Category Archives: Feminist Law Profs

Three Critical Feminist Takes on #metoo:  Further reading, references and questions

Thanks to the crowd who came out for this IFLS panel on Thursday November 22. As promised, I have collected references from the three presenters here, and have also tried to set out the questions that the audience raised at the end of the panel.

Prof. Brenda Cossman

The paper on which the talk was based is available: #MeToo, Sex Wars 2.0 and the Power of Law (September 2018). Asian Yearbook of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (Forthcoming) . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3257862

ABSTRACT: In this essay, I explore these contestations between and among feminists within the #MeToo movement. Some feminists have expressed discomfort and disagreement with elements of the #MeToo. This critique was quickly framed as a generational one, with media reports focusing on the conflict between millennials and second wave feminists. I argue that it is more productive to situation the disagreements and contestations of #MeToo within the context of what I refer to as Sex Wars 2.0 – that is, the return of the feminist sex wars of the 1970s and 1980s.I also explore the controversies around role of law in the #MeToo movement. #MeToo critiques, including some feminist voices, have denounced the absence of the rule of law, with individual men losing their livelihoods without the due process of law. I argue that this critique is itself symptomatic of the broader role of law in the legal regulation of sexual violence. Law has long been the arbiter of sexual violence, both defining and harms and deciding whether that harm has occurred. Even in its apparent absence, law is I argue deeply present. It is this power of law that casts a long shadow over #MeToo and helps explain the due process critiques and some of the feminist contestations around the overreach of law.

REFERENCES FROM PROF. MATTHEWS

Heidi Matthews, Why the Kavanaugh hearings were a show trial gone bad at The Conversation  https://theconversation.com/why-the-kavanaugh-hearings-were-a-show-trial-gone-bad-102025.

Heidi Matthews, How do we understand sexual pleasure in this age of ‘consent’?in Aeon https://aeon.co/ideas/how-do-we-understand-sexual-pleasure-in-this-age-of-consent.

Prof. Matthews also suggested Janet Halley’s “The Move to Affirmative Consent”, (4 November 2015), online: Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society <http://signsjournal.org/currents-affirmative-consent/halley/>.

REFERENCES FROM PROF. PARMAR

Nivedita Menon, Is Feminism about ‘Women’?: A Critical View on Intersectionality from India, Economic & Political Weekly. (Apr. 25, 2015)

I do not think this one is available open access.  Here is the abstract: Feminism requires us to recognise that “women” is neither a stable nor a homogeneous category. Does intersectionality as a universal framework help us to capture this complexity? This paper argues that it does not. It addresses this question through the intricacies of the terrain that feminist politics must negotiate, using the Indian experience to set up conversations with feminist debates and experiences globally. Feminism is heterogeneous and internally differentiated. We need to pay attention to challenges to the stability of given identities– including those of “individual” and “woman.” These challenges constitute the radically subversive moments that are likely to be most productive for feminism in the 21st century.

Woolley, Alice and Darling, Elysa, Nasty Women and the Rule of Law (January 21, 2017). 51 USF Law Rev 507, 2016-2017. Available open access at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2903214.

Abstract: Lawyer bashing is a robust and accepted social tradition. But recent events create the impression that women lawyers face more than the generic suggestions of dishonesty, untrustworthiness, greed and adversarialism that typify anti-lawyer criticisms. Criticisms and attacks on women lawyers are personal and gendered, as well as being intense and hostile, in a way that differs from the generic, often humorous, and impersonal nature of traditional antipathy to the legal profession. And even when women lawyers are viewed positively, commentary focuses on their looks, clothes and families, in a way that is not the case for men. This paper identifies the reasons for and consequences of how we talk about women lawyers.

Amitav Ghosh, The Great Derangement (2018) https://www.press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/G/bo22265507.html

“Are we deranged? The acclaimed Indian novelist Amitav Ghosh argues that future generations may well think so. How else to explain our imaginative failure in the face of global warming? In his first major book of nonfiction since In an Antique Land, Ghosh examines our inability—at the level of literature, history, and politics—to grasp the scale and violence of climate change.

The extreme nature of today’s climate events, Ghosh asserts, make them peculiarly resistant to contemporary modes of thinking and imagining. This is particularly true of serious literary fiction: hundred-year storms and freakish tornadoes simply feel too improbable for the novel; they are automatically consigned to other genres. In the writing of history, too, the climate crisis has sometimes led to gross simplifications; Ghosh shows that the history of the carbon economy is a tangled global story with many contradictory and counterintuitive elements.

Ghosh ends by suggesting that politics, much like literature, has become a matter of personal moral reckoning rather than an arena of collective action. But to limit fiction and politics to individual moral adventure comes at a great cost. The climate crisis asks us to imagine other forms of human existence—a task to which fiction, Ghosh argues, is the best suited of all cultural forms. His book serves as a great writer’s summons to confront the most urgent task of our time.”

Jacobowitz, Jan L., Lawyers Beware: You are What You Post! The Case for Integrating Cultural Competence, Legal Ethics and Social Media (October 24, 2014). SMU Journal of Science & Technology Law Review (Forthcoming). Available open access at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2514678

Abstract: First learn the meaning of what you say, and then speak. –Epictetus

Words used carelessly, as if they… do… not matter in any serious way, often allow… otherwise well-guarded truths to seep through. –Douglas Adams

Happy Mother’s Day to all the crack hoes out there. It’s never too late to tie your tubes, clean up your life and make difference to someone out there that deserves a better mother. –Assistant State Attorney in Orange County, Florida

No thought left unspoken…social media networking — ubiquitous in our society — provides the opportunity for individuals to share their moment-to-moment thoughts and actions. Social media has created communities and its own culture. Social networking communities have empowered individuals to join together to stage uprisings, support charitable causes, launch entrepreneurial ventures, and generally share the accomplishments and defeats of their daily lives.

Many lawyers have joined social media networks and are actively participating in both their professional and personal lives. Some lawyers have found social media networks to be beneficial in marketing their practices and in obtaining information and evidence to more effectively represent their clients.

Unfortunately, other lawyers have found themselves caught in a quagmire of ethical and professional missteps resulting in disciplinary problems and loss of employment. These lawyers often fail to appreciate the application of the legal ethics rules and standards of professionalism to the use of social media. Moreover, like many other individuals engaged in social media, these lawyers generally seem to lack cultural awareness and perspective on the far-reaching impact that a social media communication may have upon the audience and ultimately upon the communicator.

This article explores the importance of cultural competence both as a critical component of effective and ethical legal practice and as it pertains to a lawyer’s participation in social media networking. The article will first define cultural competence and its significance for the legal profession. Next, the article will discuss the culture of the legal profession as it is reflected in social science research, popular culture, and scholarly works. Then, the article will examine the culture of social media and the legal profession’s participation in this culture. Finally, the article will explore the interrelationships of cultural competence, the legal profession, and social media with the goal of providing insight and guidance for lawyers to professionally and ethically engage in social networking.

References from Prof. Lawrence

I spoke briefly about the #USTOO initiatives being developed at the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic in Toronto under Legal Director Deepa Mattoo.  You can find the clinic here: https://schliferclinic.com/ although nothing references USTOO on the website.

I pointed to the fact that the hashtag was originally created by a Black woman in the U.S., Tarana Burke, but more importantly, as I understood it, Tarana Burke’s inspiration was realising how few services were available in majority-minority neighbourhoods, services open to and welcoming Black and brown girls who had experienced sexual assault and abuse. Her work was about imagining, funding, and creating those services and spaces. The space between this project, and the the white, celebrity driven rebirth of #metoo as a hashtag for shared stories of assault and harassment on social media is instructive in a number of ways about what kind of work is bring done by #metoo.

I noted that there is a long history of feminist work which actively problematizes the criminal law and state engagements.  I highly recommend the work of the activists and scholar-activists who comprise INCITE! A good introduction is available here.

“Gender Violence & Race”, (31 July 2018), online: INCITE! <https://incite-national.org/gender-violence-race/> .

See also Critical Resistance and Incite!, “Critical Resistance-Incite! Statement on Gender Violence And the Prison-Industrial Complex” (2003) 30:3 (93) Social Justice 141, online: <https://www.jstor.org/stable/29768215>.  You could also consider the arguments in Osgoode Prof. Dianne Martin’s “Retribution Revisited: A Reconsideration of Feminist Criminal Law Reform Strategies.” Osgoode Hall Law Journal 36.1 (1998) : 151-188. https://digitalcommons.osgoode.yorku.ca/ohlj/vol36/iss1/4.  There are more recent treatments, but my point is, much of this material is well over a decade old. There’s more before that.

Concern about what happens when state punishment is understood to be the solution to violence against women is not new.

I also referenced extensively BU Law Dean Angela Onwuachi-Willig’s piece in the Yale Law Journal Forum:

Angela Onwuachi-Willig, “What About #UsToo?: The Invisibility of Race in the #MeToo Movement” (2018) 128 Yale Law Journal Forum 16 June 2018, online, https://www.yalelawjournal.org/forum/what-about-ustoo.

ABSTRACT. Women involved in the most recent wave of the #MeToo movement have rightly received praise for breaking long-held silences about harassment in the workplace. The movement, however, has also rightly received criticism for both initially ignoring the role that a woman of color played in founding the movement ten years earlier and in failing to recognize the unique forms of harassment and the heightened vulnerability to harassment that women of color frequently face in the workplace. This Essay highlights and analyzes critical points at which the contributions and experiences of women of color, particularly black women, were ignored in the moments preceding and following #MeToo’s resurgence. Ultimately, this Essay argues that the persistent racial biases reflected in the #MeToo movement illustrate precisely why sexual harassment doctrine must employ a reasonable person standard that accounts for complainants’ different intersectional and multidimensional identities.

AUDIENCE QUESTIONS

We took some excellent questions from the Audience without trying to answer them – I’ve set them out here in a general way and my apologies for damage I have done to the ideas as originally expressed:

  • Questions about the ways that critiques from women of colour have approached #metoo, especially in the context of Islamophobia, and state securitization. This question specifically referenced the Toronto murders allegedly committed by Alex Minassian, and calls from some prominent feminists (see e.g. here)  to call these and other misogynistic attacks ‘terrorism’, a position that ignores the significant harm that has been visited on Muslim communities post 9-11 through laws that focus on terrorism, and the weight of critique generated in scholarly and public circles by scholars, including feminist scholars, who have focused on post 9-11 state surveillance and narratives about terrorism.  Heidi Matthews has a comment on the question of the “terrorism” label here in The Conversation.
  • There was a question that focused on another form of law, beyond the criminal, which has been significantly engaged in these #metoo conversations, the law of defamation. Professor Matthews referenced this issue in her discussion of the “Shitty Media Men List” and Stephen Elliot’s defamation lawsuit against Moira Donegan.  How does, perhaps in particular, Prof. Cossmans’ analysis of the role that law is playing in our understandings of sexual harms position this form of legal regulation?
  • Another question focused on the distinction between de facto and de jure wrong, that is things that are wrong because law says they are wrong, but might not otherwise be recognized socially or morally as wrong, and things that are de facto wrongs – that are understood to be morally wrong regardless of what law says about them.  The significance of consent in laws about sexual harassment and assault may tend to blur this dichotomy.   Can this distinction help us understand what work is being done by the various positions feminists and others have taken in this debate.
  • One question raised Ghomeshi – this was from Osgoode PhD Candidate Dana Phillips, author of this “Let’s Talk About Sexual Assault: Survivor Stories and the Law in the Jian Ghomeshi Media Discourse.” Osgoode Hall Law Journal 54.4 (2017) : 1133-1180. https://digitalcommons.osgoode.yorku.ca/ohlj/vol54/iss4/9, who referenced the rehabilitation narratives of men named in high profile #metoo cases, asking what we can learn from these reflections on the work that #metoo is doing (this is NOT doing justice to what Dana said, and I’m particularly concerned about that because I’ve named her! So Dana, if you correct me, or want to expand on this just let me know.
  • Another question asked how we could or should talk about both #metoo and the underlying issues, given how many people, especially men, seem scared to talk about it.  This question pointed the challenge of how to engage towards the cultural change that all interventions suggested was more likely to help resolve the harms that #metoo has (re)surfaced, than a thickly applied layer of criminal law.
  • Professor Ena Dua, a colleague at York, had to leave before putting her questions on the table, so I followed up with her and she came back with four!  (1) How do we understand the role of the media in these processes? “It seems that the media has taken on the role of an investigation – and the prosecutor’s role. The public takes on the role of the judge. How does that make affect our thinking about the limited possibilities of the law that two of the speakers talked about?”. (2) Relatedly, about the reporting of these events, and the inclusion of “intimate and graphic sexual details – including descriptions of folks bodies”.  How do Marxist or sex radical approaches analyse this somewhat secondary aspect, in particular where the complainant has not agreed or been interviewed.  (3) Thirdly, Ena wanted to talk about not criminal law, but labour and employment law and the ways these position the responsibility of the employer where the employer is not the person engaging in the complained of behaviour. (4) My favourite question from Ena ties the three talks together by referencing Ena’s perception that from the beginning of #metoo Indian feminists have been both vocal and divided on its potential.  Having heard similar from folks in South Africa and Somalia, Ena wanted to ask whether feminists in the global south have a different relationship to the possibilities of the law than those in the West. For me this also raised the question of a matrix of divisions, noting political commitments, location and positionality, and, frankly, lawyer/legal scholar, or not.

Happy Feminist Friday with Sarah Morales!

This Feminist Friday we are thrilled to profile Prof. Sarah Morales!

Sarah Morales received her J.D. from the University of Victoria in 2004.  She received her LL.M. from the University of Arizona in 2006, where she was the Department of Justice Congressional Fellow.  In 2005-2006, she clerked for the Pasqua Yaqui Tribal Appellate Court and the Navajo Nation Supreme Court.  She completed her Ph.D. at the University of Victoria in 2015, where she was awarded the Canadian Graduate Scholarship from the Social Sciences Humanities Research Council.  She was also the Chancellor’s Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Illinois in the School of American Indian Studies.

Professor Morales joined the Faculty of Law in 2011, where she teaches Tort, Aboriginal Legal Issues and International Human Rights & Indigenous Peoples.

Professor Morales’ research interests are generally in the area of Aboriginal and human rights law.  Specifically, she is committed to the recognition and reconciliation of Indigenous legal traditions with the common law and civil law traditions in Canada.  Her dissertation, entitled “Snuw’uyulh: Fostering an Understandingo of the Hul’qumi’num Legal Tradition”, examines the Coast Salish legal tradition and attempts to demonstrate the significance of this legal tradition within the Canadian legal system.

In addition to these academic interests, Sarah has been actively involved with Indigenous nations and NGOs across Canada through her work in nation building, inherent rights recognition and international human rights law.  Her community based research has resulted in the creation of policies and procedures that are reflective of the traditional laws of the communities who utilize them.

The qualities I admire most in a law professor are…humility, compassion, dedication and a commitment to helping transform Canada’s legal traditions and institutions.  I love learning from colleagues who help me to see the potential of law and who share that insight with their students as well.

The trait I deplore in a law professor is…when we take for granted the privilege we have in being able to teach young legal scholars, work on law reform projects, participate in community-based research and think and write about the things that matter most to us on a daily basis.  It’s a pretty incredible job and something to be grateful for.

The best time of day for writing is…any stolen moment throughout the day.  With a four year old and five month old, those stolen moments are far and few between; however, I have found the hours between 10 pm and 1 am to be quite productive, as of late.
My feminist heroes are…too many to name.  My grandmother and mother continue to inspire me every day, both in my work at the university, in my community and in my home.  I am also influenced daily by amazing feminist colleagues, who mentor and support me in so many ways.  Finally, I am inspired by the Indigenous women in my community, who when faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges and barriers continue to fight, push forward and work hard to create a better life for themselves and their families.

Right now I am working on…a project with my community to create child and family wellness legislation based on our own Coast Salish laws and teachings.

Right now I am reading…a number of children’s books (to my littles) by Indigenous authors.  My daughter’s new favorite is You Hold Me Up by Monique Gray Smith. It has a powerful message about how we can help to support each and lift each other and some beautiful illustrations by Danielle Daniel.  Little You by Richard Van Camp, was a gift from my sister, and is favourite to read to my son.

And I wish I were reading…The Wetiko Legal Principles by Hadley Friedland.  I am anxiously awaiting my preordered copy of this book, which promises to be transformative in how we think about Indigenous legal traditions.

I would recommend that all IFLS readers read…Birdie by Tracey Lindberg. After I finished reading Birdie I said to Tracey, “I didn’t read your book, I felt it.”  It is a beautifully written book that captures the external and internal struggles of so many Indigenous women.  In a time when Indigenous women are often overlooked by our justice system, I think it would be transformative if more people were able to empathize with our lived realities and struggles.

A song I love that doesn’t get enough airplay is…Poison & Wine by the Civil Wars.

If I wasn’t a law professor, I would…be spending my time at home with my kids, traveling with my family, working in my community, learning from my Elders, as a mental health advocate, learning Hul’q’umi’num … and much much more!  Thankfully this job already allows me to do some of these things!

The best part of clerking at the Pasqua Yaqui Tribal Appellate Court and the Navajo Nation Supreme Court was…working in justice systems that recognized and upheld Indigenous laws.  

The biggest lesson I’ve learned by studying Aboriginal law…is that Aboriginal law, as it has been developed in Canadian courts, will never foster reconciliation in Canada; however, a recognition and implementation of Indigenous legal traditions may.

Many thanks, Prof. Morales! Your recommendations are amazing.

Happy Holidays and Feminist Friday with Fathima Cader!

For the last Feminist Friday of 2017, we are thrilled to have the spectacular Fathima Cader!

Fathima Cader practises labour and employment law in Toronto, having previously served in legal clinics in Toronto, Dar es Salaam, Vancouver, and Ottawa. She teaches at the Faculty of Law at the University of Windsor, where she is also a Senior Fellow with the Transnational Law & Justice Network. In this latter capacity, she serves as the Coordinator of the Sri Lanka Series, a public lecture series on contemporary social justice movements in Sri Lanka. Her research and advocacy interests are particularly focused on state constructions and regulations of terror and national security. To that end, her recent publications include “Terror’s Lawfare” in The New Inquiry on comparative analyses of anti-terror laws in Canada and Sri Lanka; “Made You Look: Niqabs, the Muslim Canadian Congress, and R v NS” in the Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice on the rights of veil-wearing complainants in sexual assault cases; and “Tamil, tiger, terrorist? Anti-migrant hysteria and the criminalization of asylum seekers” in Briarpatch Magazine on the mass detentions in Canada of Tamil asylum-seekers fleeing Sri Lanka. Her other publications include creative non-fiction in Hazlitt and Warscapes, poetry in Apogee Journal and Canadian Woman Studies: les cahiers de la femme, and criticism in The Funambulist.

The qualities I admire most in a law professor are…My law prof heroes tend to be those engaged in behind-the-scenes activism outside the classroom and outside the law (i.e. beyond strategic litigation). Besides how multifacated and grounded this makes their legal research, I’ve found this commitment to the margins also often translates into creativity and generosity in how they relate students – especially those students who are structurally barred from accessing or excelling in legal practice. 

 

The traits I deplore in a law professor are…I struggle with careerism, something we’re all exposed to. Law professors are given a great deal of power (if variegated across the vectors of tenure, gender, race, etc), and it is very easy to exploit and to abuse those power dynamics – for example, in our relationships with students, but also in our relationships with the media and government bodies. We’re encouraged to think of ourselves of experts, rather than accomplices. So, to my previous point, I’m grateful for friends and colleagues who modelled matter-of-fact humility in how they understand their legal work in relation to the people most harmed by law’s violence.

The best time of day for writing is…The small hours of the night.

My feminist heroes are…So many, and so contingent. For what it’s worth, I like to approach my Feminist Legal Theory syllabi as an homage to the innumerable friends, activists, and scholars who challenge and encourage me to interrogate feminism’s faultlines. For example, Dionne Brand has remained for me, through the years, a touchstone in thinking about the language of law and violence. More recently, I’ve been very grateful for Leanne Betasamosake Simpson’s theorizing of the relationship between law, land, and nationalism.

Right now I am working on…I’m in Sri Lanka at the moment, where ‘reconciliation’ is (not unlike Canada) the word of the day. But eight years from the war’s end, peace remains precarious: the disproportionate torture of Tamil people by the state remains ongoing, while domestic and international ‘terrorism experts’ turn the sights on the island’s diverse Muslim communities. The peddling of familiar and anachronistic allegations of Muslims becoming ‘radicalized,’ while Buddhist monks coordinate attacks on churches and mosques, is, in the deja-vu it inspires, very frightening. I will shortly be returning to Toronto to a stack of papers to mark and a string of hearings to prepare for, but while here, I’m working on skeletons for essays on war and survival, land and terror.

Right now I am reading… I was halfway through As We Have Always Done: Indigenous Freedom through Radical Resistance by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson (2017) when I left Toronto. I finished reading the very acerbic The Sellout (2015)  by Paul Beaty on the train ride between Colombo and Batticaloa. Looking forward now to getting as many new Sri Lanka-related books as I can find and fit in my luggage.

And I wish I were reading… More poetry. And The Search for Justice: The Sri Lanka Papers, edited by Kumari Jayawardena and Kishali Pinto-Jayawardena (2016).

I would recommend that all IFLS readers read…

If I wasn’t a law professor, I would spend my time…Perpetually TBD.

The biggest difference between academia and private practice is…I love that I’m never entirely comfortable in either – neither with academia’s disconnection from human connections, obligations, and consequences; nor with private practice’s general fetishization of casework. I’ve found it immensely generative to be at conflicted and unsettled at the dis/juncture between theory and practice.

Thank you Fathima! You’re an inspiration.

Happy Feminist Friday with Régine Tremblay!

Today’s Feminist Friday features the amazing Régine Tremblay!

Régine Tremblay is Assistant Professor at the Peter A. Allard School of Law (UBC). She holds degrees in civil law and common law (BCL, LLB, McGill University, 2009), an LLM (University of Toronto, 2010), and recently defended her doctoral thesis (SJD, University of Toronto). Before beginning her SJD, she was Assistant Director of the Paul-André Crépeau Centre for Private and Comparative Law and a Lecturer in Canadian Family Law (2011-2013) (McGill University, Faculty of Law). She is a practising member of the Quebec Bar (2011) and is trained as a family mediator (Basic training, 2016). Her doctoral research has been funded by a SSHRC – Doctoral Awards (2014-2018), the Macdonald Travelling Scholarship (2013-2014) (Shared), the Edwin Botsford Busteed Scholarship (2009 and 2013-2014), and a fellowship from the University of Toronto. She won prizes and awards throughout her studies, including the Nouveaux Chercheurs – Chaire Jean-Louis Baudouin en droit civil (2015).

Régine’s research interests include family law, family property law, family mediation, private law, comparative law and critical theories (feminism and queer theories). Her research has been published in English and French, in Canada and in the United Kingdom, including in the Canadian Journal of Family Law and in the Canadian Journal of Women and the Law. She is the co-author of the Dictionnaire de droit privé: Les familles – Private Law Dictionary of the Family, 2nd edition (2016), a contributor to the McGill Companion to Law and the co-editor of Les intraduisibles en droit civil (2014)Her research has been cited in various articles, in a report submitted in 2015 to the Quebec Minister of Justice on the reform of family law in Quebec, and by the Conseil du Statut de la Femme. You can find some of her publications here: http://ssrn.com/author=1422200.

The qualities I admire most in a law professor are… I admire engaging, dynamic, open, accessible, humble and smart law professors.

The best time of day for writing is…Very early in the morning, when my brain is fresh.

My feminist heroes are…That’s a tough one…what makes a heroine a heroine? Bertha Wilson, Claire L’Heureux-Dubé, Brenda Cossman, Susan Boyd, Lori Chambers, Simone De Beauvoir, Thérèse Casgrain, Marie-Claire Kirkland-Casgrain, and I could go on and on and on…

Right now I am working on…I am working on a few things, it is an exciting time. I am writing about the limits of filiation in Quebec as exposed by surrogacy, access to justice in BC and law reform, relationships of economic and emotional interdependency in civil law, and the gendered narratives surrounding gametes in law.

Right now I am reading… My dissertation, because I am preparing my defense… but I am also reading Pamela Palmater, Beyond Blood. Rethinking Indigenous Identity, and Boyd and al., Autonomous Motherhood? A Socio-Legal Study of Choice and Constraint. On the non-legal front, I am reading Still Alice by Lisa Genova and Open Heart, Open Mind by Clara Hughes. If I could, I would just read all day.  

And I wish I were reading… Constance Backhouse, Claire L’Heureux-Dubé: A Life.

I would recommend that all IFLS readers read… I think I would say The Second Sex.

A song I love that doesn’t get enough airplay is… I am an old soul when it comes to music and I am definitely out of the loop… Anything by Eurythmics or Annie Lennox.

If I wasn’t a law professor, I would be spend my time… Being a law professor is the best, but I can think of a few things… maybe forensic anthropology or history, training to be an Olympian, plumbing, fiction writing, opening a microbrewery in Charlevoix… oh and I’d love to learn fly-fishing. 

The biggest difference between Montreal and Vancouver is… There are many differences between Montreal and Vancouver… mentioning only one is hard. The real estate market and the weather are obvious picks (and the time devoted to talking about real estate and weather), the demography, the linguistic profile of the population, the landscapes… and how slowly Vancouverites cross the streets! Vancouver and Montreal are also similar in many ways, they are both progressive, multicultural, beautiful, open, fantastic cities to live in.

Thank you Prof. Tremblay! And if you ever open a microbrewery in Charlevoix, we will be there!

Happy Feminist Friday, featuring Prof. Jillian Rogin!

Happy Feminist Friday!

Today we are profiling Prof. Jillian Rogin, a Windsor Law aluma and now Windsor Law assistant professor.

Jillian Rogin is the mother of a vivacious two year old. She completed her undergraduate degree at Trent University with a double major in Indigenous Studies and Philosophy. It was here that she began to understand her role in settler-colonialism and her responsibilities as a settler on this land. In furtherance of this pursuit, she completed an M.E.S. graduate degree at York University where she examined gender and apartheid in Israel. After working in social services for almost a decade, she decided to go to law school to try to disentangle her disillusionment with the legal system and completed a LL.B. degree at the University of Windsor. After completing her articles at the Superior Court of Justice in Toronto, she worked at Legal Aid Ontario as a duty counsel lawyer (criminal). She spent a number of years in this role working at the Ontario Court of Justice focusing on judicial interim release. Jillian then completed an LL.M. at Osgoode Hall Law School examining the law of bail as it applies to Indigenous accused people in Canada. After working for two years as a review counsel at Community Legal Aid (CLA) in Windsor, she accepted the appointment of Assistant (Clinic) Professor at the University of Windsor, Faculty of Law. She researches and publishes in the areas of criminal law including judicial interim release, evidence in sexual assault cases, Gladue, and other issues related to the criminal justice system in Canada. Her work is informed by feminist legal theory, Indigenous scholarship, and post-colonial and critical race scholarship.

The qualities I admire most in a law professor are…clarity, the ability to foster critical thought, engaged in the issues being taught, organized, the ability to model resilience and to live the work.

The trait I deplore in a law professor is…ego and fragility (which often go hand in hand).

The best time of day for writing is…I have a two year old which means that the best time of day to write is any moment I can get.

My feminist heroes are…Nahla Abdo, Patricia Monture, Maria Campbell, Lee Maracle, Julia Sudbury, Fathima Cader, Theresa Spence (I could continue with this list – not sure where to stop, there are so many).

Right now I am working on…a paper about bail/gender/ and Indigenous female accused.

Right now I am reading…Decolonizing Methodologies by Linda Tuhiwai Smith, everything by Bev Jacobs and Carol LaPrairie (see above paper I’m working on), and I’m reading the autobiography of Malcolm X in my spare time. 

And I wish I were reading…Policing Black Lives by Robyn Maynard.

I would recommend that all IFLS readers read…Thunder in my Soul by Patrica Monture-Angus and Imagined Communities by Benedict Anderson.

A song I love that doesn’t get enough airplay is…“Lovin You” by Minnie Ripperton.

If I wasn’t a law professor, I would be spend my time…with my daughter making homemade pasta – or being a criminal defence lawyer. Or both.

The most interesting thing about being a faculty member where I did my J.D. is…learning to refer to my new colleagues by their first names.

The most surprising part of working with Windsor’s Community Legal Aid clinic is…the magnitude of the learning curve for law students. Watching it happen is completely empowering and disempowering at the same time.

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions, Prof. Rogin!