Feminist Legal Theory

Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law, Vol. 13, No. 1, 2005

Emory Public Law Research Paper

11 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2012

Date Written: 2005


Feminism is not anchored in any one discipline. IT presents a theory of gender and challenges the assertions and assumptions of gender-neutrality and objectivity in received disciplinary knowledge. Because gender is theoretically relevant to almost all human endeavors, it is also relevant to almost all disciplines.

This paper discusses some of the diverging viewpoints of feminism in approaching the study and critique of the law. Part I highlights the schism in feminism surrounding gender difference. Some feminists viewed acknowledging gender difference as essential to confront facially neutral rules that could nonetheless generate inequalities. Others feared that highlighting gender difference could be counterproductive, and thus focused on gender neutrality to combat discrimination.

Part II discusses the divergent ways in which feminism engages the public/private dichotomy, particularly in relation to dependency.

Keywords: Feminism, gender neutrality, gender difference, public sector, private sector, dependency, feminist legal theory, legal theory

Suggested Citation

Fineman, Martha Albertson, Feminist Legal Theory (2005). Journal of Gender, Social Policy & the Law, Vol. 13, No. 1, 2005, Emory Public Law Research Paper , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2132233

Martha Albertson Fineman (Contact Author)

Emory University School of Law ( email )

1301 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States
404-712-2421 (Phone)

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