Category Archives: Women

Feminists Against Sex[es|ism]

Women’s Law Journal changes name,” by
Naomi Schoenbaum and Katie Wiik, The Record,, 17 February 2005 (from The Volokh Conspiracy).

This is a landmark year for our Journal. After publishing for twenty-seven years as the Harvard Women’s Law Journal, we have now become the Harvard Journal of Law & Gender. Our new name does not signal a change in our Journal’s content. Rather, it reflects our long-standing commitment to publishing diverse feminist scholarship that approaches gender as an axis of power within law and throughout society.

Choosing the Harvard Journal of Law & Gender as our new name indicates our unwillingness to rely upon essentialist arguments based on biological sex or to demarcate any set of issues within the legal terrain as exclusive to women. At the same time, problems that disproportionately affect women are gendered issues, and as such, they will continue to be the central focus of our Journal. Our new name also more broadly encompasses our concerns with other mechanisms of power — such as race, class, and sexuality — that intersect with gender in rich and complicated ways.

Ah… academia… where I shall soon be returning…

Democratic Wives

Teresa Heinz drops ‘Kerry’,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,, 6 February 2005 (from Fark).

Wife Will Not Join DNC CHairman Howard Dean in Washington,” Drudge Report,, 13 February 2005.

Trouble for DNC Chairman Howard Dean

Howard Dean won the chairmanship of the national Democratic Party over the weekend and quickly began looking for a home in Washington.

“This is really goodbye to Vermont, for now. There’s lots of work to do,” Dean told supporters.

Eyebrows were raised after it was revealed that Dean’s wife, Judy, will not be joining her husband in his move.

“She has a career as a doctor, her patients require her attention,” said one Dean friend.

The Deans will join the growing ranks of “commuter marriages,” with both partners living in different locations.

Trouble for Senator Kerry

A campaign convenience is no more.

According to The Washington Times, Teresa Heinz, the erstwhile Teresa Heinz Kerry, has stopped using the last name of her husband, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, last year’s Democrat presidential nominee.

Preceding its Women Who Make a Difference Awards dinner next month, the National Council for Research on Women is featuring “a conversation with Teresa Heinz,” according to a release from the organization. The council failed to mention the final half of the Fox Chapel ketchup heiress’ formerly elongated last name in several other references.

Update: Riding Sun adds:

You might see Teresa’s decision as a real slap in the face to John, but I’ll bet he’s not taking it too hard. You see, there’s plenty of nuance involved here. After all, she did change her name to Kerry, before she changed it back.

Hayekian Marriage Conservatives

Me vs World: Grad School with the Left,” by “Robby,” Willington World,, 8 February 2005 (from The Corner)

In the midtst of a great tale of a conservative student in a liberal classroom, this perfect paragraph

The Hayekian argument against same sex marriage says that there does not necessarily need to be a good reason against altering marriage because we do not know all the benefits and influences it has in society. Goldberg says that “tinkering with marriage is like reaching into your car’s engine and monkeying around with the big round thingamajig without really knowing what it does.” There are customs which have invisible benefits which are not realized until they are gone. The g-man points out that the social implications of the modern economy and the women’s liberation movement reduced the nightly habit of family dinners. Recent studies indicate a connection to the growing “epidemic” of obesity due to the absence of home cooked meals. I think it may also be a detriment mentally – the family table seems to be an ideal setting to discuss the news and problems of the day.

As a once and future conservative grad student, I can only say: bravo!

Hysterical Harvard

Harvard aims to spur advancement of women,” by Marcella Bombardieri, Boston Globe,, 4 February 2005 (from The Corner).

You are Harvard Univeristy. Your successfully responded to scientific inquiry from your president by making him apologize. What is the next stage . But that’s not enough. You want to demonstrate that women can succeed in science through hard work and intelligence?

Affirmative action!

In response to the outcry that followed Harvard University president Lawrence H. Summers’s remarks on women in the sciences, the university announced yesterday the creation of two task forces to develop concrete ways to better recruit women and support the careers of female scholars at Harvard, especially in science and engineering.

Harvard also announced plans to create a senior position in the central administration to focus on the recruitment and advancement of women on the faculty.

For example, many people had been urging the Faculty of Arts and Sciences to reinstitute the dean for affirmative action, a position that was abolished several years ago. The new senior position for gender diversity seems to be a similar job, though at the higher university level rather than at the level of FAS.

Those who lobbied for that position made “persuasive arguments,” Summers said yesterday. He also said that the new initiative “is something that perhaps we could have done some time ago — addressing these problems on a university-wide level rather than leaving them to the decentralized schools. . . . I think this is an overdue step in taking a university-wide view of these questions.”

What a great school.


Harvard Chief Says His Remarks on Women Were Wrong,” by Greg Frost, Reuters,, 20 January 2005 (from Drudge).

Harvard Univeristy demonstrates that it is a university in the truest sense of the world — it is a place for free expression of ideas, no matter how controversial.

Just kidding.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (Reuters) – Harvard University President Lawrence Summers has written a lengthy apology, admitting he was wrong to suggest women do not have the same natural ability in math and sciences as men.

In his third and most repentant statement this week, the Ivy League school chief sought to make amends to faculty not just at Harvard but across the country who were offended by his remarks at a conference last Friday.

“I deeply regret the impact of my comments and apologize for not having weighed them more carefully,” Summers said in a letter to the Harvard community posted on his Web site and dated Wednesday. “I was wrong to have spoken in a way that has resulted in an unintended signal of discouragement to talented girls and women.”

If I was snide, I would say this is great news. After all, now that Harvard University has made is clear that some speech is unacceptable, we can expect all anti-Semitic speech to end. Likewise anti-American will soon end on college campuses, because it is it an “unintended” signal of discouragement to our troops.

But that’s not going to happen, so I won’t say anything.

The Customer Wins

Damascus prostitutes go to war,” Al Bawaba,, 4 January 2005.

In a price war, the customer wins

The fall of Stalinist Iraq has disrupted the certain aspects of the Syrian service sector, as newly mobile Iraqis create a lower equilibrium wage

In recent months, the whores working in Damascus have complained about the “aggressive conquering” of their clientele by foreign workers. The market of whores, as well as other markets, has suffered due to the wave of immigration from neighboring Iraq.

Businesses often resort to FUD — fear, uncertainly, and doubt, to discourage competition. Globalization and expanding free trade means competitors can come from anywhere. “Microsoft Internet Explorer will give you viruses.” So will Iraqi Irene

In the past few months, a mini “world war” has been taking place between prostitutes in Syria: the many immigrants from Iraq have simply “stolen” the jobs of the local girls. However, the Syrian whores have decided not to surrender and have engaged in war by spreading rumors, claiming, “The immigrants are all sick with AIDS”.

Sadly, there are government failures. Well-intentioned government regulations prohibit often prevent true price competition. In the U.S. only licensed doctors can give certain advice. In Syria, only men can get prostitutes out of jail.

It seems that in one of the areas in which this business flourishes, a systematic system has been developed. Syrian or Iraqi pimps “marry” up to four whores (either from Syria, Iraq or Tunisia). In exchange for 10,000 dollars a year, the whores commit themselves to serve any client, anytime. In exchange, the pimp promises her that if she is arrested, he will release her after identifying himself to the police as her “husband”.

But the free market finds a way. Is pimpery becoming gender-neutral?

The Iraqi whores work in a few centers, according to reports. In the A-Thal neighborhood of Damascus, for example, one can find night clubs in which Iraqi and Syrian women perform sensual dances. According to the reports, one can even spot women in their 50s sitting by the stage smoking nargilas. Perhaps these are the mothers of the dancers that came to watch after their daughters or perhaps to mediate between their girls and the eager clients…

Wow. I got through that entire article without one comparison between Syria and John Ashcroft’s America!

The Counterrevolution?

Women Lack ‘Natural Ability’ In Some Fields, Harvard President Says: Comments Came At Economic Conference,” Associated Press,, 17 January 2005 (from Drudge Report).

Without comment…

CAMBRIDGE, Mass — The president of Harvard University prompted criticism for suggesting that innate differences between the sexes could help explain why fewer women succeed in science and math careers.

Lawrence H. Summers, speaking Friday at an economic conference, also questioned how great a role discrimination plays in keeping female scientists and engineers from advancing at elite universities.

“It’s possible I made some reference to innate differences,” he said. He said people “would prefer to believe” that the differences in performance between the sexes are due to social factors, “but these are things that need to be studied.”

He also cited as an example one of his daughters, who as a child was given two trucks in an effort at gender-neutral upbringing. Yet he said she named them “daddy truck” and “baby truck,” as if they were dolls.

Here was this economist lecturing pompously (to) this room full of the country’s most accomplished scholars on women’s issues in science and engineering, and he kept saying things we had refuted in the first half of the day,” said Denton, the outgoing dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Washington.

Summers already faced criticism because the number of senior job offers to women has dropped each year of his three-year presidency.

He has promised to work on the problem.

Lawrence Summers, nephew of two nobel laureates, was President Bill Clinton’s last Secretary of the Treasury.