Gender and the Law Prof Blog

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

Friday, March 15, 2019

Sexual Harassment Policies Adopted for Federal Judiciary

Sexual Harassment Policies Adopted for Federal Judiciary

The federal judiciary will change its response to workplace sexual misconduct charges effective immediately, the policy-making body for the federal courts announced today.

 

It is itself “misconduct not to report misconduct,” Chief Judge Merrick Garland, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, said in a press briefing following the bi-annual Judicial Conference meeting.

 

The changes clarify what behavior is prohibited, address informal methods to report misconduct, and provide for training mechanisms to educate employees on prohibited behaviors, said Garland, who heads the Executive Committee of the Judicial Conference.

 

The changes stem from a June 2018 report Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. commissioned after sexual harassment allegations against then-Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski emerged. Kozinski has since retired.

 

Roberts’ year-end report detailed the steps the judiciary has already taken to address concerns in the #MeToo era, including the creation of a working group to address inappropriate workplace conduct for law clerks and court employees.

 

The working group made the recommendations implemented today and Garland said it will remain in place to “keeps tabs” on the judiciary’s progress and perhaps make suggestions in the future.

 

The codes of conduct don’t officially apply to Supreme Court justices, but they have previously said they consult and follow them.

 

Justice Elena Kagan said during a budget hearing March 7 that Roberts is currently studying whether to develop a code of conduct that applies specifically to Supreme Court justices. It’s something that’s being “very seriously” weighed, she said.

March 15, 2019 in Courts, Equal Employment, Judges, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Why Voters are Starting to Prefer Women as Judges

Male Judges "Close to Extinction": Why Women Rule Louisville Courtrooms

When voters elected the first judges to Louisville's new Jefferson District Court in 1978, only two were women.

 

Now, only two are men.

 

Women hold 32 of the 40 judgeships in Jefferson County — including 88 percent of the seats on District Court. And women have vanquished men in 15 of the last 17 head-to-head judicial races.***

 

Why do female candidates fare so well in judicial races? Some scholars say it's because voters often know little about those running and rely on stereotypes to make their choice.

 

Among them is the notion that women will be "more honest and have higher integrity" on the bench than men, said Brian Frederick, chair of the political science department at Bridgewater State University near Boston.

 

Male candidates pay a price because men historically have dominated politics and are seen as more like likely to use the system to enrich themselves, he said.

 

"Women are not seen as part of the system and are seen as less corrupted by it," Frederick said.

 

Laura Moyer, political science professor at the University of Louisville who has studied judicial elections, said gender is especially important in non-partisan judicial elections because voters cannot fall back on their party affiliation.

 

Gold puts it more simply: "I don’t think men vote for men, but women do vote for women."

 

Jefferson County wasn't the only place where women candidates for judge cleaned up at the polls in November, aided by the #MeToo Movement and a backlash against President Donald Trump:

Still, even though women account for half of all law school graduates, only about one-third of the 10,000 state court judges in the U.S. are female, according to the American Constitution Society.

District Judges, Jefferson County, KY

Women now how 15 of the 17 District Court judgeships in Jefferson County

 

March 15, 2019 in Courts, Gender, Judges | Permalink | Comments (0)

Using AI to Overcome Implicit Gender Bias in Employment Decision-Making in the Tech Industry

Kimberly Houser, Can AI Solve the Diversity Problem in the Tech Industry? Mitigating Noise and Bias in Employment Decision-Making, 22 Stanford Tech. L. Rev. (forthcoming)

After the first diversity report was issued in 2014 revealing the dearth of women in the tech industry, companies rushed to hire consultants to provide unconscious bias training to their employees. Unfortunately, recent diversity reports show no significant improvement, and, in fact, women lost ground during some of the years. According to a 2016 Human Capital Institute survey, nearly 80% of leaders were still using gut feeling and personal opinion to make decisions that affected talent-management practices. By incorporating AI into employment decisions, we can mitigate unconscious bias and variability in human decision-making. While some scholars have warned that using artificial intelligence (AI) in decision-making creates discriminatory results, they downplay the reason for such occurrences – humans. The main concerns noted relate to the risk of reproducing bias in an algorithmic outcome (“garbage in, garbage out”) and the inability to detect bias due to the lack of understanding of the reason for the algorithmic outcome (“black box” problem). In this paper, I argue that responsible AI will abate the problems caused by unconscious biases and noise in human decision-making, and in doing so increase the hiring, promotion, and retention of women in the tech industry. The new solutions to the garbage in, garbage out and black box concerns will be explored. The question is not whether AI should be incorporated into decisions impacting employment, but rather why in 2019 are we still relying on faulty human-decision making?

March 15, 2019 in Business, Equal Employment, Science, Technology, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, March 14, 2019

US Women's Soccer Team Sues for Gender Discrimination

US Women's Soccer Team Sues US Soccer for Gender Discrimination

Twenty-eight members of the world champion United States women’s soccer team significantly escalated their long-running fight with the country’s soccer federation over pay equity and working conditions, filing a gender discrimination lawsuit on Friday.

 

The suit, in United States District Court in Los Angeles, comes only three months before the team will begin defense of its Women’s World Cup title at this summer’s tournament in France. In their filing and a statement released by the team, the 28 players described “institutionalized gender discrimination” that they say has existed for years.

 

The discrimination, the athletes said, affects not only their paychecks but also where they play and how often, how they train, the medical treatment and coaching they receive, and even how they travel to matches.***

 

The bulk of the suit mirrors many of the issues raised in a wage discrimination complaint filed by five United States players with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2016. Frustrated by a lack of progress on that complaint after nearly three years of inaction, the players received permission from the federal agency in February to sue instead. (One of the players on the original complaint, the former goalkeeper Hope Solo, filed her own gender discrimination lawsuit against U.S. Soccer in August.)

 

The suit offers a new forum but also new hurdles. The players, represented by Jeffrey Kessler, who has been involved in labor fights in nearly every major American sport, will have to prove not only that their team and the men’s squad do the same work, but also overcome questions about the differences in their pay structures and their negotiated collective bargaining agreements. And the C.B.A. has already left them without one bit of leverage: The players cannot strike to press their case at least until it expires at the end of 2021.

 

But to experts in gender discrimination and Title IX cases, the argument they are making is familiar.

 

“These are the same kinds of arguments and claims that we still see at every level of education for women and girls, from K through 12 to college,” said Neena Chaudhry, the general counsel of the National Women’s Law Center in Washington. “It’s unfortunately a sad continuation of the way that women and girls in sports are treated in the U.S.”

March 14, 2019 in Education, Equal Employment, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Revisiting the Radical Feminist Theories of Andrea Dworkin

NYT, Andrea Dworkin, A Startling and Ruthless Feminist Whose Work is Back in the Spotlight

*** “Last Days at Hot Slit,” a new anthology of Dworkin’s work, shows that the caricature of her as a simplistic man-hater, a termagant in overalls, could only be sustained by not reading what she actually wrote

 

The editors, Johanna Fateman and Amy Scholder, present a chronological selection from Dworkin’s books, essays, novels and unpublished fragments, making it clear that her “restless output,” as Fateman puts it in her excellent introduction, amounted to much more than saying that all sex is rape. Dworkin herself never wrote that, though she did deem a common sex act tantamount to colonialism: “The woman in intercourse is a space inhabited, a literal territory occupied literally.” Her verdict on pornography was even more extreme, equating fantasies of domination and submission with a fascist wish-fulfillment — “Dachau brought into the bedroom and celebrated.”

 

Such categorical edicts were what Dworkin became known (and lampooned) for, though they also happened to be the least interesting aspect of her work. A new generation of feminists have reclaimed her, seeing in Dworkin’s incandescent rage a source of illumination, even as they bristle at some of her specific views. As Moira Donegan states it succinctly in a recent essay for Bookforum, Dworkin’s “inflexible opinions” on pornography and sex work have “fallen dramatically out of fashion;” Rebecca Traister, who cites Dworkin as an inspiration in her book “Good and Mad,” says the same. The Times columnist Michelle Goldberg suggests that Dworkin’s adamant refusal to seek approval from men expands the terms of a circumscribed discussion: “To treat her writing with curiosity and respect is itself a way of demonstrating indifference to male opinion.”

March 14, 2019 in Books, Theory | Permalink | Comments (0)

MeToo and the Passive Stance of Labor Unions

 Marion Crain & Ken Matheny, Sexual Harassment and Solidarity, 87 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 56 (2019)

In the waning months of 2017, Americans endured an almost daily barrage of news reports describing sexual harassment by powerful men in entertainment, media, politics, and law. The media focus continued in 2018 as reactions proliferated, ranging from walkouts at Google by workers protesting the company’s handling of sexual-misconduct allegations against its male executives, to new initiatives by government agencies and private firms designed to reduce the incidence of sexual harassment and to promptly remediate it when it occurs. Although sexual harassment had been headline news before—most notably, during the 1991 Anita Hill–Clarence Thomas debacle—never had so many victims joined hands and come forward demanding change. The media spotlight presented a tremendous opportunity to reframe sexual harassment from an individual, personal, and idiosyncratic instance of sexual desire to a common abuse of gender and economic power affecting millions of working women and men on a daily basis. Feminist legal scholars have known for years that expectations about appropriate gender roles create an environment where sexual harassment functions to protect male privilege. Nevertheless, the message that sexual harassment is a systemic feature of workplace gender inequality never reached the general public. Instead, the mainstream media’s systematic focus on sexual harassment as a twisted manifestation of male sexual desire grabbed headlines and implied that when the harasser is discharged, the story ends. But sexual harassment is about much more than men behaving badly. It is a structural problem linked to unequal pay and occupational segregation by sex.

 

One might think that labor unions would come forward as advocates for such a large segment of workers suffering economic disadvantage in the workplace. Yet despite the frequent use of the word “solidarity” in media reports about #MeToo, organized labor was conspicuously absent from the dialogue. Although union leaders made public statements denouncing sexual harassment and promised to redouble union efforts to eradicate it, most disclaimed legal responsibility for preventing and addressing sexual harassment in the workplace. Not all the blame for labor’s passive stance can be laid at labor’s doorstep, however. Unions are hamstrung by a legal structure that creates a fundamental role conflict where they represent a workforce that includes both potential harassers and victims, and National Labor Relations Act protection for worker concerted action for mutual aid has been cabined by courts and the National Labor Relations Board to the point that labor’s tradition of solidarity is barely recognizable.

March 14, 2019 in Equal Employment, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, March 11, 2019

Illinois Proposes Progressive Reproductive Rights Law

Illinois Democrats Propose Laws Expanding Abortion Access--Including Repeal of Parental Notification for Minors, Chic. Trib.

llinois HouseDemocrats have introduced two measures that would expand abortion access in the state, including a repeal of parental notification requirements in cases involving minors.

 

The proposed legislation filed Wednesday follows Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s pledge last month to make Illinois “the most progressive state in the nation when it comes to standing up for women’s reproductive rights.”

 

One bill, dubbed the Reproductive Health Act, would repeal the state’s so-called partial-birth abortion ban, which placed restrictions on the procedure later in pregnancy. In addition, the act would require private insurance plans in Illinois to cover abortions the same as contraception, fertility and maternity care, as well as allow advanced-practice nurses to perform abortions.

 

The bill also would abolish abortion legislation adopted in 1975, though most of those provisions already have been blocked by the courts, including criminal penalties for physicians who perform abortions.***

 

The second bill, which would repeal the state’s parental notice law, was sponsored by Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside. Parental notification requirements were passed in 1995 but blocked by the courts until about five years ago.

 

Illinois law currently mandates that minors notify a parent, grandparent, a stepparent who lives in the home or a legal guardian before having an abortion. A minor has the legal right to request a waiver of parental notice, a process called judicial bypass, which is granted if a judge deems the minor mature and well-informed, or finds that notification wouldn’t be in her best interest.

 

Abortion rights supporters say that places an unfair burden on minors with difficult family situations and could prove dangerous if a parent is abusive.

Legislation Would Greatly Expand Reproductive Rights in Illinois

A bill overhauling Illinois’ abortion law and replacing it with a more liberal version has wide Democratic support in the House.

 

The Reproductive Health Act, proposed by Rep. Kelly Cassidy, repeals the current law dictating abortion policies in the prairie state and replaces it with policies to “protect individual decision-making.”***

 

This would expand a law signed by former Gov. Bruce Rauner, which allowed tax dollars to be spent on abortion procedures through Illinois’ Medicaid and state employee health insurance programs.

 

Soon after passage, that legislation was challenged in court by attorneys with the Thomas More Society. It filed documents with the State Supreme Court in December 2018 asking the justices to take up the case.

 

Cassidy’s measure additionally specifies that “a fertilized egg, embryo or fetus does not have independent rights.” It mandates that the state cannot infringe upon the expanded rights this legislation grants women and creates an avenue for legal action.

March 11, 2019 in Abortion, Healthcare, Legal History | Permalink | Comments (0)

"Defensive Glass Ceilings" as Unlawful Structural Barriers to Women's Equal Employment Opportunities

Anthony Michael Kreis, Defensive Glass Ceilings, 88 GW L. Rev. (forthcoming)

The #MeToo Movement is a grassroots effort mobilized by victims of sexual assault and sexual harassment to end sexual violence and sex-based discrimination against women. Though in its infancy, the movement has been a catalyst for significant legal and cultural reform. It has also claimed the careers of prominent men credibly accused of various sex-based misconduct. Nervous men have reacted in poor form in response, electing to avoid women in the workplace and hedge against allegations of wrongdoing or the appearance of impropriety. The American workplace stands to be more sex-segregated if this trend takes hold as a consequence.

At the same time, women are punished on the job for being too friendly at work or discriminated against because they are perceived as too attractive, mistreatment stemming from men’s fears that they could fall victim to their ow inability to exercise self-control, that women are “overly-sensitive,” or that women might make baseless accusations against them. Too often courts have declined to recognize these invidious employment practices as unlawful sex discrimination because judges fail to see these behaviors as part of a systemic gender policing. Judges, instead, chalk it up to a few bad apples misbehaving. This Article posits that defensive work environments must be viewed as products of structural bias, not individual malevolence.

The goal of this Article is to use the hue and cry of this paradigm-shifting moment as an opportunity to reconsider the law’s prior understanding of sexual harassment and sex discrimination in the workplace. This Article argues that employment practices that create different rules of engagement for the primary benefit of men— erecting defensive glass ceilings— should be understood in the aggregate as a product of ambivalent sexism that creates a structural barrier to women’s employment opportunities in the workplace and are thus unlawful.

March 11, 2019 in Business, Equal Employment, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

New Book: Unequal Profession: Race and Gender in Legal Academia

Meera Dao, Unequal Profession: Race and Gender in Legal Academia (Stanford U. Press 2019)

This book is the first formal, empirical investigation into the law faculty experience using a distinctly intersectional lens, examining both the personal and professional lives of law faculty members. Comparing the professional and personal experiences of women of color professors with white women, white men, and men of color faculty from assistant professor through dean emeritus, Unequal Profession explores how the race and gender of individual legal academics affects not only their individual and collective experience, but also legal education as a whole. Drawing on quantitative and qualitative empirical data, Meera E. Deo reveals how race and gender intersect to create profound implications for women of color law faculty members, presenting unique challenges as well as opportunities to improve educational and professional outcomes in legal education. Deo shares the powerful stories of law faculty who find themselves confronting intersectional discrimination and implicit bias in the form of silencing, mansplaining, and the presumption of incompetence, to name a few. Through hiring, teaching, colleague interaction, and tenure and promotion, Deo brings the experiences of diverse faculty to life and proposes a number of mechanisms to increase diversity within legal academia and to improve the experience of all faculty members.

March 11, 2019 in Books, Equal Employment, Law schools, Race | Permalink | Comments (0)

New Book: Unequal Profession: Race and Gender in Legal Academia

Meera Dao, Unequal Profession: Race and Gender in Legal Academia (Stanford U. Press 2019)

This book is the first formal, empirical investigation into the law faculty experience using a distinctly intersectional lens, examining both the personal and professional lives of law faculty members. Comparing the professional and personal experiences of women of color professors with white women, white men, and men of color faculty from assistant professor through dean emeritus, Unequal Profession explores how the race and gender of individual legal academics affects not only their individual and collective experience, but also legal education as a whole. Drawing on quantitative and qualitative empirical data, Meera E. Deo reveals how race and gender intersect to create profound implications for women of color law faculty members, presenting unique challenges as well as opportunities to improve educational and professional outcomes in legal education. Deo shares the powerful stories of law faculty who find themselves confronting intersectional discrimination and implicit bias in the form of silencing, mansplaining, and the presumption of incompetence, to name a few. Through hiring, teaching, colleague interaction, and tenure and promotion, Deo brings the experiences of diverse faculty to life and proposes a number of mechanisms to increase diversity within legal academia and to improve the experience of all faculty members.

March 11, 2019 in Books, Equal Employment, Law schools, Race | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Judge Orders Trump Administration to Reinstate EEOC Pay Reporting Rule by Gender and Race

Wash Post, "Victory for Equal Pay": Judge Rules Trump Administration Must Require Companies to Report Pay by Gender, Race

A federal judge on Monday ordered the Trump administration to reinstate an Obama-era rule that required companies to report pay data by race and gender, a move advocates say will help shrink the wage gap.

 

Tanya S. Chutkan, a U.S. district judge for the District of Columbia, ruled that the Trump administration violated the law when it halted the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s efforts to collect pay data by race and gender from large companies. In defending its decision to freeze the rule, Chutkan wrote, the government failed to demonstrate that the requirements would “meaningfully increase the burden on employers.”

 

Chutkan ordered the government to move forward with collecting the data, a decision that women’s rights groups hailed as a crucial step toward fighting employer discrimination of women and minorities.***

 

The rule, which was finalized in September 2016, required firms with 100 or more employees to provide additional employee and salary information to the EEOC on an existing form, known as the EEO-1. Companies would have been required to submit their reports by March 31, 2018.***

 

The rule also created an incentive for an employer to “look under the hood” and evaluate their own pay practices, Yang said. The EEOC planned to then publish the aggregate data publicly, allowing employers, advocates and academics to benchmark pay inequities in the workforce, said Yang, who is now a strategic partner at Working Ideal and a fellow at the Urban Institute.

 

But the data collection requirement was met with intense criticism from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other industry groups that argued it put an unfair and expensive burden on employers. While the EEOC estimated the data collection would cost $25 million a year, or about $416 per company, the Chamber of Commerce claimed it would carry a total burden of $1.3 billion per year for all businesses with 100 or more employees, with “no accompanying benefit."

 

Then, in August 2017, Neomi Rao, then the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, sent a memorandum to Victoria Lipnic, the Acting Chairwoman of the EEOC, stating that the Office of Management of Budget had decided to freeze the EEOC’s new collection of pay data.

 

Rao, who is now President Trump’s nominee to replace Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, wrote in the memo that “aspects of the revised collection of information lack practical utility, are unnecessarily burdensome, and do not adequately address privacy and confidentiality issues.”

March 6, 2019 in Business, Equal Employment, Race | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Call for Papers: The 19th Amendment at 100: From the Vote to Gender Equality

Call for Papers

CONFERENCE: The 19th Amendment at 100: From the Vote to Gender Equality

The Center for Constitutional Law at Akron

Friday, September 20, 2019

 

WomanSuffrageClev

Woman Suffrage Headquarters, Cleveland, OH, 1912. 

Florence Allen (later Judge Allen) holds the flag.

 

The Center for Constitutional Law seeks proposals from those interested in presenting papers at its upcoming interdisciplinary conference, The 19th Amendment at 100: From the Vote to Gender Equality.  Committed presenters to date include:  Prof. Jamie Abrams (Louisville Law), Prof. Richard Chused (NY Law), Prof. Ann Gordon (Rutgers, History), Prof. Kimberly Hamlin (Miami U, History), Prof. Jill Hasday (Minnesota Law), Prof. Paula Monopoli (Maryland Law), Prof. Mae Quinn (Florida Law), Prof. Reva Siegel (Yale Law), and Prof. Tracy Thomas (Akron Law).  Additional presenters will be selected by this call for papers.

Center for Constitutional Law. The conference is scheduled for Friday, September 20, 2019, in conjunction with Constitution Day, and will be held at the University of Akron School of Law’s new state-of-the-art facility.  The Center is one of four national centers established by Congress on the bicentennial of the Constitution to support legal research and public education on constitutional law.  More information about the Center is available at http://www.uakron.edu/law/ccl and @conlawcenter.

Conference Focus.  The focus of the 2019 conference is the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.  Soon after the passage of the 19th Amendment in June 1919, and its ratification by the states in August 1920, the U.S. Supreme Court interpreted the voting amendment as a broad command for gender equality in Adkins v. Children’s Hospital.  However, that decision was quickly overturned, narrowing the impact and intent of the amendment and its 72-year advocacy.  This conference explores the original broader command of the amendment and its goal of systemic equality and opportunity for women.  

This conference will bring together scholars from a range of disciplines including law, history, political science, and women’s studies in order to engage in a day of intensive scholarly discussion about the implications of the amendment.  The cross-disciplinary focus stems from a sense that law is best understood in social and political context, and that gender justice is understood both within and outside the bounds of law.  Possible subject areas for discussion might include the history of the amendment, the history of women’s equality, a comparison with other constitutional rights or enactments, the evolution of feminist legal theory, women’s leadership and power, race and class interactions, connections between public and private rights, or unresolved questions of substantive gender equality.

Proposals.   Proposals including a title, short abstract, and CV should be submitted to Professor Tracy Thomas at thomast@uakron.edu by April 10, 2019.  Papers or remarks will be published in a joint symposium of the Akron Law Review and its online companion journal, ConLawNOW. The Center will not be able to pay travel costs for presenters, but hopes that home institutions will be able to provide the necessary financial support. (Alternatively, it may be possible to present by Skype).

March 5, 2019 in Call for Papers, Constitutional, Legal History | Permalink | Comments (0)

Women's Legal History: A Reading List

Re-upping this for Women's History Month:

I've  developed this list over the last decade with what I think are the seminal articles and books on particular topics, used in connection with my own research and for teaching a Women's Legal History seminar.  

This foundational work is critical to filling in the gendered gaps of the conventional history, and it is also just plain interesting.  It's interesting that Florence Kelley was responsible for the Brandeis brief and the use of social science in legal argument; that abortion in the first trimester was not illegal for a century until 1865; that some leading women’s rights advocates like Elizabeth Cady Stanton pushed for no-fault divorce in the 1860s and that feminists in the 1970s were largely absent from the no-fault divorce reform; that women lay lawyers invented legal aid lawyering and problem-solving courts; that female advocates and reformers challenged the marital rape exemption 100 years before need for change first “discovered” in the 1970s.  The list goes on and on.  

My scholarly goal is that one day these "women's" topics will be mainstreamed into traditional wisdom as embodied everywhere from constitutional law texts to high school history books.  But for now, at least, the history is being recovered and analyzed, and the transmission of that discovery has been started. 

 

Women’s Legal History: A Reading List

Tracy A. Thomas

General

Tracy Thomas & Tracey Jean Boisseau, Eds., Feminist Legal History (NYU Press 2011)

Linda Kerber, No Constitutional Right to Be Ladies: Women and the Obligations of Citizenship (1999)

Joan Hoff, Law, Gender & Injustice: A Legal History of US Women (1994)

Felice Batlan, Engendering Legal History, 30 Law & Soc. Inquiry 823 (2005)

Understanding Feminist Legal Theory

Martha Chammallas, Introduction to Feminist Legal Theory (2d ed. 2003)

Nancy Levit, Robert Verchick, & Martha Minow, Feminist Legal Theory: A Primer (2006)

Joan Williams, Unbending Gender: Why Family and Work Conflict and What to do About it (2000)

Nancy Cott, The Grounding of Modern Feminism (1987)

Louise Michele Newman, White Women’s Rights: The Racial Origins of Feminism in the United States 5 (1999)

Tracy Thomas, The Beecher Sisters as Nineteenth-Century Icons of the Sameness-Difference Debate, 11 Cardozo Women's L. J. 107 (2004)

EEOC v. Sears, 628 F. Supp. 1264 (N.D. Ill. 1986), 839 F.2d 302 (7th Cir. 1988)

Haskell & Levison, Historians and the Sears Case, 66 Tex. L. Rev. 1629 (1988)

Colonial Period

Mary Beth Norton, Founding Mothers and Fathers: Gendered Power and the Forming of America Society (1997) (Anne Hutchinson trial, jury of matrons)

Kristin Collins, “Petitions Without Number”: Widows’ Petitions and the Early Nineteenth-Century Origins of Marriage-Based Entitlements, 31 Law & History Rev. 1 (2012)

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

Jane Campbell Moriarty, Wonders of the Invisible World, 26 Vt. L. Rev. 43 (2001)

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

Coverture, Marital Status in the Family, Marital Property

William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Law of England, Of Husband and Wife (1769)

Norma Basch, In the Eyes of the Law: Women, Marriage, and Property in Nineteenth Century New York (1982)

Richard Chused, Married Women’s Property Law:1800-1850, 71 Georgetown L.J.1359 (1983)

Tracy A. Thomas, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Feminist Foundations of Family Law (2016)

Reva Siegel, Home as Work: The First Woman’s Rights Claims Concerning Wives’ Household Labor, 1850-1880, 103 Yale L J. 1073 (1994)

Ariela R. Dubler, Governing Through Contract: Common Law Marriage in the Nineteenth Century,” 107 Yale Law J.1885 (1998).

Jill Hasday, Contest and Consent: A Legal History of Marital Rape, 88 Cal. L. Rev. 1373 (2000)

Naomi Cahn, Faithless Wives and Lazy Husbands: Gender Norms in Nineteenth-Century Divorce Law, 2002 U. Ill. L. Rev. 651

Ken Burns, Not For Ourselves Alone:  The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Susan B. Anthony (video)

 Suffrage

Declaration of Sentiments, July 1848

History of Woman Suffrage, v.I (Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Matilda Joslyn Gage, eds)

Lisa Tetrault, The Myth of Seneca Falls: Memory and the Women's Suffrage Movement, 1848-1898 (2014)

Nancy Isenberg, Sex and Citizenship in Antebellum America (1998)

Ellen DuBois, Feminism & Suffrage: The Emergency of an Independent Women's Movement in America, 1848-1869 (1978)

Ellen DuBois, Outgrowing the Compact of our Fathers: Equal Rights, Woman Suffrage, and the US Constitution, 1820-1878, 74 J. Amer. History 836 (1987)

Doug Linder’s Famous Trials Website, The Trial of Susan B. Anthony (including trial documents)

Minor v. Happersett, 88 U.S. 162 (1974)

Rosalyn Terborg-Penn, African American Women in the Struggle for the Vote, 1850-1920 (1998)

Iron Jawed Angels (2004) (video)

Reva Siegel, She the People: The Nineteenth Amendment, Sex Equality, Federalism, and the Family, 115 Harv. L. Rev. 945 (2002)

Labor

Felice Batlan, Notes from the Margins: Florence Kelley and the Making of Sociological Jurisprudence, in Transformations in American Legal History: Law, Ideology, and Methods (Daniel Hamilton & Alfred Brophy 2010)

Nancy Woloch, Muller v. Oregon: A Brief History with Documents (1996)

Muller v. Oregon, 208 US 412 (1908)

Adkins v. Children's Hospital, 261 US 525 (1923)

The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire Article, 7 Green Bag 2d. 397 (2004)

 Reproductive Rights

Leigh Ann Wheeler, How Sex Became a Civil Liberty (2012)

Mary Ziegler, After Roe: The Lost History of the Abortion Debate (2015) 

Reva Siegel, Reasoning from the Body: A Historical Perspective on Abortion Regulation and Questions of Equal Protection, 44 Stan. L. Rev. 261 (1992)

James Mohr, Abortion in America: The Origins and Evolution of National Policy (1979)

Tracy A. Thomas, Misappropriating Women’s History in the Law and Politics of Abortion, 36 Seattle L. Rev.1 (2013)

Linda Gordon, The Moral Property of Women: A History of Birth Control Politics in America (2000)

Linda Greenhouse & Reva Siegel, Before Roe v. Wade (2010)

Equality

Sarah Grimke, Letters on the Equality of the Sexes and the Condition of Women in The Feminist Papers (Alice Rossi, ed. 1973).

Fred Strebeigh, Equal: Women Reshape American Law (2009)

Serena Mayeri, A New ERA or a New Era? Amendment Advocacy and the Reconstitution of Feminism, 103 Nw. U. L. Rev. 1223 (2009)

Serena Mayeri, Reasoning from Race: Feminism, Law, and the Civil Rights Revolution (2011)

TJ Boisseau & Tracy Thomas, After Suffrage Comes Equal Rights? ERA as the Next Logical Step, in 100 YEARS OF THE NINETEENTH AMENDMENT: AN APPRAISAL OF WOMEN’S POLITICAL ACTIVISM (Lee Ann Banaszak & Holly J. McCammon, eds.)

Deborah Brake, Revisiting Title IX's Feminist Legacy, 12 Am.U.J. Gender, L.& Soc. Pol.462 (2004)

Deborah Brake, Title IX as Pragmatic Feminism, 55 Clev. State L. Rev. 513 (2008)

Deborah Brake, Getting in the Game: Title IX and the Women's Sports Revolution (2010)

Jill Hasday, Fighting Women: The Military, Sex, and Extrajudicial Constitutional Change, 93 Minn. L. Rev. 96 (2008).

Pregnancy Discrimination

Cleveland Board of Ed. v. LaFleur, 414 U.S. 632 (1974)

Deborah Dinner, Recovering the LaFleur Doctrine, 22 Yale J.L. & Fem. 343 (2010)

Tracy Thomas, The Struggle for Gender Equality in the Northern District of Ohio, in Justice on the Shores of Lake Erie: A History of the Northern District of Ohio (Paul Finkelman & Roberta eds. 2012)

 Employment

Pauli Murray, Jane Crow and the Law: Sex Discrimination and Title VII, 43 G.W. Law Rev. 232 (1965)

Emma Coleman Jordan, Race, Gender and Social Class in the Thomas Sexual Harassment Hearings, 15 Harv. Women's L.J. 1 (1992)

Carrie Baker, The Woman’s Movement Against Sexual Harassment (2007)

Gillian Thomas, Because of Sex: One Law, Ten Cases, and Fifty Years That Changed American Women's Lives at Work (2016)

Joanna Grossman, Nine to Five:How Gender, Sex, and Sexuality Continue to Define the American Workplace (2016)

 Women in the Courts

Marina Angel, Teaching Susan Glaspell's A Jury of Her Peers and Trifles, 53 J. Legal Educ. 548 (2003)

Holly McCammon, The U.S. Women's Jury Movements and Strategic Adaptation: A More Just Verdict (2012)

Joanna Grossman, Women's Jury Service: Right of Citizenship or Privilege of Difference?, 46 Stan. L. Rev. 1115 (1994)

Felice Batlan, Women and Justice for the Poor: A History of Legal Aid, 1863-1945 (2015)

Felice Batlan, The Birth of Legal Aid: Gender Ideologies, Women, and the Bar in New York City, 1863-1910, 28 Law & History Rev. 931 (2010).

Viriginia Drachman, Sisters in Law: Women Lawyers in Modern American History (2001)

Bradwell v. State, 83 U.S. 130 (1872)

In re Lockwood, 154 U.S. 116 (1894)

Women’s Legal History Biography Project, at http://wlh.law.stanford.edu

 

March 5, 2019 in Books, Legal History, Scholarship | Permalink | Comments (0)

Why Isn't there a Men's History Month?

Note 2020: This is one of the blog's most engaged posts.  The point made in the articles selected below is that history -- mainstream history -- is men's.  The history taught in schools, written in bestselling books, featured in film, and used to direct future policy is by and about men.  It is focused on military action, on great men leaders, and on men's experiences.  Thus, 11 out of 12 months is already "Men's History Month."  One month for women is not equal to 11 months for men.  Which is why there is no need for a men's history month, and why it is important to integrate or mainstream "women's" history into regular history.

 

Short answer: Because every month is men's history.

Why Isn't There a Men's History Month?

March is Women’s History Month, and some folks have asked: Why isn’t there a Men’s History Month? This is going to be a long month on this front since so many people will be sharing information about women’s history notables. There are 26 days left and I’m sharing this to save some of us time.

The 30-second answer is: Because men as a class are not symbolically annihilated in our media. Women’s History Month, like Black History Month, is a pragmatic, short-term response to persistent cultural marginalization and misrepresentation. It’s an antidote to systemic erasure. It’s an attempt to both create representation and explain why it’s important.

The 10-second answer is: We don’t have a Men’s History Month because we don’t need one.

Men Writing History, About Men, for Men

This state of affairs dismays many academic historians. Last year, at the American Historical Association’s annual meeting, a presenter in a session on “Buying and Selling History” included a slide listing the best-selling trade history books of 2014, as tallied by BookScan. The generous helping of politically conservative histories by Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly caused concern, but some historians noticed another troubling trend: The list was dominated by male authors. Of 23 titles, two were written by women

 

March 5, 2019 in Legal History | Permalink | Comments (0)

This is How March Became Women's History Month

Time, This is How March Became Women's History Month

Before women had the whole month, the U.S. recognized Women’s History Week; before that, a single International Women’s Day. Dedicating the whole month of March in honor of women’s achievements may seem irrelevant today. But at the time of the conception of Women’s History Week, activists saw the designation as a way to revise a written and social American history that had largely ignored women’s contributions.

The celebratory month has its roots in the socialist and labor movements — the first Women’s Day took place on Feb. 28, 1909, in New York City, as a national observance organized by the Socialist Party. It honored the one-year anniversary of the garment worker’s strikes in New York that had taken place a year earlier, when thousands of women marched for economic rights through lower Manhattan to Union Square. (That strike in turn honored an earlier 1857 march, when garment workers rallied for equal rights and a 10-hour day.) Within two years, Women’s Day had grown into an international observance that spread through Europe on the heels of socialism.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., feminist activists took issue with how the history books largely left out the story or contributions of women in America. In light of that imbalance, one group during the 1970s set about revising the school curriculum in Sonoma County, Calif., according to the National Women’s History Project. Their idea was to create a “Women’s History Week” in 1978, timed around International Women’s Day, which the U.N. had begun officially marking in 1975.

In 1979, Molly Murphy MacGregor, one of the week’s organizers, traveled to Sarah Lawrence College in New York for a conference with the Women’s History Institute. The participants heard about the week in Sonoma County, and the celebration soon spread across the country.

Gerda Lerner chaired the Institute at the time of the conference, and backed the movement to garner national recognition. As the week picked up steam, organizers lobbied Congress and President Jimmy Carter proclaimed the first national Women’s History Week for March 2-8, 1980.

March 5, 2019 in Legal History, Pop Culture | Permalink | Comments (0)

Taking MeToo to the Next Level by Moving Beyond its Grassroots Origins

Robin Kar & Lesley Wexler, #MeToo: Counting the Collective Harm of Missing Women's Work, Justia

As a grassroots movement fostered by social media and amplified by traditional journalism, the #MeToo movement has helped countless victims find the courage to share experiences of sexual harassment that might otherwise have gone unreported. Public acts of storytelling like these can galvanize social reform. They can raise public consciousness about a problem, create bonds of mutual concern and commitment to solve it, and help people who lack experience with sexual harassment understand the qualitative nature of its harms. Grassroots developments are especially important to bring attention to problems that have traditionally been denied, normalized, or unduly diminished in importance.

 

Given its grassroots origins, the early #MeToo movement fits a wider pattern of women’s empowerment movements from around the world, and over the course of world history, which often begin with self-organized efforts of just this kind. Over time, however, successful movements typically evolve to further stages, which give them broader impact, by attracting “supporters and mentors who offered their struggle the credibility they needed, and offered material resources including funds, professional expertise, mentoring, and training for developing necessary skills for members of the movement.” To broaden its support base and deepen public understanding of the harms of sexual harassment, #MeToo may similarly need to form alliances that combine grassroots public storytelling with other modes of knowledge production.

 

Academic research institutions—and especially those concerned with broader community needs—may prove pivotal at this juncture. This is because academic institutions are especially well positioned to measure the scope of the collective harms generated by sexual harassment and identify the most promising causal interventions to reduce those harms. As an analogy, consider economist and Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen’s pathbreaking work More Than 100 Million Women Are Missing. Before he produced this work, it was well known anecdotally that female children were not being born or surviving as often as male children in many parts of the world due to phenomena like sex-selection during pregnancy, femicide, and inadequate care for female children. Individual stories of these problems abounded—and they were heartbreaking. But it took thoughtful econometric modeling and a creative search for reliable indices of the problem for Sen to measure it and establish that there were literally more than 100 million fewer women in the world than there should have been at the time.

 

Once the jaw-dropping scope of the problem was made clear, it garnered the attention of many more people with a broader range of skill sets.

March 5, 2019 in Gender, Theory, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

Women in the Law Conference at Northeastern Law

2019 Women in the Law Conference

By Women.  For Women.

This conference provides career guidance and professional development growth to women attorneys and other professionals at all stages of their careers and brings together powerful decisionmakers from Massachusetts, Alaska, Canada, California, Illinois, New York, Washington, DC, and beyond.

We emphasize practical, useful information to take away from the full day's programming to further develop your career.

  • Top-notch panels, breakout sessions and speed mentoring with high level practitioners.
  • Learn how to position yourself to take the leap into a power role and be inspired by our expert panelists as they touch on topics such as civil rights, pay equity, economic and social justice, and best practices for advocacy.
  • Network, network, network – whether you want to advance where you are or move to a new opportunity, this is a great space to network for that next step

KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Nancy Hogshead-Makar
CEO, Champion Women
Advocacy for Girls and Women in Sports

Nancy Hogshead-Makar is an Olympic champion, a civil rights lawyer, and CEO of Champion Women, a non-profit providing legal advocacy for girls and women in sports. Focus areas include equal play, such as traditional Title IX compliance in athletic departments, sexual harassment, abuse and assault, as well as employment, pregnancy and LGBT discrimination within sport.

In December, the American Bar Association (ABA) included Nancy Hogshead-Makar in its ABA Lawyers Who Inspired Us in 2018 list. 

FEATURED GUESTS INCLUDE: 

Debra S. Katz 
Partner, Katz, Marshall & Banks 

Kristen M. Gibbons Feden
Associate, Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young

Kristen Gibbons Feden is an associate in the Philadelphia office of Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, where she concentrates her practice on general and complex commercial litigation, employment discrimination, SEC enforcement, internal investigations, Title IX compliance and corporate compliance. Prior to joining Stradley Ronon, Kristen was Assistant District Attorney in the Trials Division of the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office. Her most notable case was Commonwealth v. William H. Cosby, where she played a critical role in the first trial, which resulted in a hung jury, and the second trial where a conviction was attained. In September 2018, Kristen was honored with a Leadership Award by the Victim Rights Law Center (VRLC).  Past VRLC Leadership Awardees include: Gloria Steinem, Professor Anita Hill, Congresswoman-elect Ayanna Pressley, MA Attorney General Martha Coakley and actress and activist Ashley Judd. 

March 5, 2019 in Conferences, Women lawyers | Permalink | Comments (0)