Gender Justice - Fall 2017

Gender Justice - Fall 2017

L6506: Gender Justice

Course Description

This course will provide an introduction to the concrete legal contexts in which issues of gender and justice have been articulated, disputed and hesitatingly, if not provisionally, resolved.  Through these readings we will explore the multiple ways in which the law has contended with sexual difference, gender-based stereotypes, and the meaning of equality in domestic, transnational and international contexts. So too, we will discuss how feminist theorists have thought about sex, gender and sexuality in understanding and critiquing our legal system and its norms.

  • No laptops are permitted in this class.
  • Class attendance is mandatory. 
  • Students will be evaluated based upon class participation, a short paper, class presentation, and a final 8 hour take-home examination that can be taken anytime during the exam period. 
Course Materials
  • Coates, Ta-Nehisi. Between The World and Me (2015).

  • Course Readers

Copies of the Course Readers can be downloaded at the links following

Gender Justice - Fall 2017: Reader 1

Gender Justice - Fall 2017: Reader 2

Gender Justice - Fall 2017: Reader 3

Gender Justice - Fall 2017: Reader 4

Gender Justice - Fall 2017: Reader 5



September 6th - Introduction to the Course

September 11th - Framing Gender Justice

September 13th – Early Framing

  • Jo Freeman, The Revolution For Women In Law And Public Policy, in Women: A Feminist Perspective Jo Freeman ed. 1995) pp. 365-404
  • Kathleen Neal Cleaver, Racism, Civil Rights, and Feminism, in Critical Race Feminism: A Reader (Wing ed. 1997)
  • Gayle Rubin, Gayle Rubin, Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality, in Pleasure and Danger 267 (Carole S. Vance ed., 1984)

September 18th - What Should Today's Gender Equity Agenda Look Like?

  • France Just Passed A Sweeping Gender Equality Law To Make It Easier To Get An Abortion
  • The New York Women’s Equality Act Fact Sheet
  • Addis Ababa Declaration on Accelerating the Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action, Towards a transformational change for women and girls in Africa 19 November 2014
I. The Body As A Gender Justice Project

September 20th - Paradigms of Gender Equality

  • Katherine Franke, Theorizing Yes: An Essay on Feminism, Law and Desire, 101 Columbia Law Review 181 (2001)

September 25th - Gendering/Sexing the Body

  • In Re Estate of Gardner
  • IOC Regulations on Female Hyperandrogenism
  • Rebecca Jordan-Young and Katrina Karkazis, You Say You’re a Woman? That Should Be Enough, New York Times, June 17, 2012

September 27th - Dress Codes

  • Cecilia D’Anastasio and StudentNation, Girls Speak Out Against Sexist School Dress Codes, The Nation, August 27, 2014
  • Jesperson v. Harrah’s Operating Co.
  • Avendano-Hernandez v. Lynch, 800 F.3d 1072 (9th Cir. 2015)

October 2nd - The Pregnant Body

  • Trubeck v. Ullman, 147 Conn. 633 (1960)
  • Brief of ACLU in Griswold v. Connecticut
  • Litigation: Connecticut, in Before Roe v. Wade: Voices that Shaped the Abortion Debate Before the Supreme Court's Ruling (2d edition, 2012) pp. 163-184

October 4th - Nancy Rosenbloom, Director of Legal Advocacy, National Advocates for Pregnant Women

  • Paltrow, Lynn. “The dangerous state laws that are punishing pregnant women” September 28, 2016.
  • Paltrow, Lynn and Flavin, Jeanne. “Pregnant, and No Civil Rights”. November 7, 2014.
  • National Advocates for Pregnant Women. “Federal Court Declares Wisconsin ‘Unborn Child Protection’ Law Unconstitutional”.  May 1, 2017.
  • Opinion & Order: Loertscher v. Taylor County.  United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin.  April 28, 2017.

    October 9th - Criminalizing Pregnancy

    • Tara Culp-Ressler, Tennessee Arrests First Mother Under Its New Pregnancy Criminalization Law, ThinkProgress, July 11, 2014
    • Andrew Murphy, A Survey of State Fetal Homocide Laws and Their Potential Applicability to Pregnant Women Who Harm Their Own Fetuses, 89 Ind. L.Rev. 847 (2014)

    • "The Shackling Of Incarcerated Pregnant Women: A Human Rights Violation Committed Regularly In The United States," (2013) - optional
    • Dorothy Roberts, Unshackling Black Motherhood, 95 Mich. L. Rev. 938 (1997) - optional
    II. Gender, Sex, and Sexual Orientation

    October 11th - Is Sexual Orientation Discrimination a Form of Sex Discrimination?

    • Brian D. Prowel v. Wise Business Forms, Inc., 579 F.3d 285 (3rd Cir. 2009)

    • Hively v Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, 853 F.3d 339 (7th Cir. 2017)

    October 16th - Is Transgender Discrimination a Form of Sex Discrimination?

    • Ulane v. Eastern Airlines, Inc., 742 F.2d 1081 (7th Cir. 1984)
    • Macy v. Department of Justice, EEOC Appeal No. 0120120821 (April 20, 2012)
    • G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board, brief of the ACLU (Filed February 23rd)

    October 18th - Sex Work

    • The NYPD Arrests Women for Who They Are and Where They Go — Now They're Fighting Back
    • Interactive Map: See Where the NYPD Arrests Women Who Are Black, Latina, Trans, and/or Wearing Jeans
    • Complaint, D.H. v. City of New York
    • Loitering Case - Defendants' Motion to Dismiss - Natasha Martin et al. v. The City of New York - Defendants' Memorandum of Law in Support of Their Partial Motion to Dismiss the Amended Complaint. United States District Court - Southern District of New York.

    October 23rd - Sex Work Continued

        October 25th - Decriminalization of Sex Work

        • Amnesty International Policy on state obligations to respect, protect, and fulfil the human rights of sex workers
        • LGBT Rights Organizations Join Amnesty International in Call to Decriminalize Sex Work, August 20, 2015
        • Rachel Moran, Buying Sex Should Not Be Legal, August 29, 2015
        • Tryon P. Woods, The Antiblackness of 'modern-day slavery' Abolitionism, Open Democracy, October 10, 2014
        • Frankie Mullin, The difference between decriminalisation and legalisation of sex work, Newstatesman 19 October 2015.

          October 30th - Marriage

          • Katherine Franke, Wedlocked: The Perils of Marriage Equality (2015) Chapter 3

          November 1st - Non-reproductive Sexuality

          • Williams v. Attorney General of Ala., 378 F.3d 1232 (11th Cir. 2004)
          • Reliable Consultants, Inc. v. Earle, 517 F.3d 738 (5th Cir. 2008)
          III. Gendering Public Rights

          November 6th - Gender and Property

          • FAO, Gender and Land Rights - Understanding Complexities; Adjusting Policies
          • Millicent Odeny, Improving Access to Land and Strengthening Women's Land Rights in Africa
          • Women's Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling, Forced Evictions - Assessing the Impact on Palestinian Women in East Jerusalem

            November 8th - Engendering Migrant and Refugee Rights

            • Monica Boyd, Women and Migration: Incorporating Gender into International Migration Theory, Migration Policy Institute (March 2003)

            • Karen Musalo, Personal Violence, Public Matter: Evolving Standards in Gender-Based Asylum Law, Harvard international Review (2014)
            • Ghida Anani, Dimensions of gender-based violence against Syrian refugees in Lebanon, 44 Forced Migration Review75 (September 2013)

              November 13th - Guest Speaker - Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan, Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund

              • Puerto Rico v. Sanchez Valle, 579 U.S. ___, (2016), edited
              • Background on the debt, economic crisis, and human rights: - please skim
              • PRLDEF submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty 
              IV. Gendering Violence and Trauma

              November 15th Rape and Sexual Assault

              • Catharine MacKinnon, Rape: On Coercion and Consent, in Toward a Feminist Theory of the State (1989)

              • Emily Bazelon, The St. Paul’s Rape Case Shows Why Sexual-Assault Laws Must Change, New York Times, August 26, 2015
              • American Law Institute, Modern Penal Code, Sexual Assault and Related Offenses (2014)
              • Ilene Seidman and Susan Vickers, The Second Wave: An Agenda for the Next Thirty Years of Rape Law Reform, 38 SUFFOLK U. L. REV. 467 (2005)
              • Jeannie Suk, The Trouble with Teaching Rape Law, December 15, 2014

              November 20th - Gender and Human Rights

              • Valerie Oosterveld, The Definition of “Gender” in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court - A Step Forward or Back for International Criminal Justice?
              • Katherine Franke, "Putting Sex To Work," 75 U. Denver L. Rev. 108 (1998)
              • Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action - background

                November 22nd - No Class - Thanksgiving Break

                  November 27th - Sara Darehshori, Human Rights Watch

                  • Human Rights Watch, Report: Embattled: Retaliation against Sexual Assault Survivors in the US Military. (2015).
                  • Human Rights Watch, Report: Booted: Lack of Recourse for Wrongfully Discharged US Military Rape Survivors. (2016).

                  November 29th - Black Lives Matter - A Movement for Racial and Gender Justice

                  • Marcia Chatelain and Kaavya Asoka, Women and Black Lives Matter: An Interview with Marcia Chatelain, Dissent Magazine, Summer 2015
                  • Vania Leveille, Black Women and Black Lives Matter: Fighting Police Misconduct in Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Cases
                  • Say Her Name: Resisting Police Brutality Against Black Women, African American Policy Forum

                    December 4th - Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between The World and Me (2015)