Saturday, August 22, 2015

Teacher Fired for Non-marital Pregnancy Sues

WashPost, Christian University Fired Teacher Over Baby, Lawsuit Claims

A former instructor at a Christian university in Oregon is taking the school to court after it allegedly fired her for planning to have a baby out of wedlock.

 

Coty Richardson was working as an exercise science teacher at Northwest Christian University in Eugene, Ore., when she notified school officials that she was due to give birth in November and wanted to know if her maternity leave would create scheduling conflicts.

 

She claims in a lawsuit filed in state court on Tuesday that the school’s administration told her that her lifestyle was inconsistent with the university’s “faith-based standards.” She was given a choice: If she wanted to keep her job, she would either have to break up with the father or marry him.

 

Ms. Richardson, who is 35, said in her complaint she was “mortified and crushed” by the ultimatum and “refused to cut ties with the father of her child and her partner of twelve years.”

 

In July, according to her lawsuit, a school official told her she had a week to make her decision. Days later she told administrators she didn’t want to discuss her personal life. And on July 28, she says, she learned that she had lost her job.

 

Her lawsuit, which seeks $600,000 in legal damages, accuses Northwest Christian of pregnancy, sex and marital status discrimination, along with wrongful termination and breach of contract.

August 22, 2015 in Education, Family, Pregnancy | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Master's Degree in Men's Studies.......

At SUNY Stony Brook, Michael Kimmel proposes just that: 

You’ve heard of women’s studies, right? Well, this is men’s studies: the academic pursuit of what it means to be male in today’s world. Dr. Kimmel is the founder and director of the Center for the Study of Men and Masculinities at Stony Brook University, part of the State University of New York system, which will soon start the first master’s degree program in “masculinities studies.”

No, Dr. Kimmel joked, the department title doesn’t just roll off the tongue. But it’s called “masculinities” (plural) to acknowledge that there is “more than one way to be a man.”

August 9, 2015 in Education, Manliness, Masculinities | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 3, 2015

Rolling Stone Magazine Sued Over UVA Rape Story

From the NYT: 

Three former members of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity at the University of Virginia filed a lawsuit against Rolling Stone on Wednesday for defamation and infliction of emotional distress, saying the magazine’s discredited article on a campus gang rape had a “devastating effect” on their reputations.

The article, written by Sabrina Rubin Erdely and published last fall, set off a national discussion with its vivid account of a student’s assault, but it was retracted in April after it fell apart under scrutiny by journalists and law enforcement officials. A report by the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism uncovered an assortment of journalistic lapses, including a lack of skepticism and a failure to interview those accused of the assault.

  

August 3, 2015 in Education, Violence Against Women | Permalink | Comments (0)

The yes-means-yes law in NY

On July 11, 2015, NY passed a yes-means-yes law for sexual intimacy on college campuses.  Here's the story:

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- What if you had to ask if it was okay
to put your hand on the other person's butt during foreplay? What if you had to
ask again before touching her breast? What if there was a law that said you had
to do this?

In New York, there is now on all college campuses. A bill signed into law July 7 requires both parties to obtain consent for sex and each nibble and caress that sometimes paves the way. The law applies only on college campuses. At its heart is a simple concept: instead of "No Means No," it's "Yes Means Yes."

It switches the dynamic of consent in what could be an empowering way. The hope is that by changing the power structure of the hook-up and making it law, college sexual assaults will decrease. The legislation, proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and called "Enough is Enough," was passed unanimously by the state Legislature.

 There have been critics, including this one: 

"You look at the legal system we're building and it's incredible risky to hook up with someone you're not married to," said Peter Lake, director of the Center for Excellence in Higher Education Law and Policy at Stetson University in Florida.

"It changes the rules of the game. It gives the game rules," Lake said.

Perhaps Prof. Lake said more in the interview, stuff that wasn't included in the article.  But what he does say makes no sense to me.  There's no explanation for why the consent requirement would make things "incredibly risky."  Nor do I see what is presumptively problematic about "chang[ing] the rules of the game" or giving the "game rules." (Is anyone else unsettled by the description of sexual intimacy as a "game"?) Sexual intimacy already has rules; it is already governed by norms for what is acceptable intimacy and what is rape.  A proposal to change said rules--or, rather, make them more explicit--is not in and of itself objectionable.  

August 3, 2015 in Education, Violence Against Women | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 10, 2015

"Schools are becoming ground zero for clashes over transgender rights."

From the Atlantic: 

Casey Hoke would spend an average of two minutes out of his seven-hour school day in the restroom. “That’s it. Business as usual. No one bats an eye,” Hokewrote in January, back when he was a high-school senior in Louisville, Kentucky. “How we go about our business is none of yours.”

By “we,” Hoke was referring to transgender students. He was primarily addressing Kentucky’s legislature, which at the time was considering a bill that would’ve cracked down on transgender students’ use of K-12 bathrooms. The legislation would’ve legally required schools to ensure that children follow anatomical conventions when using gender-segregated school facilities: that children who were born boys but identify as girls use the boys’ restroom, and vice versa. What Hoke found particularly egregious about the “Kentucky Student Privacy Act” was that, in its original version, the legislation also would’ve entitledstudents who sued offenders in state court to damages of $2,500 each. Hoke compared this proposed system to a witch hunt.

July 10, 2015 in Education, LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

India Law School Issues Gender-Neutral Degree

The story: 

In a first, the NALSAR Law University in Hyderabad has issued a gender-neutral graduation certificate to a student who did not wish to be identified with honorific Mr or Ms but with "Mx".

Anindita Mukherjee, who graduated this year from the Law school, had requested the authorities to address her as "Mx" in her certificates and the university, which has probably become the first Indian educational institution to do so, accepted the "fact".

Mukherjee also prefers to be addressed as "they" rather than "he" or "she".

Note the "Mx." designation: 

June 24, 2015 in Education, LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

46% of New Law Deans are Women

Update: 6-8-15

Before this year's new hires, women constituted 20.6% of Law Deans. See ABA Commission on Women, A Current Glance at Women in the Law

By my count, women constitute 11 of 24 (46%) of new deans this year. 

Jennifer Bard (Texas Tech),  Cincinnati

Kathleen Boozang (Seton Hall), Seton Hall

Danielle Conway (Hawaii), Maine

Lyn Entzeroth (Tulsa), Tulsa

Melanie Leslie (Cardozo), Cardozo

Jennifer Mnookin (UCLA), UCLA

Alicia Ouelette (Albany Acting Dean), Albany

Suzanne Reynolds (Wake Forest), Wake Forest

Jennifer Rosato (Dean, No Illinois), DePaul

Laura Rosenbury (Wash U), Florida

Melanie Wilson (Kansas), Tennessee

 Help keep the list current.  Add others to comments below.  

June 9, 2015 in Education, Law schools, Women lawyers | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, June 8, 2015

Phone apps and gender

Toca Robot Lab was redesigned to be less boy-focused.

From the Guardian UK: 

A growing number of children’s app makers are upping their efforts to ensure their products do a better job of reflecting the diversity of their young audiences.

And (regarding the picture above, of the robot): 

As an example, he gave Toca Robot Lab, a robot-building app that was released in 2011: a “classically boy-skewing theme of building robots” that the auditor suggested played to those stereotypes with its colour scheme and art-style of “rusty old things that you might find in a garage, as opposed to everyday things you might find at home”.

Toca Boca redesigned the game’s visuals and added in more of the latter kind of objects. “It opened it up and made it much more inclusive than it was from the beginning,” said Jeffery, who cited his company’s Toca Hair Salon range of apps as much more successful in bucking gender stereotypes.

 

June 8, 2015 in Education, Manliness, Masculinities, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, May 23, 2015

College Common App Directs Students to Use Ms.

Directions from the College Common Application

Ms. and Miss

If you are describing an unmarried woman, please select Ms. as your choice. This title can be used for a married or unmarried woman (like Mr. refers to a married or unmarried man).

May 23, 2015 in Education, Gender | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

law faculty diversity is apparently thriving

An article by Jim Lindgren so argues.

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.

May 20, 2015 in Education, Gender, Race | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 18, 2015

"Parents furious over school’s plan to teach gender spectrum, fluidity"

From Fox News:

One of the nation’s largest public school systems is preparing to include gender identity to its classroom curriculum, including lessons on sexual fluidity and spectrum – the idea that there’s no such thing as 100 percent boys or 100 percent girls.

Fairfax County Public Schools released a report recommending changes to their family life curriculum for grades 7 through 12. The changes, which critics call radical gender ideology, will be formally introduced next week.

And: 

“The larger picture is this is really an attack on nature itself – the created order,” said Peter Sprigg of the Family Research Council.

“Human beings are created male and female. But the current transgender ideology goes way beyond that. They’re telling us you can be both genders, you can be no gender, you can be a gender that you make up for yourself. And we’re supposed to affirm all of it.”

The plan calls for teaching seventh graders about transgenderism and tenth graders about the concept that sexuality is a broader spectrum --- but it sure smells like unadulterated sex indoctrination.

 

 

 

May 18, 2015 in Education, LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Prom Dress Codes Reinforce Gender Stereotypes

Natl Women's Law Center, What is "Appropriate" Prom Attire Anyway? 

The dress codes for prom have become overwhelmingly stringent in the name of keeping girls from being promiscuous and “compromising their character.” Many schools force students, especially girls, to conform to “traditional,” stereotypical ideals of appropriate attire at their proms. At one school, a student was asked to leave the prom because school officials thought her dress was too revealing, even though the mother and daughter had worked hard to find a dress that fit all of the school’s dress code rules.

 

Schools across the country are restricting what gay and lesbian students can wear and who they can bring as dates. Girls are required to wear a dress even if they prefer pants. Girls also have to dress in a way that not only conforms and complies with arbitrary rules and guidelines but must also take into account that their different body frames and shape can make a dress look and be “overly sexual.***

 

It’s clear that sexism is at the heart of these attempts at controlling girls’ bodies and enforcing outdated and wrong perceptions of how girls should dress and behave.

May 9, 2015 in Education | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 8, 2015

Transgender in the Virginia Suburb Schools

WaPo:

For some transgender high school students in the Virginia suburbs, a school board decision Thursday could mean an end to death threats and the beginning of freedom to live openly as who they truly are.

But to some parents, adding two words to a nondiscrimination policy — “gender identity,” words intended to protect transgender students in the public schools — could be a reason to remove their children from school because of fears that allowing genders to mix in bathrooms and locker rooms could be a safety threat.

 And: 

What began in March as an effort to protect transgender students and staff in Fairfax County schools has inspired a national debate on gender identity issues for children. It has also garnered opposition from Virginia lawmakers who see the proposal as overreach by a local governing body on an issue where no state law exists.

May 8, 2015 in Education, LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 27, 2015

A protest against rape in Columbia University

'No protection': Paul Nungesser is suing Columbia University for allowing Emma Sulkowicz to parade the school and take campus-provided transport with her mattress in protest against him, calling him a rapist 

The story from the Daily Mail (UK): 

A male student accused of raping his classmate has sued Columbia University for failing to protect him against backlash and harassment. 

Authorities rejected Emma Sulkowicz's case that Paul Nungesser, a German citizen, was a 'serial rapist' who assaulted her after class.

Nonetheless, the case gathered international attention as Sulkowicz, a senior majoring in visual arts, publicly paraded her mattress in protest, calling for his indictment. 

And according to Nungesser's lawsuit citing 'gender-based harassment and defamation', Columbia presented the allegations as fact on a university-owned website. 

 

April 27, 2015 in Education, Violence Against Women | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

An Alternative Boys' School

From HuffPost: 

As a senior administrator at an all-boys' school in suburban Philadelphia, I spend each day with 1,000 boys, many of whom, by virtue of their gender alone, occupy positions of privilege and power at least one step removed from the important issue of sexual assault. To state the obvious, while it is women who are overwhelmingly the victims of this crime, its prevention is not a women's problem -- and boys' schools have a unique opportunity and responsibility to be part of the solution.

The challenge has been well chronicled: from our earliest days, we boys bask in marinades of hyper-masculine stereotypes. From the sandbox to the locker room to the high school dance to the conference room, we are conditioned to compete: relationships, we learn, are zero sum games to be won. Of course, where there are winners, there are also losers, but it does not pay to consider their fate too carefully. Keep your eyes on the prize. Act hard, and tough; be logical and remote, witty and distant. And then become boyfriends and husbands and fathers... of sons.

And: 

But by placing relationships at the center of everything we do, we can break the cycle. Witness the first day of school here: a senior takes a new kindergartner by the hand and walks him to opening assembly. Without thinking, the young boy crawls into his lap, and the young man responds by instinctively wrapping a pair of gangly arms around him. "It's safe here," the arms say. "I've got your back." Or witness the last day of school, some twelve years from now, when that same kindergartner, now a grown man himself, will cry in the arms of a classmate, a teacher, or a coach.

April 22, 2015 in Education, Manliness, Masculinities | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Middle-Schooler's "Feminist" T-Shirt Deemed Offensive

"Feminist" Shirt Censored in Middle-School Photo

A middle-school student at Clermont Northeastern Middle School in Ohio is fighting back after a T-shirt she wore for a class photo was censored. The offending word? Feminist.

 

Principal Kendra Young chose to black out the word from student Sophie's shirt after being alerted to it by the school's alarmist photographer. "Some people might find it offensive," Young said.

 

MSNBC reports that after discovering the doctoring of her image, Sophie took to Instagram to ask classmates to join her in a protest last Friday:

EVERYONE PARTICIPATING WILL BE WEARING A SHIRT WITH A PHRASE LIKE “I DESERVE FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION” OR “FEMINISM ISN’T OFFENSIVE” OR ANYTHING THAT YOU BELIEVE FITS! PLEASE MAKE A SHIRT AND JOIN US AND HELP TAKE CARE OF THIS ISSUE.

 After enough local-media scrutiny, Ms. Young reached out to Sophie's mother with an apology. She also apologized to Sophie herself, asking, "What do you want from this?"

 

Sophie, official new feminist teen idol, reportedly replied:

 

I want everyone to realize that we need feminism ... I want you to have someone come into the school and educate everyone about feminism. I want us to go to the news station together and show the people that we are working together to make this school and our community a better place for everyone. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

 We'll be eager to see whether the school does indeed "hold larger discussions with students regarding feminism.

April 21, 2015 in Education, Gender | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Toys and Gender

From the NYT: 

Walk into a toy store, and you are likely to see toys specifically designed and marketed for boys or girls — without very much overlap. With pink and blue color coding, and princess and action-hero designs, manufacturers seem to be using more and more gender messaging to sell their toys.

Should toys be more gender-neutral?

Room for Debate asked the question, “Why Should Toys Come in Pink and Blue?

 

April 15, 2015 in Education, Family | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, April 10, 2015

"Should Students Sit on Sexual Assault Panels?"

From the NYT

It was a bland bit of guidance from the Department of Education, cast in legal language and tucked into a footnote two-thirds of the way through a 46-pagedocument about how colleges and universities should address sexual assault on campus.

But it did not sit well with Celia Wright, president of the student body at Ohio State University. The footnote “discourages” having students sit on conduct boards in cases concerning sexual violence. Ohio State and many other campuses no longer let students serve.

And: 

Ms. Wright and student leaders from 75 other colleges and universities, representing 1.2 million students, have sent a letter to the department urging it to reconsider, citing “significant unintended consequences” and even discrimination against students who would sit on panels.

 

April 10, 2015 in Education, Violence Against Women | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 30, 2015

“You hold women in contempt”: Frat culture isn’t an aberration, it’s everything men learn about being a “real man”

...thus reads the headline from Salon

There are a lot of stories out there right now about frat culture, which is maybe why I find myself circling back to bigger questions about masculinity. Or at least the version of masculinity on display in some of these fraternities.

 What does it say about men and their relationships with other men that sexual aggression is often seen as a way to bond? What does it say about men’s desire to belong that so many guys don’t intervene even if they feel like what’s going on around them is totally wrong? Is the routine sexism we see coming out of many fraternities right now an aberration, or is it just a particularly grotesque expression of how men are taught to feel about and treat women? And if that’s the case, what are we supposed to do about it?
 
And: 
 
I reached out to Michael Kimmel, a professor of sociology at Stonybrook University and one of the nation’s most influential researchers on men and masculinities, to get his perspective on fraternities, male friendship, cultural messaging about “real” men and what it might mean to remake masculinity into something healthier for men and women. Our conversation has been condensed and lightly edited for clarity.

Read the rest here

March 30, 2015 in Education, Manliness, Masculinities, Theory, Violence Against Women | Permalink | Comments (0)

"Political Lobby for Frats Wants to Make It Harder to Enforce Title IX"

From Slate: 

The political arm of the national fraternity system—known as the Fraternity & Sorority Political Action Committee (FratPAC)—is getting involved in the campus rape debate. Sadly, it seems it wants to make it as hard as possible for schools to discipline students who sexually abuse or harass each other. Bloomberg reports:

The groups' political arm plans to bring scores of students to Capitol Hill on April 29 to lobby for a requirement that the criminal justice system resolve cases before universities look into them or hand down punishments, according to an agenda reviewed by Bloomberg News.
"If people commit criminal acts, they should be prosecuted and they should go to jail,” said Michael Greenberg, leader of 241-chapter Sigma Chi, one of many fraternities participating in the legislative push.

The sentiment may sound fair-minded; it's anything but. FratPAC is singling out sexual assault as the only crime it wants universities to handle in this way. Underage drinking, drug dealing, burglary, assault—all of these actions break both school rules and the law, but FratPAC is not asking universities to wait for the criminal courts to adjudicate these crimes before punishing the students for breaking their corresponding school rules. In the situation it's proposing, a school could punish a student for stealing from another student without waiting for the courts to adjudicate the matter; but if a student rapes another student, the school couldn't act.

March 30, 2015 in Education, Manliness, Masculinities, Violence Against Women | Permalink | Comments (0)