Free

Legal feminist theory - Essay Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
Summary
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…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER94.7% of users find it useful
Legal feminist theory
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "Legal feminist theory"

Legal Feminist Theory 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 of women, with movements lobbying for sex to be included in the Fourteenth Amendment (Levit & Verchick 41). These movements have evolved to the present day concept feminist jurisprudence that seeks to assess and critique the law through analysing how the judicial system, individual rights, gender, power and sexuality relate. 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 often need to make decisions that have no clear legal answers existing and hence, depend on their discretion and sense of justice, which differs among individual judges. In such a scenario, feminist perspectives and values are typical examples that inform discretion and, provided no malice is intended, should be included in arriving at judgment.
In conclusion, feminism is inextricable from the real world, which is a clear indication that similar to the world, it is changing and evolving. Therefore, legal feminist theory is the best representation of the contribution by women to ongoing deliberations that acknowledge the changing times (Rhode & Sanger, 38). As shown by the graph below, the number of women getting admissions into law school following the suffrage movements shot up exponentially.


Figure 1: Trend of women admissions into law schools (Rhode & Sanger, 39).
Works Cited
Levit, Nancy C., and Robert R. Verchick. Feminist Legal Theory: A Primer. New York: New York University Press, 2009. Print.
Rhode, D., and Sanger, C. Gender and Rights. New York: International Library of Essays on Rights, 2009. Print.
Sunder, M. Gender and Feminist Theory in Law and Society, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007. Print.
Threedy, D. “Dancing Around Gender: Lessons from Arthur Murray about Gender and Contracts,” Wake Forest Law Review 45.2 (2010): 749-777. Print. Read More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
  • CHICAGO
(“Legal feminist theory Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 words”, n.d.)
Legal feminist theory Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 words. Retrieved from https://studentshare.org/social-science/1659843-legal-feminist-theory
(Legal Feminist Theory Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 Words)
Legal Feminist Theory Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 Words. https://studentshare.org/social-science/1659843-legal-feminist-theory.
“Legal Feminist Theory Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 500 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/social-science/1659843-legal-feminist-theory.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF Legal feminist theory

Feminist and Virtue theory

...?Feminist and Virtue Theory Feminist ethics is considered a kind of virtue ethics which focus on the virtue of caring, compassion, and sensitivity – qualities stereotypically associated with women. Feminist ethics of care emphasized moral responsibility and right actions in reciprocity(Tittle, 45). The virtue theory which originated from Aristotle defines theories of the right and the good and what a person ought to do in order to build character and cultivate an ethical life (Preston, 49). According to Aristotle, there are four standard virtues of the ancient Greeks, namely: justice, temperance, courage and wisdom. In 2007, Preston...
1 Pages(250 words)Essay

Feminist theory

...? Feminist Theory Feminist Theory Introduction Feminist theory refers to the extension of feminism into the philosophical or theoretical discourse, and aims at understanding the nature of gender inequality. The theory examines the role of women, their experiences, feminist politics and interests. The theory encompasses the outgrowth of the general movement in empowering women worldwide. Feminism recognises and critiques the male supremacy alongside the efforts towards changing it (Jaggar, 1994). Feminist and Abortion The feminist perspective on abortion...
4 Pages(1000 words)Research Paper

Legal Theory

...Running head: APPLYING RELEVANT LEGAL THEORIES AND MORAL PERSPECTIVES Legal Theory Legal Theory Question 3 Applying relevant theories, as well as my own moral perspective, to decide whether any ONE of the following activities should be legal: a) Failing to wear a seat belt while in a car, or a crash helmet when on a motorcycle It is mandatory for motorist to wear seatbelts while on the road to safeguard their life in case of an accident. Consequently, those using the motorcycles are supposed to use crash helmet will riding on their motorcycles. This is for the sake of their life just in case of an accident, they are able to protect themselves against severe injuries. Wearing seat belts and/or helmets are reported to save lives... but this...
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay

Feminist Legal Theory

...Introduction Feminism has been part of society for over a century. This phenomenon was responsible for social change through challenging the inherent biases and oppressions against women. However, in the field of law, feminism became an instrumental aspect only after the Critical Legal Studies movement in the nineteen eighties. This emerged as an instrumental part of law because it was responsible for bridging the discourse that was existent in law with regard to women issues. This particular essay shall focus on two specific elements of law i.e. feminist legal theory and feminist legal research. The paper will examine the portions that...
12 Pages(3000 words)Essay

Feminist Theory and Activism

...Feminist Theory and Activism Feminist Theory and Activism: Their Effects on the Public and Private Spheres of international Human Rights Law by Terrance Jones Feminist Theory and Activism 2 The development of human rights law is often, if controversially, described in terms of "generations" 1: the "first" generation of rights covers civil and political rights, still regarded by many Western commentators as...
16 Pages(4000 words)Essay

Feminist Thinking Theory

...Feminist Thinking Theory The feminist principle obtained continuous and overwhelming public attention in women's issues in the recent years.Undeniably, the imbalance attention on issues of feminism is very evident today in various communities and its ideology has spread media, academic thinking and the general society. Women's as well as men's rights were noted to have unequal weight of public concerns. One seasoned and uncommon issue on the subject of feminism is the domestic violence among women. British Medical Association has reported that, there are one (1) out of four (4) women is abused.'This is based in one survey Islington which included 571 women as well as 429 men...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

Feminist Theory in Music

...Third Year; Music: Media, Identity and Cultures. Music and Feminist Theory “It makes no difference if yourerich or poor Or if youre smart or dumb A womans place in this old world Is under some mans thumb And if youre born a woman Youre born to be hurt Youre born to be stepped on, lied to, cheated on And treated like dirt Ah if youre born a woman Youre born to be hurt A womans lot is to give and give And go on giving A womans got to love and lose And go on living Well I was born a woman I didnt have no say And when my man finally comes home He makes me glad it happened that way Because to be his woman No price is too great to pay Yes I was born a woman Im glad it happened that...
10 Pages(2500 words)Essay

Feminist Film Theory

...attracted sexually to their mother once their energies are transferred from anal to the genitals. However, they become anxious realizing that their father is not going to allow them to fulfill this desire. According to Freud this anxiety remains with them through the adult life. And to counter this feeling of sexual desire, they try to fulfill it by weird ways like becoming like their father and being what he is. Later in their adult life, men transfers their unfulfilled desire of having sex with their mother, on the other women ( Stevenson ) . Feministtheory thinks that society functions in such a...
12 Pages(3000 words)Essay

Legal Theory

...the globe. Whether one approaches the role and place of women from an international, global perspective or from an individual State perspective, the question for feminists is for the most part a matter of the imposition of power and the limitation and circumscription of female individual autonomy. With respect to prostitution, particularly its criminalisation, the State has assumed a role fully commensurate with the perpetuation of patriarchy. Power concerns, albeit not uniquely, the use of force which those who wield it can exert over other persons in society. Its specific place has changed with both time and perspective. ‘From its beginnings, political theory has always conceived of power as...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Feminist Theory

... and their connection with gender form the basis of the formulation of feminist ideas and the propagation of these ideas in the quest for alleviation of gender inequality (Ballantine and Roberts 181). The exploration of the feminist theory, how and when it was developed, its purpose and impact on women with reference to real life examples is critical in offering substantial knowledge on gender issues. The wave of feminism developed from the struggle to liberate the female gender in all aspects of existence; socially, economically, and politically, legally, and psychologically. Prior to the rise of feminist scholars,women had suffered significantly from the perception of the female gender as a weaker lesser gender in comparison... The...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Essay on topic Legal feminist theory for FREE!

Contact Us