Feminist Legal Theory: An Anti-Essentialist Reader

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Overview

Feminist Legal Theory is a groundbreaking collection of feminist work proceeding from the core assumption that the differences among women are essential to feminist analysis. Rather than presenting feminist legal theory sequentially, with “African American feminism” or “critical race feminism” added on at the end, the volume thoroughly integrates key readings from non-white, non-middle class, and non-mainstream writers throughout.

The volume explores the intersections of race, class, and gender in such areas as theory, family, work and economic issues, and violence against women. Each section of the book begins with an introduction providing context and insights into how the particular pieces included challenge norms and create new paradigms. This vibrant, challenging collection of work by a broad range of authors represents the cutting edge of feminist theory in concrete applications essential to gender equality.

Contributors include: Patricia Hill Collins, Bonnie Thornton Dill, Angela P. Harris, Sylvia A. Law, Mari Matsuda, Martha Minow, Esther Ngan-Ling Chow, john a. powell, Jenny Rivera, and Maxine Baca Zinn.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“. . . Recommend quite strongly this well-edited and thought-provoking text. It provides a valuable contribution to legal scholarship.”
-Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice

,

“If one wants to engage with the differences of women’s lives in experiences, Dowd and Jacob’s Anti-Essentialist Reader will be an enlightening beginning. With its emphasis on collaboration, it includes necessary but uncomfortable conversations, recognizing the challenges of cultural ethnocentrism and relativism which American feminists face. There are few expectations upon which it does not deliver.”

-Feminist Legal Studies,

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814719121
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 3/12/2012
  • Pages: 417
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Nancy E. Dowd is the director of the Center for Children and Families at the University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law and holds the David H. Levin Chair in Family Law. She is the author of several books, including Redefining Fatherhood (NYU Press).

Michelle S. Jacobs is Professor of Law at the University of Florida Levin College of Law.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Introduction 5
Pt. I Theories, Strategies, and Methodologies 9
1 The Future of Feminist Legal Theory 14
2 Theorizing Difference from Multiracial Feminism 20
3 Autonomy, Aspiration, and Accomplishment: Some Steps and Barriers to Equality for Women 26
4 The Multiple Self: Exploring between and beyond Modernity and Postmodernity 34
5 The Development of Feminist Consciousness among Asian American Women 42
6 At the Intersection of Gender and Sexual Orientation: Toward Lesbian Jurisprudence 49
7 The LatIndia and Mestizajes: Of Cultures, Conquests, and LatCritical Feminism 56
8 White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences through Work in Women's Studies 63
9 Beside My Sister, Facing the Enemy: Legal Theory Out of Coalition 73
10 Feminist Methods in International Law 78
11 Turning the Gaze Back on Itself: Comparative Law, Feminist Legal Studies, and the Postcolonial Project 86
Pt. II Women's Work and Wealth 93
12 Implementing Antiessentialism: How Gender Wars Turn into Race and Class Conflict 96
13 Spiritual and Menial Housework 110
14 Toward a Global Critical Feminist Vision: Domestic Work and the Nanny Tax Debate 122
15 (Dis)Assembling Rights of Women Workers along the Global Assembly Line: Human Rights and the Garment Industry 136
16 Commercial Sex: Beyond Decriminalization 145
17 Working without a Job: The Social Messages of the New Workfare 151
18 Equality, of the Right Sort 159
19 African-American Women and Economic Justice: A Preliminary Analysis of Wealth, Family, and African-American Social Class 165
20 How Should Human Rights and Development Respond to Cultural Legitimization of Gender Hierarchy in Developing Countries? 175
Pt. III Women, Children, Well-Being, and the State 189
21 Family, Feminism, and Race in America 193
22 Cracking the Foundational Myths: Independence, Autonomy, and Self-Sufficiency 200
23 Children's Rights 207
24 Coercing Privacy 213
25 In Defense of Single-Parent Families 219
26 From Madonna to Proletariat: Constructing a New Ideology of Motherhood in Welfare Discourse 226
27 We Will Get What We Ask For: Why Legalizing Gay and Lesbian Marriage Will Not "Dismantle the Legal Structure of Gender in Every Marriage" 233
28 "The Past Never Vanishes": A Contextual Critique of the Existing Indian Family Doctrine 239
29 Transracial and International Adoption: Mothers, Hierarchy, Race, and Feminist Legal Theory 252
30 Gender Matters: Implications for Clinical Research and Women's Health Care 260
31 The Fuzzy Logic of Race and Gender in the Mismeasure of Asian American Women's Health Needs 266
32 Representing Race: Unshackling Black Motherhood 271
33 Blaming Culture for Bad Behavior 279
34 Bridges and Barricades: Rethinking Polemics and Intransigence in the Campaign against Female Circumcision 285
Pt. IV Women and Violence: Individuals, the State, and Other Actors 291
35 Gender, Violence, Race, and Criminal Justice 295
36 Multiple Masculinities: A New Vision for Same-Sex Harassment Law 306
37 "It's like Living in Black Hole": Women of Color and Solitary Confinement in the Prison Industrial Complex 316
38 The Shame of It: Gender-Based Terrorism in the Former Yugoslavia and the Failure of International Human Rights Law to Comprehend the Injuries 326
39 Commercial Sex: Beyond Decriminalization 339
40 Converging Stereotypes in Racialized Sexual Harassment: Where the Model Minority Meets Suzie Wong 343
41 The Violence Against Women Act and the Construction of Multiple Consciousness in the Civil Rights and Feminist Movements 352
42 Cultural Evidence and Male Violence: Are Feminist and Multicultural Reformers on a Collision Course in Criminal Courts? 360
43 Ignoring the Sexualization of Race: Heteronormativity, Critical Race Theory, and Anti-Racist Politics 371
44 Requiring Battered Women Die: Murder Liability for Mothers under Failure to Protect Statutes 376
45 Between Vengeance and Forgiveness: Feminist Responses to Violent Injustice 383
46 Enhancing Autonomy for Battered Women: Lessons from Navajo Peacemaking 389
Permissions 405
About the Contributors 411
Index 415
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