Gender and the Law Prof Blog

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

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Advocates Reignite the Fight for an Equal Rights Amendment

ABA J, Advocates Reignite the Fight for an Equal Rights Amendment

The text of the ERA is simple: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex.” The language was developed by lawyer and suffrage fighter Alice Paul in 1943, although the equality amendment was first introduced in 1923.

 

When, under the amendment process, it was approved in 1972 by two-thirds of the members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, a deadline for ratification by the states was inserted—at first seven years, then extended to 10 years. The ratification fell three states short of the 38 needed, and in 1982, the ERA was declared dead.

 

Now, new impetus is reviving it. Two key strategies have emerged to make the ERA a reality: One approach is to gain the final three ratifications and amend the original congressional time limit; the other is to “start over” with a vote in Congress and gather 38 new state ratifications.

 

“All along, since 1982, there was a little hum of energy,” says lawyer Jessica Neuwirth, author of the 2015 book Equal Means Equal: Why the Time for an Equal Rights Amendment Is Now. “It went from a hum to a whisper,” Neuwirth notes, “and now it’s an ascendant line. It’s steady and it’s strengthening. Not like a roar, but a much greater awareness than there used to be.” Neuwirth is cofounder of the ERA Coalition, a D.C.-based entity that serves as a resource for more than 70 organizational members working on the issue. [http://www.eracoalition.org] ***

 

A “three-state strategy” aims to gather three more ratifications to add to the 35 passed from 1972–1982 and reach the magic number of 38. The concept was developed in 1992 after the Twenty-Seventh Amendment (the “Madison” amendment) on congressional pay was added to the Constitution, 203 years after it was first passed by Congress.

 

In May 2017, Nevada became the 36th state to ratify the federal ERA, and the first since 1977. In May 2018, Illinois followed suit to become the 37th state. 

For more on the history of the ERA, see my recent book chapter: Tracy Thomas & TJ Boisseau, 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 (Holly McCammon & Lee Ann Banaszak eds.) (Oxford Univ. Press 2018).

November 15, 2018 in Constitutional, Legal History | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Elizabeth Cady Stanton's Impact on and Reform of the Law

November 12 is the anniversary of the birthday of women's rights pioneer Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902).  I spent a decade studying her work on law, including the law of marriage, marital property, child custody, domestic violence, reproductive rights, juries, and constitutional reform.  That work was encapsulated in my book,  Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Feminist Foundations of Family Law (NYU Press 2016).

ECSBookJacket

I blogged about each of the chapters, linked here: 

Introduction, overview, biography, and conclusions 

Chapter 1, "What Do You Women Want?" on marital property reform

Chapter 2, "The Pivot of the Marriage Relation" on marriage equality and restructuring marriage

Chapter 3,  "Divorce is not the Foe of Marriage"  on advocacy of no-fault divorce and domestic violence protections

Chapter 4, "The Incidental Relation of Mother" on reproductive rights and birth control

Chapter 5,  "Our Girls" on child custody, feminist parenting, and equality in education

Conclusion: “Still Many Obstacles” on Stanton's legacy in 21st century family law.

 

The book is reviewed by Prof. Paula Monopoli here in the Journal of Legal Education.

My response is here, The Multiple Feminisms of a 19th Century Women's Rights Thinker

I talk about the book on the New Book Network Podcast.

November 13, 2018 in Books, Family, Legal History, Reproductive Rights | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Legal History: The Importance of the Vote and Property for Women's Citizenship

Excerpt from my book:  Tracy A. Thomas, chp. 2, "What Do You Women Want?", Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Feminist Foundations of Family Law (NYU Press 2016)

Nineteenth-century women's rights leader Elizabeth Cady Stanton on the economic, political, and constitutional import of the vote and property ownership for women.

Property as Citizenship

 This connection between taxation, property, and political rights was part of Stanton’s initial philosophy articulated in the Declaration of Sentiments. In the Declaration, she identified the abuse of power from taxation of single women and widows without a voice in governance. “If single and the owner of property, he has taxed her to support a government which recognizes her only when her property can be made profitable to it.” The Declaration made a broad demand for women’s status as “citizens” and full members of the community with all civil, economic, and political rights.[i] For citizens, unlike the more general category of “persons,” have power and participatory rights in the governance through political action. She challenged the deprivation of “the first right of a citizen, the elective franchise,” and demanded women’s “immediate admission to all the rights and privileges which belong to them as citizens.” These rights included “the right to protect one’s person and property; to govern one’s self; to have a voice in the law and rulers; to enjoy all the advantages and opportunities of life of which one is capable. This is citizenship in a republic. The natural right to life, liberty, and happiness.”[ii]

 “The Declaration of Sentiments ushered in a new conception of citizenship, for its crucial themes included natural and inalienable rights, suffrage and national citizenship, and legal protection derived from right of contract.”[iii] Stanton utilized liberal political theories of natural, individual rights, arguing that women, the same as men, were entitled to participation in the public sphere in accordance with rights of self-government.[iv] She also appealed to republican political theories of the virtuous citizen working for the collective common good, arguing that women had abilities, as property holders, taxpayers, and morally superior people meriting citizenship.[v]

 Women’s point of entry into this citizen class, though, was not clear. Citizens were defined by their privileges and obligations of voting, jury service, and military service, all of which excluded women.[vi] Women’s obligations of citizenship had instead been defined in terms of their family. “From the era of the American Revolution until deep into the present, the substitution of married women’s obligations to their husbands and families for their obligations to the state has been a central element in the way Americans have thought about the relation of all women, including unmarried women, to state power.”[vii] Republican values of political citizenship after the Revolutionary War created the cultural ideology of Republican motherhood, which held that women contributed their civic duty through their obligation to their families and in educating and raising citizen sons.[viii] This ideology valued women’s caregiving, even while it confined women to the private family sphere. Stanton attacked this notion of a “woman-citizen” as something supernatural, a “monster, half-human, half-beast,” derived from man’s false creation of the image of womanhood sentimentally worshipping her superior virtue yet fearing her emotional and religious nature in the public sphere.[ix] Understanding the reciprocal nature of citizenship, Stanton argued that women were ready to assume the duties of citizenship, like jury duty and liability for debts, if only granted the benefits.[x]

 Stanton tried to break into this closed circle of citizenship by first latching onto the traditional American basis for granting citizenship rights, property holding.[xi] “In the eighteenth century, the liberal individual (male) was defined by owning property, voting, participating in the public sphere.”[xii] Many states inherited the traditional English system requiring property ownership for voting.[xiii] Property qualifications were viewed as properly extending suffrage to those “seen as having a vested stake in society” and excluding those “too poor to have a will of their own” and too easily coerced by those who controlled their livelihoods.[xiv] These property qualifications allowed women, briefly, in New Jersey to vote between 1776 and 1807, because, as the Supreme Court held, for single, propertied women, “the law supposes them to have wills of their own.”[xv]

Relying on this historical precedent, Stanton argued that women’s ownership of property entitled women to the vote, and thus citizenship.[xvi] “A citizen, says Webster, in the United States is a person native or naturalized who has the privilege of exercising the elective franchise in the qualifications which enable him to vote for senators and to purchase, hold real estate.”[xvii] She endorsed the property connection, arguing “There is no principle of equity more universally admitted than that the owner of property shall have a word to say in its use.”[xviii] Quoting Benjamin Franklin, she said: “If a man’s property can be taken from him without his consent, he is a slave.”[xix]

Stanton also tried to break into citizenship by linking suffrage to taxation.[xx] Echoing the American sentiment from the Revolutionary War, she decried the “tyranny of taxation without representation.” Stanton later developed this theme in an 1873 speech delivered to the Rochester Women Taxpayers’ Association and a later draft lecture, “Taxation,” focusing on the basic idea that “Webster’s defines ‘tax’ as a “sum of money assessed on the person or property of a citizen.” [xxi] She emphasized the citizenship link: “Thus in taxing women the state pays them the compliment of recognizing in them the dignity of citizenship.”

On what principles of justice are there large numbers of men allowed to vote without paying taxes, while the women are compelled to pay taxes without voting? Whatever property the state protects should I think contribute its proportion to the state’s support. Hence as loyal law-abiding citizens we are willing to pay our share for the support of the state. But as our taxes are increased in proportion as many other classes and many kinds of property are exempt. We have a reason to complain of this injustice and to insist that women as large property holders throughout the United States should have a vote on this question.[xxii]

Stanton’s taxation arguments had popular appeal and were easily adopted by women’s rights advocates.[xxiii] Several famous protests by women refusing to pay their taxes were “frequently and widely recounted” by the women’s movement.[xxiv] These protestors included eighty-year old sisters, Julia and Abby Smith, who had their cows seized and sold at auction to pay the taxes, and abolitionist Abby Kelley Foster and her husband Stephen Foster who refused to pay taxes until Abby, and all women, could vote.[xxv] “Popular narratives, valuing as they did the Boston Tea Party, continued to convey that civic authority was related to democratic control of taxation.”[xxvi] These connections between property and taxation voting were partially successful in obtaining women’s right to vote in school or municipal elections, though they enfranchised only relatively well-to-do women.[xxvii] But the arguments failed to achieve Stanton’s greater purpose of establishing women’s full status of citizenship.

After the Civil War, the resulting constitutionalism of the Civil Rights Amendments provided alternative legal arguments to add to these political rationales for voting. Stanton returned to one of the demands from the Declaration of Sentiments insisting that women be given “immediate admission to all the rights and privileges which belong to them as citizens of the United States.”[xxviii] The Fourteenth Amendment, enacted in 1868, seemed to grant exactly this by guaranteeing that “all persons” are “citizens” against whom states cannot abridge “the privileges and immunities of citizenship.” In 1869, Missouri reformer Virginia Minor and her attorney husband, Francis Minor, devised an argument for woman’s suffrage based on the plain language of the newly-enacted privileges and immunities clause.[xxix] Stanton quickly adopted Minor’s argument, appreciating that the Fourteenth Amendment provided the textual hook women needed. She called it the “title deed” to woman suffrage for “without or without intent, a law stands as it is written.”[xxx] This textual argument became the foundation of Stanton’s NWSA legislative and judicial campaigns of “the New Departure” as hundreds of women, including Susan B. Anthony, civilly disobeyed the law by voting under the claimed authority of the privileges and immunities clause.[xxxi]

Stanton however extended the legal argument beyond mere textualism. She “proposed a dynamic model of constitutional interpretation designed to keep the principles of the text current with present social conditions and needs.” Adam Winkler has argued that Stanton theorized in what was then a “radically different way of understanding constitutional interpretation,” by arguing that the constitution should develop in a dynamic way to meet the ever-changing understanding of society. This idea of a changing, dynamic “living constitution” would become “the dominant mode of constitutional construction in the twentieth century.” Stanton’s use of the method not only foreshadowed modern critiques of originalism, but according to Winkler, secured her place as “its most important innovator.”[xxxii] Stanton described the fundamental law as “the organic law of the land” that should be “so framed and construed” to emphasize the progressive development of individual rights.[xxxiii] She argued in her speech to the Joint Committees of the District of Columbia, considering women’s suffrage in D.C., that “As history shows . . . each step in civilization has been a steady approximation to our democratic theory, securing larger liberties to the people.”[xxxiv] She gave the example of men’s suffrage, which had evolved from rights only for propertied white men, then expanded to universal white male suffrage including laborers, and then extended to black men. In another example, she cited the legal developments of the married women’s property acts that evolved from a new understanding of women’s civil rights departing from coverture. “Woman has not been standing still, but has been gradually advancing to an equal place with the man by her side.”[xxxv]

In January 1872, appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of woman’s suffrage, Stanton “added a stinging condemnation of the dominant method of constitutional interpretation, originalism, which was proving to be the primary stumbling block for suffrage reform.” “Though the world has been steadily advancing in political science, and step by step in recognizing the rights of new classes, yet we stand to-day talking of precedents, authorities, laws, and constitutions, as if each generation were not better able to judge of its wants than the one that preceded it. If we are to be governed in all things by the men of the eighteenth century, and the twentieth by the nineteenth, and so on, the world will be always governed by dead men.[xxxvi] Stanton argued for an evolutionary understanding of the entire Constitution from 1789 to 1870, arguing that the meaning of the privileges and immunities clause, contained originally in Article IV, had changed.[xxxvii]

Stanton needed to depart from the traditional legal constitutional interpretation of originalism because the framers of the Fourteenth Amendment clearly did not intend to include the right to vote in its guarantees. This legislative intent was recent history and familiar to all, especially Stanton’s congressional audience, many of whom were the framers themselves.[xxxviii] Their primary intent had been to grant civil, legal rights to freed slaves; they explicitly did not include the right to vote, which was envisioned separately as a political compromise in the Fifteenth Amendment granting suffrage to black men.[xxxix] The national citizenship of the Fourteenth Amendment was defined not by the vote, but as the reciprocal obligation of allegiance by the individual to the nation in exchange for protection by the state.[xl]

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed, rejecting Stanton and Minor’s claim of a constitutional right to vote. In Minor v. Happersett, the Court easily recognized women as citizens.[xli] As John Bingham, the primary drafter of the Fourteenth Amendment had explained in a Senate Report several years before, there was “no longer any reason to doubt that all persons” born or naturalized in the United States were citizens as declared by the amendment.[xlii] But that was a conclusion without significance, for the catch was that citizens did not automatically have the right to vote. That had been the feminists’ assumption: that voting was the distinguishing privilege of a citizen, and why they focused their goal on establishing women as full citizens.[xliii] Stanton attacked Bingham’s report and its implication that “women are not ‘citizens,’ but ‘members’ of the nation!—mere appendages to the State, the Church and the home.” She snarked, “If this, indeed, be woman’s normal condition, may God grant us a wiser, nobler type of manhood as our prefix than John Bingham, of Ohio.”[xliv]

The Court Supreme Court in Minor agreed that voting was not a privilege of national citizenship protected by the Fourteenth Amendment, but was instead a political right discretionarily granted by the state.[xlv] The Court defined “privileges and immunities” by reference to its antecedent in Article IV of the Constitution and the intent of the founders which did not include the vote as a privilege of citizenship. The republicanism of the founders believed in virtual representation by which only an elite few property owners were qualified to govern with political rights of voting. The Court applied the traditional originalist interpretation of the intent of the framers, both constitutional and amendment, refusing to engage Stanton’s dynamic interpretation.

Undeterred, Stanton continued to press for what she thought was self-evident, even as she simultaneously pursued alternative political strategies like a new Sixteenth Amendment for women’s suffrage. “By every principle of fair interpretation we need no amendment, no new definitions of the terms ‘people,’ ‘persons,’ ‘citizens,’ no additional power conferred on Congress” to enable Congress to grant women suffrage.[xlvi] She continued to believe that the text of the Fourteenth Amendment, properly interpreted, should grant women the right to vote. Her argument, however, “was still too radical for its time.”[xlvii]

 

[i]  Declaration, 3; McClain and Grossman, 1, 8.

[ii] ECS, “Women Do Not Wish to Vote,” National Bulletin, Apr. 1894.

[iii] Isenberg, 32.

[iv] ECS to SBA, July 4, 1858; ECS, “The Power of the Statute Legislature,” Woman’s Tribune, Mar. 1, 1885.

[v] ECS, “A Household of Women,” Woman’s Tribune, Oct. 6, 1900; Mrs. Stanton’s Suffrage Convention Letter, Washington Chronicle¸ Jan. 28, 1883; Davis, 2, 19-20.

[vi] Kerber, Ladies, 94; Isenberg, 13.

[vii] Kerber, Ladies, 11.

[viii] Kerber, Republic, 283; Norton, Liberty’s, 247-49.

[ix] Isenberg, 198; ECS, 1860 NY Address; ECS, “The Degradation of Woman,” Rev., Jan. 15, 1868; Miller, 173.

[x] ECS, “Editorial Correspondence,” Rev., Mar. 17, 1870; “Rev. Thompson.”

[xi] ECS, Bible and the Church Degrade Woman.

[xii] Clark, “Self-Ownership,” 905.

[xiii] Isenberg, 26.

[xiv] Kerber, Ladies, 94.

[xv] Isenberg, 24

[xvi] ECS, Speech to the Women Taxpayers’ Association in Rochester, New York, Oct. 31, 1873.

[xvii] ECS, Taxation Lecture, 15-16 (1877).

[xviii] Taxation Lecture, 23h.

[xix] “Household.”

[xx]  Declaration; Bible and Church, 1-12.

[xxi] Taxpayers’ Speech.

[xxii] Taxation Lecture, 23e-g.

[xxiii] Rochester Proceedings, 15.

[xxiv] Kerber, Ladies, 100-04; Jones, 265, 269.

[xxv] Jones, 269.

[xxvi] Kerber, Ladies, 113.

[xxvii] Jones, 272-73.

[xxviii] Declaration, 4.

[xxix] “Francis Minor,” Rev., Oct. 21, 1869; “Mrs. Francis Minor,” Rev., Oct. 28, 1869; “Fundamental Rights,” Rev., Jan. 20, 1870.

[xxx] Argument of Mrs. Stanton Before the Judiciary Committee, reprinted as “Woman Suffrage,” Daily Morning Chronicle, Jan. 13, 1872.

[xxxi] Winkler, 1456, 1475-77, 1483; DuBois, “Taking the Law,” 23-34.

[xxxii] Winkler, 1456-59, 1468, 1480, 1515.

[xxxiii] ECS, Speech to Joint Committees of D.C., in “The Women in Washington,” Rev., Jan. 27, 1870.

[xxxiv] Id.; HWS, v.II, 411-16.

[xxxv] HWS, v.II, 510.

[xxxvi] “Woman Suffrage; HWS, v.II, 510.

[xxxvii] Winkler, 1482-83.

[xxxviii] Id. 1472-74.

[xxxix] Jack M. Balkin, “How Social Movements Change (or Fail to Change) the Constitution: The Case of the New Departure,” 39 Suffolk University Law Review 27, 46 (2005); John Bingham, H.R. Rep. No. 41-22, Report, Committee on the Judiciary, 41st Cong., House of Rep., Jan. 30, 1871.

[xl] Bingham Report.

[xli] 88 U.S. 162 (1875).

[xlii] Bingham Report.

[xliii] “Rev. Thompson”; HWS, v.I, 412; see 41st Cong., 3d Session, H.R. Rep. 22, Jan. 30, 1871, by Reps. Loughridge and Butler (pt. 2, minority) (Judiciary Committee) (Minority Report, 9); HWS, v. II, 594.

[xliv] ECS, Letter to Editor, Woodhull and Claflin’s Weekly, Mar. 11, 1871.

[xlv] 88 U.S. 162 (1875); Slaughter-House Cases, 83 U.S. (16 Wall.) 36 (1872).

[xlvi] ECS, “Statement of Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton,” Woman Suffrage, to the Senate Select Committee on Woman Suffrage, Apr. 2, 1888.

[xlvii] Winkler, 1465.

November 6, 2018 in Books, Constitutional, Legal History | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Trial of Susan B. Anthony

Ann D. Gordon, The Trial of Susan B. Anthony, Federal Judicial Center (2005)

United States v. Susan B. Anthony was a criminal trial in the federal courts. In the federal election in November 1872, Anthony, the best-known advocate of woman suffrage, registered to vote and then voted. The government charged her with the crime of voting without “the legal right to vote in said election district”—she, in the words of the indictment, “being then and there a person of the female sex.” Her trial revealed the complexity of federalism in the post-Civil War years. She was convicted in federal court under federal law for violating state law about who was eligible to vote. New York state law prohibited women from voting, and a recent federal law provided for the criminal prosecution of anyone who voted in congressional elections “without having a lawful right to vote.”

 

Primarily a case about woman suffrage and sexual discrimination, United States v. Susan B. Anthony is also a case about Reconstruction and the balance of federal and state authority. Prior to the Civil War, the demand for woman suffrage was directed to state governments, each of which set the qualifications of voters in the respective states. Reconstruction redirected the demand. The federal government assumed some authority over the voting qualifications enacted by the states, and woman suffragists saw in that change an opportunity to extend voting rights not only to black men but also to black and white women. They called for universal suffrage.

 

Anthony and the members of the National Woman Suffrage Association, after failing to gain explicit reference to the voting rights of women in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, set about testing the meaning of what those amendments did say and how the amendments might have changed the rights of women. Anthony was among a group of women in the country trying to establish, through test cases in the federal courts, that the amendments had so redefined citizenship and rights that women were protected by the federal government in their right to vote. 

November 6, 2018 in Constitutional, Courts, Legal History | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Reading List for Law & Gender on Halloween

It's Halloween... which for law and gender means time to remember the Salem Witch Trials. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

See also a prior blog post: Witchcraft Related Violence: Human Rights Violations Against Women Labeled "Witches"

October 31, 2018 in Books, Courts, Legal History | Permalink | Comments (0)

Exploring the Feminist Critique of #MeToo

Brenda Cossman, #MeToo, Sex Wars 2.0 and the Power of Law, Asian Yearbook of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (Forthcoming)

In this essay, I explore these contestations between and among feminists within the #MeToo movement. Some feminists have expressed discomfort and disagreement with elements of the #MeToo. This critique was quickly framed as a generational one, with media reports focusing on the conflict between millennials and second wave feminists. I argue that it is more productive to situation the disagreements and contestations of #MeToo within the context of what I refer to as Sex Wars 2.0 – that is, the return of the feminist sex wars of the 1970s and 1980s. I also explore the controversies around role of law in the #MeToo movement. #MeToo critiques, including some feminist voices, have denounced the absence of the rule of law, with individual men losing their livelihoods without the due process of law. I argue that this critique is itself symptomatic of the broader role of law in the legal regulation of sexual violence. Law has long been the arbiter of sexual violence, both defining and harms and deciding whether that harm has occurred. Even in its apparent absence, law is I argue deeply present. It is this power of law that casts a long shadow over #MeToo and helps explain the due process critiques and some of the feminist contestations around the overreach of law.

October 31, 2018 in Legal History, Media, Theory, Violence Against Women, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)

New Book: First, Sandra Day O'Connor

Evan Thomas, First: Sandra Day O'Connor (forthcoming 2019)

The intimate, inspiring, and authoritative biography of Sandra Day O’Connor, America’s first female Supreme Court justice, drawing on exclusive interviews and first-time access to Justice O’Connor’s archives—by the New York Times bestselling author Evan Thomas.

“She’s a hero for our time, and this is the biography for our time.”—Walter Isaacson

She was born in 1930 in El Paso and grew up on a cattle ranch in Arizona. At a time when women were expected to be homemakers, she set her sights on Stanford University. When she graduated near the top of her law school class in 1952, no firm would even interview her. But Sandra Day O’Connor’s story is that of a woman who repeatedly shattered glass ceilings—doing so with a blend of grace, wisdom, humor, understatement, and cowgirl toughness.

She became the first ever female majority leader of a state senate. As a judge on the Arizona State Court of Appeals, she stood up to corrupt lawyers and humanized the law. When she arrived at the United States Supreme Court, appointed by President Ronald Reagan in 1981, she began a quarter-century tenure on the Court, hearing cases that ultimately shaped American law. Diagnosed with cancer at fifty-eight, and caring for a husband with Alzheimer’s, O’Connor endured every difficulty with grit and poise.

Women and men who want to be leaders and be first in their own lives—who want to learn when to walk away and when to stand their ground—will be inspired by O’Connor’s example. This is a remarkably vivid and personal portrait of a woman who loved her family, who believed in serving her country, and who, when she became the most powerful woman in America, built a bridge forward for all women.

October 31, 2018 in Books, Judges, Legal History, SCOTUS | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

More Perfect Podcast: The Nineteenth Amendment with a Song by Dolly Pardon

The Most Perfect Album: Episode 4

This season, More Perfect is taking its camera lens off the Supreme Court and zooming in on the words of the people: the 27 amendments that We The People have made to our Constitution. We're taking on these 27 amendments both in song and in story. This episode is best listened to alongside 27: The Most Perfect Album, an entire album (an ALBUM!) and digital experience of original music and art inspired by the 27 Amendments. Think of these episodes as the audio liner notes.

Episode Four begins, as all episodes should: with Dolly Parton. Parton wrote a song for us (!) about the 19th Amendment and women (finally) getting the right to vote.

 

Also in this episode: Our siblings at Radiolab share a story with us that they did about how the 19th Amendment almost died on a hot summer night in Tennessee. The 19th Amendment was obviously a huge milestone for women in the United States. But it was pretty well-understood that this wasn’t a victory for all women; it was a victory for white women.

 

Read the lyrics to Dolly Parton's 19th Amendment song here.

October 30, 2018 in Constitutional, Legal History, Media, Pop Culture | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 27, 2018

A Historical Picture of Eleven Women Who Could Have (or Would Be) on the Supreme Court

Meg Penrose, The Way-Pavers: Eleven Supreme Court-worthy Women, Harvard J. Law & Gender (online) (July 2018)

Four women have served as associate justices on the United States Supreme Court. Since the Court’s inception in 1789, more than 160 individuals have been nominated to serve as Supreme Court justices. Five nominees, or roughly 3 percent, have been women. To help put this gender dearth in perspective, more men named “Samuel” have served as Supreme Court justices than women. Thirteen U.S. presidents have each nominated more people to the Supreme Court than the total number of women that have served on the Court. Finally, there are currently as many Catholics serving on the Supreme Court as the number of women confirmed in the Court’s entire history.

 

Women, once thought of as “one-at-a-time-curiosities” on the bench, now constitute nearly one-third of all state and federal judges. They occupy the highest posts on state supreme courts and can be found, in similar numbers, at the trial and appellate levels. If we limit our consideration to the current Supreme Court, women held one-third of the seats on our Supreme Court at the time of Justice Kennedy’s 2018 retirement. Yet, this number is deceptive since women on the highest court is a modern phenomenon.

 

Qualified women have been available for selection for many years—long before Justice Sandra Day O’Connor became the first woman on the Supreme Court, or FWOTSC, as she refers to herself. It was not until a 1980 campaign promise by then-Governor Ronald Reagan to appoint the first female justice to the Supreme Court that a woman broke one of our government’s last gender barriers. Presidents prior to that time were complicit in allowing male members of the Court, among other influences, to stave off appointments of well-qualified women. So, women waited. But now, women account for four of the last thirteen Supreme Court appointments and five of the past seventeen nominees. Clearly, the numbers are increasing.

 

This Essay presents the second scholarly ranking of female jurists deserving of a seat on the highest court in the land. The list celebrates eleven judicial way pavers: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sandra Day O’Connor, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Florence Allen, Constance Baker Motley, Shirley Huftstedler, Patricia Wald, Cornelia Kennedy, Harriet Miers and, Belva Lockwood. Each of these women is, or was, Supreme Court-worthy. Yet only four of them actually occupy or have occupied a place on the Court.

September 27, 2018 in Legal History, SCOTUS, Women lawyers | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 27, 2018

Deja Vu and the Gendered Origins of the Practice of Immigration Law

Felice Batlan, Deja Vu and the Gendered Origins of the Practice of Immigration Law: The Immigrants’ Protective League, 1907-1940, Law & History Rev. (2018)

This essay from Felice Batlan was written after she spent days protesting at Chicago's O'Hare airport in response to Trump's "Muslim Ban." The article is posted on Law and History Review's multi-media digital platform which provides hyperlinks to both primary and secondary sources making it freely accessible and ideal for classroom use.

Abstract:

Donald Trump’s administration has provoked crisis after crisis regarding the United States’ immigration policy, laws, and their enforcement. This has drastically affected millions of immigrants in the U.S. and those hoping to immigrate. Stemming from this, immigration lawyers and immigrant advocacy organizations are challenging such policies and providing an extraordinary amount of direct pro bono legal services to immigrants in need. Yet the history of the practice of immigration law has been largely understudied. This article addresses this history by closely examining Chicago’s Immigrants’ Protective League between 1910 and 1940. The League provided free counsel to tens of thousands of poor immigrants facing a multitude of immigration-related legal issues during a time when Congress passed increasingly strict immigration laws often spawned by xenophobia and racism. The League, always headed by women social workers, created a robust model of immigration advocacy at a time when only a handful of women were professionally trained lawyers. A close and thick reading of the League’s archival documents, manifests how the events of Trump’s immigration policies have a long and painful history. U.S. immigration law and its enforcement have consistently been cruel, inhumane, arbitrary, and capricious. Told from the ground up and focusing upon the day-to-day problems that immigrants brought to the League, one dramatically sees how immigration laws and practices were like quicksand, thwarting the legitimate expectations of migrants, and, at times, leaving people in an endless legal limbo. The League, in response, participated in creating what would become the practice of immigration law, engaging, and quickly responding to changing laws, rules, policies, and the needs of migrants.

August 27, 2018 in Courts, International, Legal History, Religion, Women lawyers | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Judicial Phenomenon Ruth Bader Ginsburg Celebrates 25 Years on the Court

Joan Biskupic, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Now a Judicial Phenomenon, Marks 25 Years on the Bench

The documentary "RBG," co-produced by CNN, has made $13.5 million at the box office, according to comScore, and will be broadcast next month on the network. Oscar nominee Felicity Jones will play her in a feature film, "On the Basis of Sex," in December.
 
The justice said recently that she hopes to stay on the Supreme Court at least five more years, when she'll be 90. She has survived two bouts with cancer, colorectal in 1999 and pancreatic in 2009.
 
Ginsburg's celebrity might not have been predicted when President Bill Clinton chose her for the high court in summer 1993. Then a 60-year-old federal appellate judge, she was not Clinton's first choice. He was looking for a flashier appointee and initially tried to woo former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo to the bench.
 
Ginsburg, with her large-rimmed glasses, hair tied back in a short ponytail, presented the picture of seriousness. She spoke of taking "measured motions" as a jurist. Supporters portrayed her as a night owl who spent hours hunched over law books and legal briefs, tepid coffee and prunes at hand. Her daughter created a little book titled "Mommy Laughed," chronicling the few times it happened.
 
Once on the Supreme Court, Ginsburg was a sharp questioner and meticulous opinion-writer. She leaned in but without the attention-getting style of the first female justice, Sandra Day O'Connor, or gregarious longtime pal Antonin Scalia.
 
She was hardly a liberal in the mode of contemporary justices on the left: William Brennan, Thurgood Marshall or Harry Blackmun. But as the court changed over the years and became more conservative with each retirement, she found herself carrying the banner for the left.

August 14, 2018 in Judges, Legal History, Pop Culture, SCOTUS, Women lawyers | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 26, 2018

The 411 on the Second New Ruth Bader Ginsburg Movie "On the Basis of Sex"

Absolutely cannot wait for this.  (Coming in December).  So cool that the costumes (at least in the trailer) closely align with the archival photos.

On the Basis of Sex Official Movie Site

Felicity Jones is Ruth Bader Ginsburg in New Trailer for "On the Basis of Sex"

Felicity Jones makes a damn good Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Jones plays the iconic Supreme Court justice in the upcoming film based on RBG’s life, “On the Basis of Sex.” A new trailer for the film follows a young Ginsburg as she starts law school at Harvard, where she was only one of nine other female students in her class.

“Protests are important, but changing the culture means nothing if the law doesn’t change,” Ginsburg says to political activist and fellow lawyer Dorothy Kenyon (Kathy Bates) in the trailer. 

"On the Basis of Sex" Trailer: Can Felicity Jones Handle Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Accent?" [sic the NYT's headline snark]

A biopic of the Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg could hardly seem timelier, given the current headlines about President Donald J. Trump’s new nominee for the high court, Brett Kavanaugh, as well as the surprise box-office success of the recent documentary “RBG.” But based on the first trailer for “On the Basis of Sex,” fictionalization may prove stranger than truth in this case.

For two years, Natalie Portman was slated to play Justice Ginsburg, but dropped out in 2017, only to be replaced by Felicity Jones. Ms. Jones was born in Birmingham, England, and initial impressions indicate she may not have nailed Ms. Ginsberg’s distinctive Brooklyn accent.

Felicity Jones is Ruth Bader Ginsburg in First Trailer for "On the Basis of Sex"

Felicity Jones Transforms into Young Ruth Bader Ginsburg in Trailer

July 26, 2018 in Judges, Legal History, Media, Pop Culture, SCOTUS | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Rebooting the Equal Rights Amendment

Allison Lange, The Equal Rights Amendment Has Been Dead for 36 Years. Why it Might be on the Verge of a Comeback

On May 30, Illinois became the 37th state to pass the Equal Right Amendment (ERA), which says, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” Next, advocates aim to secure the final state needed to ratify the amendment. They will probably target Virginia, North Carolina or Georgia.

True, the deadline to ratify the ERA came and went in 1982. But that may not be a dealbreaker. Some legal strategists argue that since other amendments had no time limit for ratification, the ERA should not have had one, either. Others argue that Congress simply needs to extend the deadline.

Suddenly, almost a century after it was first proposed, the ERA might be within reach.

The law is overdue, culturally and legally. Many Americans assume that the United States already has gender-equality rules. After all, the Civil Rights Act, Title IX and the Equal Pay Act all offer protections against discrimination. But these are pieces of legislation. New laws and Supreme Court rulings can diminish their power.

For more on the legal and social history of the ERA as well as the current movement, see my book chapter with historian TJ Boiseau, 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 (Holly McCammon & Lee Ann Banaszak eds.) (Oxford Univ. Press 2018)

Gerald Magliocca, Buried Alive: The Reboot of the Equal Rights Amendment

This Article addresses the recent effort to revive the proposed Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the Constitution. Following ratifications by Nevada (2017) and Illinois (2018), the ERA stands close to the three-fourths vote in the states required for ratification under Article Five. But these recent ratifications are of uncertain validity, as Congress imposed a deadline for the ERA's ratification that expired in 1982.

The paper argues that Congress can waive the expired ratification deadline but should not do so until should not do so until there is no doubt that 38 states have voted for ratification.There is room for doubt on that score because five states rescinded their ratification votes in the 1970s. Congress is free to disregard these rescissions on the ground that a state may not repeal its ratification of a proposed constitutional amendment. Ignoring these state rescissions in addition to waiving the ratification deadline, though, would raise substantial concerns about the ERA’s legitimacy and may lead a future Congress to attempt the reversal of that recognition.

Thus, the wise course is for Congress to refrain from taking action on the ERA until 38 states can be counted as yes votes without the five rescinding states. If Congress decides to include these five states as part of the ratification total, then at least two-thirds of the Senate and the House of Representatives should be required to support that decision—in accord with a precedent established by Fourteenth Amendment--to quiet the doubts about the validity of the ERA’s ratification.

June 27, 2018 in Constitutional, Gender, Legal History, Legislation | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Book from Oral Histories of Women Lawyers

CSPAN, 20th Century Trailblazing Women Lawyers

20th Century Trailblazing Women Lawyers In 2005, the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession initiated oral history interviews with 100 senior women lawyers including former Attorney General Janet Reno and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Legal historian Jill Norgren discussed her book, “Stories from Trailblazing Women Lawyers: Lives in the Law,” which is based on the transcripts from these interviews. The Wilson Center and National History Center co-hosted this talk

And the book: Jill Norgren, Stories from Trailblazing Women Lawyers (NYU Press 2018)

In Stories from Trailblazing Women Lawyers, award-winning legal historian Jill Norgren curates the oral histories of one hundred extraordinary American women lawyers who changed the profession of law. Many of these stories are being told for the first time. As adults these women were on the front lines fighting for access to law schools and good legal careers. They challenged established rules and broke the law’s glass ceiling.Norgren uses these interviews to describe the profound changes that began in the late 1960s, interweaving social and legal history with the women’s individual experiences.  

In 1950, when many of the subjects of this book were children, the terms of engagement were clear: only a few women would be admitted each year to American law schools and after graduation their professional opportunities would never equal those open to similarly qualified men. Harvard Law School did not even begin to admit women until 1950. At many law schools, well into the 1970s, men told female students that they were taking a place that might be better used by a male student who would have a career, not babies.  

In 2005 the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession initiated a national oral history project named the Women Trailblazers in the Law initiative: One hundred outstanding senior women lawyers were asked to give their personal and professional histories in interviews conducted by younger colleagues. The interviews, made available to the author, permit these women to be written into history in their words, words that evoke pain as well as celebration, humor, and somber reflection. These are women attorneys who, in courtrooms, classrooms, government agencies, and NGOs have rattled the world with insistent and successful demands to reshape their profession and their society. They are women who brought nothing short of a revolution to the profession of law.

June 13, 2018 in Books, Legal History, Women lawyers | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The Unfinished Story of Roe v. Wade

Reva Siegel & Linda Greenhouse, The Unfinished Story of Roe v. Wade, in Reproductive Rights and Justice Stories (Melissa Murray, Kate Shaw & Reva Siegel eds., forthcoming 2019)

We tell the story of Roe v. Wade for a forthcoming volume in the Foundation Press Law Stories series. To those who support abortion rights, Roe demonstrates the Court’s crucial role in protecting individual rights in the face of determined political opposition. For its critics, Roe was the work of an “unelected” Court creating new constitutional rights; supposedly, by deciding matters properly left to democratic determination, the Court inflamed conflict over abortion and riled our politics.

We explain the origins of the abortion right and conflicts over it differently. The story we tell is not simply a litigation history of a landmark case, but as importantly a story about the democratic foundations of our constitutional law. We start our account of the abortion conflict before Supreme Court litigation begins. Conflict enters the picture well before the courts do, as people argue over the Constitution’s meaning in their everyday lives. We recount how citizens who lacked power in any conventional sense were able over time to change the way the nation and its courts understood longstanding guarantees of liberty, of equality, and of life.

Roe itself, filed in federal district court in Dallas in March 1970, was one of many cases in the late 1960s and early 1970s that invoked the Constitution to challenge the century-old regime of criminal abortion statutes; Roe just happened to be first in line on the Supreme Court's docket. These cases emerged from principled and heated dialogue among powerful social movements that initially did not even have courts in view. The story of Roe v. Wade is the story of conflict born in democratic politics that engendered the rights claims that the Court would ultimately recognize. The conflict continues to this day, even as advocates and their arguments have changed as few would have expected. 

This framework offers a fresh context for reading Roe. Enlarging our perspective in this way allows us to recover claims for and against abortion rights to which the Court’s opinion in Roe responded, as well as claims that the Court ignored—claims for women’s equality and for protecting potential life that played an important role in reshaping the abortion right nearly twenty years later in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey

The account of Roe’s history the chapter offers can inform both normative and predictive debate about Roe’s future.

June 12, 2018 in Abortion, Constitutional, Legal History | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, June 11, 2018

Illinois Ratifies the Equal Rights Amendment

Illinois Ratifies Equal Rights Amendment Decades After Deadline

Illinois state lawmakers voted Wednesday to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment — decades after Congress’s deadline to ratify the measure expired.

The Illinois House passed the measure 72-45, the Chicago Tribune reported. The state Senate had voted in favor of ratification last month, and it does not require the support of Gov. Bruce Rauner (R).

The passage sets the stage for a possible legal battle over the amendment, since Congress’s deadline for states to ratify the amendment expired in 1982.

But supporters argue that because a 1789 amendment was ratified more than two centuries later, in 1992, the Equal Rights Amendment could still be added to the Constitution, the Tribune noted.

Congress approved the amendment in 1972. But only 35 states ratified it ahead of the deadline, three short of the number required to add it to the Constitution.

Nevada similarly ratified the Equal Rights Amendment last year after the deadline.

See also Illinois Approves Equal Rights Amendment, 36 Years after Deadline

Some critics have also questioned the necessity of such an amendment, saying federal laws have already been passed to extend equal rights to women. Stone said ratification of the amendment “would make some difference in marginal cases where the law allows discrimination today” and “lock in” many of the federal protections women have gained over the decades.

“The main reason for adopting the Equal Rights Amendment today if one could legally, constitutionally do it would be the symbolic importance of it,” Stone said. “The rejection of it is in some ways insulting. So, the symbolic importance of it is to who we are as a nation — what our aspirations are, what our values are. That in itself is an important affirmation of who we are.”

For the legal history of the ERA from beginning to end, see my chapter with TJ Boisseau, 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 (Holly J. McCammon & Lee Ann Banaszak, eds.) (Oxford Press 2018)

The ERA Coalition believes the time is ripe again for an equal rights amendment, given the next generation’s interest and recent political activity (Neuwirth 2015). In 2014 Oregon passed a state ERA referendum with 64% of the vote. Illinois and Virginia also passed state ERA laws, two states that had not previously ratified the federal ERA. Federal ERA  proponents advocate a “three-states-more” strategy, which assumes the continued validity of the prior ratifications and seeks ratification of ther required three additional states. One state, Nevada, ratified the ERA in March 2017. This extended ratification strategy is supported by the delayed the ratification of the Twenty-Seventh Amendment (salary change for Congress must take effect the following term),  as it was sent to the states for ratification in 1789, but not ratified until 1992, when the last states joined (Burroughs 2015).

June 11, 2018 in Constitutional, Legal History | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 11, 2018

Mother's Day - Friend or Foe to Feminism?

Thursday, March 22, 2018

The Long History of Women's Sports

Mary Anne Case, Heterosexuality as a Factor in the Long History of Women's Sports, 80 Law & Contemporary Problems  25 (2017)

Too many accounts of the development of women’s sports tend to posit their origin in the late nineteenth or even the twentieth century, as a belated, slowly developing, and sometimes vehemently resisted addendum to the development of sports for men. To begin a history of women’s sports at such a late date has several important distorting effects. Most simply, it ignores both the much longer history of women’s participation in many kinds of sports and the fact that the history of organized men’s sports as presently conventionally understood itself does not date back appreciably farther than the last century and a half. The history of women’s sports is more complicated than a progress narrative. Rather than seeing women being gradually admitted into more and more sports over time, we have to acknowledge that a variety of sports — from wrestling and boxing to polo and baseball — were played by women and were seen as suitable for women over long history. Women’s recent readmission to competition in some of these sports follows an intervening period of exclusion.

More significantly, to begin the history of women’s sports in the nineteenth century is to begin it in a time period in which men and women were seen, as both a descriptive and a normative matter, to be as different as possible from one another, with men strong and active, women delicate and passive. Thus, the modern history of sport is often seen to begin at precisely the time women were seen as least suited to participate in sports.

This article views the history of sports through a heterosexual matrix. It argues that from the dawn of time through the development of the modern Olympic movement, a culture’s openness to women’s participation in sports was tied to whether that participation was seen to have a heterosexual payoff. In ancient Greece and Africa as well as in medieval and early modern Europe, women’s sports often formed part of mating rituals, and a successful female competitor was seen as a desirable mate. In the nineteenth century, however, athletic and other sporting competition often was seen as doubly debilitating to a woman’s chances for heterosexual success: not only would sweating and the development of muscles make her unattractive, but strenuous physical exercise was thought to risk physiologically compromising her reproductive capacity. Rather than seeing physical fitness as conducive to reproductive fitness as had their ancestors, men like Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the modern Olympic movement, saw the two as in tension with each other.

After considering the extent to which these competing views of women’s athleticism in relation to heterosexuality influenced the development of women’s sports, the article will conclude by observing the remnants of a heterosexual matrix in twenty-first century sports, from figure skating and synchronized swimming to gymnastics and crew.

March 22, 2018 in Gender, Legal History, Sports | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Before MeToo There was Catharine MacKinnon

 

MacKinnon

NYT, Before #MeToo, There was Catharine MacKinnon and her Book "Sexual Harassment of Working Women"

Catharine A. MacKinnon’s influential work of legal scholarship published in 1979, but it offers the clearest possible illustration of the dynamics that MacKinnon believed were central to the American workplace, a system in which women were judged by the standards imposed on wives and concubines, used and discarded similarly.

 

MacKinnon, whose work has helped shape thinking about harassment, wrote at a time when the trees were beginning to shake in a landscape that still looked a lot like Cheever’s. Women remained employed largely in their capacity to serve as secretaries, receptionists, nurses, typists, telephone operators, research assistants. In the book, MacKinnon draws on the observations of the sociologist Talcott Parsons, who noted that a woman in an “occupational organization” was essentially a “wife-mother,” tasked with ego-building, “housekeeping (tidying up, answering the phone, getting coffee)” and performing the attendant role of “sex object.” In 1976, aRedbook magazine survey examining sex at work brought a kind of loose statistical confirmation, with one in three respondents remarking that appearance was as important as any other qualification when it came to getting hired. MacKinnon cites one woman’s lament that the well-paid jobs always go to the prettiest girls. It was a woman’s fate to either endure the migratory hands of a male boss and earn a decent living, or wish she looked good enough to invite the indignities.

 

These arrangements made the sexual subjugation of women in offices and on factory floors inevitable. “Women tend to be economically valued according to men’s perceptions of their potential to be sexually harassed,” MacKinnon argues. “They are, in effect, required to ‘ask for it.’” These imbalances, built on the subordination of female labor to male desire, meant that coercion and compliance could never be disaggregated — a notion that only now, in the aftermath of so many harassment scandals, with replicating details, is finding its place in our collective recognition. MacKinnon and other feminists who are almost always tagged as “radical” reflexively saw what so many witnesses to the current revelations are still absorbing: Harassment has been endemic to the way we do business. It has been tireless and unyielding.

March 21, 2018 in Equal Employment, Gender, Legal History, Theory | Permalink | Comments (0)

CFP Journal of Women's History Special Issue on "Migration, Sex, and Intimate Labor, 1850-2000"

Call for Abstracts: Journal of Women’s History Special Issue “Migration, Sex, and Intimate Labor, 1850-2000”

by Jennifer Montgomery - Journal of Women's History

Call for Abstracts—Journal of Women’s History Special Issue “Migration, Sex, and Intimate Labor, 1850-2000”

The Journal of Women’s History is seeking expressions of interest to submit articles to a special issue on migration, sex, and intimate labor in the period between 1850 and 2000, in any local, national, transnational, or global context. It seeks to frame “intimate labor” within the long history of women’s involvement in domestic and sexual markets and their movement across and within borders for myriad forms of care and body work (Boris and Parreñas, 2010). This special issue will be positioned within an emergent historiography that examines the practices, discourses, regulation of, and attempts to suppress what has come to be known as “trafficking,” while foregrounding the ways in which a historical lens can destabilize this term. Such research brings the gendered and sexual history of migration and labor into dialogue with new literatures on the history of globalization, capitalism, citizenship, and mobility. It also speaks to on-going concerns in contemporary politics around the relationship between labor and movement, “forced” and “free” migration, and the politics of humanitarianism. As such, while firmly historical, this special issue will engage with and contribute to ongoing interdisciplinary discussions about “modern slavery,” international law, human rights, and the gendered migrant subject.

We are especially interested in work that:

  • Engages critically with the historical production of categories such as “trafficking,” “smuggling,” and migratory “illegality” as they have pertained to women’s migration
  • Examines sexual labor in the context of gendered migration and the broader category of intimate labor(s)
  • Explores the historical lived experience of migrating for intimate, domestic, and sexual labor
  • Looks at local, national, and international responses to female migrants who were defined as trafficked, illegal, or exploited
  • Places trafficking and women’s intimate labor within a wider discourse of indenture, slavery and un-freedom; as well as imperialism, mobility, and globalization

We are interested in any thematic or methodological approach, but would especially welcome work that focuses on the global south, imperial contexts, and non-white subjects. Work can be locally, nationally, transnationally, globally, or comparatively focused. All submissions must be historical in focus.

Prospective contributors to this special issue are asked to send an extended abstract of 1,000 words to the issue’s guest editors, Julia Laite (j.laite@bbk.ac.uk) and Philippa Hetherington (p.hetherington@ucl.ac.uk) by 1 June 2018. Abstracts should describe the prospective article and how it explicitly engages with the theme of the special issue. Authors should also include a discussion of the sources—archival or published—they will be using in the article.

Selected contributors will be informed within two months and asked to submit a complete manuscript by 1 June 2019, which will go through the JWH’s standard process of peer and editorial review. If the manuscript is accepted for publication at the end of this process, it will be published in the special issue.

March 21, 2018 in Call for Papers, Gender, Legal History | Permalink | Comments (0)