Category Archives: Gender Issues

New Book (and Book Talk): Ensuring Poverty: Welfare Reform After 20 Years

epovertyNew Book: Felicia Kornbluh & Gwendolyn Mink, Ensuring Poverty: Welfare Reform After 20 Years (2018). Book talk in DC, Nov. 4, 2018 at 5 pm. Overview below:

In Ensuring Poverty, Felicia Kornbluh and Gwendolyn Mink assess the gendered history of welfare reform. They foreground arguments advanced by feminists for a welfare policy that would respect single mothers’ rights while advancing their opportunities and assuring economic security for their families. Kornbluh and Mink consider welfare policy in the broad intersectional context of gender, race, poverty, and inequality. They argue that the subject of welfare reform always has been single mothers, the animus always has been race, and the currency always has been inequality. Yet public conversations about poverty and welfare, even today, rarely acknowledge the nexus between racialized gender inequality and the economic vulnerability of single-mother families.

Since passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) by a Republican Congress and the Clinton administration, the gendered dimensions of antipoverty policy have receded from debate. Mink and Kornbluh explore the narrowing of discussion that has occurred in recent decades and the path charted by social justice feminists in the 1990s and early 2000s, a course rejected by policy makers. They advocate a return to the social justice approach built on the equality of mothers, especially mothers of color, in policies aimed at poor families.

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Supreme Court news: Kavanaugh’s dissent questions Roe v. Wade

Find the full Garza v. Hargan decision here, in which the potential Justice Kavanaugh opens the discussion on the validity of Roe v. Wade.

New Article: “The Women Feminism Forgot: Rural and Working-Class White Women in the Era of Trump”

New Article: Lisa R. Pruitt, The Women Feminism Forgot: Rural and Working-Class White Women in the Era of Trump, forthcoming Toledo L. Rev. (SSRN July 2018). Abstract below:

This article, based on a keynote address delivered at the University of Toledo Law Review Symposium “Gender Equality: Progress and Possibilities,” takes up the task of theorizing gendered aspects of the current chasm between progressive elites on one hand and rural and working-class whites on the other. Pruitt offers observations that aim to cultivate empathy and ultimately temper elite derision toward these populations. The article also lays the groundwork for robust consideration of how feminist legal theory has failed rural and working class white women. Perhaps most importantly, Pruitt begins to think practically about what progressive feminists can and should do to bridge the current divide and, in so doing, cultivate a broad, inclusive sisterhood that better transcends spatial, racial, and socioeconomic differences.

The article proceeds by outlining evidence of our nation’s burgeoning metro-centricity, as well as our ongoing denial of and inattention to issues of socioeconomic disadvantage when they intersect with white skin privilege. Pruitt offers these observations with special attention to the context of the legal academy and legal scholarship. Part II discusses how this neglect of white working-class and rural populations evolved into disdain during the 2016 election season and has hardened into contempt in the era of Trump’s presidency. Part III is a brief overview of socioeconomic and public health trends among these increasingly vulnerable populations, with a particular focus on what has been happening to rural and working class white women since Pruitt began writing about them more than a decade ago. Part IV summarizes what we know about the female vote in election 2016, with some attention also to gendered voting patterns in the special election for the Alabama U.S. Senate seat in 2017. Part V digs into media profiles of female Trump voters, which reveal some themes Pruitt has addressed in prior work, including the understudied and widely ignored tension among various strata within what is broadly perceived as a monolithic white working class. This part also scratches the surface of a major issue in the wake of the 2016 election: the liberal elite tendency to label as “racist” anyone who voted for Trump, as well as the disconnect between this usage and many communities’ far less capacious understanding of the term. Before concluding with thoughts on how to bridge the divide between elites and the white working class, Pruitt uses a personal story (à la Hillbilly Elegy) in an effort to humanize female Trump voters. The postscript holds up the successful West Virginia teachers’ strike of 2018 as a model for cross-class coalition building.

New Report: Women’s Student Debt Crisis in the United States

New Report: Women’s Student Debt Crisis in the United States, American Association of University Women, Updated May 2018.

ICYMI (In Case You Missed It): 7 posts you should have seen this week but probably didn’t

In a week dominated by tragedy in Greece, Michael Cohen, and the aversion of trade war with Europe, there’s a lot that got swept under the rug. ICYMI:

(1) Tamar Haspel, The true connection between poverty and obesity isn’t probably what you think, Wash. Post, July 20, 2018.

(2) Myrna Pérez, How the Midterm Elections May Be Compromised, NYTimes.com, July  19, 2018.

(3) Charlotte Graham-McLay, New Zealand Grants Domestic Violence Victims Paid Leave, NYTimes.com, July 26, 2018. In a shocking reminder of what is possible when individuals in crisis are treated humanely and afforded a small measure of decency…

(4) Dylan L. Scott, Why Trump’s attacks on preexisting conditions are an attack on women, Vox.com, July 26, 2018. women_afford_care

 

 

 

 

 

(5) Dara Lind, Americans are stepping up to show reunited migrant families there’s more to their country than Trump, Vox.com, July 26, 2018. An informal welcoming committee is offering support — with everything from plane tickets to birthday cupcakes.

(6) Julia Carrie Wong, A year after Charlottesville, why can’t big tech delete white supremacists, TheGuardian.com, July 25, 2018.

(7) Tal Kopan & Nick Valencia, Exclusive: Listen to separated moms beg for their kids in court, CNN.com, July 24, 2018.

New Article: Intersectional Barriers to Tenure

New Article: Meera E. Deo,  Intersectional Barriers to Tenure, Cal Davis Law Review, Vol. 51, 2018.

As the title suggests, this article dissects the problems rife within law schools which present barriers to a more diverse academic legal community.

New Article: Advocacy in Ideas: Legal Education and Social Movements

New Article: Monica Bell, Tanya K. Hernandez, Solangel Maldonado, Rachelle Holmes Perkins, Chantal Thomas, Olatunde C.  Johnson, Elise Lopez, Advocacy  in Ideas: Legal Education and Social Movements, Columbia University Academic Commons, 2018. Abstract below:

Panel moderated by Professor Olatunde Johnson, featuring Professors Monica Bell, Tanya K. Hernández, Solangel Maldonado, and Chantal Thomas. Introduced by Elise Lopez. This panel is really an opportunity to explore the role of women of color in shaping ideas in the legal academy and in legal discourse more broadly. Everyone on this panel today is a professor and has joined legal academia, but what I think we really want to emphasize through this is that for many of us it begins in law school, where you can engage in shaping ideas through the writing that you do in your courses and in journals, in taking leadership positions in journals, and in organizing conferences like this.

New Op-Ed: The situation on the streets

SF homelessness

New Op-Ed: Kevin Fagan, The situation on the streets, San Francisco Chronicle, June 28, 2018.

New Article: Now We Know Better: A New Legal Framework on Sex to Better Promote Autonomy, Equality, Diversity, and Care for the Poor

New Article: Helen M. Alvare, Now We Know Better: A New Legal Framework on Sex to Better Promote Autonomy, Equality, Diversity, and Care for the Poor, Buffalo Law Review Forthcoming; George Mason Legal Studies Research Paper No. LS 18-05. Abstract below:

Over especially the last 50 to 60 years, US laws and policies concerning the sexual relationships between men and women have more consciously articulated a need to pursue social justice according to the categories of autonomy, equality, diversity and care for the poor. These categories are admirable on their face and responsive to the times in which they emerged. They are particularly well-suited to the history of discrimination against women and African Americans in the US. They were strongly influenced, inter alia, by the development of contraceptive technology and an array of social welfare initiatives, the rise of feminism and civil rights, and a growing belief in the importance of sexual happiness. The laws and policies designed to achieve these goals, however, are currently insufficient. They relied on various presumptions about human preferences and behaviors, children’s needs, and the relationship marketplace — especially among the poor — which proved inadequate or false. Consequently while these categories remain relevant and important, US law and policy concerning sexual relationships need to be updated and rebalanced in order to achieve progress toward equality, autonomy, diversity and care for the poor.

Supreme Court nominee news coverage compilation: What is at stake?

Dominating the headlines this week is the news of Justice Kennedy’s retirement from the Supreme Court. This political bombshell comes amidst the turmoil of the separation of immigrant families. In an effort to digest some of the key facets of the situation, here is a compiled list of sources discussing various aspects of the political environment surrounding the soon-to-be nomination process and it’s impact on American jurisprudence (and more immediate aspects of American life, namely reproductive rights).

If you have things that would be good to add, please email me. Feel free to send information along via Twitter also (@EzraRosser).

A. Politics

B. Opinions on the current predicament