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Ch. 4 Difference pp. 383-443 a/k/a “cultural feminism,” “relational feminism,” “ethic of care”

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Presentation on theme: "Ch. 4 Difference pp. 383-443 a/k/a “cultural feminism,” “relational feminism,” “ethic of care”"— Presentation transcript:

1 Ch. 4 Difference pp. 383-443 a/k/a “cultural feminism,” “relational feminism,” “ethic of care”

2 Contrasted with Other Theories Ch. 1 Formal Equality: to the extent men & women are similarly situated, should be treated the same. Primary focus of 2d wave, R.B. Ginsburg as litigator w/ ACLU Legal Rights of Women Project. EPC as primary focus. Ch. 2 Substantive Equality: where not similarly situated, provide remedies for past discrimination, recognize sex-linked average differences, outlaw pregnancy discrimination. Statutory remedies: Title VII, evolution of family law to provide substantive equality.

3 Contrasted with Other Theories Ch. 3 Nonsubordination – Leading theorists: MacKinnon, Abrams, Hébert, Schultz, Franke, Rhode – Issues: Actionable sexual harassment (Titles VII & IX), dealing with domestic violence, criminal law (rape, sexual assault, provocation, battered women’s syndrome), VAWA (up for renewal and under attack), pornography, sexual orientation discrimination, legal & social evolution on LGBT issues (federal & state DOMA’s, civil unions, domestic partnership benefits, same sex marriage, same sex parents, employment discrimination, public accommodations, gender & military)

4 VAWA: up for third reauthorization Controversy. NYT (March 14, 2012): divisive, election-year politics N.B. VAWA, ongoing controversy – US News & World 3/27: overwhelmingly negative reaction to VAWA! See violence-against-women-act-be-reauthorized

5 Difference Theory Embrace some of women’s differences as offering better model for law & social differences, i.e., Values of relationship, protection of vulnerable & contextual reasoning

6 A. Connection Thesis pp. 384, 386-88 Carol Gilligan, In a Different Voice (1982): challenged Kohlberg’s model of moral development finding gendered differences at 11 years old, boys’ superior reasoning. Leslie Bender develops: Jake’s ladder(rule-based, rights model, apply abstract principles of justice to resolve disputes) Vs.Amy’s web (in particularized context, search for amicable resolution, to preserve relationships, achieve higher good through ethic of care)

7 Robin West pp. 384-86 “hedonic feminism”: give voice to women’s unique pleasures & pains, values & dangers, attractions and fears …. “ethic of care” By definition, women’s bodily functions “essentially connected” to life & other human beings (menstruation, potential for pregnancy, heterosexual penetration & possible pregnancy, post-pregnancy possibility of breast- feeding) “Rule of Law” ignores feminine values of connection, harms from invasion Agree/disagree? Critique? See Bender pp. 386-88, N. pp. 390-91 (assumptions for “protective” labor laws)

8 Leslie Bender, Ethic of Care, Tort Primer pp. 386-88, 392-94, 400 Acknowledges risks of replicating subordination, use with caution … rejects suggestion to de- gender, link to “liberal humanist values.” WHY? Gender-linked values of care, cooperation, interpersonal responsibility can improve legal analysis, benefit society. – E.g., tort law should recognize duty to act to protect or prevent harm to another ….when can be done w/o undue risk of harm or cost to self. Legal & policy implications? Future possibilities?

9 Mary Becker pp. 390-91 Relational feminism goal: enable all persons to find human fulfillment & happiness Target: over-valuation of masculine qualities (individualistic); under-valuation of feminine qualities (community & relationships)


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