Gender and the Law Prof Blog

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

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Looking Back on 2015 and Advances for Pregnant Worker Fairness

Looking Back: NWLC, 2015 in Review:A Year of Major Milestones in the Fight for Pregnant Worker Fairness

In 2015, something that rarely happens happened. The Supreme Court, the United States Congress, and state legislatures all started to get on the same page. Fairness for pregnant workers was what brought them all together. Despite the many diverse views these institutions represent, they agreed that ensuring pregnant workers’ health and economic security is paramount. Here are 2015’s top highlights in the fight for fairness for pregnant workers.

 

December 31, 2015 in Family, Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0)

Women's Rights Successes of 2015

Women's Rights Successes of 2015

1. The Supreme Court ruled that employers can’t discriminate against pregnant workers.

This March, the Court put pregnancy under the same protected class that includes people with disabilities or injuries. Although the lawsuit that sparked the ruling can now be re-litigated, the decision pushes employers to accommodate pregnant workers or risk a lawsuit. Now that’s something people on both sides of the abortion debate can agree on.

 

2. Women can now serve in all branches of the military.

Two women became the first women ever to graduate from the prestigious Army Ranger School this year. Earlier this month U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced that women are now allowed to participate in the 220,000 roles they were previously banned from, like special operations and infantry. While backlash has been disheartening—a study shows that at least 70 percent of special ops member are against the integration—it’s nice to see the military move forward in letting women get ahead on their own merits.

 

3. California became the first state to put out guidelines for handling sexual assault on campus.

As the spotlight continues on campus sexual assault, California issued the first guidelines in the country detailing how colleges can handle the violence better. May’s landmark rules include focusing on victims needs and coordinating with groups off-campus, priorities that have often been overlooked in the past.

 

4. A woman finally took the helm at Sandia National Laboratories.

This summer, Jill M. Hruby became the first-ever female president of the New Mexico lab, which is the largest national security lab in the U.S. The numbers of women in science, math, engineering and technology fields are still paltry, but small advances like Hruby’s prove we’re moving forward.

 

5. The White House reinstated birth control access for working women with health insurance.

After the Supreme Court ruled that employers like Hobby Lobby don’t have to cover contraceptives in their insurance programs, the White House guaranteed workers who worked for for-profit companies access to birth control. Experts estimate that the Affordable Care Act’s coverage has saved women more than $1.4 billion in costs.

 

6. Oregon made getting birth control easier for women by letting pharmacies dispense contraceptives in a full-year supply.

Usually, women can get birth control only in 30 or 90 day packs, Care2 notes. Gov. Kate Brown signed a measure this summer that removes that challenge, saying that it was a “simple premise that I whole-heartedly believe in.”

 

7. The U.S. Treasury decided to put a woman on the $10 bill.

For the first time in more than a century, a woman is going to be the face on U.S. paper currency. The honoree is still yet to be determined, as the public swamped the Treasury with suggestions, but as Care2 notes, she’ll probably share the honor with Alexander Hamilton.

 

8. Nepal joined the countries that elected a woman for president.

Right now, 29 of the world’s 195 countries have a leader who’s a woman. In the U.S., numbers of women are higher than ever before in Congress—we can only move up from the current 20 percent, right? Also two women total are major candidates for president. Don’t be upset by the slow progress; social change moves like molasses.

 

9. The UK introduced a new rule to call attention to the gender pay gap.

The country now requires companies to publish what they pay men and women, including bonuses. The pay gap persists across the world, including in the U.S. where women get paid 77 cents to every man’s dollar. This gap increases even further with age and racial disparities, so hat tip to the U.K. for not sweeping it under the rug.

 

10. The first openly transgender woman of color ever takes her post at a job in the White House.

During the year the country marveled at the coming-out of Caitlyn Jenner and saw advances for transgender populations, which are far-too-often marginalized. With transgender women of color suffering the most, President Obama’s appointment of Raffi Freedman-Gurspan in the Presidential Personnel Office a few months ago is monumental

 

December 31, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Rewriting the Law of Sexual Assault and Advance Consent

Sexual Assault and Advance Consent: A Feminist Judgment in R v. J.A.

This is the audio recording of a seminar given at the Kent Centre for Law, Gender and Sexuality, University of Kent, on 12 November 2015. The paper discusses a draft feminist judgment in R v JA [2011] SCC 28 (Supreme Court of Canada), a spousal sexual assault case involving the issue of whether parties can consent in advance to sexual activity that will occur while they are asleep or unconscious. The JA ruling has generated critique and debate amongst feminists and law and sexuality scholars that pits women's security interests against their sexual autonomy. The judgment endeavours to analyse whether it is possible to adopt an approach to advance consent that advances both of these interests, or whether they are ultimately irreconcilable.  In doing so, it explores the proposal of Justice Fish, writing in dissent at the Supreme Court of Canada, that an appropriate balance might be that taken under s 75(2)(d) of the UK's Sexual Offences Act 2003, which creates a presumption against advance consent but not an absolute bar to arguing it. The author is a member of the Women's Court of Canada project, the first feminist judgment re-writing project internationally, and she also speaks to the potential value as well as challenges of feminist judgment writing.

December 30, 2015 | Permalink | Comments (0)

World Bank Report on Gender Equality Calls for Legal Change

The Atlantic, Gender Equity Requires Changes in Law, Not Just Culture

Women’s labor-force participation doesn’t alone signify economic freedom, but it is one of the mechanisms by which women can build wealth and gain financial independence. A new report from the World Bank takes a look at the legal status of women around the world and finds that while there has been progress in many countries when it comes to making financial freedom more accessible, laws still exist that can make women especially economically vulnerable.

 

Legal barriers that restrict women’s opportunities to work are the most obvious culprits of gender inequality across the globe. In Russia, for instance, researchers found that women are legally barred from working 456 different (and pretty specific) jobs including woodworking and driving trucks that carry agricultural goods. Similar laws are also prevalent in the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, and North Africa. And while wealthier, more developed nations are less likely to have explicit legal prohibitions on women working, they do exist. Eight of 32 OECD high-income countries, including Israel, France, the Republic of Korea, and Japan, have laws that bar women from certain jobs. French law prohibits women moving loads that weigh more than 45 kilograms via a wheelbarrow. And in Argentina, women are barred from loading and unloading ships, the paper finds.

December 30, 2015 in Equal Employment, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

"Teacher, Scholar, Mother": Motherhood in the Academy

Teacher, Scholar, Mother: Re-Envisioning Motherhood in the Academy

Table of Contents:

Section One: Approaches to Motherhood, Feminism and Gendered Work

Chapter 1:
The Role of Theory in Understanding the Lived Experiences of Mothering in the Academy
Andrea N. Hunt

Chapter 2:
Crying over “Split Milk”: How Divisive Language on Infant Feeding Leads to Stress, Confusion and Anxiety for Mothers
Tracy Rundstrom Williams

Chapter 3:
Mama’s Boy: Feminist Mothering, Masculinity, and White Privilege
Catherine A.F. MacGillivray

Chapter 4:
Encountering Others: Reading, Writing, Teaching, Parenting
Erin Tremblay Ponnou-Delaffon

Chapter 5:
A Qualitative Study of Academic Mothers’ Sabbatical Experiences: Considering Disciplinary Differences
Susan V. Iverson
Christin Seher

Chapter 6:
Motherhood: Reflection, Design, and Self-Authorship
Brook Sattler
Jennifer Turns
Cynthia J. Atman

Chapter 7:
Confessions of a Buzzkill: Critical Feminist Parenting in the Age of Omnipresent Media
Dustin Harp

Section Two: Identity and Performance in Academic Motherhood

Chapter 8:
More Mother than Others: Disorientations, Motherscholars, and Objects in Becoming
Sara M. Childers

Chapter 9:
Doing Research and Teaching on Masculinities and Violence: One Mother of Sons’ Perspective
M. Cristine Alcalde, Associate Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies

Chapter 10:
Cultural Border Crossings between Science, Science Pedagogy & Parenting
Allison Antink-Meyer

Chapter 11:
“You Must be Superwoman!”: How Graduate Student Mothers Negotiate Conflicting Roles
Erin Graybill Ellis
Jessica Smartt Gullion

Chapter 12:
“There’s a Monster Growing in our Heads”: Mad Men’s Betty Draper, Fan Reaction, and Twenty-First Century Anxiety about Motherhood
Caroline Smith
Celeste Hanna

Section Three: Bringing it to Light: Giving Voice to Motherhood’s Challenges

Chapter 13:
Silence and the Stillbirth Narrative: Stories Worth Telling
Elisabeth G. Kraus

Chapter 14:
S/m/othering
Marissa McClure

Chapter 15:
A Tapestry of Sweet Mother(hood): African Scholar, Mother, and Performer?
Ama Oforiwaa Aduonum

Chapter 16:
Dropped Stitches: Classrooms, Caregiving, and Cancer
Martha Kalnin Diede

Chapter 17:
The Other Female Complaint: Online Narratives of Assisted Reproductive Therapy as Sentimental Literature
Layne Craig

Chapter 18:
Mama’s Boy: Feminist Mothering, Masculinity, and White Privilege
Catherine A.F. MacGillivray

December 29, 2015 in Books, Education, Work/life | Permalink | Comments (0)

Why Feminism Matters to the Study of Law

Why Feminism Matters to the Study of Law

Queen's University's Faculty of Law is home to Feminist Legal Studies Queen's (FLSQ), a research group that expands awareness and development of scholarship in feminist legal studies, enables the development of feminist legal scholars at Queen's, and fosters connections among feminists with an interest in law. In the fall of 2014, I had the privilege of returning to Queen's Law to give the first seminar in FLSQ's 2014–15 lecture series. I was tasked with providing some reflections on why feminist legal theory matters. Some of the people attending the talk were also enrolled in the Queen's Feminist Legal Studies Workshop. The readings assigned for those students were (1) Toni Pickard's (retired Queen's law faculty member) wonderful introduction to law students at Queen's from 1987, (2) Patricia Monture's (a graduate of Queen's) 2004 piece, “Women's Words,” and (3) Ruthann Robson's (lesbian legal theorist and class critic) piece “To Market, To Market.”What follows is the text from that talk.

December 29, 2015 in Law schools, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 18, 2015

AALS Lineup of Programs on Women in the Law

From the AALS Section on Women in Legal Education:

 

Women and the Law Annual Meeting Schedule

Wednesday, January 6th, 5:30-6:30 pm 

Section on Women in Legal Education Business Meeting

Drinks and hor d’oeuvres will be provided courtesy of St. Thomas University School of Law (Miami) and University of Toledo College of Law 

Thursday, January 7th, 1:30-3:15 pm

"Female Perspectives on Commercial and Consumer Law"

Co-sponsored panel with the Section on Commercial and Related Consumer Law

Friday, January 8th, 10:30 am-12:15 pm

"The Dodd-Frank Act’s Fifth Anniversary: Diversity and Inclusion in the Leadership of the Financial Services Sector"

Co-sponsored panel with the Sections on Minority Groups and Employment Discrimination

Friday, January 8th, 1:30-3:15 pm

 “Sex and Death: Gender and Sexuality Matters in Trusts and Estates”

Trusts and Estates and Women in Legal Education Joint Program 

Saturday, January 9th, 10:30 am-12:15 pm

"The Regulation of Appearance in the Workplace and the Meaning of Discrimination" 

Co-sponsored panel with the Sections on Minority Groups, Employment Discrimination, and Islamic Law

Saturday, January 9th, 12:15-1:30 pm

Section on Women in Legal Education Luncheon

Professor Marina Angel will be honored as the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient 

December 18, 2015 in Conferences, Law schools | Permalink | Comments (0)

Law Student Studies Gender Inequity in His Research

Law Student Studies Gender Inequity in His Research

UW Law student Harlan Mechling couldn’t go to his little sister’s graduation from Willamette University, but his father did call to tell him she was graduating as a member of Phi Beta Kappa, a nation-wide honor society, with 42 other women and 16 men. Those numbers stood out to Mechling, instigating his research on gender inequity.

 

 “The more I thought about it, the more I realized that’s not surprising because it’s consistent with my experience,” Mechling said. “Throughout my life, girls have always been at the top of the class.”
 

Mechling’s research revealed that women account for more than 60 percent of students graduating with honors, 9 percent higher than their percent of the student population. Despite these feats, most women will likely be getting paid only 78 percent of what their male colleagues will earn.

 

Kellye Testy, dean of the UW School of Law, believes her students face persistent gender discrimination once they’re out in the work world.

 

“One of the areas I’ve always been interested in is legal education,” Testy said. “We’ve been admitting women in law school a roughly equal number as men for a few decades now. 

 

But if you look at the world and the number of CEOs, governors, law school deans, etc., the percentage of women is much lower than it should be.”

 

She clarified that it is not just the UW law school that is graduating equal numbers of men and women.

 

Mechling’s research used statistics from Phi Beta Kappa. He gathered stats from emails sent out to those who qualified and the number of people in the society, from 27 private and public universities. Mechling wanted to measure academics because it was one of the only measurements that was consistent across universities in different states.

 

He began his research thinking maybe the high percentage of women in honors was just a Northwest thing, but was surprised to find consistency among schools.

 

The research paper Mechling created, titled “Follow California’s lead — help women recover damages for workplace sex/gender discrimination,” also states that even with the same amount of work experience, women teachers are paid 11 percent less than male teachers within a year of graduating college. In business and management jobs, women make 86 percent of what men are paid. In sales it is even less, with women earning 77 percent of what men get paid, according to Mechling. 

 

Testy believes it is because of implicit bias. She said gender equity is certainly moving in the right direction, but there’s a long history in the United States of gender discrimination.

 

Mechling said one way to address these issues is for states to have better non-discrimination laws.

 

“The best solution is a federal law amending the Equal Pay Act of 1973,” Mechling said. “There have been attempts to do that, but House Republicans keep shooting it down. I think the state is the only way it’s going to work because Congress has shown repeatedly that it’s not going to happen on the federal level.”

 

States tend to interpret the Equal Pay Act very broadly, according to Mechling. Usually there are four defenses for unequal pay and gender inequity, one of which allows employers to justify pay disparity as long as it’s any factor other than sex.

 

Cited in his research, the American Bar Foundation found only 6 percent of employment discrimination filings between 1987 and 2003 went to trial. Only one-third of those cases were successful. Even for employment discrimination cases, 40 percent are dismissed or lost at summary judgment.

 

Martina Kartman, a UW law student who was an intake investigator at the Seattle Office for Civil Rights, did the initial interviews at the office to determine if a discrimination case would be taken or not. 

 

“I think one of the things that was most difficult about discrimination laws and enforcing them is that they are from the ‘60s,” Kartman said. “Our laws haven’t always kept up with change.”

 

December 18, 2015 in Equal Employment, Law schools, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

DOJ Issues New Report on Gender Bias in Law Enforcement in Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence

DOJ, Identifying and Preventing Gender Bias in Law Enforcement Response to Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence

One critical part of improving LEAs’ response to allegations of sexual assault and domestic violence is identifying and preventing gender bias in policing practices. Gender bias in policing practices is a form of discrimination that may result in LEAs providing less protection to certain victims on the basis of gender, failing to respond to crimes that disproportionately harm people of a particular gender or offering reduced or less robust services due to a reliance on gender stereotypes. Gender bias, whether explicit or implicit, conscious or unconscious, may include police officers misclassifying or underreporting sexual assault or domestic violence cases, or inappropriately concluding that sexual assault cases are unfounded; failing to test sexual assault kits; interrogating rather than interviewing victims and witnesses; treating domestic violence as a family matter rather than a crime; failing to enforce protection orders; or failing to treat same-sex domestic violence as a crime. In the sexual assault and domestic violence context, if gender bias influences the initial response to or investigation of the alleged crime, it may compromise law enforcement’s ability to ascertain the facts, determine whether the incident is a crime, and develop a case that supports effective prosecution and holds the perpetrator accountable.

 

Wash Post, Gender and Racial Stereotypes Derail Rape Investigations, Attorney General Says

Four days after an Oklahoma police officer was found guilty of serial rape, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the Department of Justice’s new guidelines for authorities handling sexual assault cases in their communities and within their departments.

 

The report, released Tuesday, calls for law enforcement agencies to fight gender bias in their responses to sexual assault and domestic violence with clear policies and updated training.

 

Lynch said officers across the country too often make snap judgments about women who report rape: She’s drunk. She’s an unreliable narrator. She’s just embarrassed by her actions.

Women's Law Project, WLP on the DOJ's First-Ever Guidance on Gender Bias in Law Enforcement

December 16, 2015 in Gender, Violence Against Women | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The OnRamp Fellowship Supporting Women's Reentry into Practice

The OnRamp Fellowship--A Pipeline Back Into Practice

According to a 2010 study by the Center for Work-Life Policy, nearly 75 percent of women attempting to return to the workforce after voluntarily leaving have difficulty finding a job. What’s a talented, driven, hard-working woman to do? Enter the OnRamp Fellowship program, an “experiential re-entry platform” designed to help women lawyers return to the workforce. The program, which began in 2014, is the brainchild of Caren Ulrich Stacy, who spent 20 years inside law firms recruiting talent. She says during those years, she saw hundreds of resumes from qualified women who were attempting to re-enter the profession after leaving, usually to raise families. Some of those gaps were a few years; some were a decade or more. And the gaps made those women seem risky to firms. 

 

While Caren understood the hesitancy of firms to take on lawyers who had been out of the workforce, she felt they were missing out on women who could become top performers and leaders. So she designed the OnRamp Fellowship to given women a pipeline back into the profession. Fellowship applicants are thoroughly vetted by Caren, whose experience and insight helps her select women who will be a good “fit” for each position. Those women are then given the opportunity to interview with some of the top firms in the country for practice groups with open positions or groups expected to experience future growth. Fellows are hired by participating firms for six-month or one-year terms and are paid through those firms. There is no guarantee of employment at the end of their fellowship year, though the hope is that the fellows will obtain full-time employment, either through their fellowship firm or elsewhere. And that’s been the case for most fellows.

December 15, 2015 in Women lawyers, Work/life | Permalink | Comments (0)

SC Legislator Proposes Informed Consent Law for Viagra

Really.  2015-16 Bill 4544: Erectile Dysfunction-South Carolina Legislature.

Applying limitations on women's reproductive rights equally to men. 

H/t Ann Bartow.

December 15, 2015 in Abortion, Legislation | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, December 14, 2015

9th Circuit Hears Challenge to Men-Only Draft

Wash Post, Federal Appeals Court Weighs: Is It Discrimination for Only Men to Register for the Draft?

PASADENA, Calif. — Just days after the Defense Department decided to open all combat jobs to women, a federal appeals court on Tuesday weighed a legal challenge that contends the male-only draft registration is discriminatory.

 

A three-member panel with U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit heard arguments in a 2013 lawsuit filed by the National Coalition For Men and James Lesmeister but later dismissed by a district court judge. That judge, with the U.S. Central District of California, sided with the government, ruling the issue was “unripe” because the military was in the midst of revising its policies barring women from ground combat roles and it would require congressional action.

 

For the legal history of the draft and other military exclusions, see Jill Hasday, Fighting Women: The Military, Sex, and Extrajudicial Constitutional Change, 93 Minnesota L.Rev. 1 (2008).

December 14, 2015 in Constitutional | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 11, 2015

Group Challenges AZ Susan B. Anthony-Frederick Douglass Selective Abortion Ban as Discrimination for Perpetuating Stereotypes

Asian American Group to Challenge Arizona's Sex Selection Abortion Ban

This Wednesday, the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) will  challenge Arizona’s ban on so-called race-selective and sex-selective abortions.

 

NAPAWF along with the Maricopa County Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (MC-NAACP) argue the law “targets and stigmatizes Black and Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) women and is based entirely on racially motivated stereotypes and generalizations about Black and AAPI women’s reasons for deciding to terminate a pregnancy.”

 

Lawmakers in support of the ban cite high numbers of sex-selective abortions in Asian countries as a primary reason why the ban should be enacted.

 

The case will be heard in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. In 2011, the Arizona legislature passed the “Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act of 2011.”

 

An earlier court ruling upheld the law on the grounds the NAACP and NAPAWF had no legal grounds to challenge it. The court said, in effect, that if there is no individual claiming that they were personally denied the ability to obtain an abortion, then there is no harm in this case to bring suit. Both groups are challenging that ruling in the Ninth Circuit Court this Wednesday.

 

” The Arizona law unconstitutionally and unequivocally discriminates against people of color, including Asian Americans,” Miriam Yeung, Executive Director of NAPAWF said to AsAmNews. “Specifically, lawmakers in support of the ban cite high numbers of sex-selective abortions in Asian countries as a primary reason why the ban should be enacted. The Arizona ban was passed based upon racist stereotypes about Asian Americans that have no basis in fact.”

 

I have written a bit about the Anthony-Douglass Act and the misappropriation of Susan B. Anthony's name for anti-abortion advocacy.  See Tracy Thomas Misappropriating Women's History in the Law and Politicis of Abortion, 36 Seattle L. Rev. 1, 8 (2012).

December 11, 2015 in Abortion, Legal History, Race | Permalink | Comments (0)

Japanese Women Sue Claiming Law Requiring Surname Change to Husband's is Unconstitutional

Japanese Women in Court Fighting to Keep Their Surnames After Marriage

Five women are suing the government of Japan over a law requiring spouses to adopt the same surname.

 

“By losing your surname ... you’re being made light of, you’re not respected ... It’s as if part of your self vanishes,” said Kaori Oguni, a translator and one of the five women involved in the lawsuit.

 

A decision by the supreme court, due on 16 December, coincides with prime minister Shinzo Abe’s push to draw more women into a shrinking workforce. Despite that, many in his conservative ruling party are opposed to any legal change.

 

An 1896 law says spouses must adopt the same surname to legally register their marriage. The law does not specify which one, but in practice, 96% of women take their husband’s name, a reflection of Japan’s male-dominated society.

 

Conservatives say allowing couples to choose whether they share the same surname or not could damage family ties and threaten society.

 

“Names are the best way to bind families,” Masaomi Takanori, a constitutional scholar, told NHK public television.

 

“Allowing different surnames risks destroying social stability, the maintenance of public order and the basis for social welfare.”

H/T Joanna Grossman

December 11, 2015 in Constitutional, Family, International | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, December 10, 2015

A Study of The Promise--and Danger--of Victim Impact Statements for Sexual Assault Victims

Karen-Lee Miller, PhD Thesis, "You Can't Stop the Bell from Ringing": Protean, Unpredictable, and Persisting: The Victim Impact Statement in the Context of Sexually Assaulted Women

Abstract:     

The victim impact statement (VIS) is a victim’s voluntarily written account of a range of harms experienced as a consequence of a crime. Rarely is the VIS investigated specific to sexual assault or from a theoretical perspective. This qualitative study was designed to address these gaps. Interviews were conducted with 44 participants who sought or provided VIS-related services in Canada. Findings were analyzed using insights from actor-network theory.

Findings of the overall study are presented through three distinct but interrelated papers. “Obliging Detours” (Miller, submitted) describes the development of the VIS in Canada, and its multiple, innovative, and unauthorized pathways of use. These pathways created novel opportunities, demands, and risks for sexual assault victims, particularly those who were mothers, female offenders, or had been excluded at trial. “Relational Caring” (Miller, 2014) identifies an ethic of care that underpinned use of the VIS by sexually assaulted women. Victims prioritized the well-being of others by constructing VIS narratives that privileged the harms experienced by others, protected future victims, and promoted the interests of intimate partner offenders. Victims who were mothers, especially those abused as minors, and those who were intimate partners of their offenders were particularly implicated. “Purposing and Repurposing Harms” (Miller, 2013) demonstrates how harm descriptions were manipulated by victims and others in keeping with, and contrary to, legislators’ design of the VIS. VIS repurposing occurred through victims’ practices of strategic disclosure, which was intended to effect changes in others’ behaviours, and harm peddling, which was the circulation of the VIS in nonsentencing arenas by victims and nonvictims to obtain compensation, child custody, and parole delay.

Taken together, the findings revealed that the VIS has a protean nature that is produced by structural and relational factors, and lends itself to multiple uses in multiple contexts. VIS-related outcomes and the effects on victims and others could neither be wholly predicted nor prevented, and involved interactions beyond the criminal court setting. The protean, unpredictable, and persisting positive and negative effects of the VIS hold promise — and danger — for sexual assault victims.

 

December 10, 2015 in Scholarship, Violence Against Women | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Ms. Foundation on "Let's Talk About Intersectional Feminism"

National Women's Law Center, Let's Talk About Intersectional Feminism

Recently, the Ms. Foundation launched the #MyFeminismIs campaign “to paint a broad, inclusive and intersectional picture of Feminism as we continue to challenge and change the conversation around equal rights.” The campaign aims to start a dialogue about feminism as a movement for the equality of all genders and what feminism looks like for each of us.

 

If you’re new to the term, intersectionality is a word coined by Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw, who defined it as “the view that women experience oppression in varying configurations and in varying degrees of intensity. Cultural patterns of oppression are not only interrelated, but are bound together and influenced by the intersectional systems of society. Examples of this include race, gender, class, ability, and ethnicity.”

 

In other words, the ways that people experience discrimination — based on sex, race, gender identity, ability, sexual orientation, size, religion, national origin, the list goes on — can’t be separated into categories because these systems of oppression are all connected. And because various forms of oppression are intertwined, an intersectional lens is fundamental to feminism as a movement for liberation and equality. We can’t work for gender equality without addressing other issues of inequality like police brutality against people of color, immigration reform, Islamophobia, or discrimination and violence against the LGBT community.

 

That’s why a campaign like #MyFeminismIs, which focuses on a broad, inclusive, and intersectional feminism, is so exciting. We come to our work, our activism, our feminist movement as our whole selves — so our work, our activism, and our movement should reflect that. What the #MyFeminismIs campaign is doing to continue the conversation about what inclusive, intersectional feminism like — in the media, in academia, in organizing and activism, and in the women’s advocacy world — will help shape and strengthen the future of feminism.

December 9, 2015 in Gender, Theory | Permalink | Comments (0)

New in Books: Notorious Justice Ginsburg

Emily Bazelon, NYT, Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Clark Kent had Superman. Ruth Bader Ginsburg has Notorious R.B.G. For 80 of her 82 years, the Supreme Court justice was known for being brilliant, reserved and a little dry. Then in 2013, the Internet gave her a super-hip-nerd alter ego. On a Tumblr created by a law student, Shana Knizhnik, fans posted ­photoshopped tributes to Ginsburg. In one frequently shared image, she wore a crown with the caption “Can’t Spell Truth Without Ruth.” She also appeared as a bobblehead doll, a tattoo on a bicep, a decal on a fingernail, and a baby wearing a huge pair of glasses.

 

Notorious R.B.G. refers to Notorious B.I.G., the young rapper who was killed in 1997. The unlikely comparison gave Ginsburg’s fans the perfect vehicle for turning her precise lawyerly voice into a cultural roar. ***

 

Knizhnik has teamed up with Irin Carmon, an intrepid MSNBC reporter, to turn the Tumblr, which is still up and running, into a book. Turning the pages, I felt as if I were on a tour of the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Museum with two conscientious and loving young curators. They show off Ginsburg, in old photos, at every age. They give us her workout, her favorite of her husband’s recipes (pork loin braised in milk, maybe the most un-kosher dish ever), and the intensely moving letter he wrote to her before he died.

 

Ginsburg and her family clearly embraced this project, a gain for the reader and for the justice. We get up-close details, like Ginsburg’s reaction to her granddaughter Clara’s nose ring: “She kept calling it ‘that thing on your face.’ ” And Ginsburg gets help reaching readers who aren’t lawyers. Carmon, who wrote the text (Knizhnik chose the images), deftly annotates sections from Ginsburg’s major opinions, adding color, humor and context with a red pen.

December 9, 2015 in Books, SCOTUS, Women lawyers | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The "Intellectual Bohemia" of the Internet for Feminism

Claire Bond Potter, Is the Internet the Final Bohemia?. Chronicle.

Yet flexible, voluntary networks in virtual space offer other political and intellectual possibilities, and we should imagine them before it is too late. Jacoby has said that even though he was wrong about a few things, he was right about most things. I’m glad he did. We may disagree about the importance of intellectual movements anchored principally by women, people of color, and queers, but we don’t disagree about how quickly these movements have been sucked into the academy — the barbarians at the gates becoming gatekeepers in turn. Internet bohemia, with its disdain for credentialing, and its networks that form, dissolve and form again according to new needs and desires, could, in fact, be different.

December 3, 2015 in Technology, Theory | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

New SSRN eJournal "Female Leadership Challenges" Blends Law, Finance & Economics

From the announcement:

We are pleased to announce a new MRN Leadership Research Network (MRN-LRN) Sponsored Subject Matter eJournal - Female Leadership Challenges eJournal, sponsored by Women in Leadership Research Network at UNSW Business School.

Sponsored by...
Women in Leadership Research Network
at UNSW Business School

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FEMALE LEADERSHIP CHALLENGES eJOURNAL
View Papers: http://ssrn.com/link/Female-Leadership-Challenges.html
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Editor: Renée B. Adams, Professor, University of New South Wales, Director, Financial Research Network (FIRN), Research Associate, European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI).

Sponsor: The Women in Leadership Research Network connects finance, economics and law faculty at UNSW with other academics and organizations interested in fresh thinking and creative solutions to female leadership challenges.

Description: This eJournal includes working and accepted paper abstracts and other scholarly works, such as book chapters and review articles, on the topic of the barriers to and the consequences of female leadership. We are interested in the role of culture, stereotypes and household production in women's career progression. We are interested in how barriers to female leadership and selection shape female leadership outcomes. We are interested in the role policy has to play in overcoming these barriers. We welcome fresh thinking on female leadership challenges from any discipline, particularly work that takes causal identification seriously.

Advisory Board
ROSALIND DIXON
Professor, University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law

GIGI FOSTER
Associate Professor, UNSW Business School, School of Economics

PAULINE A. GROSJEAN
Associate Professor, UNSW Business School, School of Economics



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December 2, 2015 in Business, Call for Papers | Permalink | Comments (0)

Divorce Equality and Failure to Understand the Economic Partnership of Marriage

Allison Tait (Richmond), Divorce Equality, 90 Wash. Law Review (2015)

Abstract:

Abstract:     

The battle for marriage equality has been spectacularly successful, producing great optimism about the transformation of marriage. The struggle to revolutionize the institution of marriage is, however, far from over. Next is the battle for divorce equality. With the initial wave of same-sex divorces starting to appear on court dockets, this Article addresses the distinctive property division problems that have begun to arise with same-sex divorce and that threaten, in the absence of rule reform, to both amplify and reinscribe problems with the conventional marital framework. Courts have failed to realize the cornerstone concept of equitable distribution—marriage as an economic partnership—in the context of different-sex marriage. Because same-sex divorce highlights this failing, this Article uses same-sex divorce as a lens through which to reexamine the untapped potential of equitable distribution statutes.

Two questions drive the analysis. One question is how to decide which assets count as marital property and how to value one spouse’s contributions to the other spouse’s career success. I propose that courts characterize enhanced earning capacity as marital property and count indirect spousal contributions toward the growth in value of business assets. Without these changes, courts fail to capture the nature of marital partnership and properly compensate contributions made by non-earning spouses. Another question, made salient by same-sex “hybrid” cases in which the spouses have been long-term cohabiting partners but short-term marital partners, is how to determine when an economic partnership begins. I propose that courts use the category of “pre-marital” property in order to count assets and income acquired outside of the marriage itself.

Addressing these questions is critical to the reformation of marriage because property rules impact how spouses bargain with one another, how diverse roles get valued in marital bargains, and how we assign and perform gender within marriage. Moreover, proper compensation for spousal contributions rewards individuals for making choices that benefit the couple rather than the individual, which is normatively positive behavior. These proposals for rule reform provide guidance for courts, both those encountering an increasing number of same-sex divorces as well those deliberating over how best to assess spousal contributions in different-sex marriages. Furthermore, the proposals in this Article provide a blueprint for advocates who seek to continue the work of marriage equality in the hopes of further unwinding the power of gender within marriage.

 

December 2, 2015 in Family, Same-sex marriage | Permalink | Comments (0)