, Race and Diversity in the Center of the Conversation

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New Books in the Field:

Gender, Race and Diversity in the Center of the Conversation

This summer, the U.S. Feminist Judgments Project will host a series of virtual conversations featuring authors and editors of new books in the field, with a focus on how to best use those texts to raise and frame issues of gender, race and other diversity issues in teaching and scholarship. There will be a particular emphasis on how feminist legal theory can enrich both classroom discussions and scholarly perspectives by scholars working across subject matters.

The dates and featured books are:

Date

Book

Authors or Editors

June 8, 2022

Menstruation Matters: Challenging Law’s Silence on Periods (2022)

Bridget J. Crawford (Pace) & Emily Gold Waldman (Pace)

June 22, 2022

Fight the Power: Law and Policy Through Hip-Hop Songs (2022)

 

Frank Rudy Cooper (UNLV)

July 6, 2022

Panes of the Glass Ceiling: The Unspoken Beliefs Behind the Law’s Failure to Help Women Achieve Professional Parity (2022)

 

Kerri L. Stone (FIU)

July 20, 2022

Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Employment Discrimination Opinions (2020)

Ann C. McGinley (UNLV) & Nicole Buoncore Porter (Chicago-Kent)

August 3, 2022

***week off***

 

August 17, 2022

The Rage of Innocence: How America Criminalizes Black Youth (2021)

Kristin Henning (Georgetown)

 

Sessions will run from 11:00 am to 12:15 pm Pacific/2:00 to 3:15 pm Eastern. Attendees from all parts of the academy with a verified academic email address are welcome to attend any and all sessions. There is no charge to attend. All sessions are held via Zoom.

Preregistration for all participants (speakers and attendees) is required via this link. All attendees including speakers must register. Attendees need to register only once and then can attend any of the sessions in the summer series. Regular attendance is encouraged but not required. Approximately one week before each session, all registrants will receive an excerpt of the book that will be the subject of the discussion.

After a pause in August, the Feminist Legal Theory Series may continue into the academic year with occasional sessions featuring additional works. Authors or editors of recent books are welcome to self-nominate their work for consideration to be featured in a future session.

The Summer Feminist Legal Theory Series 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, the Family Law Center at the University of Virginia School of Law, and the AALS Section on Women in Legal Education. The series is coordinated by Bridget J. Crawford (Pace), bcrawford at law dot pace dot edu, and Kathy Stanchi (UNLV), kathryn dot stanchi at unlv dot edu.

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Queer History in New York’s “House of D”

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NPR’s Fresh Air recently aired a segment called The Queer History of the Women’s House of Detention (May 16, 2022). Terry Gross interviewed Hugh Ryan, the author of  The Women’s House of Detention: A Queer History of a Forgotten Prison. The book raises interesting points about decade-spanning gender-nonconforming violence within the confines of capital punishment. 

Here are some highlights of the Ryan’s NPR interview:

On the ways in which prison is used to control people who aren’t white men:

Constantly I was shocked to see the way in which our system of justice for women simply is unjust and different from the one we have for men. Women’s incarceration is a different situation. It’s not about crimes against people like violence, and it’s not about crimes against property like theft. It’s about social control. And in fact, the origins of our women’s prison system come about in the 1870s, right after the Civil War. Right at the same time, the census is asking about women’s employment for the first time. If you go back to that moment, that 1870s moment, what we see is that a system that had mostly been intended to punish the violent, anti-social acts of white men gets repurposed for social control over Black people of all genders and women of all races and all of these things that weren’t considered crimes or were considered maybe something you would get a fine for or a citation suddenly become vectors for incarceration when they’re applied to Black people and to women.

On the goal of the detention center to reinforce female gender norms:Cover image of The Women's House of Detention by Hugh Ryan

From the moment we have these stand-alone women’s institutions, they are focused on this idea of creating proper feminine subjects. And this is a moral imperative, but it’s also economic. In this time period, it was thought that there were really only two roles that a woman could have that would get her out of poverty: being a wife or being a maid. Both of those things required you to be properly feminized.

So the prison system, understanding that women were often being arrested because they were poor, tries to remold them into “proper” women, who will not be arrested for being poor because they will be able to have these jobs and they will be good people.

For men, the prisons try to make you a good citizen. But for women, the prison tries to make you a good woman — and that’s a very different thing. And that is the reason why so many gender-nonconforming people, why so many queer women, lesbian women…trans men get caught up in the prison system, because for those people who are concerned about the lives of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people, queerness was seen as a threat to ever being a normal, healthy, happy, productive member of society.

Read more here.

The Women’s House of Detention was published earlier this month by Bold Type Books.

-P.S.

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Introducing Summer Student Guest Blogger: 1stGenatYale

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This summer, the Feminist Law Professors blog is pleased to welcome our first-ever undergraduate student co-blogger as part of the 1stGenYale Summer Bulldogs program.  The program matches undergraduates who are first gen students or on financial aid with faculty and/or non-profit organizations offering research and related opportunities.

In order to give our student co-blogger the latitude to write about all things gender and law, the student will be blogging under the initials “P.S.” this summer. I’m happy to share the student’s name with anyone in the blogroll who is interested, but otherwise, I’d like the student to have the freedom to write without concerns that text may follow them their entire life. That is a courtesy I think most of our readers would have wanted for their undergraduate selves. The student blogger has the option to add their name to posts now or later, as they see fit.

In the meantime, welcome to the blogosphere, P.S.!

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What Universities Don’t Understand About Menopause

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

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

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

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

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

The full piece is here.

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

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

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

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

ELIGIBILITY:

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

PUBLICATION COMMITMENTS/LIMITATIONS:

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

SUBMISSION:

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

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

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

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

Prior Winners

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

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

 

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

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


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

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


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


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

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

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

 

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

The full essay is available here.

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

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

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

The full report is available here.

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

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Call for Papers and Participation

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

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

October 21-22, 2022

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

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

 Deadline:  June 30, 2022

Conference Proposals:  Submit at www.classcrits.org

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

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

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

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

Proposals

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

[1] ClassCrits themes include:

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

[1] ClassCrits themes include:

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

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Image from the White House website here.

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Vulnerability and the Human Condition Initiative Fellowship – Call for Applications

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Vulnerability and the Human Condition Initiative Fellowship

2022-2024 Research Fellowship or Postdoctoral Fellowship

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

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

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

Responsibilities of a research or postdoctoral fellow include the following:

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

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

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

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

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

Full details here.

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

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

Here is the table of contents:

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

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

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

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

The Foundational Care Crisis, Stephanie M. H. Moore

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

I’m excited to read the entire book!

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University of San Francisco Seeks Visitors 2022-2023

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

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


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


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

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

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

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


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


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

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What Questions Law Review Editors Ask Peer Reviewers

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

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

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

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

Sharing this info FWIW!

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

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

 

Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Data Science

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

   

Menstruation Matters:
Challenging the Law’s Silence on Periods

Virtual Book Pre-Launch and Spotlight on Haub Law Faculty

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

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

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

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

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

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ERAP project logo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The full paper is available here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

green book cover

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Observations Across All Three Journals

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

Yale Law Journal

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

Harvard Law Review

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

Stanford Law Review

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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