Hot Topics

Politicians and Blackface

Recently, Florida Secretary of State Mike Ertel resigned after photos of him dressed in blackface as a Hurricane Katrina victim surfaced. Ertel was appointed as Florida Secretary of State by first-term governor Ron DeSantis. Governor DeSantis, a Republican, defeated Andrew Gillum – the first African American democratic gubernatorial candidate in Florida – last November in the election. Ironically, (perhaps not), DeSantis is the same man who told Floridians just days before the election: “the last thing we need to do is monkey this up…” This was a clear reference to Mr. Gillum’s race, and a message to Floridians not to elect the state’s first Black governor. Apparently, Governor DeSantis’s Secretary of State shared some of the same racial sentiments as the man who appointed him. 

pjimage_13_
Image from Orlando Weekly

Blackface was one of the most notable features of minstrelsy. What, ironically, started off as African American slaves mimicking slave masters and owners turned into white people putting burnt cork or shoe polish on their faces and acting as Black caricatures.

Continue reading “Hot Topics”

Books, Books, and Books: A Social Justice Reading List

Nikita Srivastava (’19)

Throughout my time working with the Center for Race, Gender and Social Justice, I’ve been exposed to amazing concepts that reflect on issues affecting our society.

I personally love researching for fun, but not everyone shares that love … or the same views I do. If you want to engage your mind, then I recommend the following books:

356ede66-646a-46a9-b038-5e83bf940232-michelle_and_verna
Dean Verna Williams and Michelle Obama (image from Cincinnati.com)

Becoming by Michelle Obama

In her memoir, the former First Lady takes us on a journey to the White House. Mrs. Obama debunks many false rumors by sharing her life story. She elegantly describes every hurdle, obstacle, failure, mistake, and success she has encountered thus far. And, while describing her White House years, Mrs. Obama gives special thanks to our very own Interim Dean, Verna L. Williams. Check it out!

Continue reading “Books, Books, and Books: A Social Justice Reading List”

Brett Kavanaugh’s Confirmation: The Dangerous New Narrative.

Nikita Srivastava (’19)

The_Boy_Who_Cried_Wolf_-_Project_Gutenberg_etext_19994We’re all told at some point the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf. A young boy would repeatedly and continuously cry wolf when no wolf was present. His village would panic and run to his rescue but found the boy with no wolf. The villagers always ran to his rescue when no wolf was present. Eventually, the villagers collectively decided that when the boy cried wolf, they would not come to the boy’s rescue. One day, the boy saw a wolf. Scared and alone, he cried wolf – no one showed up. The boy died, eaten by a wolf.

The moral of the story: don’t lie or you’ll die. Women were treated like the boy who cried wolf. When women scream “sexual assault,” they were met with disbelief.  However, after the confirmation hearing for Justice Brett Kavanaugh, that narrative changed significantly. Women are no longer met with disbelief, but rather ignorance of their experience. John Oliver said it best on his show Last Week Tonight: “it is not that women aren’t believed, [society] simply does not care.” The narrative now changed to not caring about a woman’s harassment/abuse/assault. Ultimately, this dangerous new narrative will cause more harm to women. By not caring, society will accept that women face sexual harassment, or have been assaulted, but won’t take action against it. By taking this stance, we are basically saying to women, “hey, you got harassed/assaulted/abused? Well, you’re going have to deal with that because you’re a woman. No one is going to help you. Your abuser won’t get punished or reprimanded for it.”

Continue reading “Brett Kavanaugh’s Confirmation: The Dangerous New Narrative.”

The Sex Talk: Campus Sexual Assault Project

download
Image from Cincinnati Enquirer

Starting Sunday August 5, Kate Murphy and Meg Vogel’s project called The Sex Talk video series will be published by The Cincinnati Enquirer and USA Today. The video series focuses on the conversation that is not happening about campus sexual assault.

The Sex Talk comprises of ten videos that look at the epidemic of campus sexual assault in a new way by creating an honest digital conversation with people who are on the front lines and different sides of the issue.

Continue reading “The Sex Talk: Campus Sexual Assault Project”

RBG: A Must See For Every Civil Rights Advocate

Monica Welker (’19)

RBGfilmPoster

I ask no favors for my sex. . . All I ask of our brethren is, that they will take their feet from off our necks. – Sarah Moore Grimké, American abolitionist and suffragette.

 

At the beginning of RBG, a documentary of the life and work of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, she recounts the time that she famously used this quote during an oral argument before the Supreme Court of the United States. As Justice Ginsburg reflects on her use of the words, and repeats them, she reveals a sly, satisfied smile.

I am a fan of documentaries and Ginsburg, so seeing RBG was high on my summer to-do list. I took an afternoon and headed over to the Esquire to watch it.

If one has made a point of drinking in every interview and piece on Ginsburg that one can, as I have, one notices that about half of the documentary is made up of these already published interviews. There is the footage of her being interviewed by Nina Totenberg, footage of her workout routine, and interviews of her talking about the time she famously dozed off during the State of the Union.

Continue reading “RBG: A Must See For Every Civil Rights Advocate”

Psychological Harms of Microaggressions

Nikita Srivastava (’19) 

13076990_10209470691993073_6729252181073528252_n
Nikita Srivastava (’19) demonstrating how to give a cross-examination at the University of Dayton.

Everyone will have different experiences while working over the summer. Some may find the work load difficult or easy. Some may find the law frustrating or rewarding. At some point, all law school students will experience these feelings, however not everyone will experience the same work environment.  Some students will experience microaggressions.

Microaggressions are brief and commonplace — daily verbal, behavioral, and environmental indignities and invalidations, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative slights and insults to the target person or group or “outsiders”. “Outsiders” are individuals who do not come from the dominant culture. They are women, people of color, and the LGBQT community.  Usually, the “well-intentioned” people are the microaggressors–they are the ones who actively say and/or believe they are not racist, sexist, or homophobic; however, their actions or expressions say otherwise.

Continue reading “Psychological Harms of Microaggressions”

Women Negotiating Like Pros

UC Law Women teaches women how to fight the gender wage by giving its members the necessary negotiating techniques. 

Nikita Srivastava (’19)

aaron
Professor Marjorie Aaron. Image from UC Law Faculty Website

UC Law Women hosted a Salary Negotiation Event on March 21, 2018. As a group, UCLW wanted to provide a tool its members could use to fix gender related issues. For this event, UCLW focused on backlash women face when negotiating their salaries.

Professor Marjorie Aaron was the guest lecturer who crafted a presentation that focused on her work in negotiations and her own experience. She has not only participated in many negotiations herself, but also has written several scholarly articles on the topic including one about gender and negotiations. Professor Aaron delivered an interactive lecture that engaged in the students’ interests. The lecture started with general negotiation techniques that men and women could all use also known as gender-neutral techniques. These included: not disclosing what you want from a firm; not disclosing your information; learning about the firm; use anchoring; and do not overshoot.

Continue reading “Women Negotiating Like Pros”