Gender and the Law Prof Blog

Editor: Tracy A. Thomas
University of Akron School of Law

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Book Review Symposium on "Nine to Five" and Workplace Sex Discrimination

Concurring Opinions hosted a symposium of several book reviews on Joanna Grossman's new book Nine to Five.  Reviews are provided by Sam Bagenstos, Naomi Cahn, Nancy Dowd, Kate Silbaugh, and Verna Williams.

grossman-book-nine-to-five-lawnews

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Concurring Opinions is delighted to introduce Professor Joanna Grossman, and the participants in our online symposium on Nine to Five: How Gender, Sex, and Sexuality Continue to Define the American Workplace (Cambridge University Press 2016).

I previously posted about the book here.

 

June 15, 2016 in Books, Equal Employment | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, June 3, 2016

Book Review: Linda Greenhouse Reviews Gillian Thomas's "Because of Sex"

Linda Greenhouse, NYT, Bittersweet Victories of Women

In Because of Sex: One Law, Ten Cases, and Fifty Years That Changed American Women’s Lives at Work, Gillian Thomas focuses on the afterlife of the Smith amendment as part of the Civil Rights Act’s Title VII, which deals with employment. (Other titles concern voting, education, and access to public facilities and public “accommodations,” meaning hotels, restaurants, and other private businesses serving the public. Title IX, a law we hear much about these days, is not part of the Civil Rights Act but of a different law, the Education Amendments of 1972.) Thomas, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union’s Women’s Rights Project who has litigated sex discrimination cases for many years, is interested not in how Title VII’s “because of sex” clause came to be, but in what has become of it since.

June 3, 2016 in Books, Equal Employment | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Annette Gordon-Reed on Becoming a Lawyer and Historian

Last Lecture: Annette Gordon-Reed Traces Her Journey from Texas Childhood to Lawyer and Historian

[After working as a lawyer] she finally decided to enter academia. She felt, she said, that moment “was the only shot I had to be able to write, to be able to think about issues, to be able to use all of the things that I had been thinking about up to this moment—to be thinking about society, to be writing about society in a way that I thought would be useful.”

 

“Law is important. Obviously I believe that. But the kinds of human relations, the kinds of things we’re talking about in both of these books, transcend it,” Gordon-Reed said. “Sometimes you have to look beyond it, because the law is not put in place for everybody, is not made to work for everybody. It’s our hope that we can try to make it work for everybody, but the historian understands that there are moments when that just was not the case, and slavery was one of them."

May 12, 2016 in Books, Legal History, Women lawyers | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

New in Books: Nine to Five

Joanna Grossman (Hofstra/SMU), Nine to Five: How Gender, Sex, and Sexuality Continue to Define the American Workplace (Cambridge University Press, May 2016)

At the heart of this collection is a basic question: What is sex discrimination? The answer may seem obvious, but, in truth, it is complicated. Are all classifications on the basis of gender discriminatory, or are there times or places when sex differentiation, or even sex segregation, are permissible or desirable? Should seemingly benign classifications be prohibited because they might perpetuate damaging stereotypes and gender subordination? If so, when?

Check out the terrific Table of Contents showing an engaging style and wide range of issues covered in this new book.

May 10, 2016 in Books, Equal Employment | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 6, 2016

Book Review: How Feminism Sold Out by Becoming Cool

Wash Post, How Feminism Sold Out by Becoming Cool

This new mutation can be called “marketplace feminism,” the author writes, “a mainstream, celebrity, consumer embrace of feminism that positions it as a cool, fun, accessible identity that anyone can adopt.” If any purported feminist campaign is touched by corporate or private interests, it is suspect. For Zeisler, feminism is feminism and capitalism is capitalism, and when they hook up it’s just gross....

 

This book’s critique of “marketplace feminism” offers no wiggle room: If you claim feminism without combating structural inequality, your feminism is counterproductive, prioritizing personal advancement rather than attacking the systems that perpetuate wage disparities or gender-based divisions of labor. And don’t bother suggesting that a movement might benefit from the popularization of its tenets — however superficial the interpretations may be — because Zeisler isn’t buying it. “The diversity of voices, issues, approaches, and processes required to make feminism work as an inclusive social movement,” she writes, “is precisely the kind of knotty, unruly insurrection that just can’t be smoothed into a neat brand.”

May 6, 2016 in Books, Theory | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 2, 2016

Why Feminists are Rewriting Judgments

Heather Roberts (Australian Natl) & Laura Sweeney (NSW Gay & Lesbian Rights Lobby), Review Essay: Why (Re)Write Judgements?, 37 Sydney L.Rev. 457 (2015)

Australian Feminist Judgments is a collection of fictional judgments for real Australian cases that have been rewritten by Australian scholars from the perspective of a feminist judge. Each judgment is introduced by a commentary, written by a different scholar, explaining the legal and historical context of the original decision and the choices made by the feminist judge. This review essay locates the collection within more general debates surrounding judgment writing, particularly leading Australian extra-judicial commentary on how and why judgments are written. Against this larger plane, we consider a number of the key issues raised by the collection about judgment writing, including the significance of recounting the facts of a case, the uses of formalist judicial method and the capacity of judgments to effect change. Drawing on a number of examples from the collection, this review essay contends that Australian Feminist Judgments makes a valuable contribution not only to contemporary feminist debates, but also to issues going to the heart of judicial practices and judgment.

The US Feminist Judgments rewriting projects is here

A fall conference on rewriting judgments, The US Feminist Judgments Project: Rewriting the Law, Writing the Future is planned for October 20 & 21.

 

 

May 2, 2016 in Books, Conferences, Courts, Theory | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, April 28, 2016

New in Books: Gender Remade: Citizenship, Suffrage, and Public Power

From Legal History Blog, VanBurkleo's "Gender Remade", Abstract and TOC:

Sandra F. VanBurkleo, Associate Professor of History at Wayne State University, has published Gender Remade: Citizenship, Suffrage, and Public Power in the New Northwest, 1879–1912 (Cambridge UP).

Gender Remade explores a little-known experiment in gender equality in Washington Territory in the 1870s and 1880s. Building on path-breaking innovations in marital and civil equality, lawmakers extended a long list of political rights and obligations to both men and women, including the right to serve on juries and hold public office. As the territory moved toward statehood, however, jury duty and constitutional co-sovereignty proved to be particularly controversial; in the end, 'modernization' and national integration brought disastrous losses for women until 1910, when political rights were partially restored.

April 28, 2016 in Books, Legal History | Permalink | Comments (0)

New in Books: Gender Remade

From Legal History Blog, VanBurkleo's "Gender Remade", Abstract and TOC:

Sandra F. VanBurkleo, Associate Professor of History at Wayne State University, has published Gender Remade: Citizenship, Suffrage, and Public Power in the New Northwest, 1879–1912 (Cambridge UP).

Gender Remade explores a little-known experiment in gender equality in Washington Territory in the 1870s and 1880s. Building on path-breaking innovations in marital and civil equality, lawmakers extended a long list of political rights and obligations to both men and women, including the right to serve on juries and hold public office. As the territory moved toward statehood, however, jury duty and constitutional co-sovereignty proved to be particularly controversial; in the end, 'modernization' and national integration brought disastrous losses for women until 1910, when political rights were partially restored.

April 28, 2016 in Books, Legal History | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Roe as a Negative Precedent for Same-Sex Marriage

Cary Franklin (Texas), Roe as We Know It, 114 Mich. L.Rev. 867 (2016), reviewing, Mary Ziegler (Florida State), After Roe: The Lost History of the Abortion Debate (2015)

The petitioners in last year’s historic same-sex marriage case cited most of the Supreme Court’s canonical substantive due process precedents. They argued that the right of same-sex couples to marry, like the right to use birth control and the right to guide the upbringing of one’s children, was among the liberties protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. The Court in Obergefell v. Hodges agreed, citing many of the same cases. Not once, however, did the petitioners or the majority in Obergefell cite the Court’s most famous substantive due process decision. It was the dissenters in Obergefell who invoked Roe v. Wade.

April 26, 2016 in Abortion, Books | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 25, 2016

Who is Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Why is she on the $10 Bill

The news focused on Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, but more women will be featured on the $10 bill.  Five women suffrage leaders will appear on the back of the $5 bill.  These five are Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, Alice Paul, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Sojourner Truth.

ECSBookJacket

I have spent the last 10+ years researching and writing about Stanton.  My focus has been her contributions to the philosophical development of legal feminism and her work for legal reforms of gender equity in the private sphere of the family. 

Tracy A. Thomas, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Feminist Foundations of Family Law (NYU Press forthcoming Oct. 2016)

From the abstract for the book:

Elizabeth Cady Stanton was the principal feminist thinker, leader, and “radical conscience” of the nineteenth-century woman’s rights movement. Stanton initiated the women’s rights movement on July 19, 1848, in Seneca Falls, New York, where she issued her feminist manifesto, the “Declaration of Sentiments,” demanding women’s right to vote. This is generally all that history has remembered of Stanton. Her Declaration, however, demanded seventeen other rights for political, religious, social, and civil rights equality. These included the right to public office, marital property, divorce, education, employment, reproductive control, and religious autonomy. As Stanton explained, the institutions of government, church, family, and industrial work constituted “a fourfold bondage” of women, with “many cords tightly twisted together, strong for one purpose” of woman’s subordination. They were all intertwined, so that “to attempt to undo one is to loosen all.” As Stanton later explained, to break down this complexity required women to have “bravely untwisted all the strands of the fourfold cord that bound us and demanded equality in the whole round of the circle.” Holistic reform was required to break down the complex system of women’s oppression. 

The family was one centerpiece of Stanton’s feminist agenda. The family, governed by patriarchal laws and sentimental gender norms, created and perpetuated women’s inferiority. “If the present family life is necessarily based on man’s headship,” Stanton argued, “then we must build a new domestic altar, in which the mother shall have equal dignity, honor and power.” The private sphere of the family was not segregated from the public sphere, as both nineteenth-century suffrage reformers and twentieth-century feminists often argued, but instead was intertwined with the other institutional strands strangling equality. As a result, radical concrete change to the family institution was required in the forms of egalitarian partnerships, economic rights, free divorce, and maternal autonomy. Stanton’s commitment to women’s equality in marriage and the family was longstanding -- from Seneca Falls to her last writings. As Stanton said, she “remained as radical on the marriage question at the age of eighty-six as [she] had been a half a century earlier.” 

Stanton’s family reforms seem less shocking today because most of them have become law. Her proposals to reconstruct marriage and the family, detailed in this book, are now mainstream. Women have separate and joint marital property rights. Spouses inherit equal shares of estates when one partner dies without a will. Common law marriage is prohibited in most states, and civil marriage requires procedural safeguards. Divorce is available for irreconcilable differences or for misconduct equally applicable to both spouses. The law supports domestic violence protections, reproductive choice, and maternal custody.

Recovering Stanton’s feminist thinking on the family reveals the longevity and persistence of women’s demands for family equality. Contrary to popular wisdom, these feminist ideas were not invented in the 1970s, but instead reach back more than a century earlier as part of the original conceptualization of women’s rights. This longer perspective bolsters the truth and credibility of such feminist demands, dispelling their characterization as a modern anomaly and demanding legitimization and consideration in the law. As these issues of family, marriage, work/life balance, pregnancy, and parenting continue to challenge the law and confound feminism, Stanton’s work adds historical evidence of important principles that should be part of the legal equation. Her work shows that feminism and the family have not been historically in opposition, as we usually think. To the contrary, feminists have existed not apart from the family, but within it. 

See also:

Tracy A. Thomas, Misappropriating Women's History in the Law and Politics of Abortion, 36 Seattle L. Rev. 1 (2012) (on Stanton’s theory and advocacy of maternity)

Tracy A. Thomas, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Notion of a Legal Class of Gender, in Feminist Legal History (Tracy A. Thomas & Tracey Jean Boisseau, eds. 2011) (on foundations of constitutional sex equality inquiry)

Tracy A. Thomas, Elizabeth Cady Stanton on the Federal Marriage Amendment: A Letter to the President, 22 Constitutional Commentary 137 (2005) (on marriage equality and divorce)

Tracy A. Thomas, Introduction to Symposium, The Origins of Constitutional Gender Equality in the Nineteenth-Century Work of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, 7 ConLawNOW 1 (2016)

Tracy A. Thomas, The New Face of Women's Legal History, 41 Akron L. Rev. 695 (2008) (on Truth and Stanton)

 

April 25, 2016 in Books, Legal History | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Slow Professor: Resisting the Culture of Speed in Academe

Slowing down into deliberate and thoughtful academic work as the antidote to the corporatization of the university.

Inside Higher Ed, Book Review, The Slow Professor: New Book Argues that Professors Should Actively Resist the "Culture of Speed" in Academe

In a new book, two tenured professors propose applying the “slow movement” -- which has thus far been applied to everything from food to parenting to science to sex -- to academic work. And while it’s already raised some eyebrows as an example of “tenured privilege,” it’s at once an important addition and possible antidote to the growing literature on the corporatization of the university.

 

***“While slowness has been celebrated in architecture, urban life and personal relations, it has not yet found its way into education,” reads Slow Professor: Challenging the Culture of Speed in the Academy (University of Toronto Press). “Yet, if there is one sector of society which should be cultivating deep thought, it is academic teachers. Corporatization has compromised academic life and sped up the clock. The administrative university is concerned above all with efficiency, resulting in a time crunch and making those of us subjected to it feel powerless.”

 

In a corporate university, argues Slow Professor, “power is transferred from faculty to managers, economic justifications dominate, and the familiar ‘bottom line’ eclipses pedagogical and intellectual concerns.” But slow professors nevertheless “advocate deliberation over acceleration” because they “need time to think, and so do our students. Time for reflection and open-ended inquiry is not a luxury but is crucial to what we do.”

Instead, Slow Professor proposes with some optimism that professors -- especially those with tenure -- have the power to change the direction of the university by becoming the eye of the storm, working deliberately and thoughtfully in ways that somehow now seem taboo.

 

“Distractedness and fragmentation characterize contemporary academic life; we believe that slow ideals restore a sense of community and conviviality … which sustain political resistance,” Berg and Seeber say. “Slow professors act with purpose, cultivating emotional and intellectual resilience to the effects of the corporatization of higher education.”

 

Slow Professor proposes getting off-line as much as possible and doing less by thinking of scheduling as eliminating commitment’s from one’s day, not taking them on. Perhaps most importantly, it proposes leaving room in one’s schedule for regular “timeless time,” starting with some kind of relaxing, transitional ritual. Incorporate playfulness and shun those negative self-thoughts.

 

And don’t forget leaving time to do nothing at all, the book says.

 

In a separate discussion on “pedagogy and pleasure,” Slow Professor advocates for the in-person classroom model over online. It argues that teaching is an undeniably emotional activity for which one should be physically present, and that students also benefit from working face-to-face with their peers.

 

“It is neither frivolous nor incidental that to ensure that we enjoy ourselves in the classroom: it may be crucial to creating an environment in which students learn,” the book reads.

 

Slow Professor also addresses research pressures, saying that slow scholarship must stand against perverse incentives for publication or a rush to “findings” at the expense of scholarly value. Noting how one of the authors’ colleagues was once admiringly referred to as a “machine,” the book questions the very way in which academics talk about one another’s productivity, saying, “Slowing down is a matter of ethical import. To drive oneself as if one were a machine should be recognized as a form of self-harm. … Furthermore, being machine-like will hardly generate compassion for others.”

 

Overwork can make colleagues jealous, impatient and rushed,Slow Professor reads, while slowing down “is about allowing room for others and otherness. And in that sense, slowing down is an ethical choice.”

 

April 24, 2016 in Books, Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Coming Soon in Books: 100 Years of the 19th Amendment

    100 Years of the Nineteenth Amendment:  An Appraisal of Women’s Political Activism (Oxford U. Press)

Holly J. McCammon and Lee Ann Banaszak, editors

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction, by Holly J. McCammon and Lee Ann Banaszak                        

Part I  Women's Participation in Electoral Politics:  100 Years of Change and Continuity

  1. Disappointed Hopes? Female Voters and the 1924 Progressive Surge, by J. Kevin Corder and Christina Wolbrecht
  1. From Seneca to Shelby: Intersectionality and Women's Voting Rights, by Celeste Montoya
  1. The Evolution of Women's (and Men's) Partisan Attachment, by Heather L. Ondercin
  1. What's Happened to the Gender Gap in Political Participation? How Might We Explain It?, by Nancy Burns, Kay Lehman Schlozman, Ashley Jardina, Shauna Shames, and Sidney Verba
  1. Women in State Legislatures from the Gilded Age to the Global Age, by Susan Welch
  1. 100 Years since Woman Suffrage: Managing Multiple Identities among Latina Congressional Leaders, by Jessica Lavariega Monforti

Part II  Women's Political Engagement in Extra-Institutional Politics:  A Century of Activism        

  1. U.S. Women's Groups in National Policy Debates, 1880-2000, by Kristin A. Goss
  1. "Feminism Means More than a Changed World…It Means the Creation of a New Consciousness in Women": Feminism, Consciousness-Raising, and Continuity between the Waves, by Laura Nelson
  1. Women, Leadership, and the Environmental Movement, by Holly J. McCammon, Allison McGrath, David Hess, and Minyoung Moon
  1. American Mothers of Nonviolence: Action and the Politics of Erasure in Women's Nonviolent Activism, by Selina Gallo-Cruz
  1. Women in White Supremacist Movement in the Century after Women's Suffrage, by Kathleen Blee
  1. Women Occupying Wall Street: Gender Conflict and Feminist Mobilization, by Heather Hurwitz and Verta Taylor
  1. After Suffrage Comes Equal Rights? ERA as the Next Logical Step, by Tracey Jean Boisseau and Tracy A. Thomas                                                                     

March 30, 2016 in Books, Constitutional | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 18, 2016

Books (Coming Soon): The Feminist Foundations of Family Law

The book jacket!  Publication is one step closer!  

For a preview of the first chapter, see Tracy A. Thomas, The "Radical Conscience" of Nineteenth-Century Feminism

See also Tracy A. Thomas, The Origins of Constitutional Gender Equality in the Nineteenth-Century Work of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, 7 ConLawNOW (2016)

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March 18, 2016 in Abortion, Books, Family, Legal History | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 11, 2016

Books: ACLU Lawyer Pens "Because of Sex" on Histories of Workplace Discrimination

Gillian Thomas, Because of Sex: One Law, Ten Cases, and Fifty Years That Changed American Women's Lives at Work

Because of Sex takes readers through ten landmark sex discrimination cases that helped dismantle a “Mad Men” world where women could only hope to play supporting roles, where bosses’ leers and propositions were as much a part of the air women breathed as cigarette smoke, and where pregnancy meant getting a pink slip. Readers will meet Ida Phillips, denied an assembly line job because she had a preschool-age child; Kim Rawlinson, who fought to become a prison guard—a “man’s job”; Mechelle Vinson, who endured sexual abuse by her boss before “sexual harassment” even had a name; Ann Hopkins, denied partnership at a Big Eight accounting firm because the men in charge thought she needed "a course at charm school”; and most recently, Peggy Young, forced off her UPS delivery route while pregnant because she asked for a temporary reprieve from heavy lifting.

 

Gillian is a Senior Staff Attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union’s Women’s Rights Project.  She previously litigated sex discrimination cases at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Legal Momentum (formerly NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund). 

NYT, Book Review "Because of Sex," by Gillian Thomas

Thomas’s “Because of Sex” has many such stories — important reminders that laws have an impact that often exceeds lawmakers’ initial intentions. One strength of the book is her acute awareness of how people have responded to chance accidents, improbable circumstances and unimagined consequences. In fact, it was an 11th-hour amendment to Title VII, brought by Howard Smith, a segregationist congressman, that would ban discrimination in employment “because of sex.” As ­Thomas puts it, “Today most American working women would probably be surprised to know that they have an unrepentantly racist, male octogenarian to thank for outlawing sex bias on the job.”

 

Like Fred Strebeigh’s “Equal” (2009), “Because of Sex” is both meticulously researched and rewarding to read. The ­cases Thomas discusses put the muscle on the new law’s bones. Smith’s last-minute amendment created a blank slate: Congress had not given any clues to what sex equality might look like. Women’s refusal to accept the status quo would determine the law’s meaning.

 

Thomas is a gifted storyteller, and the changing circumstances of these women’s lives as their cases drag on, along with the unpredictability of the courts, give her plenty to work with. She provides lots of head-shaking moments. Surely, you say to yourself, that couldn’t have been legal — such as when a city utility required women to contribute 15 percent more to their pension fund because they lived longer than men. [See Department of Water & Power v. Manhart, 435 U.S. 702 (1978)]

 

March 11, 2016 in Books, Equal Employment | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 22, 2016

Books: On Pauli Murray, Black LGBT Feminist Lawyer

NYT, The Firebrand and the First Lady

The byline was Eleanor Roosevelt’s, though the headline, apparently, was not. “One of my finest young friends is a charming woman lawyer — Pauli Murray, who has been quite a firebrand at times but of whom I am very fond,” Roosevelt wrote. “She is a lovely person who has struggled and come through very well.” Indeed, nothing was ever easy for Murray, a black woman born in 1910, a woman attracted to women and also a poet, memoirist, lawyer, activist and Episcopal priest. But her tender friendship with Roosevelt, sustained over nearly a quarter-century and more than 300 cards and letters, helped. It is the rich earth Patricia Bell-Scott tills for “The Firebrand and the First Lady,” a tremendous book that has been 20 years in the making.

 

You could say Pauli Murray was born too soon, and saying so captures the essential injustice of her life, but it would also rob her of credit for making her own time the best she could. “I’m really a submerged writer,” Murray once told her friends, “but the exigencies of the period have driven me into social action.” The granddaughter of a woman born into slavery and a mixed-race Union soldier, Murray was arrested for refusing to sit in the colored section of a bus 15 years before the Montgomery bus boycott and for participating in restaurant sit-ins in the early 1940s, long before the 1960 sit-ins at Woolworth’s lunch counter. She led a national campaign on behalf of a black sharecropper on death row. ***

 

And Bell-Scott, who was an editor of the important anthology “All the Women Are White, All the Blacks Are Men, but Some of Us Are Brave,” persuasively suggests that Roosevelt’s influence contributed to what would be Murray’s most lasting mark, on women’s rights. “She had spent the first half of her life fighting for equal rights as an African-American, only to discover she would have to spend the second half fighting for equal rights as a woman,” Bell-Scott writes. A brilliant legal strategist, Murray formulated a plan for rendering sex discrimination unconstitutional using the 14th Amendment, co-founded the National Organization for Women and tried her best to build bridges between black and white feminists. In Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s first brief to the Supreme Court, in 1971, she listed Murray as a co-author, though Murray had not worked on it, a nod to the brief’s intellectual ancestry. Ginsburg’s win in that case wrested from the Supreme Court its first ruling against sex discrimination as unconstitutional.

February 22, 2016 in Books, Race, Women lawyers | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Books: The History of Women Lawyers in Maryland

Law and Politics Book Review: FINDING JUSTICE: A HISTORY OF WOMEN LAWYERS IN MARYLAND SINCE 1642

This engaging volume was produced as part of the Finding Justice Project, a collaborative effort among a small group of judges, lawyers, and legal academics to recover and illuminate neglected histories of women in law in Maryland. Sponsored by the Maryland Women’s Bar Association Foundation, the project sought to identify and learn about the work and lives of as many women lawyers as possible practicing in Maryland since 1642. For this purpose, a research team collected information from many sources, including records of the names along with signatures of all who received bar admission, court records describing the cases in which women lawyers participated, birth and death certificates and census records of their families, and newspaper reports regarding the professional and personal lives of some women lawyers in the state. One product of these efforts is a list of nearly 25,000 women admitted to the Maryland bar through 2014, a list reproduced in an appendix organized by year of admission that is printed on nearly 100 pages (pp. 173-268).

We learn in the Preface that the Project initially hired an author to write a book based on the data collected. After the author withdrew, The Honorable Lynne A. Battaglia, the editor of this volume and a central advocate for the Project, developed a new plan to produce an edited collection to include several chapters written by a variety of women practitioners with different themes related to women in law, with emphasis on particular women in law, and with a focus on various historical moments. Although the chapters are generally brief in a book that includes only 167 pages of text prior to appendices, together they present a coherent and interesting portrait of the many challenges and opportunities experienced by diverse women interested in legal careers in Maryland over time. The chapters are well organized and conceived, and the details provided regarding legal careers in Maryland are often quite fascinating.

H/t Legal History Blog, Sunday Book Roundup

February 9, 2016 in Books, Legal History, Women lawyers | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Feminist Judgments Project: Who's Who of Law Profs Rewrite SCOTUS Decisions

Kathryn Stanchi, Linda Berger, Bridget Crawford, Introduction: US Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the US Supreme Court (forthcoming Cambridge Press 2016)

Abstract:

What would United States Supreme Court opinions look like if key decisions on gender issues were written with a feminist perspective? To begin to answer this question, we brought together a group of scholars and lawyers to rewrite, using feminist reasoning, the most significant U.S. Supreme Court cases on gender from the 1800s to the present day. While feminist legal theory has developed and even thrived within universities, and feminist activists and lawyers are responsible for major changes in the law, feminist reasoning has had a less clear impact on judicial decision-making. Doctrines of stare decisis and judicial language of neutrality can operate to obscure structural bias in the law, making it difficult to see what feminism could bring to judicial reasoning.

The twenty-five opinions in this volume demonstrate that judges with feminist viewpoints could have changed the course of the law. The rewritten decisions show that previously accepted judicial outcomes were not necessary or inevitable and demonstrate that feminist reasoning increases the judicial capacity for justice, not only for women but for many other oppressed groups. The remarkable differences evident in the rewritten opinions also open a path for a long overdue discussion of the real impact that judicial diversity has on law and of the influence that perspective has in judging.
 
Table of Contents
 
Chapter 1
Introduction to the U.S. Feminist Judgments Project Kathryn M. Stanchi, Linda L. Berger, and Bridget J. Crawford
 
Chapter 2 Talking Back: From Feminist History and Theory to Feminist Legal Methods and Judgments Berta Esperanza Hernández-Truyol
 
Chapter 3. Bradwell v. Illinois, 83 U.S. 130 (1873)
Commentary: Kimberly Holst
Judgment: Phyllis Goldfarb
 
Chapter 4. Muller v. Oregon, 208 U.S. 412 (1908)
Commentary: Andrea Doneff
Judgment: Pamela Laufer-Ukeles
 
Chapter 5. Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965)
Commentary: Cynthia Hawkins DeBose
Judgment: Laura Rosenbury
 
Chapter 6. Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967)
Commentary: Inga N. Laurent
Judgment: Teri McMurtry-Chubb
 
Chapter 7. Stanley v. Illinois, 405 U.S. 645 (1972)
Commentary: Nancy D. Polikoff
Judgment: Karen Syma Czapanskiy
 
Chapter 8. Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973)
Commentary: Rachel Rebouché
Judgment: Kimberly M. Mutcherson
 
Chapter 9. Frontiero v. Richardson, 411 U.S. 677 (1973)
Commentary: Iselin M. Gambert
Judgment: Dara E. Purvis
 
Chapter 10. Geduldig v. Aiello, 417 U.S. 484 (1974)
Commentary: Maya Manian
Judgment: Lucinda M. Finley
 
Chapter 11. Dothard v. Rawlinson, 433 U.S. 321 (1977)
Commentary: Brenda V. Smith
Judgment: Maria L. Ontiveros
 
Chapter 12. City of Los Angeles Department Dep't of Water & Power v. Manhart, 435 U.S. 702 (1978)
Commentary: Cassandra Jones Havard
Judgment: Tracy A. Thomas
 
Chapter 13. Harris v. McRae, 448 U.S. 297 (1980)
Commentary: Mary Ziegler
Judgment: Leslie C. Griffin
 
Chapter 14. Michael M. v. Superior Court, 450 U.S. 464 (1981)
Commentary: Margo Kaplan
Judgment: Cynthia Godsoe
 
Chapter 15. Rostker v. Goldberg, 453 U.S. 57 (1981)
Commentary: Jamie R. Abrams
Judgment: David S. Cohen
 
Chapter 16. Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57 (1986)
Commentary: Kristen Konrad Tiscione
Judgment: Angela Onwuachi-Willig
 
Chapter 17. Johnson v. Transportation Agency, 480 U.S. 616 (1987)
Commentary: Deborah Gordon
Judgment: Deborah L. Rhode
 
Chapter 18. Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, 490 U.S. 228 (1989)
Commentary: Dale Margolin Cecka
Judgment: Martha Chamallas
 
Chapter 19. Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992)
Commentary: Macarena Sáez
Judgment: Lisa R. Pruitt
 
Chapter 20. United States v. Virginia, 518 U.S. 515 (1996)
Commentary: Christine M. Venter
Judgment: Valorie K. Vojdik
 
Chapter 21. Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, Inc., 523 U.S. 75 (1998)
Commentary: Margaret E. Johnson
Judgment: Ann C. McGinley
 
Chapter 22. Gebser v. Lago Vista Independent School District, 524 U.S. 274 (1998)
Commentary: Michelle S. Simon
Judgment: Ann Bartow
 
Chapter 23. United States v. Morrison, 529 U.S. 598 (2000)
Commentary: Shaakirrah R. Sanders
Judgment: Aníbal Rosario Lebrón
 
Chapter 24. Nguyen v. INS, 533 U.S. 53 (2001)
Commentary: Sandra S. Park
Judgment: Ilene Durst
 
Chapter 25. Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003)
Commentary: Kris McDaniel-Miccio
Judgment: Ruthann Robson
 
Chapter 26. Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005)
Commentary: Patricia A. Broussard
Judgment: Maria Isabel Medina
 
Chapter 27. Obergefell v. Hodges, 135 S. Ct. 2584 (2015)
Commentary: Erez Aloni
Judgment: Carlos A. Ball
 
 
SAVE THE DATE!!  Conference on Feminist Judgments Project and feminist judging-- October 20 & 21, 2016 at University of Akron School of Law sponsored by Center for Constitutional Law.  
 

February 2, 2016 in Books, Conferences, Constitutional, Courts, Legal History | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 11, 2016

The "Radical Conscience" of Nineteenth-Century Feminism and the Law

I've posted Chapter 1 of my book, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Feminist Foundations of Family Law, forthcoming this summer from NYU Press.  This chapter introduces Stanton, her legacy for the law and domestic relations, and her holistic legal feminism. See The "Radical Conscience" of Nineteenth-Century Feminism.

ECS2sons

 

    

January 11, 2016 in Books, Family, Legal History | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Men Writing History, About Men, for Men

Slate, Why Are So Many History Books About Men, by Men?

A careful study of recent popular history books reveals a genre dominated by generals, presidents--and male authors.

In recent years, as academic history has taken a turn toward the cultural and social, producing more and more works about women, minorities, and everyday life, the kinds of history books you see on the New Releases table at a Barnes & Noble have begun to feel like throwbacks. A quick survey reveals naval battles, grand adventures, and biography after biography about the Founding Fathers. Call these “uncle books”—tomes that you give an older male relative, to take up residence by his wingback armchair.

 

This state of affairs dismays many academic historians. Last year, at the American Historical Association’s annual meeting, a presenter in a session on “Buying and Selling History” included a slide listing the best-selling trade history books of 2014, as tallied by BookScan. The generous helping of politically conservative histories by Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly caused concern, but some historians noticed another troubling trend: The list was dominated by male authors. Of 23 titles, two were written by women.  * * *

 

Why does this matter? Academics are interested in cultural and social history because those approaches allow room for contemplation of what it was like to live life as an everyday person in a certain period, not just as a general or president or pioneer. Last year, historian Ann M. Little noted that the best-selling biographies of 2014 tended to be about men—and a particular kind of man, at that. Popular biographies of Founding Fathers and war heroes, wrote Little, “reflect our contemporary preoccupation with modern history themes: politics, economics, warfare, the nation-state. … These biographies are invested in a particularly modern kind of subjectivity, that of the heroic individual who bends history to his will.” In other words, the popularity of biographies of presidents and sports heroes reflects and reinforces the idea that interesting lives are lived in public, often defined by conflict and glory. Cultural and social histories make the meta-point that history is about communities, not just individuals.

Some of us are trying hard to swim against this tide:

Tracy A. Thomas, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Feminist Foundations of Family Law (forthcoming NYU Press 2016)

 

Felice Batlan, Women and Justice for the Poor: A History of Legal Aid, 1863-1945 (Cambridge 2015)

 

Arissa Oh, To Save the Children of Korea:The Cold War Origins of International Adoption (Stanford 2015)

 

Mary Ziegler, After Roe: The Lost History of the Abortion Debate (Harvard 2015)

 

 

January 7, 2016 in Books, Legal History | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

"Teacher, Scholar, Mother": Motherhood in the Academy

Teacher, Scholar, Mother: Re-Envisioning Motherhood in the Academy

Table of Contents:

Section One: Approaches to Motherhood, Feminism and Gendered Work

Chapter 1:
The Role of Theory in Understanding the Lived Experiences of Mothering in the Academy
Andrea N. Hunt

Chapter 2:
Crying over “Split Milk”: How Divisive Language on Infant Feeding Leads to Stress, Confusion and Anxiety for Mothers
Tracy Rundstrom Williams

Chapter 3:
Mama’s Boy: Feminist Mothering, Masculinity, and White Privilege
Catherine A.F. MacGillivray

Chapter 4:
Encountering Others: Reading, Writing, Teaching, Parenting
Erin Tremblay Ponnou-Delaffon

Chapter 5:
A Qualitative Study of Academic Mothers’ Sabbatical Experiences: Considering Disciplinary Differences
Susan V. Iverson
Christin Seher

Chapter 6:
Motherhood: Reflection, Design, and Self-Authorship
Brook Sattler
Jennifer Turns
Cynthia J. Atman

Chapter 7:
Confessions of a Buzzkill: Critical Feminist Parenting in the Age of Omnipresent Media
Dustin Harp

Section Two: Identity and Performance in Academic Motherhood

Chapter 8:
More Mother than Others: Disorientations, Motherscholars, and Objects in Becoming
Sara M. Childers

Chapter 9:
Doing Research and Teaching on Masculinities and Violence: One Mother of Sons’ Perspective
M. Cristine Alcalde, Associate Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies

Chapter 10:
Cultural Border Crossings between Science, Science Pedagogy & Parenting
Allison Antink-Meyer

Chapter 11:
“You Must be Superwoman!”: How Graduate Student Mothers Negotiate Conflicting Roles
Erin Graybill Ellis
Jessica Smartt Gullion

Chapter 12:
“There’s a Monster Growing in our Heads”: Mad Men’s Betty Draper, Fan Reaction, and Twenty-First Century Anxiety about Motherhood
Caroline Smith
Celeste Hanna

Section Three: Bringing it to Light: Giving Voice to Motherhood’s Challenges

Chapter 13:
Silence and the Stillbirth Narrative: Stories Worth Telling
Elisabeth G. Kraus

Chapter 14:
S/m/othering
Marissa McClure

Chapter 15:
A Tapestry of Sweet Mother(hood): African Scholar, Mother, and Performer?
Ama Oforiwaa Aduonum

Chapter 16:
Dropped Stitches: Classrooms, Caregiving, and Cancer
Martha Kalnin Diede

Chapter 17:
The Other Female Complaint: Online Narratives of Assisted Reproductive Therapy as Sentimental Literature
Layne Craig

Chapter 18:
Mama’s Boy: Feminist Mothering, Masculinity, and White Privilege
Catherine A.F. MacGillivray

December 29, 2015 in Books, Education, Work/life | Permalink | Comments (0)