Structures of Discrimination
Macalester International Journal, Vol. 28, pp. 33-60, Spring 2011
28 Pages Posted: 22 Nov 2011
Date Written: April 1, 2011
This essay argues that, in order for women and men to be fully equal, we need to understand the structures of discrimination; that is, the forms of the subordination that are deeply rooted in how we stereotype women and men in ways that deny them benefits or impose burdens. The essay explores how gender stereotypes have contributed to: the failure of the criminal justice system to investigate the disappearances of young women; women’s unequal access to reproductive health services; and discrimination in polygamous family structures.
Conditions for stratification and subordination of women exist when wrongful gender stereotypes are socially pervasive across sectors, and persistent over time. In understanding how restrictive stereotypes of women are pervasive and persistent in criminal law, health law and family law, one is better equipped to dismantle structures of discrimination more generally.
Keywords: discrimination, criminal justice, polygamy
JEL Classification: J7, J70, J71, K10, I18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation