Feminism, Whiteness, and the Women’s March

The Women’s March promises an inclusive feminist movement. Thank goodness.

ashton-tuckerGuest Contributor:  Ashton Tucker  (’18)

Suffragettes Frances E. Willard, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.  21st century celebrities Amy Schumer and Lena Dunham.

What do these women have in common?

They’re all, inexplicably, feminist icons.  Maybe inexplicably is the wrong word.  Although each certainly has advanced or continues to advance womanhood in one way or another, their racism, either intentional or unintentional, often goes unnoticed.  They engage in white feminism – a form of feminism that operates as if the experience of white women is universal and that race and class are just added levels of oppression, as opposed to intermingling with gender.  The Women’s March on Washington has given me hope that women are embracing difference and inclusion in meaningful and powerful ways.  Continue reading “Feminism, Whiteness, and the Women’s March”

Feminism, Whiteness, and the Women’s March

Calling it Like it is

“Alt-right” is a euphemism for white supremacist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, anti-Muslim, xenophobic, sexist ideology. Period.

corrine-2
Corrine Yu

Guest Contributor: Corrine Yu, Managing Policy Director, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.

Let’s take a quiz. The “alt-right” is:

  1. A new Spotify playlist.
  2. A keystroke shortcut (like Control-Alt-Delete).
  3. A movement that includes and is heavily shaped by white supremacists, anti-Semites, anti-Muslims, nativist, and other extremists.

The correct answer, of course, is “c”. Since the election, a number of news organizations, including the Associated Press and The Washington Post, have sought to clarify the use of “alt-right” or “alternative right.” NonProfit Quarterly wrote a piece on this, as did The New York Times.

As the NonProfit Quarterly piece notes, following the publication of its profile of Richard Spencer, The Washington Post received thousands of comments protesting the description of the white nationalist, white supremacist movement that Spencer says he leads as “alt-right.”

The New York Times had its own case study, which involved its article on the man whom President-elect Trump wants as his chief strategist in the White House—Stephen Bannon. As the executive chairman of Breitbart LLC, Bannon turned the website Breitbart.com into bb-logo-highreswhat he described as “the platform for the alt-right.” Times readers tweeted their complaints, as well as emailed the newspaper’s public editor, about the article’s use of the term “populist” to describe Bannon, which seemed to normalize his views.

Nothing is “normal” about the “alt-right” or what it stands for. Continue reading “Calling it Like it is”

Calling it Like it is

Mourning in America

Making sense of the election.

I had a dream.

On election night, a bright blue map would emanate from my flat screen TV.  We’d be elated by news of Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress.  From sea to shining sea, the results would repudiate Trump, his hate-filled campaign, and drive a stake in the heart of the Southern strategy of using race to leverage working class white votes.

We know how that turned out.  On Wednesday, I could barely bring myself to work.  Heart heavy, I felt as if I’d experienced a death.

What’s bugging me now is the attempt to negate the implications of Trump’s bigotry for the outcome.   For example, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof says we shouldn’t label Trump supporters as racists:  “many are good people who had voted for Obama in the past.”     Maybe they’re not, but they supported a racist, sexist xenophobe. Continue reading “Mourning in America”

Mourning in America

Bathrooms, not Broom Closets: Title IX, Gavin Grimm, and Trans Students’ Rights

Title IX’s ban on sex discrimination is broad enough to cover transgender students.

Gavin Grimm’s senior year in high school will be more memorable than most—how many young people are at the heart of Supreme Court litigation regarding the rights of transgender students?

Last year, when he and his mom told Gloucester High School officials about his transition, they agreed to treat him like the boy Gavin always knew he was.  But upon getting wind of the situation, the School Board objected.  At meetings on the issue, some folks referred to Gavin as a girl or “young lady.”  Others went further, for example, calling him a freak. Another likened the young man to a person who believes he’s a dog “and wants to urinate on fire hydrants.”  Ultimately, the board voted to prohibit Gavin from using the boys’ room and required the school to provide unisex bathrooms for him, which Metro Weekly reported were repurposed broom closets.    Continue reading “Bathrooms, not Broom Closets: Title IX, Gavin Grimm, and Trans Students’ Rights”

Bathrooms, not Broom Closets: Title IX, Gavin Grimm, and Trans Students’ Rights

“Trapped”: When Politics Trump Medicine

Cincinnati Law screens award-winning film 10/27 and welcomes filmmaker Dawn Porter.

“I feel like I can break at any moment.”

The woman quoted above is the mother of two boys, who are 13 months apart.  One is in third grade; the younger is autistic.  She is pregnant and feels “emotionally unfit” to take on the responsibility of another child.“Trapped,” a documentary by Dawn Porter, gives voice to this woman and others for whom the law has made a difficult choice more challenging.  Cincinnati Law screens this film Wednesday, October 27 in Room 118.  Continue reading ““Trapped”: When Politics Trump Medicine”

“Trapped”: When Politics Trump Medicine

The Female Criminal Defense Attorney Flying Solo

The Bollywood Lawyer shares her perspective from the trenches.

Guest Contributor:  Seema Iye0a1a120r

These days everyone thinks it’s like Viola Davis a la “How to Get Away with Murder” – strutting into court in skin-tight sleeveless suits with a legal entourage of paralegals, investigators and interns.

Hardly.

The female criminal defense attorney’s life is nothing like that. Though I’m all in praise of network television paying homage to our life of solitude; a woman solo practitioner is a rarity.  Continue reading “The Female Criminal Defense Attorney Flying Solo”

The Female Criminal Defense Attorney Flying Solo

History Lessons: Women of Color and Work-Family Conflicts

Progressive work-family policies must encompass the diverse experiences of all women.

jocelynfrye_600x900Guest Contributor: Jocelyn C. Frye, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress

Author Toni Morrison once wrote, “If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”  Her words are a reminder that there is value in each woman’s unwritten story, and we are all empowered to write our own narratives.  Morrison’s charge is particularly timely in the present-day conversation about women, work, and family where incomplete soundbites too often substitute for  richer discussion about the diversity of women’s experiences and the history they bring to the table. This problem is especially acute when it comes to the discourse around work-family issues. Continue reading “History Lessons: Women of Color and Work-Family Conflicts”

History Lessons: Women of Color and Work-Family Conflicts

Five Myths that Block Effective Strategies Targeting Sexual Assault on College Campuses

fatima-goss-graves-200-x-200Guest Contributor:  Fatima Goss Graves, Senior Vice President for Program, National Women’s Law Center

Students around the country have already begun pouring back onto college campuses, ready to embark on a new academic year. This year many students will return to find their schools under investigation by the Department of Education for failing to effectively address sexual violence on campus.  Title IX’s nearly 45-year-old ban on sex discrimination in education requires schools that take federal dollars –virtually all schools – to take prompt and effective steps to address harassment and violence. With over 200 universities facing pending complaints, the problem of sexual assault finally has caught the attention of the very policymakers and educators who can make a difference.

But efforts to transform the response to sexual assault will fail if focused on the wrong solutions. Here are five myths that can prevent meaningful approaches to combatting sexual assault on college campuses. Continue reading “Five Myths that Block Effective Strategies Targeting Sexual Assault on College Campuses”

Five Myths that Block Effective Strategies Targeting Sexual Assault on College Campuses

“I didn’t choose to be straight, white and male”: Blinding privilege

The Pew Research Center found in July that while 63% of women surveyed found gender still posed obstacles for women’s progress, 56% of men said such challenges were mostly history.  Then, this week, a headline in The Guardian put a human face on that divide with this: “’I didn’t choose to be straight, white and male’: Are Modern Men the Suffering Sex?”

Uh, no.  Continue reading ““I didn’t choose to be straight, white and male”: Blinding privilege”

“I didn’t choose to be straight, white and male”: Blinding privilege

Turning Challenges into Opportunities: Addressing Sexual Assault on Campuses

The new focus on sexual assault is an opportunity to make real change on campus.

557b8ee85d17a-imageGuest Contributor:  Ellen Eardley, University of Missouri
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Civil Rights and Title IX; Title IX Administrator; Cincinnati Law (’03)

Now more than ever, colleges and universities face new challenges addressing campus sexual assault.

Recently, and not without controversy, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 has been used to address sexual violence – an extreme form of sex discrimination.  The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has made clear that Title IX requires schools to have policies and procedures for responding to sexual violence. This requires careful attention to the rights and needs of students, faculty, and staff who experience and who are accused of sexual violence.

Some commentators have suggested that OCR has asked higher education to undertake a burdensome, and potentially impossible, balancing act. But rather than a burden, these guidelines present an opportunity to make meaningful shifts in addressing and preventing sexual violence.  Continue reading “Turning Challenges into Opportunities: Addressing Sexual Assault on Campuses”

Turning Challenges into Opportunities: Addressing Sexual Assault on Campuses