Women, Law and Cultural Contexts: Kaleidoscopes of Reality
Contemporary Issues in Law, Vol. 4, No. 4, pp. 213-234, 1999/2000
22 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2009 Last revised: 21 Jun 2018
Date Written: 2000
The article provides a picture of feminism and the law through a three-part model of cultural holism. Part 1, looks both at the power of socialization in affecting how people view the world and at how the various parts of the social system inter-relate in a complex dynamic. We see how particular language, experiences and knowledge affect assumptions and perceptions - what the author labels as our kaleidoscope of reality. In part 2, we add the domination of Australian culture by European, middle class males, showing how that contributes to a dominocentric reality based kaleidoscope. Part 3, then examines how law - its substance, processes and players - cannot therefore be viewed in isolation from the rest of the society but must be seen holistically within the landscape of the society and the legal culture. Rape law reform in Australia is used as an example of how one lens of the dominocentric kaleidoscope of reality - the beliefs about gender, sex and rape in the society - affect the implementation of legislation.
Keywords: feminism, rape
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