Activism, Lawyering, and Legal Theory
Published by: NYU Press
217 pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in
- ISBN: 9780814798454
- Published: May 2006
In the late 1970s, feminist scholars and activists joined together to build a movement aimed at bringing feminist theory and experiences to the practice and teaching of American law. Since then, the feminist jurisprudence movement has taken root, with courts and legislatures addressing matters of sex and gender inequality, and law schools employing feminist and post-feminist theory in the classroom. In this important book, Ann Scales, a founding contributor to the movement, reflects on the past, present, and future of feminist jurisprudence.
Legal Feminism situates the feminist jurisprudence movement within the larger context of Western law and philosophy, focusing first on common problem areas of legal theory and decision-making, and then explaining how feminist jurisprudence can analyze and address these issues in new ways. Throughout, Scales draws on legal disputes to show how feminist theory works in the courtroom and in other real-life arenas.
Part personal memoir, part primer, and part treatise, Legal Feminism is a de-jargonized, lively account of how feminist jurisprudence can solve traditional legal conflicts, and why it matters to anyone committed to building an equitable and progressive society.
“A significant and unique contribution to the field of jurisprudence. . . . Links feminist jurisprudence to the central debates and approaches of the jurisprudential field in general, and shows how it can serve as a general set of jurisprudential principles that transcend what are usually thought to be its gendered boundaries.”
-Lucinda M. Finley,University of Buffalo Law School, State University of New York
“…[E]xcellently crafted, eminently readable, and both courageous and fortuitous in its timing. . . . a riveting combination of analytical elegance, comic timing, and informed passion for the legal status of gender issues.”
-Law and Politics Book Review
“Ann Scales’ unique vision shines through this jazzy account of feminism, legal theory and the practice of law. Legal Feminism has something for everyone—practicing lawyers, judges, activists and theorists of all stripes. Scales guides us through high theory, gender politics, and important judicial decisions with philosophical sophistication, stylish and passionate prose, and wisdom.”
-Martha Chamallas,Robert J. Lynn Chair, Moritz College of Law, The Ohio State University
“Legal Feminism challenges readers to think of feminism as a pragmatic strategy, and as a transformative approach to epistemology, politics, and ethics. Scales is audacious yet subtle, erudite but refreshingly accessible. She never fails to remind us that great questions, and no-holds-barred political struggles, are also occasions for compassion, solidarity, and humor. Legal Feminism is a bracing tonic for these times of battle fatigue and political disillusionment: it will help many of us to remember why we became feminists, and will equip all readers with a powerful array of political and analytic tools.”
-Kathryn Abrams,Herma Hill Kay Distinguished Professor of Law, School of Law-Boalt Hall, University of California, Berkeley
“The living experience of practice imparts a special vitality to Legal Feminism, as does the personal voice. . . . Offers readers a kind of you-are-there viewpoint that law students hunger for and that any legal audience appreciates.”
-Elizabeth Rapaport,Dickason Professor of Law, University of New Mexico