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Feminism in Jurisprudence - Essay Example

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The Feminist movement was born when Betty Friedan set out on her crusade to convince women that they were not obligated to accepted a male oriented view of gender inequality. From a legal and social perspective the movement initiated the struggle of women to gain equality…
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Feminism in Jurisprudence
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Download file to see previous pages However recent theories and critical legal studies have highlighted the patriarchal elements in jurisprudence – the law itself is male, because the separation of the State and the extent of legal relief is conditioned by the separateness of the individual, a principle which is flawed in the case of women who are connected human beings. Therefore the framework of law and jurisprudence must be modified to reflect a more multicultural, multiracial and multiethnic framework in order to incorporate more voices, so that the law can serve to effectively address the needs of individuals in accordance with the circumstances. The most influential feminists are MacKinnon and Gilligan, whose theories have largely shaped female attack on existing jurisprudence.
Catherine McKinnon’s crusade began with pornography, which she sought to ban. What worked against her struggle to ban pornography however, was the existence of the First Amendment right to freedom of speech and expression. But MacKinnon appealed to the Zoning Commission in Minneapolis on the issue of pornography as follows:
Catherine MacKinnon pressed for the curtailment of certain First Amendment rights through censorship, reflecting what has now become a widely debated feminist view of restriction of the rights to free speech and expression in such areas as pornography. In her view, presently it is certain powerful groups who are the only ones with the right to free speech and whose voices are heard, over and above the women and minority groups who have “been silenced by their powerlessness”2, therefore the role of Government and of jurisprudence cannot continue to be biased in favor of the powerful groups, rather the function of jurisprudence is to empower the minorities and the women.
Thus, it may be seen that her views rise in opposition to the model of total ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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