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University of Michigan Law School

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Legal History

Gender and law

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Centering Women In Prisoners' Rights Litigation, Amber Baylor Dec 2018

Centering Women In Prisoners' Rights Litigation, Amber Baylor

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article consciously employs both a dignity rights-based framing and methodology. Dignity rights are those rights that are based on the Kantian assertion of “inalienable human worth.”29 This framework for defining rights spans across a number of disciplines, including medicine and human rights law.30 Disciplinary sanctions like solitary confinement or forced medication might be described as anathema to human dignity because of their degrading effect on an individual’s emotional and social well-being.

This Article relies on first-person oral histories where possible. Bioethics scholar Claire Hooker argues that including narratives in work on dignity rights “is both a ...


An Incomplete Revolution: Feminists And The Legacy Of Marital-Property Reform, Mary Ziegler Jan 2013

An Incomplete Revolution: Feminists And The Legacy Of Marital-Property Reform, Mary Ziegler

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

As this Article shows, the conventional historical narrative of the divorce revolution is not so much incorrect as incomplete. Histories of the divorce revolution have focused disproportionately on the introduction of no-fault rules and have correctly concluded that women's groups did not play a central role in the introduction of such laws. However, work on divorce law has not adequately addressed the history of marital-property reform or engaged with scholarship on the struggle for the Equal Rights Amendment to the federal Constitution. Putting these two bodies of work in dialogue with one another, the Article provides the first comprehensive ...


The Exit Myth: Family Law, Gender Roles, And Changing Attitudes Toward Female Victims Of Domestic Violence, Carolyn B. Ramsey Jan 2013

The Exit Myth: Family Law, Gender Roles, And Changing Attitudes Toward Female Victims Of Domestic Violence, Carolyn B. Ramsey

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article presents a hypothesis suggesting how and why the criminal justice response to domestic violence changed, over the course of the twentieth century, from sympathy for abused women and a surprising degree of state intervention in intimate relationships to the apathy and discrimination that the battered women' movement exposed. The riddle of declining public sympathy for female victims ofintimate-partner violence can only be solved by looking beyond the criminal law to the social and legal changes that created the Exit Myth. While the situation that gave rise to the battered womens movement in the 1970s is often presumed to ...


The Devil Comes To Kansas: A Story Of Free Love, Sexual Privacy, And The Law, Charles J. Reid Jr. Jan 2012

The Devil Comes To Kansas: A Story Of Free Love, Sexual Privacy, And The Law, Charles J. Reid Jr.

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

On Sunday, September 19, 1886, Moses Harman, the editor of the radical newspaper Lucifer the Light-Bearer, presided over an inherently contradictory event-a free-love marriage ceremony between his associate editor, the thirty-seven-year-old Edwin Walker, and Moses' own daughter, the sixteen-year-old Lillian. The case that the two Harmans and Walker wished to present aimed to transform marriage from a public to a private relationship and from a permanent and exclusive one to a temporary one that permitted potentially many partners. State v. Walker and its parties have received some scholarly notice, but the truly radical quality of the arguments Moses, Edwin, and ...


Against The New Maternalism, Naomi Mezey, Cornelia T. L. Pillard Jan 2012

Against The New Maternalism, Naomi Mezey, Cornelia T. L. Pillard

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Parenting is a major preoccupation in law and culture. As a result of efforts of the American women's movement over the past forty years, the legal parent is, for the first time in history, sex-neutral. Our law has abandoned restrictions on women's education, employment, and civic participation that sprang from and reinforced beliefs about the primacy of motherhood as women's best destiny. On the flip side, U.S. law now also generally rejects formal constraints on men's family roles by requiring sex-neutrality of laws regulating custody, adoption, alimony, spousal benefits, and the like. The official de-linking ...


Beyond The Binary: What Can Feminists Learn From Intersex Transgender Jurisprudence, Julie Greenberg, Marybeth Herald, Mark Strasser Jan 2010

Beyond The Binary: What Can Feminists Learn From Intersex Transgender Jurisprudence, Julie Greenberg, Marybeth Herald, Mark Strasser

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Our panel will be discussing recent developments in the intersex and transsexual communities. The transsexual community began to organize in the 1970s, but did not fully develop into a vibrant movement until the 1990s. The intersex movement was born in the mid-1990s and has rapidly developed a strong and influential voice. Recently, both movements have undergone profound changes and each has provided new and unique theoretical perspectives that can potentially benefit other social justice groups. The purpose of our dialogue today is to describe these developments and explore how feminists could potentially benefit from the theoretical frameworks that are being ...


Cambridge Law School For Women: The Evolution And Legacy Of The Nation's First Graduate Law School Exclusively For Women, Nina A. Kohn Jan 2005

Cambridge Law School For Women: The Evolution And Legacy Of The Nation's First Graduate Law School Exclusively For Women, Nina A. Kohn

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Although several scholars have briefly discussed CLSW in conjunction with work on other subjects, this Article presents the first comprehensive history of the school. The Article begins in Section Two by exploring how and why CLSW came into being in 1915 after two young Radcliffe suffragists led an unsuccessful campaign for admission to Harvard Law School. Section Three examines the design, pedagogical foundations, and day-to-day workings of the school during its first two years. Sections Four and Five explore the historical events that led to CLSW's closure in 1917. These sections also document and discuss the school's subsequent ...


"Just Like One Of The Family": Domestic Violence Paradigms And Combating On-The-Job Violence Against Household Workers In The United States, Kristi L. Graunke Jan 2002

"Just Like One Of The Family": Domestic Violence Paradigms And Combating On-The-Job Violence Against Household Workers In The United States, Kristi L. Graunke

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article argues that the immense problem of on-the-job abuse experienced by domestic workers demands a multifaceted plan of attack. The proposed responses specifically draw upon the capacities, strengths, and resources of women, particularly comparatively privileged women, as both activists and employers of domestic workers. By describing the circumstances of domestic work in the United States from the nation's inception to the present, Part I demonstrates the prevalence and intractability of on-the-job physical and sexual abuse and argues that other women, as employers of domestic workers, have historically played a complex role in participating in, condoning, or failing to ...


Whatever Happened To G.I. Jane?: Citizenship, Gender, And Social Policy In The Postwar Era, Melissa E. Murray Jan 2002

Whatever Happened To G.I. Jane?: Citizenship, Gender, And Social Policy In The Postwar Era, Melissa E. Murray

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

In this Article, it is argued that the GI Bill is consistent with the social welfare policies of the New Deal period, in particular the Social Security Act of 1935, and so should be examined within the analytical framework established by scholars like Linda Gordon and Theda Skocpol in their studies of the Social Security Act's social welfare programs. Although the Bill is gender-neutral on its face, it was framed by normative assumptions about military participation and work that ensured that it was socially understood to benefit male veterans.


Women In The Courts: An Old Thorn In Men's Sides, Nikolaus Benke Jan 1996

Women In The Courts: An Old Thorn In Men's Sides, Nikolaus Benke

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This article was inspired by the work of a series of state task forces on women in the courts. It examines the subject from a historical perspective, comparing ancient Rome, mainly during the period from the first century B.C. to the third A.D., with the United States, from its prerevolutionary beginnings to the present. The article's focus is gender bias against women acting in official court functions.