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Legal feminist theory - Essay Example

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The underlying belief on which feminist legal theories are founded is that the law itself has played historical and critical roles in promoting women’s subordination. In the century prior to the 1960s, significant efforts had been made to overhaul the law respecting the rights…
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Legal feminist theory
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Legal feminist theory

Download file to see previous pages... It follows, therefore, that the key issue identified and addressed by feminists can be viewed broadly as the bill of rights for women. This paper is in support of legal feminist theory and will offer reasons for the choice.
The women’s suffrage may have had voting rights as its driving ambition, but in the contemporary world women need more liberties, albeit simply by virtue of being female. The feminist viewpoint of law identifies how patriarchy invasively influences legal structures, demonstrating how the material condition of women is adversely affected. For example, the landmark ruling in Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, 93 S. Ct. 705, 35 L. Ed. 2d 147 (1973), showed that women reserve the right of abortion as a basic constitutional right (Levit & Verchick 89). Essentially, the ruling supported that reproductive rights should be borne by women, even though with certain limitations. This is in direct support of legal feminist theory because it promotes interdisciplinary examinations into how practices, policies and expectations relating to gender are influenced by the interaction of culture and law. It operates from the liberal legal prototype and focuses on an approach to law based on rights to ensure that women also enjoy genuine equality (Sunder 93).
Legal feminist theory develops reforms designed to correct gender restriction, exploitation and injustice (Sunder 104). Therefore, through the perspective of feminist epistemology, political theory and relational metaphysics, legal feminist theory applies insights into feminist philosophy which help in understanding and changing the way overriding masculinist standards are enforced by legal institutions (Threedy 745). For instance, one would easily answer in the negative when asked whether judges can and should be allowed to be feminists, simply because judges are expected to do their job and not be activists who promote personal political agendas. However, judges ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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