Course:Law3020/2014WT1/Group D/Feminist Jurisprudence

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The underlying core of the feminist jurisprudence theory relies on the premise that the world is structured by patriarchy, which is the systematic and systemic domination of women by men (140). Therefore, viewing the law through the lens of feminist jurisprudence entails critiquing the patriarchal despotism of the system.

This analysis and critique thereby focuses on a variety of issues affecting women such as equal protection laws, discrimination in education, hiring, promotion and various patriarchal biases in law. The feminist jurisprudence contains many different theories such as:

Liberal feminism

Subordination of women is achieved by the blocking of paths leading to success in public spheres. Liberal feminism argues for a “gender blind law”, where there no special treatment afforded to individuals based on gender.

Radical feminism

Focuses on the social construction of gender within patriarchy. Radical feminism purports that the actual idea of femininity cannot be deciphered until the norms underlying patriarchy are dismantled. According to Radical feminism, patriarchy is deeply rooted in society and fundamental changes to the basic structures, such as the socialization of the young, are direly needed to uproot patriarchy.

Marxist feminism

This theory, much like its predecessor, argues that oppression of women is a byproduct of capitalism and its characterization of the “private” domestic sphere (child bearing and rearing) as economically defunct principles.

Postmodern feminism

Relational feminism

Nevertheless, there is a fundamental premise that guides all theories and that is the rejection of patriarchy. In essence, the critique of law under feminist jurisprudence is based on assumptions and perspectives of a group that is outside the patriarchal structure of the law. From this perspective, male supremacist jurisprudence erects and furthers standards within law and society that cater to a male point of view(150).

The power balance within society is predominantly shifted to male centered views reflecting the norms present within institutions that become the status quo. Due to this imbalance within society and its institutions women are not permitted fully to comprehend what sex equality would look like, because inequality is the standard women have primarily lived with.