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November 28, 2012

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Matthew Reid Krell

Also, how can you have a conversation about tax law and not include Sarah Lawsky?

I welcome enlightenment from a tax prawf.

Brando Simeo Starkey

Very eye-catching indeed.

Joe Miller

Eye-catching, and as easy to avoid as it is difficult to justify/explain.

JA

Oh my goodness, stop whining. Every symposium does not need to be balanced. And you can sometimes have a much more "diverse" group dominated by one gender, with different views, than you could in a mixed group that all lean in the same political direction. Also, you owe a similar post on the University of Texas' Women's Power Summit: http://www.utexas.edu/law/centers/cwil/2013-womens-power-summit-on-law-leadership/2013-speakers/ Only one man! And they have the audacity to call it a "Women's Power" Summit. Can you imagine a summit entitled "Men's Power." I can't either. Not in the 21st century. The PC police would shut it down.

Brando Simeo Starkey

JA, your post is riddled with the lazy thinking and false equivalencies that is, sadly, all too common among folks who inanely decry political correctness. A conference focused on woman's issues would naturally cater to speakers and participants of that gender. To believe that this woman's conference is at all comparable to a tax conference is a false equivalence that is downright inexcusable to bring up. Anyone who could possibly believe that's a reasonable counterargument is embarrassing themselves.

It's also incredibly intellectual lazy to believe that because a Man's Power conference would be ridiculed that a Woman's Power conference should be too. Can you think of any cultural and historical reasons that would explain the incongruity in potential reactions? Your criticisms here are as silly as those who called black people racist for cheering the election of the first black president because whites would get criticized if they did the same thing.

Last, if Bridget writing "In the 21st century, this kind of gender imbalance is eye-catching" is whining, what is your post? Your clothes must be drenched in tears.

James Grimmelmann

It's not like, oh, say, Anne Alstott hasn't written about the history of the income tax ...

SAR

This is an eye-catching omission on the part of Florida State (although unfortunately unsurprising). There are a handful of female junior tax profs out there who come to mind, Emily Cauble of MSU being one of them.

Anon

If the conference was only composed of women, no one would say a word.

Brando Simeo Starkey

Anon, can you point me towards any doctrinal law conferences composed only of women?

abc

If the conference was only composed of women, noone would say a word because they'd ignore or trivialize the conference!

jncc

Any word on how many of those panelists are African-American? How about the number who are gays or lesbians?

Or, since gender, race, and sexuality have a somewhat indirect bearing on issues of taxation and tax policy, perhaps the better question is how many of those panelists' earnings place them below the poverty level?

_That_ would be interesting to know.

James Grimmelmann

Generally speaking, being below the poverty level is not conducive to having the time and resources to research and write carefully about legal history and tax policy. That's one reason why we as a society pay law professors. Or, to put it in terms that bring us back to the point of the post: A Room of One's Own.

anon

What if they asked women and the women said no? There are great tax profs on the list, but it is FSU and Tallahassee...

Patricia Salkin

Bridget raises a good point and it is a welcome reminder to those of us who put together panels for programs that the appearance of balance and inclusion is just as important as the substance.

jncc

Given that the appearance of balance and inclusion is as important as the substance, what should the the gender, racial/ethnic, and sexual orientation breakdown be, approximately, on a ten person panel? If you have a panelist that is, say, a lesbian person of color, is it fair to count her three times, or is that cheating?

And, I won't bother asking about how many poor folks one should try to include on a panel since, I understand from Mr. Grimmelmann that we really can't expect much participation from the them since they don't have that much time to research and write carefully (or, even sloppily, I suppose) about legal history and tax policy.

Kkk

Not a single ethnic minority, either.

Jacqueline Lipton

Great point, Anon.
If any women and minorities out there were invited and turned down the invitation, would you please comment here?

Seriously, though, it is often more difficult for some women with childcare responsibilities to get to conferences than some men. I've had to lessen my own conference appearances since the birth of B3. So, it is likely that more women may turn down invitations. But there are many women (and obviously minorities) who don't have this problem and there are some men who do have the problem, so it still doesn't explain the imbalance.

Mordock

Based on first names, 7 of the 25 most downloaded taxprofs in the last 12 months are female, which would predict three or four female panelists if the organizers were seeking out cutting edge scholars. http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/tax_prof_rankings/

Female and minority taxprofs should not feel slighted about not being invited. There are not many women and minorities on the regular Fla. State faculty, so it is clearly nothing personal about this conference.


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