Professors Bridget Crawford and Emily Gold Waldman publish “Menstruation Matters: Challenging the Law’s Silence on Periods”

June 21, 2022
Professors Crawford and Waldman

Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University Professors Bridget J. Crawford and Emily Gold Waldman announce the release of their book “Menstruation Matters: Challenging the Law’s Silence on Periods,” published by NYU Press. The book explores the burgeoning menstrual advocacy movement and analyzes how law should evolve to take menstruation into account. It asks what the law currently says about menstruation and provides a roadmap for legal reform that can move society closer to a world where no one is held back or disadvantaged by menstruation.

Professor Crawford and Waldman used their years of research, experience, and knowledge to author this fascinating book. “In this book, we ask what the law would look like if it took menstruation into account,” said Waldman. “Our goal is to create a blueprint for a society where no one is held back by an involuntary biological process like menstruation.”

Throughout the book, Professors Crawford and Waldman examine these issues in a wide range of contexts, from schools to workplaces to prisons to tax policies and more. “The more we delved into the subject, the more we discovered new intersections of menstruation and law,” said Crawford. “Taxation, education, poverty law, constitutional law, prisoners’ rights, business law, employment law, disability rights, environmental law, consumer health and safety, human rights, urban design, public and private procurement policies — all of these areas allow us to see in a new way a common bodily process that has too long been the source of stigma and shame.”

The book has received critical acclaim from a variety of scholars, authors, politicians, publications, and more, including famed author Judy Blume, Publishers Weekly magazine, the Library Journal, First Minister for Scotland Nicola Sturgeon, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, and more. In its review, the Library Journal states “Crawford and Waldman present an insightful analysis of policies regarding menstruation in this groundbreaking work. An eye-opening look at how law could be used to better protect those who menstruate by providing a framework for how period products ought to be studied for health and environmental safety, how sensitive health information being sold by menstruation apps is being turned into a big business, and how incarcerated individuals face financial barriers to accessing menstrual products.”

Professors Crawford and Waldman have been participating in numerous panels connected to their publication. This past spring, the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University hosted two virtual book pre-launches for Professors Crawford and Waldman’s book, which included expert Haub Law faculty commenting on connections between their own subject matters (including prisoners’ rights law, education law, environmental law, and international law) and the issues explored in Menstruation Matters. They will also be speaking about the book at a Yale Alumni Nonprofit Alliance event on June 28.

Bridget J. Crawford is a graduate of Yale College (BA), the University of Pennsylvania School of Law (JD), and Griffith University (PhD) in Brisbane, Australia. Prior to joining the Haub Law faculty in 2003, she was a practicing attorney at Milbank LLP, where she specialized in taxation and estate planning. At Haub Law, Crawford teaches Federal Income Taxation; Estate and Gift Taxation; Wills, Trusts and Estates; Tax Policy; Corporations & Partnerships; and Feminist Legal Theory. In 2021, she was appointed as a Distinguished Professor by Pace University, the highest honor the University can bestow upon a faculty member. Crawford’s published work includes three casebooks, four books, and more than 100 scholarly articles and essays. Crawford is one of 26 law professors profiled in the book by Michael Hunter Schwartz et al., What the Best Law Teachers Do, published by Harvard University Press. She has been honored multiple times by graduating students at Haub Law as Outstanding Professor of the Year. She also is a prior recipient of Haub Law’s Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Goettel Prize for faculty scholarship, and the Ottinger Prize for Faculty Achievement. 

Emily Gold Waldman is a graduate of Yale University (BA) and Harvard Law School (JD). She joined the Pace faculty in 2006, after clerking for the Honorable Robert A. Katzmann, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. At Pace, she teaches Constitutional Law, Law & Education, Employment Law Survey, and Civil Procedure. She has also served for many years as the Faculty Director of the law school's Federal Judicial Honors Program, which places students in externships with federal judges in the Second Circuit, Third Circuit, Southern District of New York, Eastern District of New York, and District of Connecticut.  From 2003-05, she practiced in the litigation department of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP; prior to that, she clerked for the Honorable William G. Young, United States District Judge for the District of Massachusetts. She served as the chair of the AALS Section on Education Law during the 2011-12 school year, is a member of the Executive Committee of the AALS Section on Employment Discrimination, and is also a member of the Second Circuit's Judicial Council Committee on Civic Education & Public Engagement. An expert in the areas of education law, employment law, and constitutional law, Professor Waldman frequently presents on and serves as a panelist for programs focused on these topics and is often called upon by the news media for her expertise. Professor Waldman received the law school's Ottinger Award for Faculty Achievement in 2015 and 2018, the Professor of the Year Award from the Black Law Students Association in 2013, and the Goettel Prize for Faculty Scholarship in 2008. She currently serves as the Associate Dean for Faculty Development.

Together, Professor Crawford and Professor Waldman have developed the doctrinal and theoretical foundations for a state-by-state litigation campaign challenging state sales taxes on menstrual products in their article The Unconstitutional Tampon Tax, 53 U. Rich. L. Rev. 439 (2019). They have co-authored numerous other articles focused on menstruation in the law, including "Period Poverty in a Pandemic: Harnessing Law to Achieve Menstrual Equity," 98 Wash. U. L. Rev. 1569 (2021); “Title IX and Menstruation,” 43 Harv. J.L & Gender 225 (2020) (with Margaret E. Johnson); and “The Ground on Which We All Stand: A Conversation About Menstrual Equity Law and Activism,” 26 Mich. J. Gender & Law 341 (2020) (with Margaret E. Johnson, Marcy L. Karin, & Laura Strausfeld).  Notably, Professors Crawford and Waldman (along with Naomi R. Cahn) have several forthcoming law review articles focused on the related subject of menopause, including "Managing and Monitoring the Menopausal Body," 2022 U. Chi. Legal Forum (forthcoming 2022), "Contextualizing Menopause in the Law," 43 Harv. J. Gender & Law (forthcoming 2022), and "Working Through Menopause," 99 Wash. U. L. Rev. (forthcoming 2022).

Watch a video of the Menstruation Matters Book Talk featuring the authors, along with a panel of Haub Law faculty experts.

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