Jurisprudence - Liberal Feminism - Essay Example

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JURISPRUDENCE - LIBERAL FEMINISM By Name Presented to: Instructor Institution Course Date Jurisprudence - Liberal Feminism According to various modern feminists, accounting for matters with regards to oppression and domination of women, no single theory satisfies any of them, since, most of them, with the exception of the Grand Theory, are against the significance of general theories1…
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Download file to see previous pages Just as feminism, feminist jurisprudence cannot be explained by any single theory4. It is a family of different frameworks or view-points that are used in the analysis of the desirable or real relationship between gender and law5. In her view, Christine Littleton considers feminist jurisprudence as a collection of various attempts aimed at critiquing, changing and explicating the law for the sake of, and from women’s point of view6. Christine Littleton argues that, feminist jurisprudence aims at explaining women’s experiences and at the same time transforming the law. Despite the fact that feminist jurisprudence is considered by many to be practical, theorists such as Carol Smart borrows from Carl Marx ideology and argues that feminist jurisprudence is both practical and theoretical; it is brought about through the methodology that ensures theoretical insights are reflected in political action and that practical insights are shown on theoretical development7. As far feminist legal theories and feminist jurisprudence is concerned, there is one thing that stands out; both are aimed at the gender effects of legal practice and rules-particularly, how legal practices and rules affect women, and how law and legal practices define and reflect on gender identities. Additionally, both feminist theories and feminist jurisprudence focus on critiquing and exposure of the masculine nature of methods of law with a goal of changing both the methods and substance of law with respect to the goal of liberating women and feminist rejection of patriarchy. It must, however, be noted that-as had earlier been mentioned-feminist theorists have had different ideologies as to how legal transformation should be achieved and how it should be. Liberal feminism theorists have considered and argued that putting women into legal consideration and looking at them in the same breadth-equally-as men, may be the way to go about achieving the goal liberating women. Today, the debate is not only with regards to gender difference or sameness, feminist legal theorists have gone a step further and are more concerned with how to transform legal values, logic and the perception of justice. This notion of considering law as a neutral system of dispute resolution, regulation and justice,-a stand taken by liberal feminists-has been sharply criticized and rejected by contemporary feminist theorists, who have an issues with the concepts of objectivity, universalism, rationalism, and neutrality. They argue that defining law in the scientific sense without considering the political, moral and social reality is not the way to go; an argument also held by legal realist theorists. Those ideologies held by liberal feminists are disregarded and attacked on various grounds by other feminists. Accordingly, all of them argue that, the legal notions of objectivity and impartiality are just but perceptions that conceal the dominance and bias of the dominant groups-male. The argument is that, if sexes are considered unequal, there is neither un-gendered perspective nor reality8. In particular, the concept of objectivity has been attacked and it’s gendered nature exposed by MacKinnon, who argues that, the dominance shown by the male, is the most obstinate and universal system of power9. Similarly, the concept of impartiality has ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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