Panel 5: Comparative and International Perspectives on "the End of Men"

Panel 5: Comparative and International Perspectives on "the End of Men"
Pnina Lahav, Boston [...]University School of Law (introductions and presentation)
Mary Anne Case, University of Chicago Law School
Shahla Haeri, Boston University Dept. of Anthropology
Fionnuala Ni Aolain, University of Minnesota School of Law
Julie C. Suk, Yeshiva University, Cardozo School of Law

Panel 5 examined gender equity under religious and secular regimes. Under Orthodox Judaism in Israel, women are in the workforce supporting men who “pursue the supreme life activity—learning.” Secular law provides a parallel authority to challenge the religious orthodoxy that decries gender equality as a “violation of God’s law.” Under the Catholic church in Western Europe, the Vatican influenced a recall campaign for French schoolbooks referencing gender as partly a social construct. The rationale of the campaign was that “sex distinctions are what enables human reasoning.” Under the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Guardian Counsel disqualifies women from election candidacy and universities bar women from over seventy disciplines. Women are segregated into health and education careers. Within terrorism discourse in Ireland, women’s presence in the traditionally male space of violence against the state may be “a deeper form of patriarchal reinvention” because women often adopt “the very masculinities that drive the violence.” Under the European Commission, a gender balance rule for corporate boards safeguards against either gender subordinating the other in an economy where women may outcompete men.

About the Conference:
Friday, October 12 & Saturday, October 13, 2012
Boston University School of Law

"The end of men," a phrase coined by journalist HannaRosin, captures the proposition that women have made such remarkable progress in all domains—and men have suffered such declines and reversals—that women are effectively surpassing men and becoming the dominant sex. This interdisciplinary conference evaluated claims about "the end of men" and consider their implications.

Feminist diagnoses of sex discrimination have fueled changes in law and policy, as well as in cultural norms. Should recent claims about the status of men likewise prompt redress? The conference examined empirical assertions about men's and women's comparative status in concrete domains, such as education, the workplace and the family. It examined how the data supporting claims about the end of men—and progress of women—look once differentiated by class, race, region and other categories. It provided historical perspectives on current anxieties about imbalances between men's and women's power, opportunities and status.

The conference also offered comparative and international perspectives on the "end of men" thesis, testing it in a variety of contexts in Europe and the Middle East. Papers and proceedings will be published in the Boston University Law Review.


Tags: international, law, gender equality, discrimination

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