Applications of Feminist Legal Theory


Women who worked in this field viewed the law as an inferior place in society than men, based on gender assumptions, and so judges relied on these assumptions to make their decisions. This movement emerged in the 1960s and 1970s with the aim of achieving women`s equality by challenging laws that made differences based on gender. [4] An example of this discrimination based on sex at that time was the struggle for equal admission and access to desired education. Women`s experiences and perseverance in the fight for equal access have led to low interview rates and mental health problems, including anxiety disorders. Through their experiences, they were influenced to create a new legal theory that fought for their rights and those who came after them in education and broader marginalized communities, which led to the creation of feminist legal theory in the 1970s and 1980s. [5] It was crucial to allow women to become their own people by becoming financially independent and having the opportunity to find real jobs that were not available to them. on the basis of discrimination in employment. [6] The basis of feminist legal theory reflects this second and third wave of feminist struggles. However, feminist legal theorists today are expanding their work beyond overt discrimination by employing a variety of approaches to understand and address how the law contributes to gender inequality. [4] The Difference Model emphasizes the importance of discrimination based on sex and states that such discrimination should not be obscured by the law, but taken into account by it. Only by taking into account the differences can the law provide adequate remedies for the situation of women, which is in fact different from that of men. [12] The difference model suggests that differences between women and men discriminate against a gender; Therefore, the law should compensate women and men for their differences and disadvantages.

These differences between women and men can be biological or cultural. [4] The difference model is in direct contrast to the representation of equality, which states that the emphasis must be on women`s equality with men. To this end, it is equally feminist to use women`s differences to gain more rights, highlighting the very qualities of women that have historically prevented them from achieving equality with men. [12] Mari Matsuda coined the term “multiple consciousness” to explain a person`s ability to adopt the perspective of an oppressed group. [4] Feminist anti-essentialist legal theorists use multiple consciousness to understand how the law affects women who belong to groups other than their own. [19] Feminist legal theory continues to evolve to diminish gender and racial aesthetics to recognize how oppression and privilege work together to create a person`s life experiences. Anti-essentialist feminist legal theory was created in the 1980s by women of color and lesbians who felt that feminist legal theory excluded their perspectives and experiences. [4] Feminist anti-essentialist and intersectionalist critics have resisted the idea that there can be any universal female voice, and have criticized feminists, just like black feminism, for implicitly basing their work on the experiences of white, bourgeois, and heterosexual women. The anti-essentialist and intersectionalist project was to explore the ways in which race, class, sexual orientation, and other axes of subordination interact with gender, and to uncover the implicit and harmful assumptions often used in feminist theory. [16] This model challenges feminist legal theorists who are only interested in how the law affects heterosexual white middle-class women.

Feminist anti-essentialist legal theory recognizes that the identities of individual women shape their experiences, so the law does not affect all women equally. [4] It is about building substantive equality for all, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, class or disability. [16] When feminist legal theory is practiced under an essentialist lens, women of color are often rejected, as they would in historical legal theory. [17] While race is an important factor in feminist legal theory, it can also be misunderstood in ways that silence women of color and promote racism in a system created to create more access. For this reason, Crenshaw`s “Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence against Women of Color”[18] should remain a canon on the subject to continue to support and challenge gender essentialism within the feminist culture and ideology of marginalized women of color by further protecting them from legal implications through support. [17] Kimberlé Crenshaw`s formation of intersectionality within feminist legal theory has given more women and people living multifaceted lives more representation in a controversial essentialist legal arena. [18] The model of domination rejects liberal feminism and sees the legal system as a mechanism for maintaining male domination. [13] By recognizing the foundations of the law, researchers are able to conceptualize how women and marginalized communities have not been embedded in the foundation of many structures that restrict access and equality in all areas of life. Moreover, theorists of domination reject the model of difference because it uses men as a measure of equality. While the liberal model of equality and the theory of differences aim to achieve equality between women and men, the ultimate goal of the model of domination is to liberate women from men. Theorists of domination understand gender inequality as the result of a power imbalance between women and men and believe that the law contributes to this subordination of women. [4] It thus joins certain currents of critical legal theory that also consider the potential of law as an instrument of domination.

This theory focuses on how men dominate women, but it also speaks to other oppressed groups, such as the fact that legal aid is not often offered to the transgender population. In addition, every white woman would have good legal representation in relation to minority groups. [13] In Catharine MacKinnon`s proposed depiction of domination, sexuality is at the heart of domination. [14] MacKinnon argues that women`s sexuality is socially constructed by male domination, and that men`s sexual domination of women is a major source of women`s general social subordination. According to MacKinnon, the legal system perpetuates inequalities between women and men by creating laws about women from a male perspective. [15] Feminist legal theory, also known as feminist jurisprudence, is based on the belief that the law was fundamental to the historical subordination of women. [1] Feminist jurisprudence, the philosophy of law is based on the political, economic and social inequality of the sexes and feminist legal theory is associated with the inclusion of law and theory. The project of feminist legal theory is twofold. First, feminist jurisprudence seeks to explain how the law played a role in the former subordinate status of women. Feminist legal theory was created directly to recognize and combat the legal system constructed primarily by and for male intent, often forgetting important elements and experiences faced by women and marginalized communities. The law perpetuates a system of masculine values to the detriment of feminine values.

[2] By ensuring that all people have access to legal systems as experts in the fight against constitutional law and discrimination cases, feminist legal theory is used for everything. In 1984, Martha Fineman founded the Feminism and Legal Theory Project at the University of Wisconsin School of Law to examine the relationships between feminist theory, practice, and law, which were instrumental in the development of feminist legal theory. [10] The sameness feminist also argued that there is already special treatment for these so-called “differences” in the law, which oppress women. The idea that there are differences between the sexes led to classical thinking that feminist legal theory tried to get rid of. It forced women to prove that they were like men by comparing their experiences with those of men, all in order to obtain legal protection. All this led only women to try to respect the norms set by men without considering why they were accepted as the norm for equality. [6] Feminist legal theory gave rise to a new idea of using hedonistic jurisprudence to show that women`s experiences of assault and rape were the product of laws that treated them as less humane and gave them fewer rights than men. Feminist legal theorists have argued that the examples given are not only a description of possible scenarios, but also a sign of events that actually happened, relying on them to support claims that the law ignores interests and ignores the existence of women. [6] The first known use of the term feminist jurisprudence took place in the late 1970s by Ann Scales during the planning process of Celebration 25, a party and conference held in 1978 to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the first women graduates of Harvard Law School. [7] [3] [8] The term was first published in 1978 in the first issue of the Harvard Women`s Law Journal.

[9] This feminist critique of American law was developed in response to the fact that the legal system was too gendered and patriarchal. [6] [4] Each model offers a different view of the legal mechanisms that contribute to women`s subordination, and each model offers its own method for changing the legal approach to gender.