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Feminist Law Professors

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3 Responses

  1. Bruce Boyden says:

    Interesting post. Elizabeth, what’s your sense of how “feminism” differs from other broad-brush political classifications in this regard? For example, are you a “conservative law professor”? I bet there are a lot of positions held by conservatives you disagree with. I think feminism is similarly big-tent (particularly if it includes both sameness and difference feminists), but my intuition on what separates “feminists” from all other people who support gender equality is that feminists believe there are profound problems with the current situation that need addressing. So by that definition, you would be a feminist.

  2. Elizabeth Nowicki says:

    Bruce,
    Thanks for your non-anonymous comment.

    You raise a good point with your question, and I unfortunately do not have a ready answer. Let me answer your question by skirting it:

    I’m not sure I would call myself a conservative law professor, in part because the fellows I normally blog with at truthonthemarket.com are far more conservative than I. My sense is that *they* should be called conservative law professors, as opposed to me. Yet perhaps, if asked, they would not define themselves as “conservative,” but, rather, they might label themselves libertarians…. Which is a longwinded, indirect way of answering your initial question. I cannot help but wonder if my view of the label of “feminism” is less relevant than the view of 50 people on the street who are surveyed.

    In a related vein, I clerked for Jim Oakes, 2d Cir., who sat in Brattleboro, VT. Prior to becoming a judge, he was an elected politician – Republican. Believe you me, he was like *NO* Republican I had ever met, and his views when I clerked for him were far, far from even the left fringe of Republicans. A Vermont Republican is very different from a Virginia Republican.

    So it is interesting to hear that your intuition is that a feminist is one who believes there are profound problems with the current gender equality situation that need addressing. I would agree with your definition, though I wonder if it is too narrow. (Even if you believe there are not profound problems, perhaps you can still be a feminist. Although maybe a true feminist would say that if you do not believe there are problems, you have your eyes closed and therefore cannot be a feminist.)

    Interesting, all of this. Labels and taxonomy are not easy to sort out.

  3. Ann Bartow says:

    Hi Elizabeth,
    The recent past Presidential election lead to a lot of sometimes heated discussions about what it means to be a feminist. I don’t have any easy answers for you, but I rather like this post:

    http://tomatonation.com/?p=677

    Cheers,
    Ann

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