Tuesday, May 12, 2015
We posted posted about the new decision Mach Mining v. EEOC upholding limited judicial review for the EEOC's conciliation process.
Here's more commentary about the case: WSJ, Legal Experts Weigh in on Supreme Court's EEOC Ruling
Business litigants in recent years have notched a number of victories in cases before Supreme Court. But Wednesday’s high court ruling in a dispute over the government’s handling of discrimination complaints gives employers little to cheer, according to legal experts.
While the Supreme Court handed business a narrow and technical victory – ruling that courts do have limited power to review how the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission handles discrimination complaints before it decides to sue an employer – some lawyers familiar with the issues say that the long-term gain is for employees.
“I think it’s unambiguously a win for the EEOC and complainants,” University of Colorado law professor Melissa Hart, who specializes in civil procedure and employment discrimination, told Law Blog on Wednesday.
Parenting an infant is a time-consuming activity that changes the rhythm of daily life. But it is especially fascinating that new parents, and particularly men, perceive the work of parenthood to be even more time-consuming than it actually is. Parenthood does result in increased work, but men and women are not actually working 30 hours more per week after their babies are born. Women come close – working 21 more hours per week after the birth of their first child. Men do much less than they – or their wives – perceive: parenthood only adds 13 hours of work for men.
It is possible that fathers will become more involved in physical childcare and engagement as the babies grow into running and talking toddlers. But we would argue that men and women should openly confront the workload inequities that develop in their child’s first nine months because renegotiating the division of labor once routines are established is really difficult.
Furthermore, if these inequities are not addressed early, some women may feel compelled to leave or reduce their hours in the labor force, diminishing their own career opportunities as well as the family’s ability to save for college and retirement. In turn, women’s “opting out” of paid work may result in men’s opting out of even more family work. Thus, children may miss out on the benefits of involved fathering for their social, emotional, and cognitive development.
Monday, May 11, 2015
At heart, all manliness boils down to narcissism (Samson, anyone?), or so I think.
Last week, website How Old - which claimed to automatically detect your age from a photo - went viral with millions of intrigued users rushing to test it out.
The app, which gathered 35,000 users in a matter of hours, allowed people to upload photos of themselves or their friends, and then analysed their facial structure to determine how old the person might be - with varied results.
And now, keen to jump on the face recognition technology, a new app claiming to tell a guy how manly he is has launched.
To their kids, all fathers must eventually seem conservative. And old-fashioned, and perhaps even boring. But, politically speaking, is there a uniquely conservative way to be a dad? Weekly Standard senior writer Jonathan V. Last has edited an essay collection by 17 conservative writers, policy wonks and entertainers, all offering advice and reflections on the business of fatherhood.
Number One on that list:
1. Be a man — a manly man! “Fatherhood isn’t just manliness,” Last writes in the collection’s introductory essay. “It’s the purest form of the good side of manliness, the side that brings light into the world. . . . If we are failing as a nation, it may be because we’re failing at manliness. And if we are failing at manliness, it’s probably because we’re failing at fatherhood.” By fatherhood, Last explains, “I refer to the raising and caring for, as opposed to the siring of, children. . . . The single worst thing men have done over the last two generations is to abandon their families.”
Raising and caring for children? That sounds downright liberal to me.
Hillary Clinton, who wants to become the first woman ever to win the presidency of the United States, gave an address recently at the Women in the World Summitthat touched on the gap in pay between men and women in the United States.
It’s "hard to believe that so many women are still paid less for men than the same work, with even wider gaps for women of color. If you doubt what I say, look to the World Economic Forum, hardly a hotbed of feminist thought," Clinton said at the April 23, 2015, summit. "Their rankings show that the United States is 65th out of 142 nations and other territories on equal pay. Imagine that. We should be No. 1."
But is it true?
We found a more complex picture than Clinton’s comments showed. One study that surveyed executives supported her point, but another study of wage data actually undermined it.
Sunday, May 10, 2015
Mother's Day. The feminist's friend or foe?
- Mother's Day's Dark History
- Why the Founder of Mother's Day Turned Against It
- Mother's Day is Steeped in Radical, Religious Feminism
- Ann Maria Reeves Jarvis
- The Mother's Day Myth: How we "Thank" Mothers for their Free Labor
- Mother's Day: The Creation, Promotion and Meaning of a New Holiday in the Progressive Era
Saturday, May 9, 2015
Pleased to announce that my article, Back to the Future of Regulating Abortion in the First Term, 29 Wisconsin J. Law, Gender & Soc'y 47 (2014), received the annual award for best faculty scholarship granted by the Alumni Association.
The article tracks the backstory of the U.S. Supreme Court decisions in Akron v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health and Ohio v. Akron Center for Reproductive Health. It draws on original research of oral histories and recovered documents to explore the historical and legal context that spawned informed consent laws so early after Roe v. Wade seemingly resolved the legal question over abortion.
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.
Friday, May 8, 2015
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.
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.
Thursday, May 7, 2015
From the LA Times, in a story that implies the acute connection between gender autonomy and physical movement:
When Hala Radwan returned to Saudi Arabia after obtaining a business degree in France, she was eager to put her new skills to use.
She found a job in the marketing department of a big international company. There was just one problem: How would she get to and from work in the only country that does not allow women to drive?
In what could be an exciting linguistic turn for trans and gender-nonconforming folks, the Oxford English Dictionary isconsidering adding the gender-neutral honorific Mx. to future editions.
Pronounced “mix” or “mux,” the term has been gaining mainstream traction in the U.K. in the last several years. According toBritish newspaper The Sunday Times, government departments, the postal service, and some universities and banks all accept the term on official forms.
Said OED assistant editor Jonathan Dent, “This an example of how the English language adapts to people’s needs, with people using language in ways that suit them rather than letting language dictate identity to them.”
Mx. is used less frequently in the U.S., but given that we may have reached what TIME magazine called a “transgender tipping point,” the stateside use of the term could be on the horizon.
ABA Commission on Women, A Current Glance at Women in the Law (July 2014).
- 34% of the legal profession
- 44.8% of associates
- 17% of equity partners
- 20% of all partners
- 4% of managing partners at BigLaw
- 16% of general counsels
- 47% of law students
- 46% of law review leaders
- 20% of law deans
- 45.7% of associate deans
- 66% of assistant deans
- 24% of the federal judiciary
- 27% of the state judiciary
- and women lawyers make 78.9% of what men make
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
The story--from the Korea Times--is depressingly spare in details, especially for a publication that claims to be a newspaper, but deeply suggestive in its weirdness:
By John-Patrick Gerard Thackeray
Japan will introduce hotel rooms for women "to cry the stress away."
The "crying rooms" will be tested in the Shinjuku ward of Tokyo and will offer scented tissues, make-up and movies specifically for women.
A hotel spokesperson said the rooms would "help woman overcome emotional problems and cry the stress away." They will cost about $84 a day.
In Asia, hotels and motels are slightly different from those of the Western world, mostly because of the experiences offered. These can range from themed rooms offering "planet experiences" to rooms that enable many to sleep together, which roughly translates as "sleep together shops."
With Asian women becoming more independent, the need for areas that are female-only is growing. After all, everyone needs time to let off a little steam occasionally.
Juddging from Justice Samuel Alito’s contributions during Tuesday’s oral arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges, the same-sex marriage case before the Supreme Court, he is a little hung up on polygamy. Over the course of two and a half hours, he asked about little else—other than sibling marriage and the sexual relations of the ancient Greeks.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Imagine an elite professional services firm with a high-performing, workaholic culture. Everyone is expected to turn on a dime to serve a client, travel at a moment’s notice, and be available pretty much every evening and weekend. It can make for a grueling work life, but at the highest levels of accounting, law, investment banking and consulting firms, it is just the way things are.
Except for one dirty little secret: Some of the people ostensibly turning in those 80- or 90-hour workweeks, particularly men, may just be faking it.
3. Ms. Mosby has to overcome doubters who may be skeptical of her experience.
Several residents interviewed in West Baltimore recently said they knew little about Ms. Mosby and even Ms. Mosby’s strongest supporters acknowledge that she faces doubts from some city residents. Before an election victory last year that surprised many, Ms. Mosby had spent three years as field counsel at Liberty Mutual Insurance, reviewing and defending against suspicious claims. Before that, she was an assistant state’s attorney for five years. “I’ve seen this repeatedly where she’s sort of underestimated because of her age, or they think she doesn’t have enough experience,” said Kweisi Mfume, a former Maryland congressman and past head of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Ms. Mosby passed the bar in 2006 after graduating from Boston College Law School.
One reason Ms. Simon and Ms. Geller don’t feel they have to sneak out of the office is that there are no offices. The firm shuns a permanent home in favor of a shared work space managed by a company called Metro Offices, where it rents a conference room for an hour, an office for a day, as needed. Ms. Geller typically appears there once a week; Ms. Simon two or three times.
They did this partly to encourage their employees to work from home and on their own schedules. “My old firm would drive me bonkers,” Ms. Geller said. “If I have a slow week, why can’t I take a day, run errands? You’d better believe, when something urgent comes in, I’m going to work an all-nighter.” Four of the six employees have young children, and two set aside standing blocks of time to spend with them each week.
The other advantage is to hold down expenses, of course, which allows the Geller Law Group to maintain reasonable profit margins while charging less than competitors with higher overhead. (Ms. Simon and Ms. Geller, who bill themselves out at $280 an hour, conducted market research. Ms. Simon was determined to stay under $300 for the same psychological reason that “real estate agents price things at $999,000.”) To keep track of one another, the lawyers and a paralegal meticulously update their shared Google calendars and communicate constantly through Gchat.
Ms. Simon delights in the guerrilla-style logistics of a mostly virtual firm. She says clients generally don’t know that the firm doesn’t have its own space, though she tells them if they ask. If clients call the firm’s main number, they are greeted by an automated switchboard.
Monday, May 4, 2015
“Super Sad True Love Story,” Gary Shteyngart’s novel set in a social-media dystopia, each person is publicly assigned a “fuckability” score, determined by various algorithms. Lulu, an app founded in 2013, is the closest anyone has come, so far, to making Shteyngart’s vision come true. “We look up everything these days,” Alexandra Chong, Lulu’s founder, said recently. “Before we go out for a drink, we look up bars. Why should we not also have references when it comes to the most important thing?” Chong calls her startup “a community where women can talk honestly about what matters to them.” Others have called it Yelp for men.