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feminism, legal scholarship, gender, equality


This Essay describes the evolution of feminist legal scholarship, using six articles published by the California Law Review as exemplars. This short history provides a window on the most important contributions of feminist scholarship to understandings about gender and law. It explores alternative formulations of equality, and the competing assumptions, ideals, and implications of these formulations. It describes frameworks of thought intended to compensate for the limitations of equality doctrine, including critical legal feminism, different voice theory, and nonsubordination theory, and the relationships between these frameworks. Finally, it identifies feminist legal scholarship that has crossed the disciplinary bound-aries of law. Among its conclusions, the Essay points out that as feminist scholarship has become more mainstream, its assumptions and methods are less distinct. It observes that even as feminist legal scholarship has generated important, insightful critiques of equality doctrine, it remains committed to the concept of equality, as continually revised and refined. The Essay also highlights the importance of feminist activism and practice in sharpening and refining feminist legal scholarship.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Equality, Legal literature, Sex (Psychology), Feminism