Gender and the Law Prof Blog

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

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

How Popular Feminism is Commercial and Individualized

Popular Feminism in the Digital Age: How the Personal has been made Commercial

The relationship of feminism to the beauty industry and women's magazines, in other words, has a complex history.

 

Still, as I listened to Elaine Welteroth, the editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue, speak to the Sydney Writers' Festival in June this year, it occurred to me that today's popular feminism would be unrecognisable to many of the Miss America protesters half a century ago.

 

For Welteroth, an African-American former beauty editor at Teen Vogue, women's magazines and beauty products are feminism now.

 

"Beauty and style are just really great platforms to open up important conversations," she said.

 

Welteroth has been widely celebrated for commissioning stories ranging from Trump gaslighting America and abortion rights to cultural appropriation at the Coachella music festival and the difficulties of being intersex. ***

 

In my PhD research, I've looked at the origin of the phrase "the personal is political". Gloria Steinem once said crediting someone for coming up with it would be as absurd as assigning credit to someone for inventing the term "World War II".

 

Still, its first use in a publication is commonly cited as being the headline of an article by the member of New York Radical Women I mentioned earlier, Carol Hanisch, in the 1970 collection of essays Notes from the Second Year.

 

Hanisch's article was a defence of second-wave feminism's consciousness-raising. Meeting in small groups, women told stories about their lives to understand how their personal problems were actually political ones. And they planned collective action.

 

Women in the left and the civil rights movement felt that while they protested inequalities between black and white, and the imperialist war in Vietnam, there were glaring injustices in their personal lives.

 

Women took the bulk of responsibility for housework and childcare, did the "shitwork" (Hanisch's word) in protest movements, were judged on their appearances, and took all the responsibility for contraception and abortion.

 

Second-wave feminists wanted sexual emancipation and the right to work alongside men, but they didn't want to do everything.

 

They discussed all kinds of solutions, from communal living to state-provided free childcare, to a total revolution in the consumerist capitalist system. * * *

 

But now websites like Mamamia are increasingly asking how women can transform and adapt themselves to fit into a competitive, individualistic world. The emphasis is mostly on individual achievement and adaption to the status quo — rather than on changing the status quo.

 

September 6, 2017 in Pop Culture, Theory | Permalink | Comments (0)

Woman Who Laughed Put on Trial Again

Jeff Sessions' DOJ to Put Woman Who Laughed at Sessions on Trial Yet Again

Jeff Sessions’ Justice Department plans to put a woman who laughed at the now-attorney general back on trial yet again, a federal prosecutor told a D.C. judge here on Friday.

Desiree Fairooz, a woman taken into custody after she laughed during Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ confirmation hearing, will go to trial in November for a second time.

Fairooz and her lawyer rejected a plea deal offered by the government in which she would have pleaded guilty to one of two charges in exchange for the government recommending a sentence of time served, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly Paschall said in D.C. Superior Court on Friday. 

Chief Judge Robert E. Morin previously tossed out a jury’s guilty verdict against Fairooz in July because the government had improperly argued that her laughter alone was enough to convict.

September 6, 2017 in Courts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Gender Gap in Expert Witnesses

Bruce Kaufman, Attorneys Faulted for Scarcity of Female Expert Witnesses

An astonishing 80 percent of expert witnesses chosen by attorneys are male, and those male experts get paid on average 60 percent more than their female counterparts, according to a leading provider of courtroom experts across the U.S. Judges, attorneys, service providers, and professors spoke to Bloomberg BNA about the wide gender gap and paint a troubling portrait of an industry that is wearing blinders when it comes to bias against female expert witnesses.

 

And though everyone agrees that the sparsity of female expert witnesses is worrisome, the likely explanations for the gender preference are equally troubling.

 

Chief among them: disparate treatment by the attorneys who make hiring decisions.

 

These predominantly male attorneys may be biased themselves.

 

Or they may believe that hiring female experts will put them at a competitive disadvantage when they appear before jurors with outdated views on gender roles, those who talked to Bloomberg BNA said.

 

Educating attorneys and jurors on their biases, both conscious and subconscious, and coaching experts on how to overcome those prejudices could lead to more female experts and reduce the stark pay gap for female experts, interviewees said.

 

Part 1 of this two-part series explores the scope of, and reasons behind, the gender gap for expert witnesses. Part 2 looks at possible solutions, all rife with uncertainty. 

Bruce Kaufman, Gender Gap for Female Experts Won't Be Easily Narrowed

September 5, 2017 in Courts, Equal Employment | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 1, 2017

The Autonomy Hierarchy

Meghan Boone, The Autonomy Hierarchy, 22 Tex. J. Civ. Liberties & Civ. Rgts 1 (2016)

The Supreme Court decided two cases in Spring 2015 – Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc. and EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc. – under Title VII. The plaintiffs in both cases believed that they had been discriminated against by their employers because they were members of a protected class – pregnant women in the former and religious believers in the latter. Both plaintiffs were seeking minor modifications to workplace policies as an accommodation. And in both opinions, handed down within a few months of each other, the Court used the language of favoritism to discuss whether the plaintiffs should prevail and what analysis should be employed. The manner in which the Court used the language of favoritism, however, could not have been more different. In the case of pregnancy, the Court soundly rejected that pregnant employees were entitled to any favored treatment, bending over backwards to avoid a ruling that pregnant employees were part of a “most favored” class. In the case of religion, the Court took the exact opposite approach, declaring that religious plaintiffs enjoyed “favored treatment.” This is despite the fact that Title VII provides no explicit textual support for such a distinction. In the absence of such a statutory explanation, what is really behind this difference in approach? This paper explores one potential answer to this question – that these decisions reflect the Court’s underlying belief in the paramount importance of the right to spiritual autonomy over and above the importance of a right to physical autonomy. Further, it explores how allowing such a hierarchy between a right to spiritual autonomy on the one hand and a right to physical autonomy on the other, to animate judicial decisions is both inherently gendered and has the effect of disproportionately harming women. It concludes by analyzing whether such a hierarchy of rights is reflective of lived experience and discussing possible alternative frameworks for analyzing such claims.

September 1, 2017 in Constitutional, Equal Employment, Pregnancy, Religion | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 31, 2017

A Feminist Conflict-of-Laws Approach to the Comfort Women Agreement

Karen Knop & Annelise Riles, Space, Time, and Historical Injustice: A Feminist Conflict-of-Laws Approach to the "Comfort Women" Agreement, 102 Cornell L. Rev. 853 (2017)

After more than twenty years of worldwide feminist activism, transnational litigation, and diplomatic stalemate, on December 28, 2015, Japan and South Korea announced a historic agreement intended to provide closure to the so-called “Comfort Women issue”—the issue of what Japan must do to atone for the sexual enslavement of up to 200,000 women from throughout Asia in service to the Japanese troops before and during World War II. Reactions to this landmark agreement continue to be mixed, and the question for many is whether it will hold. One challenge is how to respect the scale and systematicity of the crimes without imposing a single narrative, or without projecting an overdetermined understanding of the gendered past onto the future. We offer an analysis of this question in a wider lens: how to address grave historical injustices when legal claims and advocacy goals spread and metamorphose not only over time, but also across jurisdictions.

 

Focusing on one high profile and particularly contentious provision of the agreement, concerning a privately erected statue honoring the Comfort Women outside the Japanese embassy in Seoul, we first show that the usual questions about settlements for historical injustices—whether they will achieve closure and what kind—can productively be traded for attention to where and when closure and reopening occur.

 

Borrowing our analytical lens from conflict of laws, we refine the problem as a manifestation of a pervasive issue for feminist justice in a globalized world that we call “spatio-temporal diffusion.” We argue that a novel response to this diffusion of historical injustices can be grounded in conflict-of-laws techniques. Using the hypothetical of a case brought by Korean Comfort Women in California, we redescribe the field’s techniques for dealing with time across space as a matter of what we term the “sequencing” of different spatio-temporal horizons. This approach resonates with, but also goes a step beyond, the arguments of certain feminist social theorists that feminist politics must be polytemporal. In the mode of an interdisciplinary experiment, we deploy the conflicts technique of sequencing spatio-temporal horizons as a more specified and hopeful approach to a feminist future.

August 31, 2017 in International | Permalink | Comments (0)

How Individual Balancing Choices at Work can Reproduce Gender Roles

LaTonya J. Trotter, Making a Career: Reproducing Gender Within a Predominantly Female Profession, Gender & Society

In my Gender & Society article, I explore the career biographies of NPs and NP students in order to understand the role of nursing’s institutional arrangements in women’s labor market decisions. I focus on NPs because they are a highly educated subgroup of nurses that have cleared a series of credentialing hurdles to order to make careers. In some ways, nursing is a shining example of how flexible arrangements not only help workers manage family commitments but actively encourage career aspirations. Nursing’s flexibility begins with education. Nursing is one of the few professions that make it possible to accrue educational credentials in cohesive fragments. Forty-one-year-old Hana described a fifteen-year trajectory that started with a two-year community college degree. That was enough to begin working as a registered nurse (RN). A few years later, Hana enrolled in a structured bridge program that allowed her to leverage her two-year degree towards completion of a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Moreover, the bridge program enabled her to pursue her bachelor’s part-time while working as a full-time nurse. Ten years later, Hana took advantage of similar accommodations to complete her master’s degree to practice as an NP. “I call myself a kind of Cinderella story,” she told me. “I came up from community college all the way up to the Ivy League.”

 

Nursing’s flexibility facilitated motherhood as well as social mobility. Women entering high status professions often delay childbearing. The demands of advanced schooling and early career leave little room for parenting. The ability to build a career over a longer time horizon meant that motherhood might change the rhythm of a career, but it did not stop it. A similar level of flexibility was mirrored in nursing work. Hospital nursing’s reliance on 12-hour shifts over 3 days gives full-time workers more days at home to spend with children. For NPs who spend part of their careers as hospital RNs, this allowed them to more effectively juggle work, family, and eventually, graduate education.

 

For individual women, these institutional arrangements provided a private solution to balancing work with family life. However, these solutions have broader consequences for gender inequality. Because these arrangements were sequestered within a predominately female occupation, they reproduced gendered expectations about women’s investments in family life. Flexible scheduling ensured that women retained primary responsibility for family caregiving. Moreover, nursing’s flexibility reproduced flexible women who could switch specialties, change jobs, or delay graduate education to accommodate the inflexible jobs of partners and spouses. Flexibility became both an opportunity and an obligation. Nursing’s accommodating arrangements are themselves a product of the historical legacy of gender inequality. The continued existence of two-year RN programs is the preference of employers, not the profession. As a female dominated profession, its aspirations remain tempered by hospital demands for an inexpensively trained workforce.

 

My work suggests an additional explanation for why women continue to crowd into careers like nursing. Women may gravitate toward caring work, but they also care about creating careers. Nursing’s flexibility stands in contrast to the inflexibility women encounter in other parts of the labor market. My work also serves as a caution for relying on workplace policies alone to solve the dilemmas of working women. Without subsidized, national programs for parental leave and child-care, women alone will be pressed to “choose” flexibility. When only women are the beneficiaries of such arrangements, they quickly become segregated into “mommy tracks” or “women’s professions.” The unequal benefits that follow can too easily be attributed to women’s preferences rather than as the product of gender inequality.

August 31, 2017 in Work/life, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Happy Birthday Gender & the Law Prof Blog

HappyBirthday

Happy Birthday to Us!  Celebrating our 4th year on the Internet today.

Thank you to all of you for following -- and for your work in the field.

Help us spread the scholarship on gender & law by following the blog by email or RSS feed, sending your work for posting, and recommending to others.

And follow us on Twitter @ProfTracyThomas for a quick review of the blog headlines and retweets of other articles on gender and law.  

 

 

 

August 31, 2017 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Trump's OCR Resolving Campus Sexual Assault Cases More Often

The Chronicle, Federal Sex-Assault Investigations are Being Resolved More Often. These 11 Cases Show How.

Since President Trump took office, one of the most closely watched issues in higher education has been his Education Department’s shifting approach to enforcement of campus sexual-assault policy.

 

Candice E. Jackson, acting assistant secretary for the department’s Office for Civil Rights, directed her staff to sharply scale back the scope of sexual-violence investigations under the gender-equity law known as Title IX. Her instructions sought to cut down on a backlog of cases that the department said had "exploded" under President Barack Obama

 

Mr. Trump’s presidency is still young, but signs have emerged already that the department is delivering on that pledge. Sexual-violence investigations are still being opened at a rapid pace — this week, the department acknowledged six new ones, for a total of 350 active cases. But resolutions have grown more frequent, too, with two more announced this week.

o far, 11 sexual-violence cases have been resolved in the Trump era. Here’s what we know about them:

 

The resolutions are coming at a faster clip.

The civil-rights office is on pace to resolve more sexual-violence cases this year than it did in any other since the department issued its controversial 2011 "Dear Colleague" letter. Last month was especially busy — five cases were resolved in July alone. That’s the most resolutions of any month in the enforcement era marked by the 2011 guidance.

 

They’re also being delivered more quietly.

After President Obama’s civil-rights office first released its list of Title IX sexual-violence investigations, in May 2014, it became common for the department to announce its resolution agreements in news releases. Those public disclosures have been much less frequent since President Trump took office. Of the 11 investigations resolved in the Trump era, just two of those resolutions — involving Wittenberg University — were announced on the department’s website (in March). As BuzzFeed reported at the time, the department did not give the same treatment to a case involving the University of Alaska system, resolved in February, nor has it done so with a more recent case at the Butte-Glenn Community College District, resolved last month.

 

The new trend is "administrative closure."

The civil-rights office will administratively close an investigation — which means it issues a closure letter but no findings or resolution agreement — in certain situations, such as when investigations overlap with the actions of other agencies. For instance, OCR will close a complaint if the same party has filed similar allegations with another civil-rights agency or a state or federal court. It will also close a complaint if it receives "credible information" that the allegations have been resolved and that there are no broader, systemic allegations in question. The office may also close a complaint administratively if a complainant withdraws his or her allegations or refuses to cooperate.

August 30, 2017 in Education, Violence Against Women | Permalink | Comments (0)

Symposium on Campus Sexual Assault

The Journal of Legal Education's summer issue features a symposium exploring on campus issues related to sexual harassment, Title IX, and academic policies, including the following articles:

August 30, 2017 in Education, Violence Against Women | Permalink | Comments (0)

New Books Podcast: Jane Crow: The Life of Pauli Murray

New Books Network, Rosalind Rosenberg, Jane Crow: The Life of Pauli Murray (Oxford 2017)

Rosalind Rosenberg‘s book Jane Crow: The Life of Pauli Murray (Oxford University Press, 2017) is a multi-layered and rich biography of Pauli Murray, an activist, lawyer and Episcopal priest whose life intersected with the most significant civil and human rights issues of the twentieth century. As a mixed raced woman who felt that her identity was at odds with her body before transsexual had become part of the popular consciousness, Murray’s life provides insight into a lived intersectionality of race, class, gender, and sexuality. Beginning with her southern upbringing, we follow Murray through multiple educational, vocational and identity challenges she suffered. In a journey through a dislocated life, she contributed to multiple movements and institutions working with many key social leaders such as Thurgood Marshall, Eleanor Roosevelt and Betty Friedan. Appearing as a one-person social movement with a deep religious faith she pursued justice not only for herself but also for others. Rosenberg has provided sympathetic insight into the personal cost that Murray incurred on the road to a more equitable society. Rosalind Rosenberg is Professor of History Emerita at Barnard College.

August 30, 2017 in Books, Race, Women lawyers | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Podcast on the Constitution and Gender

Episode 5 of the Constitutional Podcast: "Gender"

The fifth episode of The Washington Post's "Constitutional" podcast explores the challenging path toward gender equality in America, highlighting figures from the Revolutionary period through today who have shaped the country's evolution on such rights.

Episode guests include Smeal and Julie Miller, a historian in the manuscripts division of the Library of Congress.

Listen to the episode here.

August 29, 2017 in Constitutional | Permalink | Comments (0)

Harvard Law Profs Call for DOE to Revise Title IX Campus Assault Policy

Four Harvard Law Faculty ask DOE to Change Campus Sexual Assault Policies

Four members of the Harvard Law School faculty have called on the U.S. Department of Education to revise the Obama Administration’s policies enforcing Title IX in matters of sexual harassment and sexual assault on college and university campuses.

 

The four scholars — Janet HalleyJeannie Suk Gersen ’02Elizabeth Bartholet ’65, and Nancy Gertner — have researched, taught, and written on Title IX, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and feminist legal reform. They were among the 28 Harvard Law School professors who published a statement in the Boston Globe on Oct 15, 2014, criticizing Harvard University’s sexual harassment policy as “overwhelmingly stacked against the accused” and “in no way required by Title IX law or regulation.”

 

On August 21, in a memo entitled “Fairness for All Students under Title IX,” the four scholars urged the Department of Education to adopt what they describe as “an agenda of fairness for all students, accusers and accused.”

 

Said Jeannie Suk Gersen: “In recent years the Education Department has pressured colleges and universities to adopt overbroad definitions of wrongdoing that are unfair to both men and women, and to set up procedures for handling complaints that are deeply skewed against the accused and also unfair to accusers.”

 

Janet Halley said: “To fully address campus sexual assault, the college definitions of violations and processes need legitimacy. Now is the time to build in respect for fairness and due process, academic freedom, and sexual autonomy.”

 

The memorandum is available here:

http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:33789434

August 29, 2017 in Education, Violence Against Women | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 28, 2017

Prof Julie Suk to Speak on Constitution Day on "The Constitution of Mothers" and a New ERA

The Center for Constitutional Law at the University of Akron School of Law will host Professor Julie Suk as the featured Constitution Day speaker on September 18, 2017.

Professor Suk's talk is entitled "The Constitution of Mothers:  Gender Equality and Social Reproduction in the United States and the World."  

One of the largest mobilizations in recent American history was the Women’s March of 2017, with  millions of participants in U.S. cities and in concurrent events throughout the world.  Despite diverse backgrounds and agendas, the marchers unified around the general theme of equality for women.   It was a constitutional moment:  The unity principles included a call for a new Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and in March 2017, Nevada became the first state to ratify the ERA 35 years after the 1982 deadline had lapsed.  Nevada’s ratification raises questions about the legitimacy of post-deadline ratification of a Congressionally adopted constitutional amendment, as well as deeper normative questions about the desirability and  meaning of constitutionalizing equal rights for women in the 21st century.   If Nevada’s ratification is valid or can be made valid by Congressional action, two additional states’ ratifications will put the ERA in the U.S. Constitution.  Would such an amendment change what the law does, or would it be merely symbolic? 

This lecture will argue that an ERA is needed in the twenty-first century, but for reasons different from those that motivated the 1972 adopters.  Meanwhile, most constitutions around the world explicitly guarantee sex equality, and many of these constitutions also guarantee special protections for mothers.  Drawing on global constitutionalism, this lecture argues that constitutional equality for women must go beyond prohibiting sex distinctions in the law, and reach the disadvantages faced by largely by women due to the burdens of raising the next generation of citizens.  The challenge of making the constitution regulate social reproduction, however, is illustrated by the history of women’s participation in advocating for the Prohibition Amendment and its repeal, both of which engaged the politics of the home and child-rearing.  The legacy of women’s past struggles to change the Constitution, in light of contrasting narratives outside the United States, should inform our present gender equality efforts. 

Full details here:  Download ConLawSpeakerSukF2017

Julie Suk is a Professor of Law at the Cardozo School of Law – Yeshiva University in New York, where she has taught since 2005.  She is a leading scholar of comparative equality law. Her research brings a transnational perspective to equality and antidiscrimination law in the United States, drawing on primary legal materials in multiple languages from multiple jurisdictions.  Professor Suk's articles compare European and American approaches to a broad range of issues in law and public policy, such as the enforcement of antidiscrimination norms in various legal systems around the world, holocaust denial, maternity leave, and women’s equal representation in political and corporate leadership positions.   Professor Suk’s current research projects focus on women, work, and family in comparative constitutional law, as well as education rights in the context of socioeconomic inequality.  Representative publications include: An Equal Rights Amendment for the Twenty-First Century: Bringing Global Constitutionalism Home (Yale Journal of Law and Feminism), Are Gender Stereotypes Bad for Women?  Rethinking Antidiscrimination Law and Work-Family Conflict (Columbia Law Review), Discrimination at Will: Job Security Protections and Equal Employment Opportunity in Conflict (Stanford Law Review), Gender Parity and State Legitimacy: From Public Office to Corporate Boards (International Journal of Constitutional Law). 

 

August 28, 2017 in Conferences, Constitutional, Family, Gender, International, Law schools | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, August 25, 2017

Study Finds no Gender Effect Based on the Gender of the Arbitrator in Sex Discrimination Cases

Pat Chew, Comparing the Effects of Judges' Gender and Arbitrators' Gender in Sex Discrimination and Why it Matters, 32 Ohio State J. Dispute Resolution (2017)

Empirical research substantiates that the judges’ gender makes a difference in sex discrimination and sexual harassment court cases. The author’s study of arbitration of sex discrimination cases administered by the American Arbitration Association between 2010 and 2014, however, finds that this judges’ “gender effect” does not occur. Namely, there is no significant difference in the decision-making patterns of female and male arbitrators as indicated by case outcomes.

The author proposes that characteristics of arbitrators, the arbitration process, and arbitration cases all combine to help explain the gender effect differences. Further, she suggests that this analysis reveals concerns about the arbitration process more broadly: do the employers’ advantages as a repeat player, the arbitrators’ competitive pressures, and the arbitrators’ unmonitored discretion in decision-making all combine to explain both the gender effect differences and problematic biases in the arbitration process?

August 25, 2017 in Courts, Gender | Permalink | Comments (0)

The History of Abortion Law in Victoria

Bronwyn Taylor, Judge-Made Law: The "Menhennit Ruling" and Abortion Law Reform in Victoria, 88 Victorian Historical J. (June 2017)

Women’s right to access abortion has historically been seen as controversial by lawmakers, secular and religious. Th is article examines the sources of change in Victoria’s abortion laws, and in particular the role of judicial law making. Th e late 1960s was a time of challenges to class, gender and political inequalities, locally and internationally. In Victoria during this period, with politicians unwilling to introduce abortion law reforms despite substantial community support, a conventional — even conservative — judicial ruling in 1969 changed the law in Victoria at one stroke and provided a model of legal access to abortion for other jurisdictions for the next 40 years. Th e article examines the context for, and consequences of, the decision of Mr Justice Menhennit in R v Davidson, the ‘Menhennit ruling’.

August 25, 2017 in Abortion, International, Legal History | Permalink | Comments (0)

Book Studies Why Mothers Opt Out of the Workplace

New Book Podcast, Liana Christin Landivar, Mothers at Work: Who Opts Out?

A big question in Sociology regarding work and gender is: which mothers opt out of the labor force to take care of children? Popularly known as “opting out,” this trend is often seen as a mother’s personal choice rather than a decision made within a set of cultural and structural constraints in women’s everyday lives. Building upon previous work, Liana Christin Landivar‘s new book Mothers at Work: Who Opts Out? (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2017) uses nationally representative data to inquire into who exactly is opting out and who is staying in the labor force. Most media coverage on the topic focuses on women who work in management or other professional level occupations, but Landivar’s book looks at a wide spectrum of occupations and finds that the question of who opts out is much more nuanced. She finds that investigating occupation is key for answering who is opting out. She also delves into the categorizations of work hours, giving consideration not only to part-time work and how that varies by occupation, but also women who scale back, or reduce work hours but not to part-time levels. Additionally, age of the mother, as well as the child, alongside race and educational attainment all help to better understand which mothers are opting out. Landivar gives careful consideration to the structural factors across and between occupations and how they may influence mothers opting out. Finally, this book provides some important methodological insights for the reader, including emphasizing the variations within work hours and the key importance of reference groups used to answer research questions.

This book will be enjoyed by Sociologists broadly, but is key reading for work/family and gender scholars. Folks in gender studies as well as business leaders might enjoy this book and find important insights into which mothers opt out of the labor force. This book would be useful in a gender/work/family class as well as a graduate level methods course, with its careful explanation of modeling and fantastic graphics.

August 25, 2017 in Books, Family, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Judge Weinstein Issues Court Rule for a More Visible Role for Women Lawyers

NYT, A Judge Wants a Bigger Role for Female Lawyers So He Made a Rule

It is common for judges to publish guidance for lawyers who appear in their courtrooms on how to conduct themselves with regard to minor matters like how and when to file motions. But on Wednesday, Jack B. Weinstein, a senior federal judge in Brooklyn, used this typically mundane process to address an issue of growing concern to many in the legal profession: the lack of female lawyers in leading roles at trials and other court proceedings.

 

Following the lead of a handful of other federal judges, Judge Weinstein issued a court rule urging a more visible and substantive role for young female lawyers working on cases he is hearing.

 

The issuance of the rule was just one jurist’s effort to chip away at the traditional old-boy network that has dominated the legal profession for decades. While some women have, of course, ascended to the top of the legal field, serving on the United States Supreme Court, many still face challenges getting heard in court.

 

Judge Weinstein has informally encouraged young women and minorities to participate in court more actively over the years, but in an interview on Wednesday he said he decided to codify the guidance after a recent New York State Bar Association report found that female lawyers appear in court less frequently and that when they do, they are less likely to have a prominent role.

 

At least one other federal judge in Brooklyn, Ann M. Donnelly, has an analogous rule in place, but that sort of guidance is rare. Of the hundreds of other federal judges around the country, only about 20 have established similar provisions, according to the bar association.

 
“I’ve been doing this on my own for some time, but not in a systematic way,” Judge Weinstein, who is 96, said. “It’s particularly important because we have so few trials these days so some of the youngsters don’t get the same training they used to. It’s important for everyone, and for the litigation process, that the upcoming generation understands the fundamentals and just gets up on their feet.”

August 24, 2017 in Courts, Women lawyers | Permalink | Comments (0)

Additional Law Profs Intervene in Gender Pay Discrimination Suit Agst Denver Law

Duvivier and Sterling (Associate Dean of Faculty Development) Join Lawsuit Alleging Gender Discrimination in Faculty Salaries at Denver Law School

A pay discrimination lawsuit filed on behalf of women law professors against the University of Denver by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission continues to grow.

 

Two more tenured female law professors are seeking to intervene in the 2016 suit, which alleges that the law school systematically underpaid women on the faculty for years. So far, six women professors claim disparate pay against the law school

 

Professors Joyce Sterling and K.K. DuVivier last week asked a federal judge to join the suit. If allowed, there will be six plaintiffs named in the suit, which the EEOC filed on behalf of longtime professor Lucy Marsh and other female law professors they determined were underpaid after conducting a study of faculty compensation. The university is not opposing their motion to intervene.

 

Each of the named plaintiffs and proposed intervenors were identified by the EEOC as receiving lower compensation than similarly situated male colleagues, and all six still work at the law school. ...

 

The pay dispute began in 2013 when Marsh approached then-dean Martin Katz to discuss discrepancies in faculty compensation. A 2012 memo from Katz disclosed that the average salary for women professors was nearly $16,000 less than that of men. Marsh then learned that she was the lowest paid full law professor on the faculty, despite having taught at the law school since 1976. She earned $16,800 in her first year of teaching, according to court filings, and in 2016 earned a salary of nearly $116,000. ...

 

Marsh was the first to intervene in the suit, in January. Professors Nancy Ehrenreich , Kris McDaniel-Miccio and Catherine Smith joined the suit in June.

August 24, 2017 in Equal Employment, Law schools | Permalink | Comments (0)

CFP Feminist Legal Theory Network, Law & Society Annual Meeting

Call for Papers – Sunday September 17 Deadline

The Feminist Legal Theory Collaborative Research Network

Seeks submissions for the

Law and Society Association Annual Meeting

June 7–10, 2018 in Toronto, Canada

Submission link:  https://form.jotformpro.com/pijip/2018fltcrn

Dear friends and colleagues,

We invite you to participate in the panels sponsored by the Feminist Legal Theory Collaborative Research Network at the Law and Society Annual Meeting in Toronto in June 2018. The Feminist Legal Theory CRN brings together law and society scholars across a range of fields who share an interest in feminist legal theory. Information about the Law and Society meeting is available at http://www.lawandsociety.org.

This year’s meeting invites us to explore LAW AT THE CROSSROADS/LE DROIT A LA CROISÉE DES CHEMINS.  We seek in proposals that explore the application of feminist legal theory to this rich theme, across any substantive area.

If you would like to present a paper as part of a CRN panel, submit your 500 word abstract to https://form.jotformpro.com/pijip/2018fltcrn by the deadline of September 17, 2017. 

Our goal is to stimulate focused discussion of papers on which scholars are currently working. While you may submit papers that are closer to publication, we are particularly eager to receive proposals for works-in-progress that are at an earlier stage and will benefit from the discussion that the panels will provide.  We are also especially interested in hearing from junior scholars, and welcome submissions from scholars in VAPs, fellowship programs, non-tenure and pre-tenure positions. 

The Planning Committee will group accepted papers into panels of four, based on subject matter.   Each presentation should run roughly 10 minutes to allow ample time for discussion.  A chair or discussant will provide feedback on each paper. 

If you would like to propose a pre-formed panel of four papers with a chair and a discussant, please email us at 2018lsacrn@gmail.com.  Include that information in the appropriate box on the submission form for each of the papers as well.    

 In addition to traditional panels, we are open to some of the other formats that the LSA allows, including Author meets Reader, Salon, or Roundtable. If you have an idea that you think would work well in one of these formats, please email us at 2018lsacrn@gmail.comPlease note that for roundtables, organizers must provide a 500-word summary of the topic and the contributions they expect the proposed participants to make. Please also note that LSA rules limit you to participating only once, either as a paper panelist or as a roundtable participant.


As a condition of participating as a Feminist Legal Theory CRN panelist, you must agree to also serve as a discussant or discussant/chair for another Feminist Legal Theory CRN panel
. The planning committee will assign two discussants for each panel, to provide feedback on the papers and promote discussion. One of the discussants will also serve as the panel chair.   This requirement helps us to create and sustain a supportive community of scholars.  We will take into account expertise and topic preferences to the degree possible.

Chairs organize the panel, as well as moderate.  Chairs will develop a 100-250 word description for the session and submit the session proposal to LSA before the anticipated deadline of mid-October.  This will ensure that each panelist can submit their proposal, using the panel number assigned. Each chair will also serve as discussant for two papers. 

Discussants read the two to three papers assigned to them and prepare a short commentary to offer feedback and serve as a basis for discussion among the panelist and audience members. 

 

Proposals due Sunday, September 17 to https://form.jotformpro.com/pijip/2018fltcrn

While we’re always happy to hear from you, please do not send submissions to individual committee members. 

The form requires the following information:

  • The title of your proposal;
  • A 500 word abstract or summary;
  • Your name and title;
  • Number of years you have been a law teacher/scholar;
  • Your areas of interest and expertise within feminist legal theory;
  • Whether this paper is part of a group of papers submitted together as a pre-formed panel.

This information will permit us to organize panels and submit them prior to the LSA’s anticipated deadline in mid-October. In the past, we have accommodated as many panelists as possible, but have been unable to accept all proposals. If we are unable to accept your proposal for the CRN, we will notify you by early October so that you can submit your proposal independently to LSA.

We hope you will join us in Toronto to share your current scholarship and connect with this vibrant community of feminist legal theorists.

Best,

2018 LSA Feminist Legal Theory CRN Planning Committee

Daniela Kraiem (co-chair)

Seema Mohapatra (co-chair)

Eylem Umut Atilgan

Kim Pearson

Samantha Godwin

Grace Howard

Sital Kalantry

August 24, 2017 in Call for Papers, Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Sex Discrimination Roots of Campus Sexual Assault

Deborah Brake, Back to Basics: Excavating the Sex Discrimination Roots of Campus Sexual Assault, Tenn. J. Race, Gender & Soc. Justice (2017)

This article, written for a symposium devoted to the legacy of celebrated Lady Vols coach, Pat Summit, connects the dots between Title IX’s regulation of campus sexual assault and the law’s overarching goal of expanding women’s access to leadership. Beginning with a discussion of how sexual objectification and harassment obstruct women’s paths to leadership, the article situates campus sexual assault as an important part of Title IX’s overarching agenda to promote equal educational opportunity. Although liberal feminism and dominance feminism are often discussed as competing theoretical frames for understanding and challenging gender inequality, they are best seen as complementary and mutually reinforcing strategies for dislodging the social practices that separate women from power. Sexual assault is just such a practice, and sex discrimination law has long recognized it as a form of sex discrimination. And yet, the current controversy over Title IX’s approach to campus sexual assault has become mired in the weeds of procedural discourse and de-gendered narratives of alcohol and campus partying culture, obscuring the gendered reality – and gender inequality – at the root of the problem. This article traces the evolution of Title IX’s current framework for regulating institutional responses to campus sexual assault with the goal of shoring up the sex discrimination roots underlying that framework. It begins this work by acknowledging that neither courts nor the enforcing agency has fully explained how and why the requirements in the Office for Civil Rights 2011 Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) stem from the statutory ban on sex discrimination. It proceeds to sketch the contours of the sex discrimination grounding for the principles in the DCL, moving beyond sexual assault itself as a gendered practice to focus on how gender scripts and rape myths affect institutional responses to it. The article concludes with a call for further work connecting the statutory ban on sex discrimination to the DCL’s specific requirements for institutional responses to campus sexual assault.

August 23, 2017 in Education, Gender, Violence Against Women | Permalink | Comments (0)