Gender and the Law Prof Blog

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

Friday, November 4, 2016

Justice Dep't Settles Pregnancy Accommodation Cases in Police Officers' Favor

Justice Department Settles Pregnancy and Disability Discrimination Lawsuit Against City of Florence, Kentucky

The Justice Department filed a proposed consent decree with the city of Florence, Kentucky, to resolve a pregnancy and disability discrimination lawsuit brought by the department under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). 

 

According to the department's complaint, Florence discriminated against two pregnant police officers by denying both officers' requests for light duty.  The department alleges that Florence previously assigned light duty positions to employees who were temporarily unable to perform their regular job duties, regardless of why the employee needed light duty.  In April 2013, within months of a police officer's pregnancy-related light duty request, Florence limited light duty to employees with on-the-job injuries.  Florence also required that employees with non-work-related illnesses, injuries or conditions demonstrate that they had "no restrictions" before they could return to work. 

 

In 2014, according to the department's complaint, Police Officers Lyndi Trischler and Samantha Riley requested light duty when they were unable to perform their duties as patrol officers due to their pregnancies.  Officer Trischler, who was diagnosed with a high-risk pregnancy and suffered complications, also requested light duty as a reasonable accommodation for her pregnancy-related disability.  Florence denied the requests and required each to take leave.  After placing Officers Trischler and Riley on leave, Florence continued to grant light duty to other employees who were similar in their ability or inability to work. 

 

This is the department's first lawsuit challenging a discriminatory light duty policy since the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling regarding light duty policies and pregnant employees in Young v. United Parcel Service.  It is also the department's first lawsuit challenging disability-related "no restrictions" policies in the workplace.

 

"No woman should ever have to choose between having a family and earning a salary," said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division.  "Equally important, individuals with disabilities who need reasonable accommodations deserve an opportunity to keep their jobs.  The Justice Department will continue working tirelessly to protect pregnant women against unlawful discrimination in the workplace."

 

Under the consent decree, which still must be approved by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky, Florence will adopt new policies that allow accommodations, including light duty, for pregnant employees and employees with disabilities; establish an effective process for receiving and responding to employees' accommodation requests and discrimination complaints; and ensure the proper maintenance of employee medical records.  In addition, Florence will train all supervisors, administrators, officers and employees who participate in making personnel decisions related to light duty and other accommodation requests made pursuant to Title VII and the ADA.  Florence has also agreed to pay $135,000 in compensatory damages and attorney's fees as well as restore the paid leave that Officers Trischler and Riley were forced to use.

November 4, 2016 in Equal Employment, Pregnancy | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Gender, Judging, and Judicial Crisis

This article in the Akron Legal News Is the Judicial Selection Process in Crisis? details political science professor Sally Kenney's keynote speech from the recent Feminist Judgments conference.    

These are dangerous times for judicial appointments, according to Sally J. Kenney, an expert on judicial selection and social movements.

Kenney, the author of the book “Gender and Justice: Why Women in the Judiciary Really Matter," was the keynote speaker for “The U.S. Feminist Judgments Project."

. . . . 

Kenney said it is important that more women and minority men serve on the bench, and that it is no longer enough that judges are well qualified.

 

 “We need to know what their positions are on domestic violence and sexual assault,” she said. “Do they believe boys need their fathers even if those fathers were batterers? And joint custody puts mothers at risk? Do they believe women routinely lie about domestic violence in divorce cases or sexual assault in general? Do they easily dismiss women’s fear of stalkers and harassers? Do police officers and those serving in the military who are more likely than the general population to be batterers deserve to retain their firearms even after threatening intimates?”

 

 Judges should consistently uphold rules even when those rules go against the political party of the president who appointed them, Kenney said, adding that senators should be held accountable for failing to do their job.

 

 “No one disputes whether Merrick Garland is qualified. No one thinks he has extreme political views,” she said. “Now it appears senators can just say ‘no.’”

 

 Kenney also said it is important that judges be willing to change positions when confronted with social facts. 

 

“I think we should be able to demand that judges be the most distinguished members of the legal profession, without having to turn them into deductive machines or robots or think of them as neutrals,” she said. 

 

“I also believe the issue is not the difference women make on the bench, but the message their absence sends,” she added. “It is important to have women and minority men on the bench. 

November 3, 2016 in Books, Conferences, Courts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Introduction to Women and the Law

Here is the Introduction to the terrific line-up of articles in the just published collection, Women and the Law (Thomson Reuters 2016). 

Download Women and Law Foreword 2016

OVERVIEW AND INTRODUCTION

The theme of this year’s edition of Women and the Law is captured best by contributor Deborah Brake’s article entitled, “On Not Having it All.”  The recent scholarly literature focuses on women’s so-called struggle to have it all and the difficult legal intersections of work and family.  For decades, women have been encouraged to be Superwomen, to “bring home the bacon,” and “fry it up in a pan,” all while taking primary responsibility for family care.  The structures of the law, workplace, and the family, however, have not accommodated this dual dynamic.  Male workplace norms, long grounded in assumptions of workers’ exclusive dedication to a job, supported by the unpaid home labor of wives and mothers, create an inadequate foundation for women’s full and equal entry.  Instead, we see women either “leaning in” to a 24/7 effort for workplace success, or “opting out” for a prioritization of family work.  All of which assumes the privilege of profession and ignores the economic reality that most women work in paid labor because they have to, whether due to basic need, recession, or marital status.

The focus of the scholarly literature and the related litigation reflects the equivocation in women’s coping strategies and in critiques of the legal systems that perpetuate gender inequality.  Much of the recent research overlaps the fields of employment, reproductive rights, and family law.  This intersection of legal thought mirrors women’s interwoven realities of work, family, and life, where the private and public spheres are merged, and conflicts are not easily settled within one traditional body of law.  Women’s first encounters with sex discrimination today are more often delayed to this point of work/family conflict.  Suddenly pregnancy accommodations, maternity leaves, workplace norms, sexual harassment, implicit bias in hiring and promotion, and equal pay take on new meaning.

The scholarship reflects this lived experience.  There is much discussion of pregnancy and maternity and how they interface with the workplace.  These intersections reveal conflicts in the law the sex equality battle assumed had been resolved.  Scholars are searching for new legal frameworks to address these situations, borrowing analogies from other equality, disability, and medical regimes.  This recent scholarship rejects the private/public binary and the assumption that private family life of health, children, pregnancy, and relationship exists isolated from the workplace.  And it pragmatically searches for alternative theories and solutions that can make a meaningful difference to women’s lives.

November 3, 2016 in Books, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

New Book: Women and the Law - The Year's Top Scholarship

Women and the Law, 2015 ed.

I have just published the annual edition of Women and the Law (Tracy A. Thomas, ed. Thomson 2016).  This is an edited collection of some of the "greatest hits" in scholarship affecting women's rights published over the last year.  The book reprints the articles as a collection as a resource book intended for practitioners to stay current on developing ideas and for academics to appreciate the breadth and depth of working theories.  

Table of Contents

Foreword, On Not Having it All, Tracy A. Thomas

Part A Reproductive Rights

Chapter 1 Abortion and the “Woman Question”: Forty Years of Debate, Reva B. Siegel

Chapter 2 Roe as We Know It, Cary Franklin

Chapter 3 Choice at Work: Young v. United Parcel Service, Pregnancy Discrimination, and Reproductive Liberty,  Mary Ziegler

Chapter 4 Disparate Impact and Pregnancy: Title VII's Other Accommodation Requirement, L. Camille Hébert

Part B Feminism and the Family

Chapter 5 Marriage Equality and the “New” Maternalism, Cynthia Godsoe

Chapter 6 Holistic Pregnancy: Rejecting the Theory of the Adversarial Mother, Rona Kaufman Kitchen

Chapter 7 The Bad Mother: Stigma, Abortion and Surrogacy, Paula Abrams

Chapter 8 The Fourth Trimester, Saru M. Matambanadzo

Part C Violence Against Women

Chapter 9 For the Title IX Civil Rights Movement: Congratulations and Cautions, Nancy Chi Cantalupo

Chapter 10 Judicial Patriarchy and Domestic Violence: A Challenge to the Conventional Family Privacy Narrative, Elizabeth Katz

Chapter 11 Constrained Choice: Mothers, the State, and Domestic Violence, Rona Kaufman Kitchen

Part D Women in the Workplace

Chapter 12 Taking Sex Discrimination Seriously, Vicki Schultz

Chapter 13 On Not “Having It Both Ways” and Still Losing: Reflections on Fifty Years of Pregnancy Litigation Under Title VII, Deborah L. Brake

Chapter 14 Employment Discrimination Class Actions after Wal-Mart v. Dukes, Michael Selmi and Sylvia Tsakos

Part E Feminist Legal Theory

Chapter 15 Review Essay: Why (Re)Write Judgments?, Heather Roberts and Laura Sweeney

Chapter 16 Domestic Disorders: Suffrage and New York's Constitutional Convention of 1867, Felice Batlan

Chapter 17 Marriage (In)Equality and the Historical Legacies of Feminism, Serena Mayeri

Chapter 18 Gender Differences in Dispute Resolution Practice: Report on the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution Practice Snapshot Survey, Gina Viola Brown and Andrea Kupfer Schneider

 

 

November 2, 2016 in Books, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

CFP Mary Wollstonecraft: Life and Legacy

CFP: Mary Wollstonecraft

MARCH 8 (International Womens Day) 2017

CALL FOR PAPERS

As part of the celebrations for Hull as UK City of Culture 2017 the University of Hull is hosting an interdisciplinary celebration of the life, work and legacy of Mary Wollstonecraft, (who spent her formative years in the nearby town of Beverley).

 

Papers are welcome on any aspect of Wollstonecrafts life, work and legacy from Gender Studies, Philosophy, Politics, History, Literature, Education or any other relevant discipline. 

 

A prize of £100 will be awarded for the best paper, which will also be published in the Journal of Gender Studies Special issue on Mary Wollstonecraft, which will follow the conference.

 

Please send abstracts of no more than 500 words to K.Lennon@hull.ac.uk  by January 6 2017

For some thinking on the legal thought of foundational feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, see Charles Reid, Jr., The Journey to Seneca Falls: Mary Wollstonecraft, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Legal Emancipation of Women, 10 Univ. St. Thomas L.J. 1123 (2013)

 

 

November 1, 2016 in Call for Papers, Legal History | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Urgency of Intersectionality

The Urgency of Intersectionality: Kimberle Crenshaw Speaks at TED6

Kimberlé Crenshaw urges us to ask this question. Through her theory of intersectionality, she explains the overwhelming underrepresentation of violence against African-American women in activism, politics and media.

 

“The problem is, in part, a framing problem,” Crenshaw says. “Without frames that are capacious enough to address all the ways that disadvantages and burdens play out for all members of a particular group, the efforts to mobilize resources to address a social problem will be  partial and exclusionary.”

 

For Crenshaw, this meant developing a language as a method of understanding this problem, she says: “When there’s no name for a problem, you can’t see a problem. When you can’t see a problem, you can’t solve it.”

November 1, 2016 in Race, Theory | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 31, 2016

Reading List for Law & Gender on Halloween

Bridget Bishop Hanged at Salem

Which means the Salem Witch Trials. 

Most of the victims of the trials were women.  And most of the accusers.  Scholars have talked about the trials as misogyny and at the same time as women's assertion of agency and power.  They also suggested the lax evidentiary standards allowed social judgments about women to be determinative of legal guilt.

Stacy Schiff, The Witches: Salem, 1692 (2015)

Carol Karlsen, The Devil in the Shape of a Woman (1998)

Jane Moriarty, Wonders of the Invisible World: Prosecutorial Syndrome and Profile Evidence in the Salem Witchcraft Trials, 26 Vermont L. Rev. 43 (2001)

Mary Beth Norton, In the Devil's Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692 (2003)

Peter Hoffer, The Salem Witchcraft Trials: A Legal History (1997)

October 31, 2016 in Books, Courts, Legal History | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 28, 2016

CFP Gender & Family Entrepreneurship

CFP: Gender & Family Entrepreneurship

Call for book chapters/ Edited book:

GENDER AND FAMILY ENTREPRENEURSHIP

To be published by Routledge 2017

Vanessa Ratten, Veland Ramadani, Leo-Paul Dana, Robert Hisrich and Joao Ferreira

Submission deadlines (Chapter proposal, 2-3 pages): January 15, 2017

Authors are invited to submit a book chapter proposal on either GENDER ENTREPRENEURSHIP or FAMILY ENTREPRENEURSHIP for an edited book to be published by Routledge

This edited book will focus on gender and family entrepreneurship. There has been an increasing focus on the role of gender in business because of associated personality and behavioral traits. This has meant that the study of gender entrepreneurship has encouraged research about the way females and males may approach differently the process of business creation. In conjunction with the growing interest in gender entrepreneurship has been the literature about family entrepreneurship increasing in significance. Family business comprises a large proportion of overall total businesses and many large multinationals once started as family owned organizations. Many family business are small and regionally focused but this has changed with the increased usage of technological innovations. In addition, more media attention has been placed on the role of family businesses in society as being the originators of ideas and creativity. The aim of this edited research book is to focus both on gender and family entrepreneurship as they are interrelated concepts particularly important in today’s global society. It is important to include both gender and family entrepreneurship as gender plays a role in the development and growth of family businesses. This helps to better understand the role of family dynamics in business particularly in terms of succession planning, strategic development and internationalization. Often both gender and family entrepreneurship are studied independently but the role of this edited book is to combine both perspectives by offering a novel approach. This creates a synergy between gender and family entrepreneurship that increases the potential value to entrepreneurship scholarship, policy and business practice. This edited book will be one of the first to combine both gender and family entrepreneurship thereby offering a new and insightful addition to the entrepreneurship field.

Please send book chapter proposals to any of the editors: Vanessa Ratten v.ratten@latrobe.edu.au; Veland Ramadani v.ramadani@seeu.edu.mk; Leo Paul Dana lp.dana@montpellier-bs.com; Robert Hisrich rhisric1@kent.edu; João Ferreira jjmf@ubi.pt.

 

 

October 28, 2016 in Call for Papers | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Woman's Constitutional Right to Her Surname in Japan

NYT, In Japan, More Women Fight to Use Their Own Surnames

This was the topic of a paper recently published in Akron Law's open-access constitutional law journal, ConLawNOWby our visiting scholar from Japan.  

Koji Higashikawa, Tying the Knot with a Surname? The Constitutionality of Japan's Law Requiring a Same Marital Name

October 28, 2016 in Constitutional, Family, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 27, 2016

CFP Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Reproductive Justice

Call for Authors for Volume of Rewritten Reproductive Justice Opinions

The U.S. Feminist Judgments Project seeks contributors of rewritten judicial opinions and commentary on those opinions for an edited collection entitled Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Reproductive Justice (working title). This edited volume, proposed to be published by Cambridge University Press, is part of a collaborative project among law professors and others to rewrite, from a feminist perspective, key judicial decisions. The initial volume, Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court, edited by Kathryn M. Stanchi, Linda L. Berger, and Bridget J. Crawford, was published in 2016 by Cambridge University Press (that book’s cases and authors are available here). Subsequent volumes in the series will focus on different courts or different subject matters. This call is for contributions to a volume of reproductive justice (RJ) decisions rewritten from a feminist perspective.

Reproductive Justice volume editor Kimberly Mutcherson seeks prospective authors for 15 rewritten RJ-related opinions covering a range of topics. With the help of an advisory committee, the editor has already selected 15 cases to be rewritten. Potential authors are welcome to suggest other cases, but given certain constraints (including a preference for avoiding cases that have already or soon will be rewritten for other volumes in this series), it is unlikely that the list of cases will change. The current list of cases and a list of cases that the editor and advisory committee considered, but that (sadly) did not make the final cut, can be found here. Cases may come from any jurisdiction and any court, including non-U.S. jurisdictions. As is necessary in a text focused on RJ, the volume editor conceives of feminism broadly as multiple movements concerned with justice and equality. Further, as befits an RJ focused volume, authors should be prepared to rewrite cases in a way that brings into focus intersectionality, gender, race, class, disability, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, national origin, histories of incarceration, immigration status, and beyond.

As the core of the Feminist Judgments Project is judicial opinions, proposals must be either to (1) rewrite a case (not administrative guidance, regulations, etc.) or (2) comment on a rewritten case. Rewritten opinions may be re-imagined majority opinions, dissents, or concurrences, as appropriate to the court. Feminist judgment writers will be bound by law and precedent in effect at the time of the original decision (with a 10,000 word maximum for the rewritten judgment). Commentators will explain the original court decision, how the feminist judgment differs from the original judgment, and what difference the feminist judgment might have made (4,000 word maximum for the commentary). Commentators and opinions writers who wish to work together are welcome to indicate that in the application.

 

The U.S. Feminist Judgments Project approaches revised judicial opinion writing as a form of critical socio-legal scholarship. There are several world-wide projects engaged in similar efforts, including the U.K.-based Feminist Judgments: From Theory to Practice (2010); Australian Feminist Judgments: Righting and Rewriting Law (2014); the Women’s Court of Canada; ongoing projects in Ireland, New Zealand, and a pan-European project; and other U.S.-based projects currently under way.

Those who are interested in rewriting an opinion or providing the commentary on one of the rewritten RJ cases should complete the submission form found here.

Applications are due by November 21, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. (EST). The editor expects to notify accepted authors and commentators no later than December 16, 2016. First drafts of rewritten opinions will be due on June 2, 2017. First drafts of commentaries will be due on August 4, 2017.

 

 

October 27, 2016 in Books, Call for Papers | Permalink | Comments (0)

On Gender Discrimination in Damages

Wash Post, In One Corner of the Law, Women and Minorities Often Valued Less

[W]hite and male victims often receive larger awards than people of color and women in similar cases, according to more than two dozen lawyers and forensic economists, the experts who make the calculations. These differences largely derive from projections of  how much more money individuals would have earned over their lifetimes had they not been injured – projections that take into account average earnings and employment levels by race and gender.

 

The debate over this use of demographic averages pits two tenets of the American justice system – fairness and accuracy – against each other.

 

Martha Chamallas, a law professor at Ohio State, called the practice reminiscent of “something Ruth Bader Ginsburg and civil rights advocates [fought] in the 1960s.” Jennifer Wriggins, a law professor at the University of Maine, said it “reinforces past discrimination and pushes it out into the future and endorses it.”

 

Defenders say it is the most accurate way to make calculations about the losses people incur when they are injured. “If there’s a difference in society, it is what it is. It’s a difference, and the economist’s job is to figure out what would have happened,” said James Woods, a forensic economist in Houston.

ABA J, Should Race and Gender be Used in Calculating Income? It's a Common Practice

 

October 27, 2016 in Courts, Equal Employment | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The ABA's New Rule Mandating Diverse CLE Panels

Ronald Rotunda, The ABA's New Rules Mandating "Diverse" CLE Panels.  He speaks out against the new rule, arguing that it is poorly drafted and impractical to implement, among other things.  

Here's what the new rules provide:

The ABA expects all CLE programs sponsored or co-sponsored by the ABA to meet the aspirations of Goal III by having the faculty include members of diverse groups as defined by Goal III (race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability). This policy applies to individual CLE programs whose faculty consists of three or more panel participants, including the moderator. Individual programs with faculty of three or four panel participants, including the moderator, will require at least 1 diverse member; individual programs with faculty of five to eight panel participants, including the moderator, will require at least 2 diverse members; and individual programs with faculty of nine or more panel participants, including the moderator, will require at least 3 diverse members. The ABA will not sponsor, co-sponsor, or seek CLE accreditation for any program failing to comply with this policy unless an exception or appeal is granted. The ABA implementation date for the new Diversity & Inclusion CLE Policy shall be March 1, 2017.

 

 

 

October 26, 2016 in Education, Law schools | Permalink | Comments (0)

Feminist Subversion in Iceland

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Slut-Shaming in the Workplace

At last week's tremendous Feminist Judgments Conference, I had the pleasure of listening to many new works and feminist thinking in a wide variety of areas.  Here is one to share today:

Wendy Hess, Slut-Shaming in the Workplace: Sexual Rumors & Hostile Environment Claims, 40 NYU Rev. L & Social Change 581 (2016)

ABSTRACT

“Slut-shaming” is the act of criticizing a woman for her real or perceived sexual promiscuity.  Until now, much scholarship and journalism has focused on the slut-shaming of school-aged girls and young women. This article broadens the discussion about this harassing behavior by illuminating an overlooked area: slut-shaming in the American workplace. This article focuses on how courts have dealt with hostile work environment cases based in whole or in part on rumors about adult women’s alleged sexual promiscuity. In particular, courts have struggled with how to interpret Title VII’s seemingly simple requirement that conduct occur “because of” sex. Courts have often failed to recognize the gendered aspect of sexual rumors about women. Due to the continued existence of the sexual double standard, rumors about women who engage in sex acts with men penalize women for violating gender norms.

 

October 25, 2016 in Equal Employment | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

First SCOTUS Argument Brings (Brief) Gender Equality in the Courtroom

Wash Post, For a Rare Moment at the Supreme Court, the Genders Were on Equal Footing

The first oral argument of the Supreme Court’s new term this month delivered something so rare as to be practically nonexistent: gender equality.

 

Debating an obscure question about the constitutional principle of double jeopardy were five men, all justices of the Supreme Court, and five women: the three female justices and the two female lawyers who took turns at the lectern for their respective clients.

October 18, 2016 in Courts | Permalink | Comments (0)

What are Feminist Judgments?

The US Feminist Judgments Conference is this week here at Akron Law.

The background materials for the conference include articles and essays exploring the foundational ideas of the conference, including what feminism means, what feminist judgments are and why we might need them, and the difference feminist decision making might make.  To review the materials, go here:  US Feminist Judgments CLE Materials

Table of Contents:

Kathyrn Stanchi, Linda Berger, & Bridget Crawford, Introduction to the Book: Feminist Judgments (Cambridge 2016)

 

Sally Kenney, Thinking About Gender and Judging (2008)

 

Sally Kenney, Wise Latinas, Strategic Minnesotans, and the Feminist Standpoint: The Backlash Against Women Judges, Thomas Jefferson L.Review (2013)

 

Heather Roberts & Laura Sweeney, Why (Re)Write Judgments? (2014)

 

Erika Rackley, What a Difference Difference Makes (2008)

 

Rosemary Hunter, Can Feminist Judges Make a Difference? (2008)

 

Rosemary Hunter, Feminist Judgments as Teaching Resources, Oñati Socio-legal Series (2012)

 

Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Lecture: A Latina Judge’s Voice (2009)

 

Justice Sotomayor, dissenting, Utah v. Strieff, 579 U.S. ___, 136 S. Ct. 2056 (2015)

 

Gonzales v. Carhart, 550 U.S. 124 (2007)

 

Justice Ginsburg, dissenting in Gonzales

 

Beverley Baines, Why Not Nine? (2016)

 

Tracy Thomas & TJ Boisseau, Law, History & Feminism, Introduction to Feminist Legal History (NYU Press 2012) 

 

October 18, 2016 in Conferences, Theory | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 17, 2016

US Feminist Judgments Conference This Week

It's finally time for the US Feminist Judgments Conference this week, Thursday Oct. 20th and Friday Oct. 21st at Akron Law.  I will be blogging and tweeting live from the conference here, and @ProfTracyThomas and @conlawcenter.  Follow hashtag #FemJConf

The full conference program is here: Rewriting the Law, Writing the Future Program

Featured speakers include: Linda Berger, Bridget Crawford, Kathryn Stanchi, Berta Hernández-Truyol, Jamie Abrams, Shoshanna Ehrlich, Yvonne Lindgren, Margaret Johnson, Meghan Boone, Teri McMurtry-Chubb, Valorie Vojdik, Martha Chamallas, Danshera Cords, Jonathan Crock, Phyllis Goldfarb, Wilson Huhn, Shaakirrah Sanders, Hannah Brenner, Renee Knake, Meg Penrose, Anibal Rosario Lebron, Lisa Avalos, Nancy Cantalupo, Joanne Sweeny, Corey Yung, Karen Gross, Wendy Hess, Kimberly Holst, Susan Salmon, Elizabeth Kukura, Kalyani Robbins, Jessica Feinberg, Nicole Porter, Natalie Nanasi, Kim Holst, Emily Meyer, Navid Khazanei, Deborah Saybolt, Tara Willke, Laura Rosenbury, and Tracy Thomas.

A special panel of judges' will include Eve Belfance, City Attorney Akron, former Judge; Ohio Court of Appeals Karen Nelson Moore, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit; Mary Margaret Rowlands, Judge, Summit County Court of Common Pleas; Elinore Marsh Stormer, Judge, Ohio Probate Court

The keynote speaker will be political scientist Sally Kenney speaking on "The Difference Gender Makes to Judging."

 

October 17, 2016 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 14, 2016

The Stereotyped Domestic Violence Offender

Carolyn Ramsey, The Stereotyped Offender: Domestic Violence and the Failure of Intervention, 120 Penn State L.Rev. 337 (2015)

Abstract:     

Scholars and battered women’s advocates now recognize that many facets of the legal response to intimate-partner abuse stereotype victims and harm abuse survivors who do not fit commonly accepted paradigms. However, it is less often acknowledged that the feminist analysis of domestic violence also tends to stereotype offenders and that state action, including court-mandated batterer intervention, is premised on these offender stereotypes. The feminist approach can be faulted for minimizing or denying the role of substance abuse, mental illness, childhood trauma, race, culture, and poverty in intimate-partner abuse. Moreover, those arrested for domestic violence crimes now include heterosexual women, lesbians, and gay men; abuse is as common in same-sex relationships as in their heterosexual counterparts. Failure to take such factors into account perpetuates a one-dimensional image of the batterer as a controlling, heterosexual, male villain — a stereotype that impedes efforts to coordinate effective responses to domestic violence and entrenches gendered hierarchies that affect men, as well as women.

This Article begins by placing the feminist paradigm of the batterer in historical context. Although feminists transformed the dialogue about domestic violence by locating it in patriarchy and gender inequality, the offender stereotype that the Battered Women’s Movement used to spur a vigorous state response and that still drives domestic violence policy shares some limitations with earlier paradigms of the wife beater — the hot-headed sinner in Puritan New England or the drunken brute of Temperance discourse. Like these earlier stereotypes, the image of the coercive, controlling male batterer is too one-dimensional and too closely tied to other sociopolitical agendas to yield a practical approach to prevent domestic violence and change the behavior of its perpetrators.

Drawing on historical, sociological, and psychological materials, as well as insights from masculinities studies, this Article suggests limits to our understanding of those who commit intimate-partner abuse and to the laws and policies — especially court-mandated batterer intervention programs (“BIPs”) — currently in place. It presents an original analysis of 46 sets of state and local standards for BIPs to show that, although these standards are starting to be more inclusive, they still tend to impose a “one-size-fits-all” formula designed for heterosexual male offenders. The “one-size-fits-all” approach ignores crucial differences — not only in intimate-partner violence committed by women, as opposed to men, and homosexuals, as opposed to heterosexuals — but also between heterosexual male offenders and the types of abuse they inflict. Recognizing these differences would facilitate the effective tailoring of BIPs to achieve long-term behavioral change in a variety of participants. The Article concludes by offering preliminary suggestions for transforming pro-feminist interventions to encourage accountability and rehabilitation and to reduce recidivism without stereotyping domestic violence offenders.

 

October 14, 2016 in Violence Against Women | Permalink | Comments (0)

Books: Sex Trafficking in the US

Andrea J. Nichols, Sex Trafficking in the United States (Columbia Press 2016)

Sex Trafficking in the United States is a unique exploration of the underlying dynamics of sex trafficking. This comprehensive volume examines the common risk factors for those who become victims, and the barriers they face when they try to leave. It also looks at how and why sex traffickers enter the industry. A chapter on buyers presents what we know about their motivations, the prevalence of bought sex, and criminal justice policies that target them. Sex Trafficking in the United States describes how the justice system, activists, and individuals can engage in advocating for victims of sex trafficking. It also offers recommendations for practice and policy and suggestions for cultural change.

 

Andrea J. Nichols approaches sex-trafficking-related theories, research, policies, and practice from neoliberal, abolitionist, feminist, criminological, and sociological perspectives. She confronts competing views of the relationship between pornography, prostitution, and sex trafficking, as well as the contribution of weak social institutions and safety nets to the spread of sex trafficking. She also explores the link between identity-based oppression, societal marginalization, and the risk of victimization. She clearly accounts for the role of race, ethnicity, immigrant status, LGBTQ identities, age, sex, and intellectual disability in heightening the risk of trafficking and how social services and the criminal justice and healthcare systems can best respond. This textbook is essential for understanding the mechanics of a pervasive industry and curbing its spread among at-risk populations.

 

Please visit our supplemental materials page (https://cup.columbia.edu/extras/supplement/sex-trafficking-united-states) to find teaching aids, including PowerPoints, access to a test bank, and a sample syllabus

October 14, 2016 in Books, Human trafficking, Violence Against Women | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Preview of AALS Programs on Gender & Law

Here's the full schedule: 2017 AALS Annual Meeting Schedule at a Glance

Not a big year for feminist inquiry per se.  Panels of interest to law & gender include:

[4050] Joint Program of Disability Law, Insurance Law, Law, Medicine and Health Care and Minority Groups, Co-Sponsored by Poverty Law and Women in Legal Education – Why Law Matters: Health and Social Justice

 

[5070] Clinical Legal Education – Addressing Implicit Bias in Teaching

 

[5160] Women In Legal Education, CoSponsored by Minority Groups, Balance in Legal Education – Cultivating Empathy

 

[1411] Women in Legal Education Luncheon. Ticket price is $85 per person.

 

[5250] Employment Discrimination Law, Co-Sponsored by Women in Legal Education – Responding to Fisher v. Texas

 

[7110] Women in Legal Education – Speed Mentoring

 

[6270] Education Law – Title IX and Transgender Student Rights: Looking Ahead

 

October 13, 2016 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (0)