Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Golden State Is Now....

....the easiest place for transgendered folks to amend their birth certificates: 

California's Assembly Bill 1121 went into full effect yesterday. The bill, authored by out lesbian Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown last fall, and makes California's name and gender change process the easiest in the nation.

July 6, 2014 in LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

North Dakota and Gender Selection Abortion

One blog writers observes

North Dakota’s law bans the practice of so-called sex-selection abortion, making it illegal to terminate a pregnancy based on the gender of the fetus—an issue that reproductive rights advocates have said is “solution in search of a problem that does not exist.”

And: 

The law would punish any physician who is caught performing an abortionbecause of the gender of the fetus. Under the law, doctors are required to ask women seeking an abortion a series of questions to determine if the gender of the fetus is a factor inher decision. Women seeking an abortion because of “sex-selection” would face no penalties, while abortion providers could face a class 6 felony, which carries up to a $4,000 fine and two years in prison.

And: 

A recent report debunked significant misinformation that has been used to justify sex-selection abortion bans around the country, including North Dakota. “Lawmakers have relied on misinterpretations of narrow data and faulty assumptions about sex selection practices to enact sex-selective abortion bans in the United States,” said Sital Kalantry, clinical professor of law and director of the International Human Rights Clinic at the University of Chicago Law School, in a statement following the release of the report.

Meanwhile, in Indiana, two new laws went into effect.

 

July 6, 2014 in Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (1)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

It's Not just Hobby Lobby

It's Not Just Hobby Lobby: 71 Companies Don't Want to Cover Your Birth Control Either

Last week, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Inc., the closely watched case in which the Oklahoma-based craft store chain has challenged the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate, requiring insurance policies to cover birth control without a copay. Hobby Lobby's high-profile case may have nabbed most of the headlines so far, but it's far from the only company that's taking on the Obama administration over the mandate.

 

Since February 2012, 71 other for-profit companies have challenged the ACA's contraceptive mandate in court, according to the National Women's Law Center (NWLC). The majority of these for-profit cases (46 in addition to Hobby Lobby's) are still pending. Jump to the full list of cases by clicking here.

July 5, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Women Justices Dissent in Yet Another Contraception Case

NPR, High Court Temporarily Suspends Contraception Mandate for Christian College

MSNBC, Female Justices Issue Searing Dissent Over New Contraceptive Case

WSJ, Christian School's Relief on Contraception Case Could Embolden Others

NYT, Birth Control Order Deepens Divide Among Justices

Of interesting note in these and other articles on Justice Sotomayor's dissent is the journalistic choice of words used to describe the decision: searing, fierce, outraged, scold, women get together

 

July 5, 2014 in Healthcare, Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0)

States' Medicaid Refusals Disproportionately Effect Women

No War on Women? 5.7m Left Out of Medicaid, 70 Percent of them Women

The White House released a new report from the Council of Economic Advisors on Wednesday, detailing the healthcare and economic impact of refusing to accept Medicaid expansion, as 24 states have. Bottom line, it's 5.7 million people who would qualify for Medicaid, but be uninsured by 2016, "and these states will forgo billions in federal dollars that could boost their economies."....

 

But there's another part of the story that Think Progress picks up: the refusal to expand Medicaid has a hugely disproportionate effect on women.

July 5, 2014 in Healthcare | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Being a Man Is Injurious to His Health

The statistics provided by the World Health Organization paints a picture of male tragedy that rarely makes the news. Men die at a younger age than do women; more men die from violence than do women.

What to make of the reasons for this, I suspect, is complicated.

http://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/key_facts/VIP_key_fact_6.pdf?ua=1

 

July 3, 2014 in Manliness, Masculinities | Permalink | Comments (0)

Call for papers on IP/Gender Symposium

update:  Papers are due August 25, 2014, Responses are sent September 8, 2014

Call for Papers: Eleventh Annual IP/Gender Symposium

Save the Date: Friday February 27, 2015

 

This year, we will engage in a broad discussion of “Reimagining IP/Gender: The Next Ten Years of Feminist Engagement with Intellectual Property Law.” The symposium will take place in Washington, DC on Friday, February 27, 2015.

Rather than focus discussion on particular cultural practice, such as the creation and dissemination of fan fiction or the stewardship of traditional knowledge, this year, we seek papers and projects that address the full spectrum of feminist/queer theory and all aspects of intellectual property and information law. We encourage submissions from scholars, creators and activists who have not yet engaged with intellectual property law to explore how this legal space might open up new insights regarding the production of knowledge, commodification, definition and valuation of women’s work, and other areas of feminist and queer inquiry. We also hope to spur intellectual property scholars to explore how the tools of deliberately intersectional feminist and queer theory can shed new light on the challenge of creating intellectual property law that fosters social justice. 

Accepted papers will be considered for publication in the American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy, and the Law in a special symposium volume. 

Additional information, including some possible topics, can be found at:pijip.org/2015-ipgender-call/ 

We are interested in projects that relate to specific case studies, as well as more synthetic studies of these topics. We also welcome projects that include performance and demonstrations in connection with specific projects or overall themes. Please visit pijip.org/ip-gender/ for a complete list of past presentations. Proposals from all disciplines, including law, women’s studies, queer studies, education, communication, cultural anthropology, development, medicine, sociology, and the arts are not only welcome, but encouraged. 

If you are interested in taking part, please submit a 250-500 word précis of your project, with some indication of where your work on it stands, as well as a current C.V., by Sunday, July 27, 2014, using this submission form. We will notify you of whether we will include your proposal in the program no later thanFriday, August 8, 2014.

July 3, 2014 in Call for Papers | Permalink | Comments (0)

What It Takes for Violence Against Women To Become An News Story

From the HuffPost

International studies tell us that more than one out of every three women worldwide (35 per cent) has experienced sexual violence at some point in their lives. That's more than one billion people. When it comes to children, up to 1.5 billion annually experience some sort of sexual, physical or psychological violence because they are girls.

Rosemary Carney, the HuffPost blogger, writes: 

I often wonder why the media pays attention, and the public takes note, only when the atrocity level crosses a certain tolerance line? Why is it that there is no universal outrage when we report that one-third of girls worldwide are sexually assaulted before they turn 16?

And: 

Violence against women is so systemic and pervasive, that being on guard against it has become part of the female DNA. Instinctively, they check out sidewalks and look over their shoulders, even for such routine activities as walking to their car in the office parking lot after a day's work.

What can be done?

July 3, 2014 in Violence Against Women | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Major Supreme Court Decision on Women's Rights

Students and lay audiences will find this timeline by the ACLU to be helpful: 

https://www.aclu.org/files/interactive/womensrights_scotus_0303a.html

 

July 1, 2014 in Legal History | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wyoming and Gay Rights

From the Billings Gazette

CASPER, Wyo. — Wyoming's only openly gay lawmaker says the state should pass a bill that bars discrimination against gays at the same time as various courts consider the legality of gay marriage.

In many states where gay marriage is legal, people can still be fired for being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Rep. Cathy Connolly, D-Laramie, described instances in which couples published wedding notices in newspapers and were promptly fired because their states don't include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes in anti-discrimination laws.

 

July 1, 2014 in LGBT | Permalink | Comments (0)

SCOTUS Grants Cert in Pregnancy Accommodations Case

The US Supreme Court granted cert today in Young v. UPS, 707 F.3d 437 (4th Cir. 2013).  

The question presented is whether an employer must provide workplace accommodations to a pregnant employee similar to those it provides to temporarily disabled employees? 

In Brief: Peggy Young "is a driver for United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS). She had asked UPS for a 'light duty' assignment after her doctor recommended that she not lift more than twenty pounds while pregnant. UPS denied her request, even though it had a practice of giving light duty assignments to other employees who were temporarily unable to perform their jobs. As a result of UPS’s denial, Young was forced to take unpaid leave and lost her medical coverage for the period during which she gave birth, until she was able to return to work at UPS two months later."

The Fourth Circuit CoA affirmed a grant of summary judgment to the employer holding that neither the Pregnancy Disrimination Act nor the Americans with Disabilities Act requires an employer to provide accomodations.

 

July 1, 2014 in Equal Employment, Family, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

More on Hobby Lobby

Some highlights on yesterday's Hobby Lobby case:

 Some of my own thoughts:

1.  This is a gender issue.  Period.

  • As Justice Ginsburg said:  It's about "women's autonomous choice."
  • The Court's distinction between contraception v. immunizations or blood transfusions is starkly sex-based.  So its ok to discriminate against women, but not kids or Jehovah's Witnesses?  There should be a challenge in there somewhere.  I know, state action? Hybrid classification with other contraception covered.
  • See Not That Anyone Cares, But Hobby Lobby

2.  Good faith belief in other legal contexts usually requires some credible support.  How can HL simply assert it has a religious belief that IUDs and morning after pills are abortive, when they are not? Elsewhere in the law--labor negotiations, putative spouse doctrine, termination of injunctions--good faith requires some factual basis upon which the party relied to form the good faith. Since religion has been used historically to discriminate against women, it is a very dangerous legal holding to give men carte blanche to excuse their sexism under the guise of religion without question. 

 3.  Here's an interesting idea.  Congress can amend RFRA to remove corporations from its protection.  Lose the battle, but win the war. Senate Democrats Mull Response to Hobby Lobby Decision

July 1, 2014 in Business, Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 30, 2014

What Women Can Do After Hobby Lobby

1.  Stop shopping at Hobby Lobby.

2.  Stop working at Hobby Lobby.

3.  Protest on the public way around Hobby Lobby stores.  SCOTUS says you can.  See McCullen.

4.  Refuse, if an employer, to provide healthcare coverage for men's contraceptive health, V&V (vasectomy and Viagra).

5.  Engage in a sex strike.  Until your partner secures contraceptive healthcare coverage for you.

6.  Vote

7.  Travel back in time a century.  You won't even notice the difference. 

June 30, 2014 in Business, Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Gender Journals Ranked and Collected

Here.  

June 29, 2014 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

What It Takes for Violence Against Women To Become An News Story

From the HuffPost

International studies tell us that more than one out of every three women worldwide (35 per cent) has experienced sexual violence at some point in their lives. That's more than one billion people. When it comes to children, up to 1.5 billion annually experience some sort of sexual, physical or psychological violence because they are girls.

Rosemary Carney, the HuffPost blogger, writes: 

I often wonder why the media pays attention, and the public takes note, only when the atrocity level crosses a certain tolerance line? Why is it that there is no universal outrage when we report that one-third of girls worldwide are sexually assaulted before they turn 16?

And: 

Violence against women is so systemic and pervasive, that being on guard against it has become part of the female DNA. Instinctively, they check out sidewalks and look over their shoulders, even for such routine activities as walking to their car in the office parking lot after a day's work.

What can be done?

June 29, 2014 in Violence Against Women | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Contrasting the Abortion Buffer Zone Decisions: McCullen, Hill, and Madsen

The US Supreme Court has issued three decisions on abortion buffer zones: 

McCullen v. Coakley 573 US ___(Roberts, J.) (2014) unanimous court strikes down MA abortion buffer zone

Hill v. Colorado, 530 US 703  (2000) (Stevens, J.) 6-3 upholds CO abortion buffer zone law

Madsen v. Women’s Health Center, 512 US 753 (1994) (Rehnquist J.) upholds FLA abortion buffer zone

 

As legislators consider other possible options, it might be helpful to compare and contrast the factual differences:

1.  Distance:  100 ft (8 ft. no approach person) Hill / 35 ft McCullen / 36 ft. Madsen

2.  Place:  Health care facility Hill v. Reproductive health care facility McCullen v. clinic Madsen

3.  Legislature v. Judiciary:   Injunction (Madsen) v. Statute (Hill & McCullen)

4.  Prophylactic: imposing additional safeguards to prevent future violations of law (All)

5.  Prior illegal conduct: Madsen & Hill.  Not McCullen.

6.  The most empathetic party:

            Hill: "The unwilling listener's interest in avoiding unwanted communication has been repeatedly identified in our cases."

            Madsen: The patients and employees subjected to assaults and intimidation, and also the political speech rights of the protestors

            McCullen: The caring, godly, helpful counselor.

7.  Content neutral:  All

8.  Where: Public place or sidewalk McCullen v. Public way or sidewalk area Hill v. public right-of-way  Madsen

9.   “Sidewalk counseling”:  Offensive speech Hill v.  personal, caring, consensual conversation McCullen

10.  Less restrictive alternatives tried:  None.  McCullen v. Prior statute Hill v. narrower injunction Madsen.

June 28, 2014 in Abortion | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Reforming Gendered Langauge

From the Guardian

The vice-president of Facebook in Europe – one of the online industry's most powerful executives – has revealed her frustration at being portrayed in the media as a mother-of-four who "wanted it all".

Nicola Mendelsohn, speaking at a conference in London, said there needed to be an overhaul of the language used to talk about women and girls.

"When I got my post at Facebook it was all about how I was a mother-of-four who had 'won' the position, alongside pictures of my wedding," she said, noting that the male executive hired at the same time came under no such scrutiny. Reports also said she insisted on working part-time, when in fact she was working a typical five-day week.

More: 

"I was never defined by my working hours, I was defined by what I produced. That is what we need and we need to be respectful of the best way people work. I think businesses have to think about the best way to retain talent."

June 26, 2014 in Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Your Mom as Your Coach

Such was the way with both Jimmy Connors and Andy Murray, both Wimbledon winners, when they were young (according to Connors, one of the reasons that he hit the ball like a woman--meaning, relying more on guile and inflection, than pure strength--was because that was how his mom taught him, and he never quite adopted a more "masculine" approach).  Murray, the defending Wimbledon male champ, now has a female coach:  

Murray had already changed the pretournament narrative, taking on Amélie Mauresmo, a former Wimbledon champion, as his new coach.

Mauresmo is not the first woman to coach on the men’s tour. Several male players, Jimmy Connors included, have been mentored by their mothers. Billie Jean King assisted the American Tim Mayotte in the early 1990s.

Not everyone approves of Murray's decision: 

No less a British women’s icon than Virginia Wade, the 1977 Wimbledon champion and a longtime commentator, told reporters regarding Murray’s decision to hire Mauresmo: “I thought they were all fooling around; I think again he’s maybe trying to mess with everybody. She was a great player; she’s a great person. I think she was a little fragile mentally, because she had the capabilities of beating everybody.”

Wade added, “You like to try to get behind people’s thinking, but I can’t really with this one.”

June 26, 2014 in Manliness, Masculinities, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

SCOTUS Declares Abortion Buffer Zone Law Unconstitutional

From WaPost: Yet Another Unanimous Judgment in McCullen v. Coakley

In today’s other decision, McCullen v. Coakley, all nine justices concluded that Massachusetts’ abortion clinic buffer zone law violated the First Amendment.  So here we have yet another opinion unanimous in the judgment.  That makes 48 out of 71 decisions thus far this term, or 67.6 percent.

 

Writing for the Court, the Chief Justice concludes that the statute was content-neutral, and thus avoids strict scrutiny, but is not narrowly tailored because it burdens more speech than is necessary to advance the government’s interests in ensuring clinic access and public safety. Four justices (Scalia, Thomas, Kennedy, and Alito) concurred in the judgment would have gone further.  The opinion is here

I previously blogged about the case here..   Some observations on today's option:

1.   It did seem to matter to the Court that this was legislation rather than a remedy.  The opinion notes that the government did not seek "one single prosecution or injunction."  Thus suggesting, as the Court has previously held in Madsen v. Women's Health Center (1994), that prophylactic injunctions to remedy particular instances of abortion protesting problems are ok.

2.  The Court calls the protestors' speech "personal, caring, consensual conversation" that is just trying to "help" the women.  How is intimidating, harassing, inflammatory, confrontational personal assault caring and helpful?  The patients and employees might call these "fighting words."  Such a characterization perpetuates the paternalistic and protectionist rhetoric of the Gonzales v. Carhart (2007) abortion decision to help women too emotionally fragile and incompetent to exercise their own autonomy.  What was Ginsberg thinking in signing on to this opinion?    

 

 

June 26, 2014 in Abortion, Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0)

Federal Legislation to End Rapists' Parental Rights

Bill Would Help Rape Survivors Terminate Rapists' Parental Rights.  A few years ago, one of my students proposed this topic for his thesis paper.  I didn't believe that this was a real issue.  I asked him to document the existence of the problem he was purporting to solve in the paper by finding me the exact laws he had seen referenced in the media.  And sure enough, he was right.  Given the state of the law on unwed fathers that require more than biology for a legally-enforced social relationship, other than child support, it seem farfetched that the law would support criminal parents but not other unwed fathers.  

June 26, 2014 in Family, Violence Against Women | Permalink | Comments (0)