Thursday, April 24, 2014

Academic Dads Don't Carry Their Share of Parenting Work

The Family Law Prof Blog posted Even in Academia, Dads Don't Do Diapers.  The assumption of this study was that if there was gender equality in parenting anywhere, it would be in academia where men have more flexible time at home.  But, no.

Most of the academics in our study said they believe that husbands and wives should share equally, but almost none did so.” To be precise, only three men out of 109 reported that they performed half the child-care work. One possible explanation, according to the father-and-son duo, is that women derive a higher enjoyment of many of the activities involved in the care of small children. The Rhoads asked the men and women to report their level of enjoyment in performing 25 different tasks—everything from playing with the baby to washing his clothes. On almost every count, women said they experienced a higher level of satisfaction. Steven Rhoads admits the discovery that mothers enjoy changing diapers was, to his own mind, the most surprising aspect of his findings. “It shows you gender roles go pretty deep,” he says.

Are you kidding me?!?  The conclusion is that we enjoy changing diapers!  Please.  The entrenched gender role is not that women enjoy such crappy duties.  (Ok, I couldn't resist.)  But that they are socially conditioned not to show dissatisfaction with mothering or towards their children under threat of the "bad mother" indictment.  

April 24, 2014 in Education, Family | Permalink | Comments (1)

Is Blogging Scholarship?

Is Blogging Scholarship?  The short answer  is no.  But...this article concludes it is incredibly important as  the venue of intellectual innovation and creativity, and thus should be valued "as an avenue of scholarship" even if different in kind from the classic tenure-type work. 

Much of the interesting innovation in blogging, though, comes from the rank of the untenured, the alt-ac, and the amateur enthusiasts. Discussions of whether blogging is scholarship shouldn’t make it seem like blogging is a scholarly indulgence.


Blogging may be more informal and have different structural demands and pressures to the peer-review model. But it’s providing some of the most interesting historical commentary out there right now, and with the right encouragement, it might start leading to some of the most original research, too.

April 24, 2014 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Today is Take Our Daughters to Work Day

Still my favorite article on the meaning of this day.  Lisa Belkin, What Does Take Your Child to Work Day Mean in 2012? 

When Ms. Magazine created "Take Our Daughters To Work Day" 20 years ago, it was a statement of how far girls had still to go. When the name was changed to "Take Our Sons And Daughter To Work Day" in 2003, it was a measure of how far girls had come.  And today, as 37 million kids visit 3.5 million workplaces across the country, it is a chance to reflect on where all our children are going next.

See also Take Our Daughters to Work Day--21 Years Later


April 24, 2014 in Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

What Do Professors Do All Day?

What Do Professors Do All Day?  Go to meetings.  

April 24, 2014 in Legal History | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Justice Sotomayor Gets It: Race Matters

From her dissent in Tuesday's decision in Schuette v. BAMNupholding Michigan’s state ban on race-conscious (and gender-conscious) admission decisions. (Citations omitted).

Race matters. Race matters in part because of the long history of racial minorities’ being denied access to the political process. And although we have made great strides, “voting discrimination still exists; no one doubts that.”


Race also matters because of persistent racial inequality in society—inequality that cannot be ignored and that has produced stark socioeconomic disparities.


And race matters for reasons that really are only skin deep, that cannot be discussed any other way, and that cannot be wished away. Race matters to a young man’s view of society when he spends his teenage years watching others tense up as he passes, no matter the neighborhood where he grew up. Race matters to a young woman’s sense of self when she states her hometown, and then is pressed, “No, where are you really from?”, regardless of how many generations her family has been in the country. Race matters to a young person addressed by a stranger in a foreign language, which he does not understand because only English was spoken at home. Race matters because of the slights, the snickers, the silent judgments that reinforce that most crippling of thoughts: “I do not belong here.”


In my colleagues’ view, examining the racial impact of legislation only perpetuates racial discrimination. This refusal to accept the stark reality that race matters is regrettable. The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to speak openly and candidly on the subject of race, and to apply the Constitution with eyes open to the unfortunate effects of centuries of racial discrimination. As members of the judiciary tasked with intervening to carry out the guarantee of equal protection, we ought not sit back and wish away, rather than confront, the racial inequality that exists in our society. It is this view that works harm, by perpetuating the facile notion that what makes race matter is acknowledging the simple truth that race does matter.

April 23, 2014 in Education, Race | Permalink | Comments (0)

Justice Sotomayor on the Troubling Implications of Denying Full Restitution to Victims under VAWA

Justice Sotomayor’s dissent today in the case of Paroline v. U.S., is of note for its appreciation of the implications of the decision about the Violence Against Women's criminal restitution provision for crimes like the Steubenville rape.  In Paroline, the majority in a 5-4 decision overturned a criminal restitution award of $3.4million against a defendant who placed photos of child pornography on the Internet.  The majority would award restitution only proportionally for this defendant's relatively small share of the role in the offense, as the more complicit actors were the original perpeterator and pornography distributors and publishers.  Chief Justice Roberts in dissent would award no restitution because of the infirmities of the federal statute.  Only Sotomayor would uphold the entire restitution for the victim’s losses. 

 Here’s what she said, thinking through how this ruling is likely to apply in future cases:

THE CHIEF JUSTICE’s dissent also fails to contend with the ramifications of the suggestion that §3664(e) forecloses entry of restitution in cases where a victim suffers indivisible losses as a result of the aggregate conduct of numerous offenders. It claims that this reading of §3664(e) “will work just fine” for “common crimes” such as assault. Ante, at 5–6. But what about a victim of a vicious gang assault, where a single offender’s conduct cannot be labeled a but-for cause of any discrete injury? Such offenses are, unfortunately, all too common. See, e.g., Wheelock v. United States, 2013 WL 2318145, *2 (ED Wisc., May 28,2013) (defendant convicted for his participation in a gang rape of a 13-year-old victim in which he “and several other individuals had provided alcohol to the girl and, after she became intoxicated and unconscious, sexually assaulted her”); United States v. Homer B., 1990 WL 79705 (CA9, June 14, 1990) (similar). I would have thought it beyond refute that the victim of such a tragic offense would be entitled to restitution even though none of her losses may be attributed solely to any individual defendant. If the opinion of THE CHIEF JUSTICE is in agreement, it does not explain why the result should be any different for victims like Amy, who have suffered heart wrenching losses at the hands of thousands of offenders rather than a few.

April 23, 2014 in Violence Against Women | Permalink | Comments (0)

gender stereotypes persist in children's books

View image on Twitter


Here's a terrific article (anyone who is dubious of its claims is welcome to visit their nearest Barnes and Noble this weekend and to peruse the children's section).  It begins:  

The Let Toys Be Toys campaign, which last year persuaded 13 retailers to remove “Boys” and “Girls” signs from stores, is working with Letterbox LibraryInclusive Minds and For Books’ Sake to persuade the publishing industry to drop these labels from books. The Let Books Be Books petition launched for World Book Day, 6 March, asks children’s publishers Usborne, Buster Books, Igloo Books and others to stop labelling children’s activity, story and colouring books as for boys or for girls.


Typical themes for boys include robots, dinosaurs, astronauts, vehicles, football and pirates; while girls are allowed princesses, fairies, make-up, flowers, butterflies, fashion and cute animals. There’s nothing wrong with these things, but it is wrong when they are repeatedly presented as only for one gender. Girls can like pirates and adventure, boys can like magic and dressing up. Why tell them otherwise? Why tell them that boys and girls should like different things, that their interests never overlap, that there are greater differences between genders than between individuals? 

View image on Twitter

April 23, 2014 in Books | Permalink | Comments (0)

book reviews are usually written

The story in the NYT, now a tad old in blogsphere terms, starts:

Reading a book review in a well-known periodical? Chances are, the byline belongs to a man.

In its annual count of male and female bylines in book reviews, magazines and literary journals, VIDA, a women’s literary organization, revealed that in 2013, the publications still largely favored men over women.


At The New York Review of Books, there were 212 male book reviewers and 52 female; at The Atlantic, there were 14 male book reviewers and three female; at Harper’s, there were 24 male book reviewers and 10 female.


April 23, 2014 in Books, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Closer Look at Women Professors' (Lack of) "Success"

From the new Clinical Law Prof Blog, Do Women Professors Underperform?  By perform, the post means produce scholarship and advance to full professor.  After being somewhat taken aback by the title, I was even more taken aback by this assertion.  "Women comprised just 24.5 percent of scholarly authors in the field of law from 1991 to 2010."

April 22, 2014 in Law schools, Women lawyers, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Proposing New Gender Neutral Pronouns for Legal Authorities

C. Marshall Thatcher (South Dakota) has published What is "Eet"? A Proposal to Add a Series of Referent-Inclusive Third Person Singular Pronouns and Possessive Adjectives to the English Language for Use in Legal Drafting, 59 S. Dakota L. Rev. 79 (2014).

Adoption of the new pronouns and possessive adjectives proposed below ["ee" and "eet"] would put an end to the '"masculine rule." Under that rule of prescriptive grammar, the third person singular pronoun '"he' is both a male and an indefinite sex referent." By necessary extension, the third person singular pronouns "him" and "his" are also both male and indefinite sex referents. Use of masculine pronouns to refer both specifically to a male referent and generically to either a male or a female referent makes those pronouns "pseudo generic. "

Despite the emergence of various techniques for avoiding application of the masculine rule, it continues to survive as a rule of statutory construction. "Generally the masculine, but not the feminine, is considered to include all genders. A federal statute provides that in determining the meaning of any Act on Contract, unless the context indicates otherwise, words importing the masculine gender include the feminine as well." Despite mounting criticism of the masculine rule, it continues to be applied in various primary legal authorities including statutes, judicial opinions, and  Jury mstruct1ons.

A substantial commentary has demonstrated that the masculine rule is indefensible.  It is unabashedly sexist; it is discriminatory in its gender bias, and is therefore unfair. Use of masculine pronouns and possessive adjectives to refer in the alternative to masculine or feminine antecedents is also imprecise and thus misleading.  

April 22, 2014 in Gender | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Impact of Pregnancy Drug Laws on Black Women

Tennessee's Pregnancy Discrimination Law will Hit Black Women the Hardest

The bill, SB 1391, would impose criminal penalties on mothers of newborns who have been exposed to addictive illegal or prescription drugs in utero. While the bill appears race-neutral, prosecutors and judges will wield the law against Black women more so than white women, based on a long tradition of deeply embedded racial stereotypes about Black motherhood. Should Gov. Haslam ignore the growing outcry against SB 1391 from pro-choice and anti-choice advocates alike, the law would likely lead to Black women being thrown in jail for up to 15 years for aggravated assault should they choose to carry a pregnancy to term while struggling with an addiction to illegal narcotics.


SB 1391 is an attempt by the Tennessee legislature to reduce the number of children born with neonatal abstinence syndrome, a group of problems that occur in newborns who are exposed to addictive illegal or prescription drugs in utero. Current law in Tennessee prevents pregnant women from being prosecuted for a newborn child’s addiction or birth defect resulting from drug use during pregnancy. Indeed, just last year, Gov. Haslam signed into law the Safe Harbor Act, a law meant to help drug-addicted pregnant women get treatment and prenatal care so they can beat their addictions, give birth to healthy newborns, and retain their parental rights. SB 1391 would change that by criminalizing women who suffer from drug addiction. And given the stereotypes that pervade about Black motherhood, that change will hurt Black women the most.

April 22, 2014 in Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 21, 2014

8 lessons in manliness.....

Viking warrior

.... here.  The interested reader may peruse it, but the said eight lessons take their cue from....Vikings.  No, not the NFL team from Minnesota.  I mean VIKINGS (like in the picture above).  

It's hard to know whether to know whether to read the putative eight lessons as parody or earnestness, or some combination of both.  So much of manliness cannot help but be expressed in the style of both, I suppose. 

April 21, 2014 in Manliness, Masculinities | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Women Stuck with Office Housework

From Joan Williams (Hastings), in WaPo, Sticking Women with Office Housework.

She recounted a conversation she once had with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who told her that as a Harvard Law School professor, there were too many years she had ended up “holding the mop” for her male colleagues. In her early days of teaching, Warren said she took on too many bad teaching shifts because all the men had said no to working those hours.“There’s a fine line,” Brzezinski warned, “between paying your dues and knowing when to say no.”


Whether it’s called the second shift or the double burden, research has long shown that the unpaid housework women are traditionally expected to do at home can hold them back in their careers, leaving them with fewer hours to devote to their jobs or to their own well-being.


But housework isn’t just something women are expected to do at home. In interview after interview with professional women for my recent book, "What Works for Women at Work," I heard stories about what I call office housework: the administrative tasks, menial jobs and undervalued assignments women are disproportionately given at their jobs. They were expected to plan parties, order food, take notes in meetings and join thankless committees at far greater rates than their male peers were.

April 19, 2014 in Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Books: The New Soft War on Women

From the Boston Globe, Authors Work to Reveal Hidden Gender Bias

Judging from the media buzz, women appear to be racing to the top of the corporate ladder. Books trumpet the “end of men” and wives taking over as breadwinners, articles tout the success of female executives at General Motors and Yahoo, charts show women earning the majority of advanced degrees.

But authors Caryl Rivers and Rosalind Barnett were certain the picture wasn’t as rosy as it seemed. So they pored over mountains of research done on working women and turned their not-so-rosy findings into a book, “The New Soft War on Women: How the Myth of Female Ascendance Is Hurting Women, Men — and our Economy.”

Women are still discriminated against in the workplace, they say, but the discrimination has become harder to detect, hidden in subtle biases such as mothers being seen as less dedicated to their work and less deserving of raises or promotions.

“It’s not people firing bullets dead at your chest,” said Rivers. “The landmines are buried.”

April 19, 2014 in Books, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 18, 2014

India Supreme Court on Transgender

"It is the right of every human being to choose their gender," the India Supreme Court said in granting rights to those who identify themselves as neither male nor female.


It ordered the government to provide transgender people with quotas in jobs and education in line with other minorities, as well as key amenities.

According to one estimate, India has about two million transgender people.


"Recognition of transgenders as a third gender is not a social or medical issue but a human rights issue," Justice KS Radhakrishnan, who headed the two-judge Supreme Court bench, said in his ruling on Tuesday.

"Transgenders are also citizens of India" and they must be "provided equal opportunity to grow", the court said.

"The spirit of the Constitution is to provide equal opportunity to every citizen to grow and attain their potential, irrespective of caste, religion or gender."

April 18, 2014 in International, LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

Transgender teacher returns to classroom

Laura Jane Klug, center, was rallied behind by supporters. (Source: KBMT/CNN)

From Lumberton, TX:  

A transgender substitute teacher will return to the classroom after some parents had complained and called the teacher a distraction.


Thursday night the packed Lumberton ISD Board Room was divided not by race or by income, but by ideals.

The question was whether transgender substitute teacher Laura Jane Klug should keep her job with the district.

"This is a constitutional issue. You have to ask yourself if there is any rational basis for her termination," said one commenter at the podium.

Supporters rallied behind Klug, who sat quietly amongst them. Some told the board of trustees their own struggles of being accepted.

April 18, 2014 in LGBT, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

(Grand)Motherhood, Abortion Politics and Chelsea Clinton's Pregnancy

 Beth Burkstrand-Reid (Nebraska) joins us as guest blogger this month.  Her research focuses on reproductive rights and women's health, specifically abortion, birth control and pregnancy-related law. She is the recipient of the 2014 Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Status of Women, presented by the UNL Chancellor and the Chancellor's Commission on the Status of Women . Prior to her legal career, Professor Burkstrand-Reid was a journalist, with her writing appearing in The New York TimesThe Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. She's on Twitter @beth_burkstrand. 

 Former first-daughter Chelsea Clinton announced yesterday that she is pregnant, news that was used by some as an opportunity to talk about abortion. (Yes, abortion).

 It seems that Chelsea's use of the word "child" when making her announcement struck a nerve: 

 Abortion supporter Chelsea Clinton announced today that she’s pregnant — not with a fetus or clump of cells but with a "child."  This is the same Chelsea Clinton who lamented last year that her grandmother didn’t have access to Planned Parenthood."   Clinton’s news was greeted with similar responses on Twitter. 

 The announcement also spawned speculation over whether impending grandmotherhood spells the end of Hillary Clinton’s presidential aspirations:

Others have noted that Hillary Clinton has seemed more cheerful and relaxed in recent appearances, fueling theories that there was good news in her life. With continued speculation around the former first lady’s plans for the 2016 presidential race, where she is the presumed frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, some have wondered whether a grandchild might make Clinton less likely to enter the fray.

“Some” have also wondered if that issue would ever have been raised if it was a grandfather-to-be mulling the race.

H/T @LEBassett


April 18, 2014 in Abortion, Family | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Top Recent SSRN Downloads on Women, Gender & Law

Matthew David Burris (US Airforce), Thinking Slow About Sexual Assault in the Military,  22 Buff. J. Gender, L., & Soc. Pol’y (forthcoming)

Michael Higdon (Tennessee),  Marginalized Fathers and Demonized Mothers: A Feminist Look at the Reproductive Freedom of Unmarried Men, Alabama Law Review (forthcoming)

Deborah Tuerkheimer (DePaul), Flawed Convictions: “Shaken Baby Syndrome” and the Inertia of Injustice: Introduction, Oxford U. Press (forthcoming)

Corey Rayburn Yung (Kansas), How to Lie with Rape Statistics: American’s Hidden Rape Crisis, 99 Iowa L. Rev. ___ (2014)

Note, Jessica Marsden (Yale), Domestic Violence Asylum after Matter of L-R, 123 Yale L.J. (forthcoming) 

April 17, 2014 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Susan B. Anthony List's Right to Lie

Next week the US Supreme Court hears argument in Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus.   The case involves an election campaign attack ad by the anti-abortion group, Susan B. Anthony List, which arranged to post a billboard sign against then-Congressional representative Steve Driehaus to read: "Shame on Steve Driehaus!  Driehaus voted FOR taxpayer-funded abortion.”  The claim was based very loosely on Driehaus's vote for Obamacare, even though that federal healthcare law prohibits taxpayer funding of abortion.  But never mind the facts.  

Ohio has a truth-in-election law that prohibits false statements in a campaign. Ohio Rev. Code § 3517.21 (eff. 1995). The election comission sided with Driehaus.  Much of the case now before the Supreme Court is procedural.  The state of Ohio"borked" by filing dualing briefs, it's required brief in defense of the law and also an amicus brief challenging it on First Amendment grounds.  

So is this case really about a First Amendment right to lie?  Even the petitioner's name is a lie, since nineteenth-century feminist Susan B. Anthony did not advocate anti-abortion positions, or really say much about abortion at all, as I and other scholars have explained.  Tracy A. Thomas, Misappropriating Women's History in the Law and Politics of Abortion, 36 Seattle Law Rev. 1, 15 (2012);  Ann Gordon & Lynn Sherr, Sarah Palin is No Susan B. Anthony, Wash. Post Blog, May 21, 2010.






April 17, 2014 in Abortion, Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0)

Pregnant Drug-Addicted Women as Felons

Rachel Carlson (Mississippi) has posted A Gap in the Criminal Justice System: Creating a New Class of Felons in Pregnant Drug-Addicted Women, a State-by-State Analysis.  From the abstract:

Increasingly across the United States pregnant women who seek help for drug addiction are finding themselves in a courtroom defending criminal charges instead of a doctor’s office or rehabilitation facility. Women are being criminally charged for being addicted to drugs, an offense not punishable by criminal law in any other circumstance than pregnancy. While these women are being charged after the birth of their child, the drug abuse occurred while they were pregnant. The history of reproductive rights and drug legislation and the history of pregnant women who are criminally prosecuted for the use of controlled substances will be addressed in Part I of this article. Part II of this article provides a broad analysis of how each state currently addresses the ever-prevalent prosecution of these women, including a chart with the relevant statutes and cases. Part III explains why the issue is deeper than due process rights and whether the legislatures intended for child or minor to include fetus or unborn child. Finally, Part IV discusses other possible options states should explore to put a stop to the creation of a new class of felons.

April 17, 2014 in Family, Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0)