Article Title

Gender Law


The inauguration of the DUKE JOURNAL OF GENDER LAW & POLICY represents an exciting step in the institutionalization of a subject area in academic law formerly found only at the fringe of legal scholarship and law school curriculums. Often shunned as a political activity inappropriate to institutions committed to academic rigor, objectivity, and neutrality, gender law has begun to lay down roots as a disciplined set of inquiries that enhance the rigor of conventional legal study and offer tools for improving the objectivity and neutrality of law, even as it challenges the conventional meanings of those concepts. There are two principal ways scholars have organized the field of gender law. The first is to draw together legal doctrines and analyses from conventional legal fields that seem to have special relevance to women such as employment law, family law, criminal law, and constitutional law. This approach is typical in law school "sex-based discrimination" and "women and the law" courses. The second is to identify theoretical perspectives that cross-cut conventional legal boundaries and model alternative relationships between gender and law. This more theoretical approach is common in feminist jurisprudence or feminist legal theory courses. I find a combination of these two approaches desirable but, as my own textbook in this field demonstrates, 1 I believe that the alternative theoretical perspectives are what makes gender a subject in its own right, as opposed to a set of derivations from other, more well-established areas of study. The purpose of this Essay is to ...

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