Wednesday, March 30, 2016
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
- Introduction, by Holly J. McCammon and Lee Ann Banaszak
Part I Women's Participation in Electoral Politics: 100 Years of Change and Continuity
- Disappointed Hopes? Female Voters and the 1924 Progressive Surge, by J. Kevin Corder and Christina Wolbrecht
- From Seneca to Shelby: Intersectionality and Women's Voting Rights, by Celeste Montoya
- The Evolution of Women's (and Men's) Partisan Attachment, by Heather L. Ondercin
- 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
- Women in State Legislatures from the Gilded Age to the Global Age, by Susan Welch
- 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
- U.S. Women's Groups in National Policy Debates, 1880-2000, by Kristin A. Goss
- "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
- Women, Leadership, and the Environmental Movement, by Holly J. McCammon, Allison McGrath, David Hess, and Minyoung Moon
- American Mothers of Nonviolence: Action and the Politics of Erasure in Women's Nonviolent Activism, by Selina Gallo-Cruz
- Women in White Supremacist Movement in the Century after Women's Suffrage, by Kathleen Blee
- Women Occupying Wall Street: Gender Conflict and Feminist Mobilization, by Heather Hurwitz and Verta Taylor
- After Suffrage Comes Equal Rights? ERA as the Next Logical Step, by Tracey Jean Boisseau and Tracy A. Thomas
Friday, March 18, 2016
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)
Friday, March 11, 2016
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)]
Monday, February 22, 2016
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.
Tuesday, February 9, 2016
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
Tuesday, February 2, 2016
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.
Chapter 1Introduction to the U.S. Feminist Judgments Project Kathryn M. Stanchi, Linda L. Berger, and Bridget J. CrawfordChapter 2 Talking Back: From Feminist History and Theory to Feminist Legal Methods and Judgments Berta Esperanza Hernández-TruyolChapter 3. Bradwell v. Illinois, 83 U.S. 130 (1873)Commentary: Kimberly HolstJudgment: Phyllis GoldfarbChapter 4. Muller v. Oregon, 208 U.S. 412 (1908)Commentary: Andrea DoneffJudgment: Pamela Laufer-UkelesChapter 5. Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479 (1965)Commentary: Cynthia Hawkins DeBoseJudgment: Laura RosenburyChapter 6. Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967)Commentary: Inga N. LaurentJudgment: Teri McMurtry-ChubbChapter 7. Stanley v. Illinois, 405 U.S. 645 (1972)Commentary: Nancy D. PolikoffJudgment: Karen Syma CzapanskiyChapter 8. Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973)Commentary: Rachel RebouchéJudgment: Kimberly M. MutchersonChapter 9. Frontiero v. Richardson, 411 U.S. 677 (1973)Commentary: Iselin M. GambertJudgment: Dara E. PurvisChapter 10. Geduldig v. Aiello, 417 U.S. 484 (1974)Commentary: Maya ManianJudgment: Lucinda M. FinleyChapter 11. Dothard v. Rawlinson, 433 U.S. 321 (1977)Commentary: Brenda V. SmithJudgment: Maria L. OntiverosChapter 12. City of Los Angeles Department Dep't of Water & Power v. Manhart, 435 U.S. 702 (1978)Commentary: Cassandra Jones HavardJudgment: Tracy A. ThomasChapter 13. Harris v. McRae, 448 U.S. 297 (1980)Commentary: Mary ZieglerJudgment: Leslie C. GriffinChapter 14. Michael M. v. Superior Court, 450 U.S. 464 (1981)Commentary: Margo KaplanJudgment: Cynthia GodsoeChapter 15. Rostker v. Goldberg, 453 U.S. 57 (1981)Commentary: Jamie R. AbramsJudgment: David S. CohenChapter 16. Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57 (1986)Commentary: Kristen Konrad TiscioneJudgment: Angela Onwuachi-WilligChapter 17. Johnson v. Transportation Agency, 480 U.S. 616 (1987)Commentary: Deborah GordonJudgment: Deborah L. RhodeChapter 18. Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, 490 U.S. 228 (1989)Commentary: Dale Margolin CeckaJudgment: Martha ChamallasChapter 19. Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833 (1992)Commentary: Macarena SáezJudgment: Lisa R. PruittChapter 20. United States v. Virginia, 518 U.S. 515 (1996)Commentary: Christine M. VenterJudgment: Valorie K. VojdikChapter 21. Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, Inc., 523 U.S. 75 (1998)Commentary: Margaret E. JohnsonJudgment: Ann C. McGinleyChapter 22. Gebser v. Lago Vista Independent School District, 524 U.S. 274 (1998)Commentary: Michelle S. SimonJudgment: Ann BartowChapter 23. United States v. Morrison, 529 U.S. 598 (2000)Commentary: Shaakirrah R. SandersJudgment: Aníbal Rosario LebrónChapter 24. Nguyen v. INS, 533 U.S. 53 (2001)Commentary: Sandra S. ParkJudgment: Ilene DurstChapter 25. Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003)Commentary: Kris McDaniel-MiccioJudgment: Ruthann RobsonChapter 26. Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005)Commentary: Patricia A. BroussardJudgment: Maria Isabel MedinaChapter 27. Obergefell v. Hodges, 135 S. Ct. 2584 (2015)Commentary: Erez AloniJudgment: Carlos A. Ball
Monday, January 11, 2016
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.
Thursday, January 7, 2016
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)
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Table of Contents:
Section One: Approaches to Motherhood, Feminism and Gendered Work
The Role of Theory in Understanding the Lived Experiences of Mothering in the Academy
Andrea N. Hunt
Crying over “Split Milk”: How Divisive Language on Infant Feeding Leads to Stress, Confusion and Anxiety for Mothers
Tracy Rundstrom Williams
Mama’s Boy: Feminist Mothering, Masculinity, and White Privilege
Catherine A.F. MacGillivray
Encountering Others: Reading, Writing, Teaching, Parenting
Erin Tremblay Ponnou-Delaffon
A Qualitative Study of Academic Mothers’ Sabbatical Experiences: Considering Disciplinary Differences
Susan V. Iverson
Motherhood: Reflection, Design, and Self-Authorship
Cynthia J. Atman
Confessions of a Buzzkill: Critical Feminist Parenting in the Age of Omnipresent Media
Section Two: Identity and Performance in Academic Motherhood
More Mother than Others: Disorientations, Motherscholars, and Objects in Becoming
Sara M. Childers
Doing Research and Teaching on Masculinities and Violence: One Mother of Sons’ Perspective
M. Cristine Alcalde, Associate Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies
Cultural Border Crossings between Science, Science Pedagogy & Parenting
“You Must be Superwoman!”: How Graduate Student Mothers Negotiate Conflicting Roles
Erin Graybill Ellis
Jessica Smartt Gullion
“There’s a Monster Growing in our Heads”: Mad Men’s Betty Draper, Fan Reaction, and Twenty-First Century Anxiety about Motherhood
Section Three: Bringing it to Light: Giving Voice to Motherhood’s Challenges
Silence and the Stillbirth Narrative: Stories Worth Telling
Elisabeth G. Kraus
A Tapestry of Sweet Mother(hood): African Scholar, Mother, and Performer?
Ama Oforiwaa Aduonum
Dropped Stitches: Classrooms, Caregiving, and Cancer
Martha Kalnin Diede
The Other Female Complaint: Online Narratives of Assisted Reproductive Therapy as Sentimental Literature
Mama’s Boy: Feminist Mothering, Masculinity, and White Privilege
Catherine A.F. MacGillivray
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Emily Bazelon, NYT, Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Clark Kent had Superman. Ruth Bader Ginsburg has Notorious R.B.G. For 80 of her 82 years, the Supreme Court justice was known for being brilliant, reserved and a little dry. Then in 2013, the Internet gave her a super-hip-nerd alter ego. On a Tumblr created by a law student, Shana Knizhnik, fans posted photoshopped tributes to Ginsburg. In one frequently shared image, she wore a crown with the caption “Can’t Spell Truth Without Ruth.” She also appeared as a bobblehead doll, a tattoo on a bicep, a decal on a fingernail, and a baby wearing a huge pair of glasses.
Notorious R.B.G. refers to Notorious B.I.G., the young rapper who was killed in 1997. The unlikely comparison gave Ginsburg’s fans the perfect vehicle for turning her precise lawyerly voice into a cultural roar. ***
Knizhnik has teamed up with Irin Carmon, an intrepid MSNBC reporter, to turn the Tumblr, which is still up and running, into a book. Turning the pages, I felt as if I were on a tour of the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Museum with two conscientious and loving young curators. They show off Ginsburg, in old photos, at every age. They give us her workout, her favorite of her husband’s recipes (pork loin braised in milk, maybe the most un-kosher dish ever), and the intensely moving letter he wrote to her before he died.
Ginsburg and her family clearly embraced this project, a gain for the reader and for the justice. We get up-close details, like Ginsburg’s reaction to her granddaughter Clara’s nose ring: “She kept calling it ‘that thing on your face.’ ” And Ginsburg gets help reaching readers who aren’t lawyers. Carmon, who wrote the text (Knizhnik chose the images), deftly annotates sections from Ginsburg’s major opinions, adding color, humor and context with a red pen.
Thursday, October 22, 2015
More on the forthcoming book from the U.S. Feminist Judgments Project
FYI - the Conference on the project Rewriting the Law. Writing the Future. is next year, October 20 & 21, 2016 at the Center for Constitutional Law following the release of the book.
"Feminist Judgments" puts a new spin on famous Supreme Court cases.
In 2012, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made headlines by saying she hoped to see an all-female Supreme Court one day. "When I'm sometimes asked when there will be enough [women justices] and I say, 'When there are nine,' people are shocked," she explained during a legal conference in Colorado. Nobody "ever raised a question" when nine men dominated the court, added the now-82-year-old, one of three women on the bench today.
If Ginsburg got her wish, what might that mean for America? And what if women had taken a majority of seats on the highest court a long time ago? That's a question raised by dozens of feminist law scholars and lawyers across the United States who are putting together a new book, Feminist Judgments, in which they re-examine 24 of the most significant Supreme Court cases related to gender—dating from the 1800s to the present day—and rewrite the court's final decisions as if they had been the judges.
More than 100 people applied to help write the book, which will be published sometime next spring, according to Kathryn Stanchi, a law professor at Temple University and one of three editors overseeing the project. All selected applicants agreed to follow an important rule: They could only base their revision on the legal precedent that bound the Supreme Court back when the case was first decided.
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
I just posted TJ Boisseau & Tracy Thomas, After Suffrage Comes Equality? ERA as the Next Logical Step, forthcoming as a chapter in the book 100 Years of the Nineteenth Amendment: An Appraisal of Women’s Political Activism edited by Lee Ann Banaszak and Holly McCammon (Oxford University Press 2016).
The chapter traces the long, and surprising, history of the Equal Rights Amendment, first proposed in 1923.
From the abstract:
Almost a full century in the making, the campaign for an ERA far exceeded in longevity the campaign for woman suffrage, however much a “logical next step” women's equality seemed to some following the spectacular achievement of the Nineteenth Amendment. The history of the amendment reveals how resistant to the idea of equality between men and women a political system—even one that includes women as voters—can be. In this chapter, we re-examine the route taken by the ERA through its many permutations in the century since the passage of woman suffrage. Proposed by Alice Paul in 1923 and immediately opposed by social feminists advocating protective labor laws, the ERA wound itself in and out of feminist, conservative, and public favor before its final defeat in 1982, three states short of adoption. Woven into the Supreme Court's analysis of Lochner and substantive due process, and the later evolution of equal protection law, women's equality--or difference--has been the foundation of much of the development of modern constitutional doctrine.
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
The US Feminist Judgments Project is featured in Time, with editors Linda Berger, Bridget Crawford, and Kathy Stanchi.
The book is expected out next August.
The conference, building on the book and the broader question of the difference women make as judges will be next year, October 20 & 21, 2016 at the Constitutional Law Center @ Akron sponsored by Akron Law and UNLV Law.
Monday, September 7, 2015
Legal History Blog, Woloch's "Class By Herself"
A Class by Herself explores the historical role and influence of protective legislation for American women workers, both as a step toward modern labor standards and as a barrier to equal rights. Spanning the twentieth century, the book tracks the rise and fall of women-only state protective laws—such as maximum hour laws, minimum wage laws, and night work laws—from their roots in progressive reform through the passage of New Deal labor law to the feminist attack on single-sex protective laws in the 1960s and 1970s
Saturday, September 5, 2015
New this week in BOOKS:
The title tells all: Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World. Author Linda Hirshman's joint biography of the first and second women to serve on the nation's highest court is a gossipy, funny, sometimes infuriating and moving tale of two women so similar and yet so different. Sandra Day O'Connor, raised on a Western ranch and a lifelong Republican who cut her political teeth as majority leader of the Arizona Senate, was named to the Supreme Court by President Reagan in 1981.Twelve years later, President Clinton put Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. Born and bred in Brooklyn, daughter of a Russian Jewish immigrant, Ginsburg was a professor, a litigator and the architect of the legal battle for women's rights. But as different as their backgrounds were, and even their approaches to judging, when it came to women's rights, they were allies.
See also Cary Franklin’s (Texas) review of Sisters in Law in the Washington Post
Anne Richardson Oakes, ed. Controversies in Equal Protection Cases in America: Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation
'This book is a must read for anyone who wants to understand the central debates in American equal protection law. A brilliant survey in which some of the leading scholars in the field weigh in on both the current status of the law and where it might still need to go to fulfil its promise of equality.' --Devon Carbado, University of California Los Angeles, USA, and author of Acting White? Rethinking Race in 'Post-Racial' America
Ingrid Bego, Gender Equality Policy in the European Union
This book examines the role that the European Union (EU) has played in enhancing democratic values in new member states by requiring the adoption of gender equality laws, such as equal employment and reconciliation policies, in return for membership. Considering four EU member states in Central Eastern Europe - Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Latvia and Poland - it debates if and under what conditions the incentives for EU membership positively affected the successful adoption and implementation of gender equality policies.
Caryl Rivers & Rosalind Barnett, The New Soft War on Women
The authors argue in their book, The New Soft War on Women, the gains women have made in the workplace are actually being used rhetorically to keep equality from being fully realized. Rather than simply telling women to try harder, this book gives them grounding in the facts about discrimination and disparity. Here’s an excerpt from the paperback edition of the book, out this week. It addresses the media’s fixation on the “decline of men,” or the “end of men” — which the authors call a myth.
Monday, August 24, 2015
The book was published in 2013, but I recently discovered it, and read it.
Marc Maron--the guy who interviewed Obama from his garage in L.A.--is a comedian and actor. He is also a smart social critic, and his book Attempting Normal is terrific.
True, the book is often puerile, vulgar and some sections (like his somewhat pointless digression about trying to herd feral cats) don't work. But overall, the book contains nuggets of insight about manliness and, seldom found in academic writing, Maron renders his observations with poignant wit and unforgettable humor.
Manliness--at least Maron's manliness--is destructive and self-destructive; it aspires for nobility but is frequently crippled by paranoia; it yearns to be tough but always circles back to its vulnerabilities; it desires love from women but is consumed by a relentless narcissism. It is also highly self-conscious and acutely cognizant of its flaws, and is willing to share those flaws with the reader.
There's an interview with Maron on the Good Men Project today.
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Given today's headlines about defunding Planned Parenthood, I am appreciating reading the following biography of PP's founder, Margaret Sanger which I've had on my shelf for awhile. Jean Baker, Margaret Sanger: A Life of Passion. The book does a good job of providing historical and social context, legal nuance, as well as readable biography.
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
In honor of today's release of Mockingbird II, Go Tell a Watchman, some suggested reading on the law and gender in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird.
Julia Ernst, The Exoneration of Mayella Ewell in "To Kill a Mockingbird," 47 Akron L. Rev. 1019 (2015)
Karla Holloway, Legal Fictions:Constituting Race, Composing Literature 114-16 (Duke U Press 2014)
Iris Halpern, Rape, Incest, and Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird: On Alabama's Legal Construction of Gender and Sexuality in the Context of Racial Subordination, 18 Colum. J. Gender & Law 743 (2009) (WL link)
This is the fifth year the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction has been awarded. The prize is intended for the best novel-length work of fiction published that year to illuminate the role of lawyers in society and their power to effect change. It is sponsored by the ABA Journal and the University of Alabama School of Law, and named for the author of To Kill a Mockingbird.
The Secret of Magic is the story of Regina Robichard, an African-American attorney working for the Legal Defense Fund with Thurgood Marshall in the 1940s. She receives a packet detailing the disappearance and death of Joe Howard Wilson, a young black World War II veteran, and she travels to Mississippi to investigate. When she arrives, she discovers that nothing about the case, the town or its inhabitants is quite what it initially seemed.
Johnson is the first woman and the first African-American to be awarded the prize
Saturday, May 16, 2015
The Feminist Legal Theory CRN group at the upcoming Law & Society is reading Roxane Gay's, Bad Feminist (http://www.roxanegay.com/bad-feminist/).
I just finished reading the book myself. I had read excerpts and reviews, but not the book until now. Really great. She's a professor, a writer, and a "bad" feminist - defined as a real, human, imperfect person who nevertheless believes in core principles of gender equality and the identification of such as "feminist." Refreshing, irreverent. Just keeping it real.
Thursday, May 14, 2015
Excited - my friend Felice Batlan's book is out! Here's the review from the Legal History Blog.
This book re-examines fundamental assumptions about the American legal profession and the boundaries between “professional” lawyers, “lay” lawyers, and social workers. Putting legal history and women's history in dialogue, it demonstrates that nineteenth-century women's organizations first offered legal aid to the poor and that middle-class women functioning as lay lawyers, provided such assistance. Felice Batlan illustrates that by the early twentieth century, male lawyers founded their own legal aid societies. These new legal aid lawyers created an imagined history of legal aid and a blueprint for its future in which women played no role and their accomplishments were intentionally omitted. In response, women social workers offered harsh criticisms of legal aid leaders and developed a more robust social work model of legal aid. These different models produced conflicting understandings of expertise, professionalism, the rule of law, and ultimately, the meaning of justice for the poor.Reviewers say:
"Women and Justice for the Poor is an exciting and timely intervention into work on lawyering in the United States. Batlan establishes the deep relevance of ideas about gender and race to the history of law and legal practice through ambitious research, provocative analysis, and engaging narrative." -- Martha S. Jones, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, University of Michigan
"By tracking legal aid through the winding corridors of urban social institutions, Batlan gives us evocative insights into gender, reform, capitalism, and lawyering in a cogent and fascinating historical account. Her erosion of lay and professional boundaries, demonstrated by women’s contribution to legal aid and the pragmatic relief they provided to underprivileged clients, illuminates the value of using gender to frame the story." -- Norma Basch, Professor Emeritus, Rutgers University
More information is available here."In a remarkably original social/legal history, Batlan is asking readers to rethink what lawyering has meant and could mean. And when you ask ‘outside the box’ questions, you come up with surprising answers. This book can help us understand why law today can be far from justice." -- Linda Gordon, Florence Kelley Professor of History, New York University