Feminist Theory and Legal Practice: A Case Study on Unemployment Compensation and the Male Norm
Hastings Law Journal, Vol. 43, p. 1081, 1992
8 Pages Posted: 21 Dec 2009 Last revised: 31 May 2012
Date Written: April 5, 1992
Drawing on the example of an unemployment compensation hearing handled in a law school clinic, I argue that a familiarity with feminist legal theory’s insights concerning the gendered effects of our legal institutions can help a legal practitioner recognize the potential for new legal arguments. The hearing challenged a policy that limited benefits to individuals seeking full-time work, a policy encompassing a “male norm” in a public benefits program originally targeted at workers complying with a “male” vision of the ideal worker.
Keywords: unemployment insurance compensation, feminist legal theory, theory-practice, gender, male norm, public benefits
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