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Revised and Expanded Edition

Wait—what's wrong with rights? It is usually assumed that trans and gender nonconforming people should follow the civil rights and "equality" strategies of lesbian and gay rights organizations by agitating for legal reforms that would ostensibly guarantee nondiscrimination and equal protection under the law. This approach assumes that the best way to address the poverty and criminalization that plague trans populations is to gain legal recognition and inclusion in the state's institutions. But is this strategy effective?

In Normal Life Dean Spade presents revelatory critiques of the legal equality framework for social change, and points to examples of transformative grassroots trans activism that is raising demands that go beyond traditional civil rights reforms. Spade explodes assumptions about what legal rights can do for marginalized populations, and describes transformative resistance processes and formations that address the root causes of harm and violence.

In the new afterword to this revised and expanded edition, Spade notes the rapid mainstreaming of trans politics and finds that his predictions that gaining legal recognition will fail to benefit trans populations are coming to fruition. Spade examines recent efforts by the Obama administration and trans equality advocates to "pinkwash" state violence by articulating the US military and prison systems as sites for trans inclusion reforms. In the context of recent increased mainstream visibility of trans people and trans politics, Spade continues to advocate for the dismantling of systems of state violence that shorten the lives of trans people. Now more than ever, Normal Life is an urgent call for justice and trans liberation, and the radical transformations it will require.
We live in a world where seemingly everything can be measured. We rely on indicators to translate social phenomena into simple, quantified terms, which in turn can be used to guide individuals, organizations, and governments in establishing policy. Yet counting things requires finding a way to make them comparable. And in the process of translating the confusion of social life into neat categories, we inevitably strip it of context and meaning—and risk hiding or distorting as much as we reveal.

With The Seductions of Quantification, leading legal anthropologist Sally Engle Merry investigates the techniques by which information is gathered and analyzed in the production of global indicators on human rights, gender violence, and sex trafficking. Although such numbers convey an aura of objective truth and scientific validity, Merry argues persuasively that measurement systems constitute a form of power by incorporating theories about social change in their design but rarely explicitly acknowledging them. For instance, the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report, which ranks countries in terms of their compliance with antitrafficking activities, assumes that prosecuting traffickers as criminals is an effective corrective strategy—overlooking cultures where women and children are frequently sold by their own families. As Merry shows, indicators are indeed seductive in their promise of providing concrete knowledge about how the world works, but they are implemented most successfully when paired with context-rich qualitative accounts grounded in local knowledge.
"It hurts to be beautiful" has been a cliche for centuries. What has been far less appreciated is how much it hurts not to be beautiful. The Beauty Bias explores our cultural preoccupation with attractiveness, the costs it imposes, and the responses it demands. Beauty may be only skin deep, but the damages associated with its absence go much deeper. Unattractive individuals are less likely to be hired and promoted, and are assumed less likely to have desirable traits, such as goodness, kindness, and honesty. Three quarters of women consider appearance important to their self image and over a third rank it as the most important factor. Although appearance can be a significant source of pleasure, its price can also be excessive, not only in time and money, but also in physical and psychological health. Our annual global investment in appearance totals close to $200 billion. Many individuals experience stigma, discrimination, and related difficulties, such as eating disorders, depression, and risky dieting and cosmetic procedures. Women bear a vastly disproportionate share of these costs, in part because they face standards more exacting than those for men, and pay greater penalties for falling short. The Beauty Bias explores the social, biological, market, and media forces that have contributed to appearance-related problems, as well as feminism's difficulties in confronting them. The book also reviews why it matters. Appearance-related bias infringes fundamental rights, compromises merit principles, reinforces debilitating stereotypes, and compounds the disadvantages of race, class, and gender. Yet only one state and a half dozen localities explicitly prohibit such discrimination. The Beauty Bias provides the first systematic survey of how appearance laws work in practice, and a compelling argument for extending their reach. The book offers case histories of invidious discrimination and a plausible legal and political strategy for addressing them. Our prejudices run deep, but we can do far more to promote realistic and healthy images of attractiveness, and to reduce the price of their pursuit.
In 1991, Anita Hill's testimony during Clarence Thomas's Senate confirmation hearing brought the problem of sexual harassment to a public audience. Although widely believed by women, Hill was defamed by conservatives and Thomas was confirmed to the Supreme Court. The tainting of Hill and her testimony is part of a larger social history in which women find themselves caught up in a system that refuses to believe what they say. Hill's experience shows how a tainted witness is not who someone is, but what someone can become.

Why are women so often considered unreliable witnesses to their own experiences? How are women discredited in legal courts and in courts of public opinion? Why is women's testimony so often mired in controversies fueled by histories of slavery and colonialism? How do new feminist witnesses enter testimonial networks and disrupt doubt? Tainted Witness examines how gender, race, and doubt stick to women witnesses as their testimony circulates in search of an adequate witness. Judgment falls unequally upon women who bear witness, as well-known conflicts about testimonial authority in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries reveal. Women's testimonial accounts demonstrate both the symbolic potency of women's bodies and speech in the public sphere and the relative lack of institutional security and control to which they can lay claim. Each testimonial act follows in the wake of a long and invidious association of race and gender with lying that can be found to this day within legal courts and everyday practices of judgment, defining these locations as willfully unknowing and hostile to complex accounts of harm. Bringing together feminist, literary, and legal frameworks, Leigh Gilmore provides provocative readings of what happens when women's testimony is discredited. She demonstrates how testimony crosses jurisdictions, publics, and the unsteady line between truth and fiction in search of justice.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg believed that the equal rights of women belonged in the Constitution. She stood on the shoulders of brilliant women who persisted across generations to change the Constitution. We the Women tells their stories, showing what’s at stake in the current battle for the Equal Rights Amendment.

The year 2020 marks the centennial the Nineteenth Amendment, guaranteeing women’s constitutional right to vote. But have we come far enough?

After passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, revolutionary women demanded full equality beyond suffrage, by proposing the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). Congress took almost fifty years to adopt it in 1972, and the states took almost as long to ratify it. In January 2020, Virginia became the final state needed to ratify the amendment.

Why did the ERA take so long? Is it too late to add it to the Constitution? And what could it do for women?

A leading legal scholar tells the story of the ERA through the voices of the bold women lawmakers who created it. They faced opposition and subterfuge at every turn, but they kept the ERA alive. And, despite significant victories by women lawyers like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the achievements of gender equality have fallen short, especially for working mothers and women of color. Julie Suk excavates the ERA’s past to guide its future, explaining how the ERA can address hot-button issues such as pregnancy discrimination, sexual harassment, and unequal pay.

The rise of movements like the Women’s March and #MeToo have ignited women across the country. Unstoppable women are winning elections, challenging male abuses of power, and changing the law to support working families. Can they add the ERA to the Constitution and improve American democracy?

We the Women shows how the founding mothers of the ERA and the forgotten mothers of all our children have transformed our living Constitution for the better.
Misogyny is a hot topic, yet it's often misunderstood. What is misogyny, exactly? Who deserves to be called a misogynist? How does misogyny contrast with sexism, and why is it prone to persist - or increase - even when sexist gender roles are waning? This book is an exploration of misogyny in public life and politics by the moral philosopher and writer Kate Manne. It argues that misogyny should not be understood primarily in terms of the hatred or hostility some men feel toward all or most women. Rather, it's primarily about controlling, policing, punishing, and exiling the "bad" women who challenge male dominance. And it's compatible with rewarding "the good ones," and singling out other women to serve as warnings to those who are out of order. It's also common for women to serve as scapegoats, be burned as witches, and treated as pariahs. Manne examines recent and current events such as the Isla Vista killings by Elliot Rodger, the case of the convicted serial rapist Daniel Holtzclaw, who preyed on African-American women as a police officer in Oklahoma City, Rush Limbaugh's diatribe against Sandra Fluke, and the "misogyny speech" of Julia Gillard, then Prime Minister of Australia, which went viral on YouTube. The book shows how these events, among others, set the stage for the 2016 US presidential election. Not only was the misogyny leveled against Hillary Clinton predictable in both quantity and quality, Manne argues it was predictable that many people would be prepared to forgive and forget regarding Donald Trump's history of sexual assault and harassment. For this, Manne argues, is misogyny's oft-overlooked and equally pernicious underbelly: exonerating or showing "himpathy" for the comparatively privileged men who dominate, threaten, and silence women. l
The EU has slowly but surely developed a solid body of equality law that prohibits different facets of discrimination. While the Union had initially developed anti-discrimination norms that served only the commercial rationale of the common market, focusing on nationality (of a Member State) and gender as protected grounds, the Treaty of Amsterdam (1997) supplied five additional prohibited grounds of discrimination to the EU legislative palette, in line with a much broader egalitarian rationale. In 2000, two EU Equality Directives followed, one focusing on race and ethnic origin, the other covering the remaining four grounds introduced by the Treaty of Amsterdam, namely religion, sexual orientation, disabilities and age.

Eighteen years after the adoption of the watershed Equality Directives, it seems timely to dedicate a book to their limits and prospects, to look at the progress made, and to revisit the rise of EU anti-discrimination law beyond gender. This volume sets out to capture the striking developments and shortcomings that have taken place in the interpretation of relevant EU secondary law. Firstly, the book unfolds an up-to-date systematic reappraisal of the five 'newer' grounds of discrimination, which have so far received mostly fragmented coverage. Secondly, and more generally, the volume captures how and to what extent the Equality Directives have enabled or, at times, prevented the Court of Justice of the European Union from developing even broader and more refined anti-discrimination jurisprudence. Thus, the book offers a glimpse into the past, present and – it is hoped – future of EU anti-discrimination law as, despite all the flaws in the Union's 'Garden of Earthly Delights', it offers one of the highest standards of protection in comparative anti-discrimination law.
"Transgender Rights packs a surprising amount of information into a small space. Offering spare, tightly executed essays, this slim volume nonetheless succeeds in creating a spectacular, well-researched compendium of the transgender movement." -Law Library Journal

Over the past three decades, the transgender movement has gained visibility and achieved significant victories. Discrimination has been prohibited in several states, dozens of municipalities, and more than two hundred private companies, while hate crime laws in eight states have been amended to include gender identity. Yet prejudice and violence against transgender people remain all too common.

With analysis from legal and policy experts, activists and advocates, Transgender Rights assesses the movement’s achievements, challenges, and opportunities for future action. Examining crucial topics like family law, employment policies, public health, economics, and grassroots organizing, this groundbreaking book is an indispensable resource in the fight for the freedom and equality of those who cross gender boundaries. Moving beyond media representations to grapple with the real lives and issues of transgender people, Transgender Rights will launch a new moment for human rights activism in America.

Contributors: Kylar W. Broadus, Judith Butler, Mauro Cabral, Dallas Denny, Taylor Flynn, Phyllis Randolph Frye, Julie A. Greenberg, Morgan Holmes, Bennett H. Klein, Jennifer L. Levi, Ruthann Robson, Nohemy Solórzano-Thompson, Dean Spade, Kendall Thomas, Paula Viturro, Willy Wilkinson.

Paisley Currah is associate professor of political science at Brooklyn College, executive director of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at the CUNY Graduate Center, and a founding board member of the Transgender Law and Policy Institute.

Richard M. Juang cochairs the advisory board of the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) in Washington, DC. He has taught at Oberlin College and Susquehanna University. He is the lead editor of NCTE's Responding to Hate Crimes: A Community Resource Manual and coeditor of Transgender Justice, which explores models of activism.

Shannon Price Minter is legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights and a founding board member of the Transgender Law and Policy Institute.
‘The Constitution [of India] has within it the ability to produce social catharsis...’At 12.12 p.m. on 6 September 2018, the Supreme Court of India created history by reading down Section 377 – reversing an archaic law laid down by the British in 1860 and decriminalizing homosexuality for the first time in modern India. Yet, this is not the only ruling that the Supreme Court has made in recent times championing the rights of an individual to her or his identity and dignity. From empowering the transgender community and lending teeth to the prevention of sexual harassment of women at the workplace, to protecting the privacy, rights and dignity of women and minorities on issues such as interfaith marriages, entering the Sabarimala temple, the controversial triple talaq and the striking down of the adultery law – the highest court of the land has firmly placed the individual at the centre of the constitutional firmament, and set a course for progressive societal reform. This remarkable collection of writings by legal luminaries is the only book to offer sharp insights into each of these crucial rulings. Justice M.B. Lokur writes on the issues that affect the transgender community; Justice B.D. Ahmed elucidates on Muslim law in the modern context; and Justice A.K. Sikri addresses the fundamental concept of dignity, which binds together all the essays in this book. Some of the best-known names in Indian law – Mukul Rohatgi, Madhavi Divan, Menaka Guruswamy, Arundhati Katju and Saurabh Kirpal – offer legal perspectives of judgements on sex, sexuality and gender. From petitioners like Ritu Dalmia, Keshav Suri and Zainab Patel, we hear personal narratives of being a part of the LGBTQ community in India, while journalist Namita Bhandare provides a powerful account of the struggle against sexual harassment.An unprecedented documentation of the rulings that have set a standard for the rights and liberties of sexual minorities and women in India, Sex and the Supreme Court is also an invaluable record for posterity – for it reveals the power of the country’s courts to uphold the privacy, dignity and safety of its citizens.
It seems unthinkable that citizens of one of the most powerful nations in the world must risk their lives and livelihoods in the search for access to necessary health care. And yet it is no surprise that in many places throughout the United States, getting an abortion can be a monumental challenge. Anti-choice politicians and activists have worked tirelessly to impose needless restrictions on this straightforward medical procedure that, at best, delay it and, at worst, create medical risks and deny women their constitutionally protected right to choose. 

Obstacle Course tells the story of abortion in America, capturing a disturbing reality of insurmountable barriers people face when trying to exercise their legal rights to medical services. Authors David S. Cohen and Carole Joffe lay bare the often arduous and unnecessarily burdensome process of terminating a pregnancy: the sabotaged decision-making, clinics in remote locations, insurance bans, harassing protesters, forced ultrasounds and dishonest medical information, arbitrary waiting periods, and unjustified procedure limitations.
 
Based on patients’ stories as well as interviews with abortion providers and allies from every state in the country, Obstacle Course reveals the unstoppable determination required of women in the pursuit of reproductive autonomy as well as the incredible commitment of abortion providers. Without the efforts of an unheralded army of medical professionals, clinic administrators, counselors, activists, and volunteers, what is a legal right would be meaningless for the almost one million people per year who get abortions. There is a better way—treating abortion like any other form of health care—but the United States is a long way from that ideal. 



 
The leading text in the field, Introduction to Feminist Legal Theory was the first book that served as an introductory survey of feminist jurisprudence. Its historical view of feminist legal theory places issues in social context and thoroughly reviews the evolving paradigms of contemporary feminism from the 1970s through the present. The full range of legal issues affecting women are covered, including gender discrimination, rape, sexual harassment, motherhood, reproductive issues, and much more. Clear, energetic presentation keeps students engaged and involved with succinct overviews, intellectually stimulating material, and jargon-free prose.

The Third Edition features up-to-date theories and topics, such as the "autonomy" feminism and "masculinities" theory. Expansion of the current theory-based structure includes the "big three" feminisms described in the previous edition and the "new three" feminisms, which are expanded in the third edition. New applied areas are covered as well, such as transgender legal issues and sex trafficking. While the book remains U.S.-focused, important new material on global and comparative feminism has been added. Throughout the text, students will find discussion about changes in the law since 2003 on issues such as rape, pay equity, sex stereotyping, marriage equality, Title IX, and more.

Thoroughly updated, the revised Third Edition presents:

Up-to-date theories and topics"autonomy" feminism, "masculinities" theory, "social justice" feminismLGBT and critical race perspectivesa Two-part organization, focusing on chronology and substantive areas of the law that are of particular importance to feminist legal scholarsPart one focuses on chronology by examining the three generations of feminist legal theory that have emerged since 1971 the Generation of Equality (1970s)the Generation of Difference (1980s)the Generation of Complex Identities (1990s to present)this part will also include the "new three" feminisms in the 3rd edition (intersectional, autonomy and postmodern feminism)Part two focuses on substantive areas of the law, which fall into three categories economic subordination of womensexual subordination of womenmotherhood and reproductionIntroduction of new applied areastransgender legal issuessex traffickingreproductive justice More material on global and comparative feminism, while remaining U.S.-focusedDiscussion of changes in the law since 2003rapedomestic violencepay equitytorts and tax lawsame-sex marriage Title IX, and more
The two-decades-long controversy over same-sex marriage in the United States was finally resolved on June 26, 2015, when the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which held that the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses required states to allow same-sex couples to marry on the same terms as opposite-sex couples.


Under our American system of government, divisive and often abiding disputes may be resolved either through legislation or judicial decisions.


In Same-Sex Marriage and American Constitutionalism, Murray Dry explains why the process by which Americans arrive at these resolutions can be as important as the substance of the resolutions themselves. By taking up the question of same-sex marriage, Dry excavates the bases of why and how Americans decide as we do (and as we have done when major questions arose in the past; think: school integration, abortion, gun control, and campaign finance).


As Professor Dry retraces the path that same-sex marriage took as it wended its way through the political (that is, the legislative) process and through the court system, he finds a vivid framework for the question, “Who should decide?” It’s a question often overlooked, but one that Dry believes should not be. He argues convincingly that it does matter whether the Supreme Court or the legislature makes the final decision—so that court-mandated law does not threaten democratic representative government, and so that legislation does not trample on fundamental constitutional rights.

In the last thirty years, the number of lawyers in the United States and Canada has more than tripled, and today as many women as men are entering legal practice. The sudden, dramatic increase of women in the profession would seem to signify a new era of equality in the legal profession. However, stereotypes about women's abilities to balance responsibilities at work and home hamper their upward mobility in this male-dominated field. Battling sexual discrimination, women in law grapple with long-held assumptions about parenting, inferring that women eventually abandon their careers in order to take care of home and children. A large percentage of women leave the profession dissatisfied and distressed or seek part-time solutions, and those women who do stay in practice often find there is a ceiling on their status and monetary compensation. Gender in Practice demonstrates and explains how the structure of legal practice has changed in recent decades, often to the disadvantage of women. The issues addressed here, such as conflicts between careers and family, departures from practice, and barriers to women's promotions and earnings are of great importance to members of the profession. Looking at the careers of both men and women and using information culled from two surveys that include nearly two thousand lawyers, this revealing book traces occupational and personal experiences and analyzes these patterns in terms of work and gender. The findings are linked to practical proposals for change, some of which have already found a place in the profession. A major contribution to discussions of sexual equality in the legal workplace, Gender in Practice offers detailed insights into the current and future status of women in the law. Lawyers, law professors, and anyone concerned with gender inequality and equal rights will find this to be an interesting and informative work.
“Did you think you knew the facts about women and work? Think again . . . a terrific book . . . utterly gripping.” —Peter Edelman, author of So Rich, So Poor
 
For women in professional and corporate jobs, much of the discrimination and inequity faced in the past has been confronted—and at least to some extent, conquered. But the fact is that we have a two-tiered system, where some working women have a full panoply of rights while others have few or none at all. We allow blatant discrimination by small employers. Domestic workers are cut out of our wage and overtime laws. Part-time workers, disproportionately women, are denied basic benefits. Laws have been written through a process of compromise and negotiation, and in each case vulnerable workers were the bargaining chip that was sacrificed to guarantee the policy’s enactment. For these workers, the system that was supposed to act as a safety net has become a sieve—and they are still falling through.
 
Caroline Fredrickson is a powerful advocate and DC insider who has witnessed the legislative compromises that leave out temps, farmworkers, staff at small businesses, immigrants, and others who fall outside an intentionally narrow definition of “employees.” The women in this fast-growing part of the workforce are denied minimum wage, maternity leave, health care, the right to unionize, and protection from harassment and discrimination—all within the bounds of the law. If current trends continue, their fate will be the future of all American workers.
 
“[An] informative, occasionally shocking exploration of the state of women’s rights in the workplace.” —Kirkus Reviews
What can the killing of a transgender teen can teach us about the violence of misreading gender identity as sexual identity?

The Life and Death of Latisha King examines a single incident, the shooting of 15-year-old Latisha King by 14-year-old Brian McInerney in their junior high school classroom in Oxnard, California in 2008. The press coverage of the shooting, as well as the criminal trial that followed, referred to Latisha, assigned male at birth, as Larry. Unpacking the consequences of representing the victim as Larry, a gay boy, instead of Latisha, a trans girl, Gayle Salamon draws on the resources of feminist phenomenology to analyze what happened in the school and at the trial that followed. In building on the phenomenological concepts of anonymity and comportment, Salamon considers how gender functions in the social world and the dangers of being denied anonymity as both a particularizing and dehumanizing act.

Salamon offers close readings of the court transcript and the bodily gestures of the participants in the courtroom to illuminate the ways gender and race were both evoked in and expunged from the narrative of the killing. Across court documents and media coverage, Salamon sheds light on the relation between the speakable and unspeakable in the workings of the transphobic imaginary. Interdisciplinary in both scope and method, the book considers the violences visited upon gender-nonconforming bodies that are surveilled and othered, and the contemporary resonances of the Latisha King killing.
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