Marx and Mackinnon: The Promise and Perils of Marxism for Feminist Legal Theory

Science & Society: A Journal of Marxist Thought and Analysis, Vol. 69, pp. 113-132, 2005

20 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2010 Last revised: 27 Apr 2010

See all articles by Kate Sutherland

Kate Sutherland

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School

Date Written: 2005

Abstract

Catherine MacKinnon, perhaps the dominant voice of North American feminist legal theory over the last two decades, developed her feminist theory of law through an extended metaphor with Marxism. Marxist thought thus became thoroughly intertwined with MacKinnon’s particular brand of radical feminism in the minds of many feminist legal scholars and activists. As MacKinnon’s work has fallen out of favor in recent years, largely as a result of criticisms leveled against it from postmodern and critical race feminist perspectives, so too has the work of Marx. Setting MacKinnon’s Towards a Feminist Theory of the State side by side with Volume I of Capital, and offering a critique of the use she made of Marx’s work, reveals the continued relevance of Marxism to feminist legal scholarship and activism.

Keywords: Catherine MacKinnon, Karl Marx, Feminist Legal Theory, Marxism

Suggested Citation

Sutherland, Kate, Marx and Mackinnon: The Promise and Perils of Marxism for Feminist Legal Theory (2005). Science & Society: A Journal of Marxist Thought and Analysis, Vol. 69, pp. 113-132, 2005, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1586857

Kate Sutherland (Contact Author)

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

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