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Feminist Legal Theory

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Title Vii’S Failures: A History Of Overlooked Indifference, Elena S. Meth Jun 2023

Title Vii’S Failures: A History Of Overlooked Indifference, Elena S. Meth

Michigan Law Review

Nearly sixty years after the adoption of Title VII and over thirty since intersectionality theory was brought into legal discourse by Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw, the U.S. Supreme Court has consistently failed to meaningfully implement intersectionality into its decisionmaking. While there is certainly no shortage of scholarship on intersectionality and the Court’s failure to recognize it, this remains an overlooked failure by the Supreme Court. This Note proceeds in three parts. Part I provides an overview of Title VII and intersectional discrimination theory. I then explain how the EEOC and the Supreme Court have historically handled intersectional discrimination cases. Part II …


Post Secularism And The Woman Question, Lama Abu-Odeh Jan 2019

Post Secularism And The Woman Question, Lama Abu-Odeh

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

I will discuss the “woman question in post secularism” by offering my critique of Saba Mahmood’s book “Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject”. But before I do so, let me just state that I am a legal academic and I am not a reader of the field of anthropology. I am unfamiliar with the theoretic jargon of the discipline- even less so of the jargon of the subfield, anthropology of religion from which Politics of Piety hails. Each discipline is autonomous more so fields of study within each discipline. Those fields usually coalesce around a celebrity …


Janet Halley And The Art Of Status Quo Maintenance, Lama Abu-Odeh Jan 2019

Janet Halley And The Art Of Status Quo Maintenance, Lama Abu-Odeh

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

Over the past few years, Janet Halley emerged as one of the most avid critics of campus rape feminist activists, activists who push for the reformulation of university investigative rules to shift the burden of proof from the accuser to the accused. Halley contends that Title IX policies, embedded with affirmative consent, are not only procedurally unsound, but bad for boys, bad for sex, and bad for feminism, charging its agenda with “radical feminism” influences. Halley’s stance on campus rape is consistent with her long-held “queer theory” and its anti-feminist deregulatory drive. In this article, I argue that Halley’s “queer …


Silencing Discipline In Legal Education, Lucille Jewel Apr 2018

Silencing Discipline In Legal Education, Lucille Jewel

Scholarly Works

In current times, the production of critical legal knowledge has become constrained by a neoliberal education mindset that emphasizes economic performance and measured outcomes over critical thought. In this essay, I argue that academic freedom, in the sense of being free to speak, write, and teach critical knowledge, both in the intellectual sense and in the law practice sense, is being eroded. And, I urge my critically minded colleagues that are traditional law scholars (tenure-track or tenured) to consider the circumstances of law teachers who currently do not have the protections of tenure but who generate valuable knowledge, particularly in …


Radical Feminist Harms On Sex Workers, I. India Thusi Jan 2018

Radical Feminist Harms On Sex Workers, I. India Thusi

Faculty Scholarship

Sex work has long been a site for contesting womanhood, sexuality, race, and patriarchy. Its very existence forces us to examine how we think about two very dirty subjects-money and sex. The radical feminist literature highlights the problems with sex work and often describes it as a form of "human trafficking" and violence against women. This influential philosophy underlies much of the work in human trafficking courts, was evident in a letter signed by several Hollywood starlets in opposition to Amnesty International's support for decriminalization, and is the premise of several movies and documentaries about "sex slavery." Radical feminists aim …


Women And Guns, Elaine Craig Jan 2018

Women And Guns, Elaine Craig

Articles, Book Chapters, & Popular Press

In Gun Control and Women’s Rights in Context: Reflections of the Applicant on Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic v Canada, Amanda Dale not only provides the reader with an embodied account of law that exemplifies the limits of legal discourse, she also offers a compelling (and disheartening) explication of how and why the Stephen Harper government’s repeal of the long-gun registry threatens the lives of women.

As Dale points out, gun control in Canada is different from that in the United States. Canadian gun control laws are, of course, much more robust. For example, restricted weapons, such as handguns, have been …


Silencing Discipline In Legal Education.Pdf, Lucille Jewel Jan 2018

Silencing Discipline In Legal Education.Pdf, Lucille Jewel

College of Law Faculty Scholarship

In current times, the production of critical legal knowledge has become constrained by a neoliberal education mindset that emphasizes economic performance and measured outcomes over critical thought. In this essay, I argue that academic freedom, in the sense of being free to speak, write, and teach critical knowledge, both in the intellectual sense and in the law practice sense, is being eroded. And, I urge my critically minded colleagues that are traditional law scholars (tenure-track or tenured) to consider the circumstances of law teachers who currently do not have the protections of tenure but who generate valuable knowledge, particularly in …


Keeping The Government's Hands Off Our Bodies: Mapping A Feminist Legal Theory Approach To Privacy In Cross-Gender Prison Searches, Teresa A. Miller Nov 2017

Keeping The Government's Hands Off Our Bodies: Mapping A Feminist Legal Theory Approach To Privacy In Cross-Gender Prison Searches, Teresa A. Miller

Teresa A. Miller

The power of privacy is diminishing in the prison setting, and yet privacy is the legal theory prisoners rely upon most to resist searches by correctional officers. Incarcerated women in particular rely upon privacy to shield them from the kind of physical contact that male guards have been known to abuse. The kind of privacy that protects prisoners from searches by guards of the opposite sex derives from several sources, depending on the factual circumstances. Although some form of bodily privacy is embodied in the First, Fourth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments, prisoners challenging the constitutionality of cross-gender searches most commonly …


Suspicious Rights: Pealing Back The Principle Of Separation, Jihan A. Kahssay Jun 2014

Suspicious Rights: Pealing Back The Principle Of Separation, Jihan A. Kahssay

Jihan A Kahssay

No abstract provided.


Feminist Legal Theory As A Way To Explain The Lack Of Progress Of Women’S Rights In Afghanistan: The Need For A State Strength Approach, Isaac Kfir Jan 2014

Feminist Legal Theory As A Way To Explain The Lack Of Progress Of Women’S Rights In Afghanistan: The Need For A State Strength Approach, Isaac Kfir

Isaac Kfir

Cultural and religious practices are critical to explaining Afghanistan’s dreadful reputation concerning the preservation, protection, and promotion of women’s rights. Those advocating misogynistic practices assert that the calls for reforms challenge their religion and culture. Additionally, they also argue that women’s issues exist within the private realm. Accordingly, they assert that such reforms are not vital to the state and go beyond the established limits of state authority. Building on feminist legal theory, which distinguishes between the public and private spheres, I argue in Afghanistan misogynistic and discriminatory practices stem from contrived cultural and religious norms. Using the notion of …


Why Eu Work-Family Reconciliation Policies Fail In Italy: A Feminist Legal Analysis, Chrystal Orozco Dec 2012

Why Eu Work-Family Reconciliation Policies Fail In Italy: A Feminist Legal Analysis, Chrystal Orozco

Master's Theses

Following the establishment of the European Parental Leave Directive (96/34/EC), the female employment rate in Italy is still ranked the third lowest in the European Union (EU) and Italian women continue to do twice as much household work as Italian men. Parents, especially women, struggle to find a balance between professional work and their family lives in a society that encourages the traditional gendered roles of the housewife and the breadwinner. The following study is a theoretical analysis of the Parental Leave Directive and the potential domestic influences that may prevent Italy from progressing socially towards gender equality. This study …


Interview With Professor Martha Albertson Fineman, Linnéa Wegerstad, Niklas Selberg Dec 2010

Interview With Professor Martha Albertson Fineman, Linnéa Wegerstad, Niklas Selberg

Linnéa Wegerstad

No abstract provided.


Interview With Professor Martha Albertson Fineman, Linnéa Wegerstad, Niklas Selberg Dec 2010

Interview With Professor Martha Albertson Fineman, Linnéa Wegerstad, Niklas Selberg

Niklas Selberg

No abstract provided.


Social Justice Feminism, Kristin (Brandser) Kalsem, Verna L. Williams Jan 2010

Social Justice Feminism, Kristin (Brandser) Kalsem, Verna L. Williams

Faculty Articles and Other Publications

For the past three years, women leaders from national groups, grassroots organizations, academia and beyond have gathered to address dissonance in the women's movement, particularly dissatisfaction with the movement's emphasis on women privileged on account of their race, class, or sexuality. At these meetings of the New Women's Movement Initiative (NWMI), advocates who no longer want to do feminism have articulated a desire for social justice feminism. This article analyzes what such a shift might mean for feminist practice and legal theory.

Drawing on history, specifically the work of the women behind the Brandeis brief in the Muller v. Oregon …


Redefining Harm, Reimagining Remedies And Reclaiming Domestic Violence Law, Margaret E. Johnson Apr 2009

Redefining Harm, Reimagining Remedies And Reclaiming Domestic Violence Law, Margaret E. Johnson

All Faculty Scholarship

Civil domestic violence laws do not effectively address and redress the harms suffered by women subjected to domestic violence. The Civil Protective Order (“CPO”) laws should offer a remedy for all domestic abuse with an understanding that domestic violence subordinates women. These laws should not remedy only physical violence or criminal acts. All forms of abuse — psychological, emotional, economic, and physical — are interrelated. Not only do these abuses cause severe emotional distress, physical harm, isolation, sustained fear, intimidation, poverty, degradation, humiliation, and coerced loss of autonomy, but, as researchers have demonstrated, most domestic violence is the fundamental operation …


Confronting Conventional Thinking: The Heuristics Problem In Feminist Legal Theory, Nancy Levit Jan 2006

Confronting Conventional Thinking: The Heuristics Problem In Feminist Legal Theory, Nancy Levit

Nancy Levit

The thesis of The Heuristics Problem is that the societal problems about which identity theorists are most concerned often spring from and are reinforced by thinking riddled with heuristic errors. This article first investigates the ways heuristic errors influence popular perceptions of feminist issues. Feminists and critical race theorists have explored the cognitive bias of stereotyping, but have not examined the ways probabilistic errors can have gendered consequences. Second, The Heuristics Problem traces some of the ways cognitive errors have influenced the development of laws relating to gender issues. It explores instances in judicial decisions in which courts commit heuristic …


Confronting Conventional Thinking: The Heuristics Problem In Feminist Legal Theory, Nancy Levit Jan 2006

Confronting Conventional Thinking: The Heuristics Problem In Feminist Legal Theory, Nancy Levit

Faculty Works

The thesis of The Heuristics Problem is that the societal problems about which identity theorists are most concerned often spring from and are reinforced by thinking riddled with heuristic errors. This article first investigates the ways heuristic errors influence popular perceptions of feminist issues. Feminists and critical race theorists have explored the cognitive bias of stereotyping, but have not examined the ways probabilistic errors can have gendered consequences. Second, The Heuristics Problem traces some of the ways cognitive errors have influenced the development of laws relating to gender issues. It explores instances in judicial decisions in which courts commit heuristic …


Symposium: Feminist Theory And The Erosion Of Women's Reproductive Rights: The Implications Of Fetal Personhood Laws And In Vitro Fertilization, Lisa Mclennan Brown Jan 2005

Symposium: Feminist Theory And The Erosion Of Women's Reproductive Rights: The Implications Of Fetal Personhood Laws And In Vitro Fertilization, Lisa Mclennan Brown

American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law

No abstract provided.


Symposium: Introduction To A Symposium Celebrating The Twentieth Anniversary Of The Feminism And Legal Theory Project, Pamela Bridgewater Jan 2005

Symposium: Introduction To A Symposium Celebrating The Twentieth Anniversary Of The Feminism And Legal Theory Project, Pamela Bridgewater

American University Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law

No abstract provided.


Business Lawyer, Woman Warrior: An Allegory Of Feminine And Masculine Theories, Barbara Ann White Oct 2001

Business Lawyer, Woman Warrior: An Allegory Of Feminine And Masculine Theories, Barbara Ann White

All Faculty Scholarship

The first part of this essay is a discourse on how two of the last half century’s most influential contributions to legal thinking: Law and Economics Jurisprudence and Feminist Legal Theory, whose adherents are normally adversaries, can function synergistically to create a greater analytic power. Using business law issues as an example - historically law and economics’ terrain but recently explored by feminism - I comment on how each can unravel different knots but each standing alone leave other conundrums unresolved.

Expanding on the feminist concept of “masculine thinking,” I discuss how, just as law and economics’ analytic style (i.e., …


Keeping The Government's Hands Off Our Bodies: Mapping A Feminist Legal Theory Approach To Privacy In Cross-Gender Prison Searches, Teresa A. Miller Jan 2001

Keeping The Government's Hands Off Our Bodies: Mapping A Feminist Legal Theory Approach To Privacy In Cross-Gender Prison Searches, Teresa A. Miller

Journal Articles

The power of privacy is diminishing in the prison setting, and yet privacy is the legal theory prisoners rely upon most to resist searches by correctional officers. Incarcerated women in particular rely upon privacy to shield them from the kind of physical contact that male guards have been known to abuse. The kind of privacy that protects prisoners from searches by guards of the opposite sex derives from several sources, depending on the factual circumstances. Although some form of bodily privacy is embodied in the First, Fourth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments, prisoners challenging the constitutionality of cross-gender searches most commonly …


Keeping Feminism In Its Place: Sex Segregation And The Domestication Of Female Academics, Nancy Levit Dec 2000

Keeping Feminism In Its Place: Sex Segregation And The Domestication Of Female Academics, Nancy Levit

Nancy Levit

The thesis of Keeping Feminism in Its Place is that women are being "domesticated" in the legal academy. This occurs in two ways, one theoretical and one very practical: denigration of feminism on the theoretical level and sex segregation of men and women on the experiential level intertwine to disadvantage women in academia in complex and subtle ways.

The article examines occupational sex segregation and role differentiation between male and female law professors, demonstrating statistically that in legal academia, women are congregated in lower-ranking, lower-paying, lower-prestige positions. It also traces how segregation by sex persists in substantive course teaching assignments. …


Foreword-Symposium: Gender, Work & Family Project Inaugural Feminist Legal Theorylecture, Adrienne D. Davis, Joan C. Williams Jan 2000

Foreword-Symposium: Gender, Work & Family Project Inaugural Feminist Legal Theorylecture, Adrienne D. Davis, Joan C. Williams

Scholarship@WashULaw

This Symposium inaugurates the Annual Feminist Legal Theory Lecture Series of the Washington College of Law's Gender, Work & Family Project. Martha Fineman, in honor of her two towering achievements in feminist jurisprudence, is the first lecturer. The first achievement is her ground-breaking work on dependency, about which we will say more later. The second is her equally influential Feminist Theory Workshop, which she began at the University of Wisconsin, and has since moved to Columbia University and now to Cornell. The annual Workshop has provided the opportunity for scores of scholars to present papers related to feminist jurisprudence, helping …


Feminist Foundations For The Law Of Business: One Law And Economics Scholar's Survey And (Re)View, Barbara Ann White Oct 1999

Feminist Foundations For The Law Of Business: One Law And Economics Scholar's Survey And (Re)View, Barbara Ann White

All Faculty Scholarship

The purpose of this Essay is to suggest frameworks and modes of inquiry for applying feminist legal analysis to business law and the related theory of law and economics. It does so in two ways. One is to assess works already written by feminist scholars in the business law arena, highlighting how those contributions have begun to pave the way towards enriching the scope of business law analysis. The other is to offer two new roles for feminist jurisprudence. One role is to define just (that is, fair) distributions of rights and the other role is to define social judgments …


Reviving The Public/Private Distinction In Feminist Theorizing Symposium On Unfinished Feminist Business, Tracy E. Higgins Jan 1999

Reviving The Public/Private Distinction In Feminist Theorizing Symposium On Unfinished Feminist Business, Tracy E. Higgins

Faculty Scholarship

The public/private distinction has been a target of thoroughgoing feminist critique for quite some time now. Indeed, attacking the public/private line has been one of the primary concerns (if not the primary concern) of feminist legal theorizing for over two decades. If Carole Pateman is correct, one would think that this particular problem might be assigned to the category of "finished business" by this time. In this Essay, I do argue that the critique is, in certain ways, finished business in that it is no longer particularly useful in its most common forms. More importantly, however, I suggest several ways …


Ignoring The Sexualization Of Race: Heteronormativity, Critical Race Theory And Anti-Racist Politics, Darren Lenard Hutchinson Jan 1999

Ignoring The Sexualization Of Race: Heteronormativity, Critical Race Theory And Anti-Racist Politics, Darren Lenard Hutchinson

UF Law Faculty Publications

This Article, a third in a series of related works, explores the representation of sexual identity within Critical Race Theory and other forms of anti-racist discourse. I argue, after examining representative texts, that anti-racist discourse is often "heteronormative" -- or centered around heterosexual experiences. Most commonly, anti-racist heteronormativity occurs when scholars and activists in the field fail to analyze the homophobic dimensions of acts or conditions of racial inequality and when they dismiss, either implicitly or explicitly, the "morality" of gay and lesbian equality claims. This Article recommends that scholars in Critical Race Theory and related fields adopt a more …


Feminism For Men: Legal Ideology And The Construction Of Maleness, Nancy Levit Jan 1996

Feminism For Men: Legal Ideology And The Construction Of Maleness, Nancy Levit

Nancy Levit

It may seem a little odd to suggest that feminist theory has overlooked men. Yet, in several important respects, apart from the role of culprit, men have been largely omitted from feminism. Feminist legal theorists have paid mild attention to the "Can men be feminists?" question but this issue is usually relegated to footnotes. The negative effect gender role stereotypes have on men is typically subsidiary to the main focus of feminist legal literature, which has concentrated on documenting the patterns of subordination of women and on questions of feminist ideology.

The primary purpose of this article is to suggest …


Straying From The Path Of The Law After One Hundred Years, The, Tracy E. Higgins Jan 1996

Straying From The Path Of The Law After One Hundred Years, The, Tracy E. Higgins

Faculty Scholarship

What common ground can be found between modern feminist legal theory and a century-old essay advocating understanding the law from the perspective of the "bad man"? The question admits of no simple answer. Feminists, including myself, might agree with some irony that "[i]f you want to know the law and nothing else, you must look at it as a bad man" but would add that this is precisely the problem. Of course, Holmes does not use the concept of the bad man in a feminist sense to suggest that the law empowers the bad man at the expense of women. …


Democracy And Feminism , Tracy E. Higgins Jan 1996

Democracy And Feminism , Tracy E. Higgins

Faculty Scholarship

Although feminist legal theory has had an important impact on most areas of legal doctrine and theory over the last two decades, its contribution to the debate over constitutional interpretation has been comparatively small. In this Article, Professor Higgins explores reasons for the limited dialogue between mainstream constitutional theory and feminist theory concerning questions of democracy, constitutionalism, and judicial review. She argues that mainstream constitutional theory tends to take for granted the capacity of the individual to make choices, leaving the social construction of those choices largely unexamined. In contrast, feminist legal theory's emphasis on the importance of constraints on …


By Reason Of Their Sex: Feminist Theory Postmodernism And Justice , Tracy E. Higgins Jan 1994

By Reason Of Their Sex: Feminist Theory Postmodernism And Justice , Tracy E. Higgins

Faculty Scholarship

Both the Supreme Court's jurisprudence of gender and feminist legal theory have generally assumed that some identifiable and describable category of woman exists prior to the construction of legal categories. For the Court, this woman-whose characteristics admittedly have changed over time-serves as the standard against which gendered legal classifications are measured. For feminism, her existence has served a different but equally important purpose as the subject for whom political goals are pursued. To the extent that the definitions of the category diverge, the differences among definitions are played out in feminist critiques of the Court's gender jurisprudence, and, occasionally, in …