Gender and the Law Prof Blog

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

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

"Gender Bias at Work Turns Up in Feedback"

From the WSJ blog: 

If companies are looking for gender bias in their workplace, here’s one place they may want to start: feedback.

Research suggests that men and women are assessed very differently at work. Specifically, managers are significantly more likely to critique female employees for coming on too strong, and their accomplishments are more likely than men’s to be seen as the result of team, rather than individual efforts, finds new research from Stanford University’s Clayman Institute for Gender Research. Those trends appear to hold up whether the boss making the assessments is male or female.

September 30, 2015 in Work/life, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Women and the Law: A "Greatest Hits" of Scholarship from the Past Year

I just published the 2015 edition of Women and the Law for West. 

This is an annual collection of what I call the "greatest hits" in legal scholarship from the past year on women's rights. It includes sections on reproductive rights, family, employment, domestic violence, feminist theory, and sometimes education.

Here's this year's awesome lineup.

 

Table of Contents

Introduction and Summary, Tracy Thomas

Reproductive Rights

Abortion Distortions, Caroline Mala Corbin

Fetal Protection Laws: Moral Panic and the New Constitutional Battlefront, Michele Goodwin

Abortion and the Constitutional Right (Not) to Procreate, Mary Ziegler

Bearing Children, Bearing Risks: Feminist Leadership for Progressive Regulation of Compensated Surrogacy in the United States, Sara L. Ainsworth

Feminism and the Family Law

Unprotected Sex: The Pregnancy Discrimination Act at 35, Deborah L. Brake & Joanna L. Grossman

Reframing the Work-Family Conflict Debate by Rejecting the Ideal Parent Norm, Jennifer H. Sperling

Spousal Support in the 21st Century, Judith G. McMullen

Digging Beneath the Equality Language: The Influence of the Fathers' Rights Movement on Intimate Partner Violence Public Policy Debates and Family Law Reform, Kelly Alison Behre

Violence Against Women

Real Men Advance, Real Women Retreat: Stand Your Ground, Battered Women's Syndrome, and Violence as Male Privilege,Mary Anne Franks

Enjoining Abuse: The Case for Indefinite Domestic Violence Protection Orders, Jane K. Stoever

Love Matters, Tamara L. Kuennen

Financial Freedom: Women, Money, and  Domestic Abuse, Dana Harrington Conner

A Home with Dignity: Domestic Violence and Property Rights, Margaret E. Johnson

Women in the Workplace

Twenty Years of Compromise: How the Caps on Damages in the Civil Rights Act of 1991 Codified Sex Discrimination, Lynn Ridgeway Zehrt

Two Very Different Stories: Vicarious Liability Under Tort and Title VII Law, Martha Chamallas

It's Complicated: Age, Gender, and Lifetime Discrimination Against Working Women—The United States and the U.K. as Examples, Susan Bisom-Rapp and Malcolm Sargeant

Feminist Legal Theory

State Responsibility for Gender Stereotyping, Barbara Stark

Rights of Belonging for Women, Rebecca E. Zietlow

The New Sex Discrimination, Zachary A. Kramer

September 29, 2015 in Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 28, 2015

The vexed paradox of Fiorina's feminism

From the NYT: 

When the novelist Jennifer Weiner watched the second Republican presidential debate with her two daughters on Sept. 16, she felt a sense of pride at seeing the lone woman on stage,Carly Fiorina, hold her own against Donald J. Trump.

Then Mrs. Fiorina denounced abortion and Planned Parenthood in a graphic monologue that thrilled many conservative Republican voters but left Ms. Weiner appalled.

September 28, 2015 in Media, Theory | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, September 26, 2015

New issue Journal of Women's History

The new issue of the Journal of Women's History (Fall 2015).

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ARTICLES

"I Wouldn't Be No Woman If I Didn't Hit Him": Race, Patriarchy, and Spousal Homicide in New Orleans, 1921 - 1945          

Jeffrey S. Adler

"As Potent a Prince as Any Round About Her": Rethinking Weetamoo of the Pocasset and Native Female Leadership in Early America          

Gina M. Martino-Trutor

Dode Akabi: A Reexamination of the Oral and Textual Narrative of a "Wicked" Female King       

Harry N.K. Odamtten

From Anne to Hannah: Religious Views of Infertility in Post-Reformation England          

Daphna Oren-Magidor

Sex Scandals and Papist Plots:The Mid-Nineteenth-Century World of an Irish Nurse in Quebec          

Lisa Chilton

Sanitizing the Domestic: Hygiene and Gender in Late Colonial Bengal          

Srirupa Prasad

Constructing Women's Citizenship: The Local, National, and Global Civic Lessons of Rajkumari Amrit Kaur         

EmIly Rook-Koepsel

 

BOOK REVIEWS

Single Girls and Working Women: Gender, Power, and Feminism in American History and Culture 

Elizabeth Fraterrigo

Sexual Labor and the Transnational Sphere          

Michelle K. Rhoades

Personal and Political: Love's Revolutions in Recent Historical Research          

Mark Seymour

New Views on Left Feminist Activism Before the 1960s          

Kate Weigand

September 26, 2015 in Legal History, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

6 Reasons for Gender Differences at the Top of the Legal Profession

ATL, 6 Reasons for Gender Differences at the Top of the Legal Profession

 

  1. Research has found that people view women as less competent than men and lacking in leadership potential, and partly because of these perceptions, women encounter greater challenges to or skepticism of their ideas and abilities at work.
  2. Research has found that men are more likely than women to engage in dominant or aggressive behaviors, to initiate negotiations, and to self-select into competitive environments— behaviors likely to facilitate professional advancement.
  3. Women tend to believe they have less time in which to attain a greater number of goals, and they are likely to experience more conflict in deciding which goals to pursue and which to sacrifice or compromise.
  4. Compared to male participants, female participants expected the promotion to bring more negative outcomes, which led them to view the potential promotion as less desirable than men did and to be less likely than men to pursue it. However, men and women expected the same level of positive outcomes from the promotion.
  5. It is also possible that women are overestimating the negative consequences associated with power, that men are underestimating them, or both.
  6. Women believe, unlike men, that assuming high-level positions would require them to compromise other important life goals. This is an assumption that is worth studying further.

 

September 26, 2015 in Women lawyers | Permalink | Comments (0)

Re-entry Program for Women Lawyers Expands

Re-Entry Program for Women Lawyers Expands

The OnRamp Fellowship, which connects women lawyers who have taken a hiatus for at least two years with jobs at law firms and companies, is expanding.

 

The network of law firms that participate in its fellowship program expanded by six to include Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, Morrison & Foerster, Loeb & Loeb, Stoel Rives, Wiley Rein and Wilson Elser, OnRamp announced on Thursday.

 

Both Amazon’s legal department and the compliance division at financial services firm Barclays also joined.

 

“Everyone realizes we are in a war for talent, and we are fighting for the same talent,” said Caren Ulrich Stacy, founder and CEO of the Onramp Fellowship & Diversity Lab. “Some are looking for new and inventive ways to find people.”

 

OnRamp launched in January 2014 to provide women lawyers re-entering the profession with an opportunity to update their skills and contacts through a paid-for, one-year fellowship with a major law firm.

September 26, 2015 in Women lawyers | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 25, 2015

"Law Firms Are Learning: Work-Life Balance Isn't Just for Moms"

From the Atlantic:

For decades, work-life balance at law firms has been a women’s issue—something for working moms to sort out. But there are a growing number of new firms built on flexible schedules that are now attracting men, and slowly shifting the definition of a successful legal career. Though the partner office is still the prototypical legal-career status symbol, the prerequisites of long hours and 24-7 availability are inconsistent with the emphasis many men put on time away from the office.

And: 

“Young men today have different values, different aspirations than their fathers,” says Stewart Friedman, a Wharton Practice professor of management and director of the Wharton Work/Life Integration Project. “They want to be available both psychologically and physically for children.” At some of the most competitive white-collar workplaces, such as Netflix and Microsoft, these shifts have led to expanded parental-leave policies.

September 25, 2015 in Manliness, Masculinities, Work/life, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

"Chinese Leader to Address UN on Gender Equality, Vexing Some"

From the NYT: 

BEIJING — Chinese leader Xi Jinping will preside this weekend over a U.N. conference on gender equality, which some activists say is galling given China's recent detentions of women's rights activists and its history of stopping people from attending U.N. meetings to discuss such issues.

Scheduled to draw more than 80 national leaders at the United Nations' headquarters in New York on Sunday, the meeting co-hosted by China comes 20 years after Beijing held a groundbreaking U.N. conference on women's rights in which Hillary Clinton equated women's rights with human rights.

And: 

China has made some progress in women's rights since then, including the introduction of local-level regulations against domestic violence, but much remains to be done in bringing women into positions of power. Only two women are in the Communist Party's powerful 25-member Politburo.

September 25, 2015 in International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Rules of Maternity

Dara Purvis (Penn State), The Rules of Maternity, on SSRN.

Abstract:      

This article examines a diverse body of laws and regulations speaking to reproductive rights, healthcare, criminal punishment of drug use, termination of parental rights, and more in order to unearth the rules of maternity: guidance provided both obliquely and explicitly by the law’s coercive power telling women both how and who should mother. Rule 1 begins in pregnancy, with the message that “your body is your child’s vessel.” Every choice that a pregnant woman makes becomes a source of potential harm to her child, and thus of potential punishment through both civil and criminal law. Rule 2 explains one way women should attempt to avoid such liability, by following the maxim that “doctor knows best.” To question medical authority or have preferences other than following doctor’s orders is to needlessly risk the health of a pregnancy or a child, and is evidence of bad mothering. After the child’s birth, the mother remains responsible for the people who enter a child’s life, leading to rule 3, “the buck stops with you.” Rule 4 provides examples of the tightropes that mothers must walk: be nurturing, but not too nurturing. Breastfeed, but not for too long. Be protective, but not overprotective. “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.” Finally, the rules of maternity create an aspirational maternity, one that excludes women deemed undesirable as mothers, because of class, race, past actions, and so on. Rule 5 specifies that “only some women need apply” for motherhood; women who have already been judged as bad mothers should not be legally permitted to reproduce.

September 24, 2015 in Pregnancy, Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0)

Oprah and Beyonce as Copyright Defendants

Toni Lester (Babson), Oprah, Beyonce, and the "Girls Who Run the World": Are Black Female Culture Producers Gaining Ground in Intellectual Property Law? 15 Wake Forest J. IP Law 1 (2015)

Oprah Winfrey and Beyonce Knowles are two of the richest women in the world today. Does this mean that race, gender and class no longer limit the success of America’s black female cultural producers ("BFCPs") as they did in the past? This article will explore this question by looking at how these two women faired as defendants in recent copyright infringement cases, in contrast to the historical experiences of BFCPs. The discussion will be enriched by the examination of equally important contemporary BFCP, Alice Randall, whose parody of white author, Margaret Mitchell's "Gone with the Wind" in the novel, "The Wind Done Gone", invited acclaim by such iconic writers as Toni Morrison and Harper Lee, and a lawsuit for infringement from Mitchell's estate. Disputes like this enable us to check the pulse of the culture in order to identify who gets to own and exploit the tools of intellectual property creation, and in so doing, learn who drives the creation of popular culture itself.

September 24, 2015 in Pop Culture | Permalink | Comments (0)

CFP: Joint Scholars Workshop on Feminist Jurisprudence

Joint Scholars & Scholarship Workshop on Feminist Jurisprudence

January 6, 2016

Fordham Law School

Sponsored by the Legal Writing Institute (LWI), the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD), and the Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research Section of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS).

LWI, ALWD, and the AALS Legal Writing Section are excited to collaborate with Fordham Law School in celebration of feminist scholars and scholars of feminist jurisprudence by offering a half-day workshop.   The Scholars & Scholarship Workshop will take place at Fordham Law School on January 6, 2016, the day prior to the beginning of the 2016 AALS Annual Meeting in New York City. 

The Workshop is focused on scholarly writing and teaching in the field of feminist jurisprudence. Our goal is to encourage and support the work of scholars, including jurists and practitioners, as they challenge patriarchy and other hierarchical structures, critique existing jurisprudence from multicultural feminist perspectives, and share strategies and techniques for bringing a feminist perspective into the classroom.  It extends the conversation of the more than 50 scholars involved in the creation of the edited volume, Feminist Judgments: Rewritten Opinions of the United States Supreme Court (Kathryn  Stanchi, Linda Berger & Bridget Crawford eds., Cambridge University Press 2016).  We hope to more broadly support the work of feminist scholars in the academy, regardless of their subject area of study.

If you are interested in presenting a draft paper to receive feedback from an audience of informed scholars in a safe and supportive environment, please submit an abstract to the Scholars & Scholarship Workshop by October 5, 2015.  Abstracts should be no longer than 500 words in length and should be emailed to Professors Nantiya Ruan at nruan@law.du.edu and Shailini Jandial George at sjgeorge@suffolk.edu.  Those submitting abstracts will be informed of whether they were chosen to participate by October 31, 2015, and drafts will be sent to readers in mid-December.

If you are interested in attending the workshop, you can register at http://goo.gl/forms/GLpx1ylHkX .

 

 

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September 24, 2015 in Call for Papers | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

"One in four female undergraduates reports sexual misconduct, survey finds"

From the LA Times: 

More than 1 in 4 female undergraduate students say they have been victimized by nonconsensual sexual contact, according to a survey released Monday of 27 universities across the country.

But the survey for the Assn. of American Universities, one of the most comprehensive ever conducted on college sexual misconduct, found wide variation in the cases depending on campus, gender, age and type of offense.

And: 

In California, for instance, 29.7% of female undergraduates at USC and 12.7% at Caltech reported the most serious sexual misconduct — sexual penetration or touching involving force or incapacitation by alcohol or drugs.

September 23, 2015 in Violence Against Women | Permalink | Comments (0)

"Rush for gender equality with top judges 'could have appalling consequences for justice'"

A view from Britain from the Evening Standard (UK): 

One of the country’s most senior judges today warned that rushing to achieve equal representation for women at the top of the legal profession could inflict “appalling consequences” on the quality of British justice.   

Lord Sumption, a Supreme Court judge, said he believed that the judiciary was a “terrific public asset” which could be “destroyed very easily” if the selection of candidates was skewed in favour of women.

He added that to avoid inflicting damage, campaigners for equality would have to be “patient” and suggested that it would need up to 50 years before the number of women on the Bench matched the total of men.

September 23, 2015 in Women lawyers, Work/life, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

"The Legal Profession’s Gender Imbalance in a Chart"

From Bloomberg Law Business: 

The American Bar Foundation has released new data about gender balance in the profession, or more accurately, the lack thereof.

Clearly, more women are entering the law as shown in the chart below.

Gabe Friedman

Gabe Friedman/Source: National Lawyer Population Survey, American Bar Association.

But even though the number of women entering the law has been steadily increasing in recent years, the percentage of women equity partners at the top 200 law firms has been flat for close to a decade, as the chart below shows:

Gabe Friedman/Source: National Association of Women Lawyers, ABA's National Lawyer Population Survey

Gabe Friedman/Source: National Association of Women Lawyers, ABA’s National Lawyer Population Survey

September 23, 2015 in Women lawyers, Work/life, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

The Absence of Female Feeder Judges and Why it Matters

Alexandra Hess, The Collapse of the House that Ruth Built:The Impact of the Feeder System on Female Judges and the Federal Judiciary, 1970-2014, American J. Gender, Law & Social Policy (forthcoming).

I created a breakdown of all feeder judges by the number of clerks they sent to the Court in a given five-year period. This revealed that since 1970, a small number of judges have sent an increasingly large percentage of Supreme Court clerks. For example, in the last five years, eleven judges supplied over 70% of Supreme Court clerks and 90% of all Supreme Court clerks were fed by a total of twenty judges. I then looked at the gender of these “super-feeder” judges. Of the eleven judges that sent 70% of the clerks, none were women. Of the twenty that sent 90% of the clerks, two were women. This evidence provides an important part of the explanation for why women have been unable to reestablish themselves as consistent feeders to the Supreme Court – they are essentially being marginalized by the “superfeeders,” a small pool of judges that sends the vast majority of clerks to the Supreme Court.


Thus, through these data I will prove that two factors have contributed to this gender gap: first, the elevation of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the Supreme Court left a void in the female feeder pool; and second, the ever increasing importance of “super-feeders” has prevented female judges from filling that void. The data demonstrate that, at an increasing rate, the Justices value clerks from the same small set of overwhelmingly white, male judges. This is driven, in part, by ideological needs and the need to find a method of winnowing the vast applicant pool. But this underrepresentation of women as feeder judges is also part of a larger narrative of women’s absence or marginalization in other elite areas, such as law firm partnership.

September 22, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Gender Law Blog on Twitter

   

Follow us on Twitter GenderLawBlog@ProfTracyThomas

 

 

 

September 22, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Notable Mention to Gender & the Law Prof Blog

Jennifer Rose at "The Blog Spot" in Internet Researcher notes Gender & the Law Prof Blog among recommended legal blogs. [Westlaw]

Also noted is the Gender & Sexuality Law Blog by Katherine Franke (Columbia) and Suzanne Goldberg (Columbia).

September 22, 2015 in Technology | Permalink | Comments (0)

New Study on Campus Sexual Assault Confirms Prevalence of Problem

Wash Post, What a Massive Sexual Assault Survey Found at 27 Top US Universities (summarizing the results).

Slate, Association of American Universities Campus Sexual Assault Survey: Confirmation of What We Already Knew

The Association of American Universities’ much-anticipated report on sexual assault—a survey that compiled responses from more than 150,000 students at 27 universities—is out today, and it confirms that the situation on campus is as bad as you probably already thought it was. Some bullet points:

 

• One-third of female college seniors reported that they had been the victims of nonconsensual sexual contact at least once since enrolling in college.

 

These numbers are roughly consistent with findings of previous studies; if anything, they’re a little higher than the results of the seminal 2007 study that gave us the grim axiom “1-in-5.”—but the authors acknowledge that could be due to the low response rate of 19.3 percent, and the possibility that people who’d experienced misconduct were more likely to participate. As always, the authors had to deal with the challenge of conveying uniform definitions in an area where every experience is intensely individual; for this reason, they didn’t use loaded words such as rape and assault, instead trying to precisely describe situations. But this could’ve caused confusion as well as averted it.

 

The most interesting thing in the AAU study isn’t what’s on the page, but a question that hovers, frustratingly, between the lines. “The study found a wide range of variation across the 27 [institutions],” the authors write in the executive summary

September 22, 2015 in Education, Violence Against Women | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 21, 2015

"Gov. Brown expected to sign expanded fair pay legislation"

From the OC Register: 

SAN FRANCISCO – Female employees in California are poised to get new tools to challenge gender-based wage gaps and receive protection from discrimination and retaliation if they ask questions about how much other people earn.

A bill recently passed by the Legislature and that Gov. Jerry Brown has indicated he will sign won’t suddenly put all women’s salaries on par with men’s or prod employers to freely disclose what every employee makes, which could make it easier for workers to mount pay discrimination claims.

But the legislation expands what supporters call an outdated state equal pay law and goes further than federal law, placing the burden on the employer to prove a man’s higher pay is based on factors other than gender and allowing workers to sue if they are paid less than someone with a different job title who does “substantially similar” work.

September 21, 2015 in Work/life, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 18, 2015

"Gender Bias Suit Will Soon Shine a Harsh Light on Microsoft"

From Wired

MICROSOFT FACES A class action lawsuit from former employee and noted computer security researcher Katie Moussouris. The suit claims that during Moussouris’s seven years at Microsoft, she and other women were unfairly discriminated against on the basis of their gender, passed over for raises and promotions, and ranked below their male counterparts during bi-annual performance reviews.

Moussouris was instrumental in prompting Microsoft to launch its first bug bounty program in 2013, something the company resisted for years. The program pays researchers who find security vulnerabilities in its software. After resigning from Microsoft in May, Moussouris took a job as chief policy officer at HackerOne, which helps companies manage bug bounty programs and communicate with security researchers.

September 18, 2015 in Technology, Work/life, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)