Tag Archives: feminism

New in Print C.J. Craig, “Copyright, Communication and Culture: Re-Imagining the Copyright Model”

Colleague, IFLS member (and cherished friend) Carys Craig has published a reworking of her dissertation entitled Copyright, Communication and Culture: re-Imagining the Copyright Model”.  The book is available here (Amazon.ca, still in preorder as of now but at a good price), or from the publisher here.  She had a book launch last Friday, covered in detail by IPOsgoode here.

Here’s the publisher’s blurb for Copyright, Communication and Culture:

In this provocative book, Carys Craig challenges the assumptions of possessive individualism embedded in modern day copyright law, arguing that the dominant conception of copyright as private property fails to adequately reflect the realities of cultural creativity.

Employing both theoretical argument and doctrinal analysis, including the novel use of feminist theory, the author explores how the assumptions of modern copyright result in law that frequently restricts the kinds of expressive activities it ought to encourage. In contrast, Carys Craig proposes a relational theory of copyright based on a dialogic account of authorship, and guided by the public interest in a vibrant, participatory culture. Through a critical examination of the doctrines of originality and fair dealing, as well as the relationship between copyright and freedom of expression, she explores how this relational theory of copyright law could further the public purposes of the copyright system and the social values it embodies.

Some of the arguments which appear in the book were first published as articles.  For instance, regarding her use of feminist theory (which is how you get your copyright book featured on IFLS, naturally), you can read her “Reconstructing the Author-Self: Some Feminist Lessons for Copyright LawJournal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law, Vol. 15, No. 2, pp. 207-268, 2007   (link is to SSRN):

“Employing the tools of feminist dialogism and relational theory, I hope to show that we can re-imagine the author not as source, origin, or authority, but as participant, citizen. These ideas illuminate the nature of authorship as a social and formative process, but they also offer the foundation for a coherent justification of copyright: copyright law, which aims to encourage creativity and exchange, should thereby encourage participation in cultural dialogue and facilitate the relations of communication that are central to this conception of selfhood and society.”

Carys will speak at our October Feminist Friday, on “What’s Feminist about Open Access?” a co authored piece which was published in the inaugural edition of Feminists@Law, a new open access journal of feminist legal scholarship.  Maybe you don’t know much about the intersection of Feminism and Copyright, but think it sounds like a neat neighbourhood.  When I asked for two suggestions, Carys suggested these articles to those intrigued by the connections between feminist theory and copyright (or IP more generally).  Carys adores alliteration, so she described these as favourite/fundamental:
Malla Pollack. “Towards a Feminist Theory of the Public Domain, or The Gendered Scope of United States’ Copyrightable and Patentable Subject Matter” William & Mary J. of Women and the Law 12 (2006): 603. Link is to Hein Online (requires account – will likely work if you are accessing from a university IP address):

the public domain is feminine because it provides essential nourishment; it is the birthing and lactating mother. As one seed becomes a plant due to the fecundity of the earth goddess, so one human sprouts poems due to the fecundity of the public domain, the daemon, the muse.”

Says Carys, “A sure way to make upper year law students shift uneasily in their seats.”    Another must-read classic (and Canadian to boot): is Shelley Wright, A Feminist Exploration of the Legal Protection of Art, 7 Can. J. Women & L. 59 (1994).  (Another Hein Online link. Apologies, but (irony?) these articles are not available “openly”.)

Since two is too few, she offered these more recent pieces as well – true to her convictions, both of these links should open for everyone.

Ann Bartow, Fair Use and the Fairer Sex:  Gender, Feminism, and Copyright LawAm. UJ Gender Soc. Pol’y & L., 2006,

Greene, K.J. “Intellectual Property at the Intersection of Race and Gender: Lady Sings the Blues.” American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law. 16, no. 3 (2008): 365-385

These articles, along with Carys work, are fascinating.  It all makes me wonder, sometimes, what exactly I found so interesting about the Constitution….

New in Print: Challenging Gender Inequity in Tax Policy Making

In my email box yesterday, an announcement that this book is out:

Challenging Gender Inequality in Tax Policy Making: Comparative Perspectives

Edited by Kim Brooks, Åsa Gunnarsson, Lisa Philipps and Maria WersigClick here to order from Hart UK/World (with link to Hart USA) (hint: you might be able to forward this post to your law library and ask them to order it…).  The contents are part of a workshop held at Oñati and part of the Oñati International Series in Law and Society (Bridget Crawford blogged about it at Feminist Law Professors here and here).  This book is on my list – and I am NOT a tax person, although lately am making tentative forays into tax policy as it relates to welfare policy. I think the tentativeness is the problem.  All or nothing, it seems.

This volume takes a critical look at the gender of tax policy around the world. Contributors based in eight different countries examine the profound effects that gender norms and practices have had in shaping tax law and policy, and how taxation in turn impacts upon the possibilities for equality along gender, race, class, sexuality and other lines. Chapters explore how the gendered fiscal state might be theorised; how structural choices about rates and bases in tax policy design contribute to gender inequality; how tax policy affects family configurations and perceptions of what constitutes family; how fiscal systems impact on savings and wealth accumulation by women and men; and the role of different policy-making processes and institutions in occluding and sometimes challenging these patterns. Most significantly, perhaps, the book explores these questions in an international frame, traversing countries and continents. The conclusion: fiscal policy has deep rooted, long standing gender implications that affect virtually every aspect of our social, political, and economic lives whether we live in Canada, Australia or Kenya.

What’s in the book?

Introduction ………………………………………………………………………………….1
Lisa Philipps, Kim Brooks, Åsa Gunnarsson and Maria Wersig

Lisa Philipps is a Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School of York University in Toronto, Canada. She is co-editor of Tax Expenditures: State of the Art, ed Lisa Philipps, Neil Brooks and Jinyan Li (Toronto, Canadian Tax Foundation, 2011), and co-author of David G Duff, Kim Brooks, Benjamin Alarie and Lisa Philipps, Canadian Income Tax Law, 3rd edn (Markham, Ontario, LexisNexis, 2009). Kim Brooks was appointed Dean of the Schulich School of Law in July 2010. She formerly held the H Heward Stikeman Chair in the Law of Taxation at McGill’s Faculty of Law. Professor Brooks’ primary research interests lie in the areas of corporate and international tax, and tax policy. Åsa Gunnarsson is Professor of Jurisprudence and Tax Law at the Department of Law, Umeå University. Her research covers a wide range of issues on law and the gendered fiscal state. She currently leads a research programme funded by the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation, titled Feminist Studies on Taxation and Budgeting (FemTax). Maria Wersig studied law and gender equality at the Freie Universität Berlin. She has worked as a policy adviser within the Parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany and is currently a doctoral candidate at the Otto-Suhr-Institute of Political Science (Berlin). Her research interests include family law and policy, taxation, legal gender studies and comparative constitutional studies.

Part I: Gendering the Fiscal State

1. The ‘Capture’ of Women in Law and Fiscal Policy: The Tax/Benefit Unit, Gender Equality, and Feminist Ontologies ….. 11
Kathleen A Lahey ( Professor of Law and Queen’s National Scholar, Faculty of Law, Queen’s University, and co-director, Feminist Legal Studies Queen’s. Her research includes corporate, personal, international, and comparative taxation and policy, property law, gender budgeting, women, sexualities,and race in fiscal policy and human rights. Recent publications include Women and Fiscal Equality (special edition, Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, 2010), ‘Women, Substantive Equality, and Fiscal Policy’ (CJWL, 2010), and ‘International Transactions, Taxation, and Women: The Critical Role of Gender Analysis’ (UBCLRev, 2010). She frequently advises parliamentary committees, policy units, and the media on tax/budget issues. Email: kal2@queensu.ca.)

2. Tax, Markets, Gender and the New Institutionalism …………………… 37
Ann Mumford (Dr. Ann Mumford is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Law at Queen Mary, University of London. Ann’s research interests are in the fields of fiscal sociology, budgetary processes, and the intersections of law, gender and equality. She has written two monographs, Taxing Culture (Ashgate, 2002); and Tax Policy, Women and the Law (Cambridge University Press, 2010)).

3. Gender Equity in Australia’s Tax System: A Capabilities Approach …………………………………………………………………………….. 53
Miranda Stewart (Associate Professor at Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne. She recently edited Housing and Tax Policy (Australian Tax Research Foundation, 2010) and is a co-author of Death and Taxes (Thomson, 2009) and Income Taxation: Commentary and Materials (Thomson, 2009). She is currently researching taxation of the not-for-profit-sector and issues in tax and development).

4. Challenging the Benchmarks in Tax Law Theories and Policies from a Gender Perspective—The Swedish Case ………………………….. 75
Åsa Gunnarsson

Part II: Bases and Rates: Structural Choices in Tax Policy Design

5. Taxing Surrogacy ………………………………………………………………….. 95
Bridget J Crawford ( Professor of Law at Pace University School of Law in White Plains, New York. She teaches courses in Taxation; Wills, Trusts and Estates; and Feminist Legal Theory. She is the editor, with Anthony Infanti, of Critical Tax Theory: An Introduction (Cambridge, 2009). She can be reached at bcrawford@law.pace.edu. You can follow her on Twitter at @ProfBCrawford.)

6. A Gender Perspective Approach Regarding the Impact of Income Tax on Wage-earning Women in Spain …………………….. 109
Paloma de Villota ( Professor Doctor of Applied Economy at Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Her research interests include labour market, fiscal and social policies and gender budgeting. She writes reports for the European Commission and Spanish institutions. She has collaborated with UNIFEM, ILPES, CEPAL and the Council of Europe. She has worked with many European Universities in different projects and with American institutions such as FLACSO, UNAM (México). She is a member of the International Association of Feminist Economics and member of the board of the Instituto de Investigaciones Feministas (Spain).)

7. Gender and Taxation in Kenya: The Case of Personal Income and Value-added Taxes …………………………………………………………. 135
Bernadette M Wanjala and Maureen Were (Bernadette Wanjala is a PhD Fellow in Economics at the Development Research Institute, Tilburg University, the Netherlands. She has wide research experience and publications in macroeconomics, macro modelling, development economics and gender aware macroeconomics. She has previously worked as an Assistant Policy Analyst in Macroeconomics Division, The Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA).  Maureen Were is a researcher at the Research and Policy Analysis Department of the Central Bank of Kenya. She holds a PhD in economics, with wide experience in economic research and the field of macroeconomic modelling. She has written a number of papers on pertinent macro and socio-economic issues relating to Kenya).

Part III: The Family in Tax Policy

8. Dismembering Families ………………………………………………………… 159
Anthony C Infanti (Professor of Law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. His research focuses particularly upon the intersection of  tax law with sexual orientation and gender identity. He is co-editor of
Critical Tax Theory: An Introduction (Cambridge University Press, 2009). Professor Infanti is an elected member of the American Law Institute and the American Bar Foundation).

9. The Tax/Benefit Implications of Recognizing Same-sex Partnerships ………………………………………………………….. 177
Casey Warman and Frances Woolley (Casey Warman received his PhD in Economics from Carleton University in 2006. He teaches in the Economics Department at Queen’s University. His research interests primarily involve empirical issues in the areas of immigration, gender differentials, labour market, and health economics. His research has been published in the Canadian Journal of Economics, Labour Economics and the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy. Frances Woolley is a Professor in the Department of Economics at Carleton University. Her area of expertise is the economics of the family and public policy, particularly with respect to the tax treatment of families. She blogs regularly at Worthwhile Canadian Initiative, http://worthwhile.typepad.com and for the Globe and Mail newspaper.)

10. Income Redistribution Through Child Benefits and Child-related Tax Deductions: A Gender-neutral Approach? ………195
Kirsten Scheiwe (Professor of Law at Hildesheim University, Germany since 2000. She works mainly in the areas of family law, social law and legal comparison and investigates law in social context from the perspectives of interdisciplinary and comparative legal analysis and gender studies. She received her PhD from the European University Institute, Florence and her habilitation from Frankfurt University).

11. Overcoming the Gender Inequalities of Joint Taxation and Income Splitting: The Case of Germany …………………………….213
Maria Wersig

Part IV: Savings, Wealth and Capital Gains

12. Income Splitting and Gender Equality: The Casefor Incentivizing Intra-household Wealth Transfers ……………………235
Lisa Philipps

13. Indirect Discrimination in Tax Law: The Case of Tax Deductions for Contributions to Employer-provided Pension Plans in Germany ……………………………………………………..255
Ulrike Spangenberg (a Berlin-based independent consultant who has worked with clients in government, trade unions and a variety of other organisations. A lawyer by training, she has specialized in Gender and
Fiscal policy. She is the author and co-author of several key studies on the intersection of taxation and gender in Germany. Contact: spangenberg@ gleichstellungsinstitut.de.)

14. Gender and Capital Gains Taxation ………………………………………..275
Marjorie E Kornhauser (Professor of Law at Arizona State University College of Law where she teaches tax and tax policy. Her research focuses on the intersection of tax and society, including political, historical and
gendered aspects of taxation. Among her recent publications is a chapter in another Hart publication: ‘Remembering the “Forgotten Man” (and Woman): Hidden Taxes and the 1936 Election’ in J Tiley (ed), Studies in
the History of Tax Law: Volume 4 (Hart Publishing, 2010)).

Slutwalk (small) Roundup

I haven’t written much here about what will probably be Osgoode’s biggest media moment of the year.  Slutwalk is a big deal, and the genesis of the idea was something that happened right here.  I did, of course, write about it a little bit (click here for “What not to wear”), but then Slutwalk took on a life of it’s own, rather unconnected to York or Osgoode.  Now Slutwalk is big enough to be “controversial” – and the main controversy does not seem to be about violence against women or whether and how “society” blames women for sexual violence perpetrated against them.  Nope – the media seems most interested in this (as Brenda Cossman put it on twitter) as a visual feast and a “catfight”.  Is Slutwalk feminist? Pit no against yes, and stand back!

Oh well, here’s a set of links for your consideration, but let me make a minor intervention first – my own position is that I have no doubt that Slutwalk has feminist potential. I think that our questions ought to be around how that potential could be realised and perhaps more importantly, is it being realised. Is participating in Slutwalk bringing more women to feminist activism? Are existing organizations gaining members through Slutwalk? Is Slutwalk strengthening women’s groups in their advocacy with police forces? Or, are women participating in Slutwalk and denying that they are feminists?  Do women who are walking see Slutwalk as a way to claim “I can wear what I want” – a fundamentally individualist claim – or do they understand/does Slutwalk encourage the conception that this is an issue which women can/should confront together.  Are women who participate truly deconstructing the word slut, or are they reclaiming that word but hanging on to the ideas which animate the misogynistic use of the word (ie., just because I’m wearing this doesn’t mean I’m a slut – but her, that girl, she’s a slut because….”). Are women who are walking recognizing differential vulnerabilities to sexual assault and supporting women who are the most vulnerable?  Has this helped mobilize action around sexual assault on campus – does it get back to the original inception at all?

I don’t think that this debate can be about being the feminism police at some kind of grand scale, but I think down in the details there are important questions to be asking and conclusions can be drawn from the answers.

OK, so the round up – in the form of the tweets I’ve put out linking to various things.

It’s a really short roundup, I’m hoping people will contribute the best things they’ve read in the comments.

A critical take at The F Word (“We’re Sluts, Not Feminists: Wherein my relationship with Slutwalk gets rocky):

[blackbirdpie id=”67782506539266048″]

The organizers speak:

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/OsgoodeIFLS/status/67783119671009280”]

Our Dean’s thoughts (yes, the Dean. I imagine him typing “slut” and my mind boggles. Reclaiming!?)

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/DeanSossin/status/68499347557466112″]

Margaret Wente (not a favourite of mine…) of the Globe and Mail enters the fray (she gets lots of mileage out of this – denigrating university students, immigrant communities, naive feminists, the media….) but she raises a good question about the nature of the media coverage. So another question: how do the organizers deal with media interest in Slutwalk(s)? Simply because the media can’t be controlled isn’t a good enough reason to condemn the organizers. But it’s something to think about in terms of strategy.

[blackbirdpie url=”http://twitter.com/#!/BrendaCossman/status/68676739060072448″]

Here’s a debate on TVOntario’s the Agenda (three American women, Heather Jarvis, one of the Slutwalk organizers, and Kate McPherson, a York University Professor from history & women’s studies).

If you want more Gail Dines and Heather Jarvis, or prefer radio, here they are on Q,

Articles reviewed on Jotwell

I really like the idea of Jotwell, see my previous post here.  Here are two jotwell articles on criminal law that are worth considering.  Both go far beyond doctrinal considerations and might interest those who work in a variety of areas.

Both reflect on criminal law initiatives which might initially appeal to many feminists. They push us to question the larger  implications of measures designed to protect the vulnerable.  In one, the measure might have uneven impact racially.  In the other article, it is the piling up of measures aimed at a particular kind of crime which creates a new context and cultural phenomenon.  If you click through to the reviews, there are links to SSRN for both articles.

The first review is of Corey Rayburn Yung, The Emerging Criminal War Against Sex Offenders (2009, forthcoming Harvard Civil Rights- Civil Liberties Law Review).

The reviewer, Prof. Angela P. Harris of Boalt Hall, says (but really, read her whole review – i found it so interesting I almost forgot to go and pick up the article she’s talking about!):

…. lot of criminal law and procedure scholarship is incredibly boring for this reason: It pretends that doctrinal craft and/or moral theory actually matter. The work that isn’t boring, however, situates criminal law and procedure in its cultural and political context; and the article I like a lot this month is an excellent example, providing a useful guide to an ongoing crisis in American law and culture.

The second piece is a review of Aviva Orenstein, Propensity or Stereotype?: A Misguided Evidence Experiment in Indian Country, 19 Cornell J. Law & Pub. Pol. 173 (2009).  Prof. Myrna Raeder of Southwestern writes: 

In 1994, in a well documented trade, Congress adopted Federal Rules of Evidence 413-415 as the quid pro quo for securing the deciding vote necessary to pass the then pending Violent Crime Control Act. Rules 413-414 specifically permit propensity evidence in sexual assault and child molestation cases. Professor Aviva Orenstein investigates how these rules have been (mis)applied in federal court. Her thought-provoking essay decries the disproportionate use of the rules against Indian defendants, and suggests the repeated presence of negatively stereotyped Indian defendants may actually help perpetuate the myth that rapists are easily identified “others,” an attitude that makes acquaintance rapes incredibly difficult to prove. She also suggests that stereotyping reinforces the propensity evidence and may lead judges to more willingly accept character evidence beyond sex crimes,Orenstein has been influential in applying feminist jurisprudence to evidentiary issues, not only concerning topics that are associated with women’s issues such as rape and domestic violence, but also in contexts where the link is less obvious, such as apologies by doctors. Previously, she critiqued the use of propensity evidence in No Bad Men!: A Feminist Analysis of Character Evidence in Rape Trials, 49  Hastings L.J. 663 (1998), suggesting such evidence violates feminist values and presenting alternative evidentiary solutions to strengthening the government’s case. Like her, I view myself as a feminist who is sympathetic to the plight of victims of rape and child abuse, while remaining sensitive to issues of fairness and constitutional rights of criminal defendants. Thus, I knew this article would analyze difficult questions such as whether stereotyping of Indians1 is encouraged by the propensity rules, and why these rules do not necessarily further feminist goals.