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

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

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

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

The full paper is available here.

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

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

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

The full paper is available here.

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Did the Pandemic Disrupt Your Period?

You’re not alone.

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

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


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

The full article is available here.

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

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

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

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

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

Read the full report here.

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

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

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

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

The full paper is available here.

H/T Francine Lipman

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The Discourse of Tampon Tax Repeal

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

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

The full article is available here.

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

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

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


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

A Conversation with Gretchen Carlson and Julie Roginsky

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

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

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

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

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

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

For questions, please email womensleadership@nyu.edu.

Posted in Activism, Feminism and the Workplace | Comments Off on “Tools for Tackling the Toxic Workplace” Panel at NYU Law 10/26/22

What Does Tax Law Have to Do with Racial Inequality?

Quite a bit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

H/T Francine Lipman

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Law Professor Commentary on Proposed Title IX Regs

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

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

Posted in Feminist Legal Scholarship, Primary and Secondary Education, Women's Health | Comments Off on Law Professor Commentary on Proposed Title IX Regs

Privacy Concerns and Period Trackers; Mozilla Takes Notice

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

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

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

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

Read the full article at The Verge here.

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

Posted in Feminism and Economics, Invasion of Privacy, Women's Health | Comments Off on Privacy Concerns and Period Trackers; Mozilla Takes Notice

Menstrual Products are Free in Scotland

Yup.  The NYT has full coverage here.

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

-Bridget Crawford

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The entire issue is open access and available here.

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Guide to Submitting Shorter Pieces to Online Law Review Companions

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

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

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

Congratulations, Professor Katz!

Read the full press release here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more, read the complete article here.


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A Guide to Gender-Inclusive Legal Writing

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

Read the abstract below:

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

Find the attached article here. 


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the complete article here.


Posted in Immigration | Comments Off on UK Government Excludes Migrant Women from Protections in Key Anti-Gender Violence Treaty

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the full story here.

Posted in Academia, Feminist Legal History, Feminist Legal Scholarship, Firsts | Comments Off on Does Feminist Legal Theory Matter to the Schlesinger Library? Or Smith? Or Duke? Or Brown?

Buenos Aires Bans Gender-Neutral Language

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

Here is an excerpt:

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

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


Posted in Feminism and Culture, Feminism and Politics, Sisters In Other Nations | Comments Off on Buenos Aires Bans Gender-Neutral Language

Bolivian social groups push government to reinforce gender violence protections

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

Here is an excerpt below:

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

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

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

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

Read the complete article here.


Posted in Acts of Violence, Sisters In Other Nations | Comments Off on Bolivian social groups push government to reinforce gender violence protections

Gender, Journeys and Liberation in Cristina Rivera Garza’s Writings

Read The New Yorker writer’s Merve Emre’s wrestling with gender, journeys and Latin American liberation in Mexican author Cristina Rivera Garza’s latest oeuvre of works within her piece, “Cristina Rivera Garza’s Bodies Politic,” (July 4, 2022).

Read the excerpts from Emre’s piece to better understand how Rivera Garza allows these subjects to intertwine:

In Rivera Garza’s fiction, quests for desirable bodies do not destroy cities. They destroy the identities—man, woman—worshipped by rulers.

The “Torso of Adèle” is among the smallest and most sensual of Auguste Rodin’s partial figures. She has neither head nor legs; her body reclines with its elbows raised and one arm flung across her neck, her back arching into the air. The eye seeks the point that balances her movement. Skimming her breasts, her ribs, her navel, it comes to rest on her iliac crest, the bone that wings its way across the hip. “From there, from Ilion, from her crest, Odysseus departed on his return to Ithaca after the war,” thinks the narrator of “The Iliac Crest” (2002), the second novel by the Mexican-born writer Cristina Rivera Garza. To his wandering mind, “Iliac” summons Ilion, Homer’s Troy—a city destroyed because one selfish man desired one beautiful woman.

The mystery and obscurity that envelop Rivera Garza’s fiction caress both gender and genre, words with a shared etymology. In “The Iliac Crest,” gothic shades into noir, noir into fable, with fable climaxing in the metafiction cherished by Nabokov, Calvino, and Borges. Trapped in the undertow of this procession, it is easy to forget what prompted the narrator’s quest in the first place: the name of the hip bone. It appears only on the novel’s final page, when such cruel, inexplicable things have passed between him and his various Amparo Dávilas that the word “iliac” clarifies nothing. It hangs before us, flush with the deferred promise of some ruinous or transcendent revelation. “I smiled upon remembering, too, that the pelvis is the most definitive area to determine the sex of an individual,” the narrator thinks, with irony. Nothing is definitive anymore, least of all the relationship between anatomy and gender.

Read the complete piece here.


Posted in Feminism and Culture | Comments Off on Gender, Journeys and Liberation in Cristina Rivera Garza’s Writings

Keller on Gender-Inclusive Bathrooms

Susan Etta Keller (Western State) has posted to SSRN her paper, Gender-Inclusive Bathrooms: How Pandemic-Inspired Design Imperatives and the Reasoning of Recent Federal Court Decisions Make Rejecting Sex-Separated Facilities More Possible, 23 Geo. J. Gender & L. 35 (2021). Here is the abstract:

This article suggests that the moment may be right to rethink the societal need for sex-separated bathrooms, and to consider the harmful ways in which they perpetuate a problematic gender binary. Architectural innovations for public restroom design, inspired by the need to increase social distancing during the pandemic, align well with designs that have already been proposed for gender-inclusive bathrooms. At the same time, recent federal cases have confronted the tortured logic of those insisting on policing the gender binary that sex-separated bathrooms represent. The responses in these decisions, which uphold the rights of transgender students to have access to the bathrooms that align with their gender identity, are shown to undermine the logic of the gender binary in general and the rationale for sex-separated facilities in particular.

Read the full paper here.

Posted in Feminist Legal Scholarship | Comments Off on Keller on Gender-Inclusive Bathrooms

A Houston Clinic Responds to the Overturn of Roe v. Wade

Read the perspectives of the staff at a Houston abortion clinic after the Supreme Court ruled to end the constitutional right to abortion in The New Yorker writer Stephania Taladrid’s article, “Roe’s Final Hours in One of America’s Largest Abortion Clinics,” (June 25, 2022). Look at Meredith Kohut’s chilling photographs of the emotional toll this news took on health providers in the largest clinic in the country’s second most populated state. Under the new law, the Houston Women’s Clinic can no longer legally provide abortions.

“One by one, women were called into the back of the clinic to receive their ultrasounds and counselling sessions, or to await the doctor, who had not yet appeared. A row of stiff wooden chairs where they bided their time faced a framed photograph of Portofino’s cerulean bay. As the women stared at the Italian village, or their phones, a dozen anxious staff members huddled by the front desk. One of the medical assistants placed her phone against a stack of patient files so that her colleagues could see the Supreme Court’s schedule for the day. A nurse started braiding the receptionist’s brightly dyed hair. Ivy’s boss, Sheila, who directs the clinic, had been in touch with lawyers at the A.C.L.U. “’t can come any minute,’ she told her colleagues of the decision, adding with a nervous smile, ‘My sister is trying to distract me. She just sent me an article: ‘How to Stop Dating People Who Are Wrong for You.’ ‘Someone yelled from another room: ‘Send it to me!'”

“Despite the tension, for the next hour, the workers tried to focus on their particular responsibilities, including answering the phone, which rang constantly. The faster they worked, the more patients they could ready to see the doctor, who would either give the eligible women pills to begin a medication abortion or proceed with a surgical one. But at 9:11 a.m., before the doctor had walked through the door and any abortions had commenced, Sheila heard from an A.C.L.U. lawyer. ‘Roe, overturned,’ she said flatly. Ivy, emerging from the lab, hadn’t caught Sheila’s exact words, but she understood them when she saw her hands shaking.”

“For a few seconds, no one said a word. Ivy retreated to an area of the clinic where women’s vitals were taken and a urine sample awaited analysis. Alone, she pressed her fingers to her welling eyes. Other workers wrapped their arms around one another. Confused, one of the patients left her seat and interrupted their silence. ‘Why are y’all crying?’ she asked. Sheila, trying to collect herself, wiped her tears away and turned to the woman and three other patients in the waiting room. ‘Ladies, I’m so sorry to tell you that the law for abortion has been overturned,’ she said. ‘We are not able to perform any abortions at this time, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have an option, O.K.?'”

Read the complete New Yorker article here.


Posted in Reproductive Rights | Comments Off on A Houston Clinic Responds to the Overturn of Roe v. Wade

Dandara Rudsan: Amazonian Lawyer/Activist Spotlight

Look to the work of Amazonian lawyer and activist Dandara Rudsan to understand the importance of arm-in-arm organizing in marginalized environments and bodies:

“Dandara Rudsan is a Black and trans activist from Altamira, in the Brazilian state of Pará. She currently serves as an environmental racism specialist in the Public Defender’s Office of Pará State. Rudsan says her activism began when she realized the invisibility of Amazonian bodies, particularly LGBTIQ+ Amazonian bodies.”

“’For the thirteenth time, Brazil leads the global ranking of trans people murdered. Imagine if trans women from the Amazon rainforest, who are invisible, were counted?’ says Rudsan. ‘Visibility is linked to our survival.’”

“Rudsan says that while she celebrates the Brazilian Supreme Court’s 2019 decision to uphold the criminalization of homophobia and transphobia, continued and collective work is needed for true healing. ‘When I talk about collective work, it is not only among LGBTIQ+ people,’ says Rudsan. ‘A very solid alliance between trans and cisgender women is strengthening our work, and, together, we can work on tools for the defense of life.'”

On April 5, 2022, Brazil’s Superior Court of Justice ruled that the Maria da Penha Law offering legal protection to victims of domestic violence also applies to transgender women. Rudsan is quoted in the Brazilian newspaper, Brasil de Fato, celebrating the news, calling it the first path to a permanent law.

“The entire Judiciary now from the lower courts, from the higher instances will start to dialogue, to ponder their decisions, to ponder their referral, because before it was a direct path of denial. Now we are no longer on this direct path of denial, which has to stop, which is not mandatory, but it forces us to stop and reflect. It forces the Judiciary to stop and reflect on itself”.

Read the complete Medium UN Women article (May 14, 2021) here and Brasil de Fato piece here (April 11, 2022).


Posted in Feminism and the Environment, Sisters In Other Nations | Comments Off on Dandara Rudsan: Amazonian Lawyer/Activist Spotlight

Fellowships at the Institute for Feminist Legal Studies at Osgoode


Osgoode’s IFLS is accepting fellowship applications for the 2022-23 academic year.

This fellowship supports the work of young and mid-career scholars from around the world by providing an intellectual community, shared physical space (for those candidates who choose to visit Osgoode in-person), academic engagement with research presentations, access to York libraries, and under certain circumstances modest financial support for very specific research projects conducted during the fellowship stint.  Such financial support requires a separate application during the fellowship.  Fellowship time is flexible, ranging from a month to a full semester and could be virtual or in-person depending on the candidates’ preference.

The fellowship is open to scholars working in the areas of law, feminism and public policy, broadly interpreted.  Fellows are expected to finish or make significant progress on an existing research project toward publication and make an academic presentation during their time at Osgoode.  Fellows are also expected to participate actively in the Institute’s events.  Researchers interested in feminism and disability and women and property are particularly encouraged to apply.

Application deadline is July 15, 2022 and the form could be found HEREQuestions may be directed to Ms. Lielle Gonsalves at lgonsalves@osgoode.yorku.ca.  

Posted in Fellowships and Funding Opportunities | Comments Off on Fellowships at the Institute for Feminist Legal Studies at Osgoode

North American Menopause Society 2022 Hormone Therapy Position Statement

The North American Menopause Society has updated its official position on hormone therapy for menopause (also known as hormone replacement therapy or menopause hormone therapy).  Here is the abstract:

“The 2022 Hormone Therapy Position Statement of The North American Menopause Society” (NAMS) updates “The 2017 Hormone Therapy Position Statement of The North American Menopause Society” and identifies future research needs. An Advisory Panel of clinicians and researchers expert in the field of women’s health and menopause was recruited by NAMS to review the 2017 Position Statement, evaluate new literature, assess the evidence, and reach consensus on recommendations, using the level of evidence to identify the strength of recommendations and the quality of the evidence. The Advisory Panel’s recommendations were reviewed and approved by the NAMS Board of Trustees.

Hormone therapy remains the most effective treatment for vasomotor symptoms (VMS) and the genitourinary syndrome of menopause and has been shown to prevent bone loss and fracture. The risks of hormone therapy differ depending on type, dose, duration of use, route of administration, timing of initiation, and whether a progestogen is used. Treatment should be individualized using the best available evidence to maximize benefits and minimize risks, with periodic reevaluation of the benefits and risks of continuing therapy.

For women aged younger than 60 years or who are within 10 years of menopause onset and have no contraindications, the benefit-risk ratio is favorable for treatment of bothersome VMS and prevention of bone loss. For women who initiate hormone therapy more than 10 years from menopause onset or who are aged older than 60 years, the benefit-risk ratio appears less favorable because of the greater absolute risks of coronary heart disease, stroke, venous thromboembolism, and dementia. Longer durations of therapy should be for documented indications such as persistent VMS, with shared decision-making and periodic reevaluation. For bothersome genitourinary syndrome of menopause symptoms not relieved with over-the-counter therapies in women without indications for use of systemic hormone therapy, low-dose vaginal estrogen therapy or other therapies (eg, vaginal dehydroepiandrosterone or oral ospemifene) are recommended.

Read the full paper here: 29 Menopause: J. of the N. Am. Menopause Soc’y 767 (2022), DOI: 10.1097/GME.0000000000002028

Posted in Women's Health | Comments Off on North American Menopause Society 2022 Hormone Therapy Position Statement

Reproductive Violence in America & the Justice the Relf Sisters are Due

Read journalist Linda Villarosa’s New York Times piece, “The Long Shadow of Eugenics in America” (June 8, 2022) to learn the story of the forced sterilization of the Welf sisters, as well as thousands of other victims of the deep-rooted history of reproductive violence at the hands of the government. Here is an excerpt:

In the summer of 1973, Minnie Lee and Mary Alice were taken from their home in Montgomery, cut open and sterilized against their will and without the informed consent of their parents by a physician working in a federally funded clinic. The Relf case would change the course of history: A lawsuit filed on their behalf, Relf v. Weinberger, helped reveal that more than 100,000 mostly Black, Latina and Indigenous women were sterilized under U.S. government programs over decades. It also officially ended this practice and forced doctors to obtain informed consent before performing sterilization procedures — though as it would turn out, forced sterilizations by state governments would continue into the 21st century.

Read more excerpts after the fold and the full article here.


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Posted in Race and Racism, Reproductive Rights | Comments Off on Reproductive Violence in America & the Justice the Relf Sisters are Due

How Safe are “Safe Haven States” in a Post-Roe Medical World?

Amid a post-Roe political and healthcare landscape, University of Connecticut School of Law Professor Carleen Zubrzycki’s is considering the repercussions of misleadingly naming states abortion “safe havens” without addressing the presence of pre-existing inter-state medical records in her recently published draft, “Abortion’s Interoperability Trap: How the Law of Medical Records Will Facilitate Interstate Persecution of Contested Medical Procedures, and What to Do about It” (June 27, 2022). The piece will be featured in a forthcoming Yale Law Journal Forum.

Read the abstract for more information below:

There’s a gaping hole in blue states’ efforts to create abortion “safe havens” for the new post-Roe world. Medical care procured out-of-state increasingly leaves a digital trail that will easily make its way back to patients’ home states. In the context of abortion—and other politically controversial forms of care, like gender-affirming treatments—, this means that cutting-edge legislative protections for medical records do not go far enough. Anticipating the fall of Roe, legislatures have begun to bar in-state providers from directly handing over records for use in out-of-state lawsuits or prosecutions. But these laws fail to recognize that, thanks to increasing interoperability and new regulations designed to improve the flow of medical information, patient records are now widely shared across state lines in the ordinary course of business—and nothing will protect those records once in the hands of out-of-state providers. To wit: Under current law, a Connecticut practice that shared records of a patient’s abortion with a doctor in Louisiana, even over the patient’s objection or knowing that the record would likely be used to persecute the patient, would not be violating any privacy law—and a doctor who withheld the records, in many situations, would be! Lawmakers must act now to address this “interoperability trap.” And even if they don’t, clinics and providers should prepare to adopt policies well beyond what is legally required to protect their patients’ records.

Read the complete draft here. Comments should be directed to Professor Zubrzycki.


Posted in Reproductive Rights | Comments Off on How Safe are “Safe Haven States” in a Post-Roe Medical World?

“Bigotry is a Close Cousin of Prudence:” the Overlapping Racial Ramifications of Prohibition and Abortion Restrictions

Read New York Times opinion columnist Charles M. Blow’s comparison of the racial manifestations of both abortion and prohibition in the U.S in his piece, “Abortion, Like Prohibition, Has a Clear Racial Dimension,” (July 3, 2022).

Read excerpts from Blow’s piece below:

Frum was writing about the interconnectedness of restrictive impulses — and how one can be a gateway for others. Restrictions, he seemed to imply, can be complicated. Bigotry is a close cousin of prudence.

Prohibition, in particular, had a complicated racial history. Enslavers used alcohol for years as a weapon to subdue the enslaved in this country.

Many of the people who crusaded for abolishing slavery later embraced the temperance movement and lobbied for Prohibition, with many Black people supporting restrictions on alcohol because it had long been used to keep them in bondage.

Now abortion is being restricted in much the same way alcohol once was. There are many reasons for what’s happening; some of the most fervent proponents of the abortion bans can claim religious objections, and others are merely angling for a political advantage or catering to the basest instincts of the American electorate, hoping to force more white women to have children in order to prevent white people from losing their majority status. The reasons for Prohibition were just as numerous and complicated, a mess of interlocking moral and political allegiances.”

Read the complete article here.


Posted in Race and Racism, Reproductive Rights | Comments Off on “Bigotry is a Close Cousin of Prudence:” the Overlapping Racial Ramifications of Prohibition and Abortion Restrictions

A Photo Essay Remembering Victims of Femicide/Transfemicide in Argentina

Read and witness the chilling testimonies of loved ones of victims of femicide and transfemicide in NPR writer Estefania Mitre’s photo story, “Families of murdered women and trans Argentinians ensure their voices are not silenced,” (Jun 30, 2022).

Read Mitre’s introductory framing below:

“ATRAVESADXS” (transversed in Spanish, the “x” is for language inclusivity) is a visual project that documents the testimonies of relatives, siblings, parents and friends of victims of gender-based crimes in Argentina. Eleonora Ghioldi has collected more than 70 testimonies from people who’ve lost a family member in a femicide. “ATRAVESADXS” is part of one of her visual projects that shed light on issues that affect women in Latin America and the United States.

” ‘ATRAVESADXS’ shows that, unfortunately, the violence does not end with femicide but continues in many other forms,” Ghioldi said. “From the media — violence that not only re-victimizes and blames the victims but also the families — to the justice system that not only is not present in the prevention of violence but also does not accompany the families in the process of requesting justice.”

“These are not individual, but collective experiences. Through political organization, these families can continue their fight to demand justice — by these women and also by their children that many of them leave behind,” she added.

View the complete piece here.


Posted in Acts of Violence, Sisters In Other Nations | Comments Off on A Photo Essay Remembering Victims of Femicide/Transfemicide in Argentina

“We Need an American Girl” Doll Meme in a Time of Political Catastrophe for Women

Writer Ruth Etiesit Samuel has a fantastic piece at HuffPost, “The Resurgence of American Girl Doll-Core.”

Here is an excerpt:

The brand, now owned by Mattel, has not only expanded over the years but also has continued to be a mainstay in the memories of middle-class American girls’ childhoods. ***

Instead, in the last year— from Ziwe Fumudoh’s late-night skits about the dolls to TikTok influencers dining at the American Girl doll cafe — the AG franchise has reentered the zeitgeist in a whole new way. Millennials and Gen Z women who have grown out of their doll phase have found community in the meme pages taking over Instagram and Twitter. The dolls have become a rallying cry, both for the nostalgia of our childhoods and as a protest against the series of unfortunate historical events we’ve been living through.

Read the full piece here.

Posted in Feminism and Culture, Feminism and Politics | Comments Off on “We Need an American Girl” Doll Meme in a Time of Political Catastrophe for Women

Call for Nominations: AALS Section on Women in Legal Education 2023 Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lifetime Achievement Award

The AALS Section on Women in Legal Education is pleased to open nominations for its 2023 Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2013, the inaugural award honored Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Subsequent winners include Catharine A. MacKinnon (2014), Herma Hill Kay (2015), Marina Angel (2016), Martha Albertson Fineman (2017), Tamar Frankel (2018), Phoebe Haddon (2019), Robin West (2020), Kimberlé Crenshaw (2021), and Camille De Jorna (2022). All of these remarkable women were recognized for their outstanding impact and contributions to the Section on Women in Legal Education, the legal academy, and the legal profession.

The purpose of the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lifetime Achievement Award is to honor an individual who has had a distinguished career of teaching, service, and scholarship for at least 20 years. The recipient should be someone who has impacted women, the legal community, the academy, and the issues that affect women through mentoring, writing, speaking, activism, and by providing opportunities to others.

The Section is now seeking nominations for this most prestigious award. Only individuals who are eligible for Section membership may make a nomination, and only individuals—not institutions, organizations, or law schools—are eligible for the award. More than one person may nominate the same candidate; however, the number of nominations for any one nominee is not determinative of the winner. As established by the Section’s Bylaws, the AALS Section on Women in Legal Education Executive Committee will select the award recipient, and the award will be presented at the 2022 AALS Annual Meeting.

SUBMISSION: Nominations should be submitted to Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Treasurer, AALS WILE, lawdean@bu.edu with the header “RBG Nomination-AALS 2023.”

DEADLINE: September 6, 2022.

Posted in Call for Papers or Participation, Chutes and Ladders | Comments Off on Call for Nominations: AALS Section on Women in Legal Education 2023 Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lifetime Achievement Award

Inaugural GO LILA Workshop

Professor Maritza Reyes (FAMU Law) provided this report from the Inaugural Graciela Olivárez Latinas in the Legal Academy Workshop:

Stanford Law School Dean Jenny S. Martinez and the Planning Committee of the 2022 Inaugural Graciela Olivárez Latinas in the Legal Academy (“GO LILA”) Workshop welcomed over 70 participants who joined for two days of programming (June 24-25, 2022) aimed at supporting and mentoring Latinas in and aspiring to enter, succeed, and lead in the legal academy. The inaugural workshop was held via Zoom. Participants included fellows, law professors at all stages of academic careers (including deans), and retired law professors. The nine Planning Committee members were Professor Raquel E. Aldana, Dean Leticia M. Diaz, Professor Nadiyah Humber, Professor Emile Loza de Siles, Professor Solangel Maldonado, Professor Rachel Moran, Professor María Pabón, Professor Laura Padilla, and Professor Maritza Reyes, Chair.

The workshop included plenary sessions for conversations with guests of honor who were the “first.” On Day 1, U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor joined for a conversation that was moderated by N.Y. Court of Appeals Associate Judge Jenny Rivera (previously a tenured, law professor at CUNY Law). Participants whose questions were selected (through a blind selection process) asked their questions directly to Justice Sotomayor. On Day 2, recently appointed Supreme Court of California Justice Patricia Guerrero, the first Latina in this court, and recently elected President of the Harvard Law Review Priscila Coronado, the first Latina in this role, joined for a Q&A discussion, which included an opportunity for participants to pose questions via the chat function.

If you want to learn more about the workshop, please visit the website and review the tabs and agenda.




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Pace Law School Faculty Hiring Announcement

Pace Law School is planning to make two hires, each to begin in Fall 2023: one tenure-track hire and one VAP.  Details below.

Elisabeth Haub School of Law Faculty Hiring Announcement

Tenure Track Professor

The Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University, located just outside of New York City in White Plains, New York, expects to hire one or more full-time law professors to join our faculty beginning in the 2023-24 academic year. We welcome candidates in any field, and have a particular need in Business Law.  We seek candidates with valuable professional and/or scholarly experience, a distinguished academic record, and a record of, or great potential for, scholarly    achievement and exemplary teaching.  We welcome applications from both entry-level and junior lateral candidates.

Part of Pace University, a private university with campuses in Manhattan and Westchester County, the Elisabeth Haub School of Law is centrally located within the New York metropolitan area.  Haub Law is home to the New York State Judicial Institute, seven clinics, an extensive externship program, and an engaged faculty, making the school a central part of the New York State and New York City legal communities. Haub Law is also home to the nation’s #1 ranked environmental law program as well as top-ranked dispute resolution and trial advocacy programs.

Haub Law is committed to achieving equal opportunity in all aspects of University life, increasing the diversity of the campus community, and creating a more just, equitable, and inclusive institution.  Candidates who have experience working with a diverse range of faculty, staff, and students, and who can contribute to a climate of inclusivity, are encouraged to identify their experiences in these areas. 

Interested candidates should apply via the following link: https://careers.pace.edu/postings/20361  The application should include a cover letter, curriculum vitae or resume, and list of at least three references, and be addressed to Professor Randolph McLaughlin (RMcLaughlin@law.pace.edu), chair of the Faculty Appointments Committee.

Visiting Assistant Professor

The Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University in New York seeks to hire a Visiting Assistant Professor (VAP) for the academic year 2023-2024, or to start in January of 2023. The VAP will hold a one-year appointment (18 months if beginning in January of 2023), and that appointment shall be presumptively renewable for a second one-year term. The appointment is designed to mentor and train future law professors and prepare them for the law school teaching market. Pace Law is committed to increasing the diversity of the legal academy; for this position, we are seeking candidates who are interested in teaching and scholarship in any area of law.

The VAP will have a teaching load of one course per semester and the opportunity to focus on scholarly research and writing. The VAP will receive the same office and administrative support as other faculty members, is invited to participate fully in faculty activities, and will receive a small travel and research fund. The VAP will receive feedback and mentoring from faculty members and will present a work-in-progress to the faculty at our weekly scholarly colloquium.

Applicants for the Visiting Assistant Professor position should submit:

    • Cover letter (discussing qualifications and interests)
    • Curriculum Vitae (that lists three references and law school courses the candidate would be interested in teaching)
    • Law school transcript
    • One published scholarly article or an unpublished paper draft or prospectus that reflects the candidate’s scholarly interests and potential

Part of Pace University, a private university in Manhattan, The Elisabeth Haub School of Law is located in White Plains, New York, just a short train ride from city. Haub Law is home to the New York State Judicial Institute, seven clinics, an extensive externship program, and an engaged faculty, making the school a central part of the New York State and New York City Legal communities. Haub Law is also home to the nation’s #1 ranked environmental law program as well as top-ranked Dispute Resolution and trial advocacy programs.

Haub Law is committed to equity, justice, inclusion, belonging, and diversity in all its forms – race, culture, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, socioeconomic status, religion, abilities, and more. We actively seek to create a community that is inclusive and welcoming through inclusive policies, practices, and programming. We value and celebrate our diverse community as we endeavor to create a more just world. We seek to hire faculty, including visiting faculty, who will actively contribute to these efforts.

Interested candidates should apply via the following link: https://careers.pace.edu/postings/19801  The application should include a cover letter, curriculum vitae or resume, and list of at least three references, and be addressed to Professor Randolph McLaughlin (RMcLaughlin@law.pace.edu), chair of the Faculty Appointments Committee.

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A Dark Day for Women in America

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Sandy Rodriguez: Narrative Cartography as an Act of Contemporary Resistance

The exhibits, “Mixpantli: Space, Time, and the Indigenous Origins of Mexico” and “Mixpantli: Contemporary Echoes,” showcased at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art from December 12, 2021–June 12, 2022, commemorate the 500th anniversary of the fall of the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan. The work of Los Angeles-based artist Sandy Rodriguez particularly calls simplified narratives of conquest into question. By building off the Nahua tradition of narrative cartography from the 16th and 17th centuries, her maps delineate people, place and their relations to histories of violence.

Rodriguez’s work stirs viewers as they consider their interwoven ancestral histories and the shrinking distance from the issues of the past and the present.

One of her works on display, “Rainbows, Grizzlies, and Snakes, Oh My! – Conquest to Caging in Los Angeles (2019)” depicts “recognizable, modern representations of today’s contested territories: the US-Mexican border, the Western States of the US and California, and Los Angeles, [as she] fuses present day events with imagery made by 16th-century painters to transform these maps into complex, multilayered images of history.”

Writer Shanti Escalante-De Mattei’s ARTnews article, “LACMA Exhibits Subvert the Totalizing Myths of Colonial Conquest,” (Feb. 18, 2022) points to Rodriguez’s watercolor work, You will not be forgotten. Mapa for the children killed in custody of US Customs and Border Protection (2019) as a captivating piece that pinpoints where children died under the hands of Border Patrol. Even more, Rodriguez’s work, “Mapa de Los Angeles 2020—for the 35 Angelinos Killed by Police Amid a Pandemic (2021)” “tracks police violence across the city during a time of acute crisis.”

Rodriguez told the writer Carolina A. Miranda of the Los Angeles Times that through her careful study of Mexico’s past she grew determined to create her own codex, or narrative study. “I wanted to create a mestizo Chicana codex…thinking about the border and these artificial boundaries that have been placed, and trying to layer these narratives — it’s historic, it’s contemporary, it’s this precise political moment all in one.”

Read the complete ARTnews article and Los Angeles Times piece for more.

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Belgium’s Historic Decriminalization of Sex Work

In her Reuters article, “How COVID-19 helped sex workers in Belgium make history,” (May 31, 2022) writer Joanna Gill accounts for the Belgian Parliament’s groundbreaking decriminalization of sex work.

With the law’s recent implementation, Belgium became the first country in Europe to decriminalize sex work. The new law moves to ensure that sex workers can “set their own terms, reduce exploitation and violence, and make it easier to access medical services.”

While other European countries have legalized prostitution, they continue to have heavily restrictive measures as to whether selling or paying for sex is allowed in an asymmetrical form of criminalization.

Gill describes activists’ claims “the coronavirus pandemic was the catalyst for parliament’s March vote to remove sex work from the penal code, [as] lockdowns left sex workers with no income and – given their uncertain legal status – no unemployment benefits.” Therefore, too many this legal win marked the culmination of a three-decade-spanning push to decriminalize sex work in Belgium, for both those buying and selling sex.

“It’s the freedom to be me … the freedom to decide the conditions of my work,” an anonymous sex worker told Gill.

Read the complete article here.


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HBO’s “The Janes:” A Past and Future Vision for Collective & Compassionate Care

HBO’s newly-released documentary “The Janes” (on air as of June 8, 2022) covers the story of the Jane Collective, an underground abortion network in Chicago that despite legal barriers “helped women obtain safe, affordable abortions in the late ’60s and early ’70s.” At the time, abortion was a crime in Illinois and multiple other states. Seven leaders of the collective were arrested and charged with abortion and conspiracy to commit abortion in 1972, yet the case was dropped once the Roe v. Wade ruling legalized abortion throughout the country. One of its producers, Daniel Arcana, whose mother was involved in the collective, reflects that the work is eerily airing to the public after its initial release at the Sundance Film Festival in January as the palpable threat of the overturning of Roe v. Wade looms large.

“The Janes” makes a case for a hardy dose of doom and optimism:

“The film’s stories of women’s desperation are haunting — and ominous. Brutal, costly abortions at the hands of the Mafia. Pervasive sexual assault by the men conducting abortions. Women dying in septic abortion wards from self-induced efforts (one OB-GYN interviewed recalls seeing a woman who used carbolic acid), and clandestine abortions gone wrong. The constant threat of not just being arrested for getting an abortion but for even talking about one — which was a felony.”

“Yet, amid this violence, a hopefulness shines through. The 1960s, culturally, was rooted in the belief that we are the change we seek, and that radical societal change was possible. Emphasized again and again is the message that we cannot rely on antiquated laws propping up white-supremacist patriarchal institutions to support or care for us. And “The Janes” offers a template for organized feminist action. The organizing principle of the collective’s work is care — that all health care, fundamentally, should be based on compassionate care.”

I found NBC writers Marcie Bianco’s critique that the documentary dilutes its appeal to collective power by obsessing over its distinctness to be a crucial evaluation.
“In reality, the Jane Collective was not unique. For decades, underground networks around the world — from El Salvador to Poland to Mexico to right here in the United States — have been and are assisting pregnant people obtain the abortion care that they need. And while showing how the collective was informed by the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, the documentary misses an opportunity to situate the Janes’ work within both a historical and global context. That context could have strengthened the documentary’s larger political message about civil disobedience as an effective solution to institutional failure.”

Read the complete article here.


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“In Dedication”- British Artists’ Tribute to Trans Life

The “In Dedication” exhibit on display at The Koppel Project Hive in London includes the work of 28 trans and non-binary artists with “pieces themselves [that] explore themes of memory, community, the body, history, ancestors, desire, longing, future, ritual, healing, liberation, resistance and love.” The exhibit takes much of its inspiration from the Northern Irish trans artist and activist Sophie Gwen Williams, who envisioned The Koppel Project before her passing in 2021. She was a leading figure in the trans art community, who both co-founded the trans and gender non-conforming community organisation, We Exist, and created 343 radio, the first queer radio station in Ireland. With the help of curator Iarlaith Ni Fheorais, artist June Lam and other mentees, the “In Dedication” display incorporates work from artists like Kumbirai Makumbe, Ebun Sodipo, Bones Tan Jones, Delia Detritus, Chloe Filani and Yaz Metcalfe.

Read excerpts from i’D writer Anastasiia Fedorova’s article, “6 artists exploring the joy & pain of the trans experience” (June 6, 2022) for more description of this arm-in-arm tribute to trans existence:

“The situation for trans people in the UK has become untenable at times. We have the government, the media and leading public figures of the attack, leading to real reversals of the merger gains we’ve made in this country. This is on top of the unacceptable and lethal waiting lists to access care, leaving many trans people unable to access even the most basic healthcare,” [Iarlaith Ni Fheorais] says. “In this context, it was fortifying to work with so many talented trans artists who are actively imaging and crafting new visions of the world, the foundation of a political action. Although it was profoundly enriching to look to the future, this lived alongside many artists making work in remembrance of those we’ve lost in this struggle with a sense of loss very present.”

Many works in the exhibition take the form of altars or memorials — like Saati J Conran-McCormack’s “beautiful tribute to a friend which combines a hand-painted portrait and flowers encased in a plexiglass box”. Walking across two floors of The Koppel Project Hive, you’re invited to process both loss and celebration, to become malleable, to listen, weep and to absorb the future beyond the gender binary.

Read the complete article here.


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The Relentless State of Gender Violence in Mexico — And its Resistance

While May 10th is Mother’s Day in Mexico, in Juarez, Mexico City, Veracruz and other Mexican cities, mothers gathered to grieve more so than celebrate. These guardians of young women murdered or disappeared demanded government action amidst a resurgence of gender violence in the country, and years of government inaction. Writer and co-founder of the Mexico Violence Resource Project at the University of California San Diego Cecilia Farfan-Mendez grapples with the painful state of gender violence and violence against women in Mexico in her American Quarterly article,”Why Gender Violence in Mexico Persists— And How to Stop It,” (May 17, 2022).

Read the excerpts below for more information on the country’s dire state of affairs and what some community members are demanding as first-step solutions to this ongoing violence:

According to official data, 10 women are killed in Mexico every day, and homicide is the leading cause of death for Mexican women between the ages of 15 and 24. Last year, 78.8% of women said they felt unsafe in their home states, and 45.6% felt unsafe in their own neighborhoods. Most concerning, things appear to be getting worse: Between 2015 and 2021, femicides—the intentional killing of women because of their gender—increased 137%, according to official figures.

Evaluating public policy is rarely a black and white exercise, but it’s worth examining what the López Obrador administration has done in response to the crisis, and what it could do better. There’s no panacea in addressing gender violence, but there is one major prerequisite for protecting women on which Mexico’s government has fallen far short: the social safety net.

Evidence from around the world shows how social programs aimed at promoting gender equality also provide women with the financial independence they need to escape situations that put them at risk (an abusive marriage, for example). But while López Obrador came into office on a promise to reinvigorate and strengthen programs for the most vulnerable, his government has done much to tear down the social infrastructure designed with women in mind.

Read the complete article here.



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Motherhood & Forced Climate Migration in Marathwada, India

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.


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Memorial Information for Browne Lewis

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

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.


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Iowa Poised to Repeal its Tampon Tax

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

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

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.


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Pace Law Seeks Visitor for Spring 2023 Semester

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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