Saturday, March 28, 2015

A Guide to Feminist Pedagogy

Vanderbilt, A Guide to Feminist Pedagogy

Feminist pedagogy is not a toolbox, a collection of strategies, a list of practices, or a specific classroom arrangement.  It is an overarching philosophy—a theory of teaching and learning that integrates feminist values with related theories and research on teaching and learning.

It begins with our beliefs and motivations:  why do we teach? why do students learn? what are the goals of learning? We know that the consequences of our motives for teaching and learning are significant: Keith Trigwell and Mike Prosser have shown that the instructor’s intentions in teaching (“why the person adopts a particular strategy”) have a greater impact on student learning than the instructor’s actual strategies for teaching (“what the person does”) (78). Their research has shown that approaches to teaching that are purposefully focused on the students and aimed at changing conceptual frameworks lead to deeper learning practices than teacher-centered, information-driven approaches (Trigwell 98). The implications are that the instructor’s fundamental beliefs and values about teaching, learning, and knowledge-making matter.

In this guide, we explain some of the fundamental beliefs, values, and intentions behind feminist pedagogy to inform a deliberate application in specific classrooms–any and all classrooms, as feminist pedagogy can inform any disciplinary context. (For a more focused exploration of feminist pedagogy specifically within the women’s studies classroom, see Holly Hassel and Nerissa Nelson’s “A Signature Feminist Pedagogy: Connection and Transformation in Women’s Studies.”)

[H/t Kathy Feltey]

March 28, 2015 in Education, Theory | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Glass Ceiling of the Australian Supreme Court

Harry Hobbs, Finding a Fair Reflection on the High Court of Australia

Of the 51 Justices appointed to the High Court of Australia, only four have been women. Although all eminently qualified, there is something fundamentally wrong with this statistic. The principle of fair reflection is neither at odds with the fundamental principle of judicial impartiality, nor controversial when it comes to federal balance on the Court. It is time that the untrammelled discretion of the Attorney General is confined to require a 40% composition of either gender on the Court. Doing so would increase the quality of the Court’s decisions, and its sociological legitimacy.

March 28, 2015 in International, Women lawyers | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 27, 2015

"Law faculty diversity: Successes and failures"

From a WaPo article by Jim Lundgren:

How diverse are tenured and tenure-track law faculties? Which ethnic and gender groups are now the most under- and over-represented in law teaching compared to a very broad measure of the pool: English-fluent, full-time working lawyers of a similar age?

In “Measuring Diversity: Law Faculties in 1997 and 2013,” which can be downloaded from SSRN, I explore tenure-track law school diversity in 1997 and 2013. For the gender and ethnicity of law professors in 2013, I use data released by the ABA, representing the 2013-2014 academic year. For the lawyer population, I use data from the government’s 2011-2013 American Communities Surveys.

This study finds that diversity hiring in law schools has been a great success, at least as to ethnicity and gender. All large traditional affirmative-action groups in law teaching are now at or above parity with full-time lawyers, and such groups as women, minorities, and minority women are significantly over-represented in law teaching compared to working lawyers. Indeed, the only ethnic and gender groups that are more than a half slot short of parity on a typical tenure-track faculty of about forty are non-Hispanic whites, males, and non-Hispanic white males, the groups typically thought of as over-represented.

March 27, 2015 in Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Male Law Students Participate a Lot More Than Female Law Students

The research was done at Harvard Law School.   It's available here.  

March 27, 2015 in Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Amici Curiae Brief of Family Law Professors in Obergefell v. Hodges

Available here.  The abstract:

This Amici Curiae brief was filed in the Supreme Court on behalf of 74 scholars of family law in the four consolidated same-sex marriage cases. 

The two questions presented in the cases concern whether the Fourteenth Amendment requires a state to license or recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex. Those defending the marriage bans rely on two primary arguments: first, that a core, defining element of marriage is the possibility of biological, unassisted procreation; and second, that the “optimal” setting for raising children is a home with their married, biological mothers and fathers. The brief demonstrates that these asserted rationales conflict with basic family laws and policies in every state, which tell a very different story.

 

March 27, 2015 in LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

France Debates Weight Laws for Fashion Models

NYT, French Parliament Debates Weight Standards for Fashion Models

The French Parliament is debating legislation that would effectively set minimum weights for women and girls to work as models, a step that supporters of the bill say is necessary to combat the persistence of anorexia.

 

If it becomes law — it is backed by President François Hollande’s Socialist government — modeling agencies and fashion houses that employ models whose body mass index measurements do not meet minimum standards would face criminal penalties.

 

Israel already bans the use of underweight and underage models, while other countries, including Italy and Spain, have weighed legislation similar to the one under consideration in France but for now continue to rely on voluntary pacts with the fashion industry.

March 26, 2015 in International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Missouri Proposes Legislation for Equal Pay

Webber Presents Legislation Aiming to Address the "Pay Gap" Between Men and Women Workers

 A Missouri House committee on Monday heard legislation that aims to reduce the pay gap that exists between men and women in Missouri.

 

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Stephen Webber, D-Columbia, would require the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations to create guidelines detailing best practices for achieving pay equality for both public and private employees.

 

“A number of studies here in Missouri and nationally have documented over time, consistently, that women make less than men do,” Webber said. He pointed directly to a study released last month by the Women’s Foundation which showed that a woman in Missouri makes 71 percent of what a man in an equal position, in the same location and with an equal education would make.

March 26, 2015 in Equal Employment | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

"Nebraska bill would end fathers' rights in rape cases"

The story: 

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The biological fathers of children conceived through a sexual assault would lose their parental rights under a proposal reviewed by Nebraska lawmakers.

Sen. Tommy Garrett of Bellevue presented the proposal to the Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. Garrett says women who are sexually assaulted often feel pressure to terminate their pregnancy or put the child up for adoption to keep their assailant out of their lives.

Garrett says 29 other states have passed laws to end fathers' parental rights in rape cases. Supporters of the bill say 25,000 to 32,000 pregnancies occur because of rapes each year.

Garrett says the bill allows fathers to reclaim parental rights if their convictions are overturned. He says the bill still needs some work, but creates important protections for women.

__

The bill is LB358

March 25, 2015 in Abortion, Manliness, Masculinities | Permalink | Comments (0)

Pope Condemns Gender Theory as Attack on Family

The story: 

NAPLES, Italy, March 23, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- For at least the third time in his pontificate Pope Francis has used very strong language to condemn the gender theory, one of the intellectual underpinnings of the ‘LGBT’ agenda. Speaking Sunday with young people on his voyage to Naples, Italy, Pope Francis spoke of the “ideological colonization” of families seen throughout Europe and the West.

“Gender theory is an error of the human mind that leads to so much confusion," he said. “So the family is under attack.” As to how to deal with the “secularization” or the “ideological colonization,” the pope said he does not have the answer. He pointed however to the Synod on the Family, which he called inspired by the Lord.

And: 

The comments echo those made in an in-flight interview Pope Francis gave while returning from Manila in the Philippines on January 19, 2015. Francis lamented the Western practice of imposing a homosexual agenda on other nations through foreign aid, which he called a form of “ideological colonization” and compared it to the Nazi propaganda machine.

Asked by a reporter to explain the phrase “ideological colonization,” the pope gave an example from 1995 when, he says, a minister of education in a poor area was told she could have a loan for building schools so long as the schools used a book that taught “gender theory.”

And: 

"This is ideological colonization,” he said. “It colonizes the people with an idea that wants to change a mentality or a structure." This ideological colonization, he added, “is not new, the dictators of the last century did the same.”  "They came with their own doctrine. Think of the BalilLa (The Fascist Youth under Mussolini), think of the Hitler youth."

March 25, 2015 in International, Religion | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sweden Introduces Gender-Neutral Pronoun

From the Guardian UK: 

The official dictionary of the Swedish language will introduce a gender-neutral pronoun in April, editors at the Swedish Academy have announced.

“Hen” will be added to “han” (he) and “hon” (she) as one of 13,000 new words in the latest edition of the Swedish Academy’s SAOL.

The pronoun is used to refer to a person without revealing their gender – either because it is unknown, because the person is transgender, or the speaker or writer deems the gender to be superfluous information.

“For those who use the pronoun, it’s obviously a strength that it is now in the dictionary,” one of the editors, Sture Berg, told AFP on Tuesday.

March 25, 2015 in International, LGBT, Manliness, Masculinities, Theory | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Divorce and the Fathers' Rights Movement.

Legal History Blog, Dinner and Divorce and the Fathers' Rights Movement. Deborah Dinner's (Wash U) latest piece.  From the abstract:

A vast literature documents the history of the women’s and gay liberation movements in the late twentieth century, but we still know little about how heterosexual men navigated dramatic change in the legal regulation of families. This Article provides the first legal history of the fathers’ rights movement. It analyzes how middle-class white men responded to rising divorce rates by pursuing reform in both family law and welfare policy. This history offers novel insight into the relationship between the private law of divorce, which regulates largely middle-class families, and public welfare state policies, which have the greatest effect on poor families. This Article challenges the assumption that these private and public family law systems operate in parallel, showing instead that they are interdependent.

Through the mid-twentieth century, marriage shaped the relationship not only between men and women but also between middle-class men and the state: men supported children and wives in exchange for legal protection of male familial authority. In the 1960s and 1970s, escalating divorce rates and the emergence of no-fault divorce laws upset this balance. By the mid-1980s, activists and federal and state legislators forged a new political compromise: fathers’ rights activists conceded ongoing child support obligations in exchange for greater access to custody upon divorce. This “divorce bargain” catalyzed a shift from common law presumptions favoring maternal custody to statutory recognition of joint custody. In so doing, it reinforced private rather than public responsibility for children living in nonmarital families.

The divorce bargain promoted formal equality and sex neutrality within private family law, but also entrenched gender and class inequalities. The bargain failed to challenge women’s disproportionate responsibility for childrearing within marriage, yet enabled men to use custody rights as leverage in child support and spousal maintenance negotiations. In addition, tying paternal responsibilities to custody rights advanced middle-class men’s caregiving interests but hurt those of low-income fathers who could not afford to pay child support. The state vilified these men as “deadbeat dads” who did not merit legal protection. The history of fathers’ rights advocacy for the divorce bargain, therefore, reminds us not to confuse liberalism with equality.

March 24, 2015 in Family | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Law of (Un)equal Protection and Fatherhood Bonuses

Keith Cunningham-Parmeter (Willamette), (Un)equal Protection: Why Gender Equality Depends on Discrimination, 109 Northwestern Law Review 1 (2015).

From the abstract:

 Most accounts of the Supreme Court’s equal protection jurisprudence describe the Court’s firm opposition to sex discrimination. But while the Court famously invalidated several sex-based laws at the end of the twentieth century, it also issued many other, less-celebrated decisions that sanctioned sex-specific classifications in some circumstances. Examining these long-ignored cases that approved of sex discrimination, this Article explains how the Court’s rulings in this area have often rejected the principle of formal equality in favor of broader anti-subordination concerns. Outlining a new model of equal protection that authorizes certain forms of sex discrimination, (Un)Equal Protection advocates for one particular discriminatory policy that could dramatically promote gender equality in the decades to come. Fatherhood bonuses — laws that give families additional parental leave when fathers stay at home with their newborns — have the potential to drastically reorder gendered divisions of labor and expand women’s workplace opportunities. Countries that have experimented with fatherhood bonuses have seen women with children spend more time in paid work, advance in their careers, and earn higher wages. Applying these international models to the American context, this Article explains why fatherhood bonuses would fit comfortably within our constitutional framework, which authorizes discriminatory policies when such policies support women’s public participation. (Un)Equal Protection concludes by proposing a model for fatherhood bonuses in the United States that would encourage more men to perform care work, thereby advancing the goal of gender equality for both sexes.

March 24, 2015 in Family, Masculinities | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 23, 2015

"Gender Defender Day" in a Washington Middle School

 

A Battle Ground Middle School hosted "gender defender" day, but a school district spokesman said the name was misleading. March 19, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)

The story: 

A Battle Ground Middle School hosted "gender defender" day, but a school district spokesman said the name was misleading. March 19, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)

BATTLE GROUND, Wash. (KOIN 6) — Thursday was “gender defender” day at a Battle Ground middle school, and some parents weren’t happy about it.

Lorelei Hunsaker, 11, showed up at Chief Umtuch Middle School dressed in protest of gender defender day. She said the day was designated for girls to wear pink and boys to wear blue —  and she believes that reinforces outdated stereotypes of what boys and girls should aspire to be when they are older.

“It’s a gender neutral school and it’s pretty good about these things,” Lorelei told KOIN 6 News. “It’s just that this day is sexist and I’m not okay with sexism.”

Lorelei decided against wearing pink or blue, instead she wore dark clothing in protest.

For the 11-year-old’s mother, it goes beyond pink and blue clothes. She is part of a nontraditional family in which she is the main bread winner. Her husband cares for their kids, and gender identification may not fall along traditional lines in their household.

“Why would you even have a gender-oriented event to show school spirit?” Lorelei’s mother, Andrea Isom, asked. “Why does gender matter when it comes to being a good student?”

March 23, 2015 in Education, LGBT, Manliness, Masculinities | Permalink | Comments (0)

Punitive Damages Permitted in Ellen Pao Case

california-judeg-gender-bias.jpg

Feb. 24, 2015: Ellen Pao, center, with her attorney, Therese Lawless, left, leaves the Civic Center Courthouse during a lunch break in her trial. (AP)

From Fox News: 

SAN FRANCISCO –  A California trial judge ruled Saturday that a woman suing a Silicon Valley venture capital firm in a high-profile gender bias case may seek punitive damages that could add tens of millions of dollars to the $16 million in lost wages and bonuses she is pursuing.

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Harold Kahn denied a request by lawyers for Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers to have Ellen Pao's demand for unspecified punitive damages thrown out. Pao, the interim CEO of the news and social networking site Reddit, claims she was passed over for a promotion at the firm because she is a woman and then fired in 2012 after she complained.

Kahn said there was enough evidence for the jury considering Pao's lawsuit to conclude that Kleiner Perkins acted with malice, oppression or fraud, which in California is the legal threshold for awarding damages that are designed to punish and deter particularly bad behavior.

March 23, 2015 in Technology, Work/life, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, March 21, 2015

CFP: Symposium "From Scolds to Trolls"

From Scolds to Trolls: Social and Legal Responses to Visible and Audible Women

Date: 15 September 2015

Venue: Centre for Law and Society at Lancaster University Law School

 Keynote Speaker: Professor Feona Attwood, Professor of Cultural Studies, Communication and Media at Middlesex University, UK

Theme

Underlying the trolling of visible and audible women is the deeply entrenched misogynistic idea of silencing women. Trolling is arguably just the latest methodology used to keep women silenced. The process of silencing women has been on-going for centuries. In the 15th century, women were silenced by various methods one of which was known as the scolds bridle; a cast iron cage that was fitted over the head of the woman and which included a metal plate with spikes on that was inserted into her mouth. The intention and the effect were not only to silence that particular woman, but also to have a disciplinary effect on other women. The trolling of women such as Emma Watson; Mary Beard; Caroline Criado-Perez and Stella Creasy, raise questions about whether the trolling of audible and visible women is a modern equivalent of the scolds bridle. When looking at the effects these mechanisms produce, it is difficult to see the difference between the 15th century and the 21st century. Whilst men can indeed be trolled, the significant difference in their experience is that they are not trolled because of their sex or gender. The silencing of women and issues related to women straddles all areas of life from bank notes; video games and the high street (e.g. River Island's 'Anti Nag Gag'); or politics (e.g. Michael Fabricant's tweet that he would like to 'throat-punch' a female journalist).

We welcome submissions from a broad range of disciplines including law, criminology, media, sociology, cultural studies, history, social sciences, economics, psychology, linguistics and gender studies; from academics and non-academics whose work is relevant to the symposium theme, or which is of a multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary nature.

Abstract Submission

Please submit an abstract of max. 300 words and 5-7 keywords (indicating the main research area in particular), and a short biographical note (approx. 2-3 lines) tos.beresford@lancaster.ac.uk. Please include in your subject line 'Abstract submission'.

The deadline for submitting abstracts is 1st May 2015. A draft programme will be announced as soon as possible after the abstract submission deadline (and no later than 19th May 2015), together with registration details. The aim is to publish selected papers in an edited, peer-reviewed collection with a leading publisher.

[H/T Ryan Vacca]

March 21, 2015 in Call for Papers | Permalink | Comments (0)

Boston Scientific Gender Discrimination Suit Alleges Two-Track System

Boston Globe, Boston Scientific Firm Hit with $50M Gender Discrimination Suit

A female former manager and a current executive are suing a California subsidiary of Boston Scientific Corp. for $50 million, asserting that the medical device company discriminates against female sales representatives by assigning them to less profitable territories and giving them higher quotas and lower commissions than male counterparts.

 

Plaintiffs Denise Fretter, a regional sales manager in Ohio, and Maria Korsgaard, a former territory manager in Nevada, state in the suit that Boston Scientific Neuromodulation Corp., in Valencia, Calif., pays its female sales reps less than males, even when they outperform the men.

 

March 21, 2015 in Business, Equal Employment | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 20, 2015

"Gov. Robert Bentley tells US Supreme Court gay marriage destroys 'rights of children'"

The story: 

While the legal wrestling continues over gay marriage, lawyers for Gov. Robert Bentley told the U.S. Supreme Court that same-sex marriage is a social experiment that undermines the rights of children.

The governor filed a friend of the court brief Tuesday ahead of April arguments regarding gay marriage.

Bentley's lawyers said marriage is a natural reality and that same-sex marriage destroys the "rights of children to be connected to their biological parents."

Alabama made similar arguments in a Mobile court case that ended with a federal judge declaring the state's gay marriage ban unconstitutional. The Alabama Supreme Court on March 3 ordered probate judges to stop giving marriage licenses to gay couples.

March 20, 2015 in Family, LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

"Gender Terms Proposed for San Diego Ordinance"

The story:

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The City Council's Budget Committee gave a tentative green light Wednesday to a proposal to add the terms "gender identity" and "gender expression" to the types of discrimination banned by San Diego's Nondiscrimination in Contracting Ordinance.

The ordinance already keeps the city from doing business with companies that discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age or disability.

The proposed amendment would add gender identity -- defined by city staff as a person's sense of self, whether masculine, feminine, both, neither or somewhere in between, and gender expression -- a person's appearance or behavior no matter their sex at birth.

The change would bring the city into compliance with state law. "Including the terms `gender identity' and `gender expression' is an important step in the right direction, not only for the LGBT community, but I think for every San Diegan who would hope their government would treat everyone equally," committee Chairman Todd Gloria said.

March 20, 2015 in LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

3 Women Justices and a House Leader Take a Selfie

Girls Do More Chores than Boys and Paid Less.

Children, Chores, and the Gender Pay Gap at Home

Girls do more chores than boys and are less likely to get an allowance in exchange for their work. When they do, they are paid less.

 

Research projects on children’s time use find that boys do 43 to 46 minutes of housework for every hour that girls do. When asked to list the chores they do, girls list 42 percent more chores than boys. Girls are as likely as boys to participate in outside chores and more likely to clean their own rooms, help prepare meals, and care for sibling and pets; the only thing boys report doing more often than girls is basic housecleaning.***

 

Not only are girls more likely to be asked to help out around the house, they are less likely to get paid. The Michigan study found that boys are 15 percent more likely than girls to get an allowance for the chores they do. And when they do get paid, they get a lower wage than their brothers. Male babysitters get paid $0.50 more an hour than females. Girls do 35 percent more work than boys, but bring home only $0.73 cents on boys’ dollar.

 

The gender pay gap starts early.

Side note: studying for both genders is at the bottom of the list.

 

 

March 19, 2015 in Equal Employment | Permalink | Comments (0)