Bond University

Article Title

Feminism in Legal Education


Recently I was in an elevator with a member of a U.S. Court of Appeals — an enlightened, intelligent, sincere and very nice man — who congratulated me on the publication of my recent book, Feminism Unmodified. As I thanked him, he pondered the floor reflectively and said, “amazing how much you can accomplish if you just stay focused on one thing.” A few floors went by before I replied that, yes, the whole law library testified to that, and one ought to be able to accomplish at least as much by focusing on the other 53 per cent of the population.Feminism is not a monotonic, uni-dimensional, geographically bounded map of a sector of society, albeit a huge and neglected one. It is not a new partiality claiming universality. It is a multi-faceted approach to society as a whole, an engaged discipline of a diverse reality with both empirical and analytic dimensions, explanatory as well as descriptive aspirations, and practical as well as theoretical ambitions. Because it must consider not only existing law and reality, but women’s exclusion from life and scholarship, and because nothing that happens to a woman or a man is presumed exogenous to it, feminism is perhaps less about “one thing” than any other approach to legal scholarship.