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Lecture

Law of Sexual Harassment


Department
Philosophy
Course Code
PHL271H1
Professor
moreua

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Law and Morality Lecture
February 16, 2011
Catherine MacKinnon- The Liberal State
1.Dillema of Feminist theory
She thinks feminist theory has moved between a leftist critique
of the state
It cant decide between a liberal theory of the state and leftists
The liberal holds that the state is a neutral arbitror of
conflicting interests- laws are not predisposed to any particular
outcome
Liberalism treats the state and law as a tool of betterment but
in the process of doing this they fail to critique the very legal
concepts that have contributed to womens oppression- concepts
such as a legal right
The leftist critique of the state treats the state and laws as a
kind of tool of dominance and repression
Feminist theorists on the leftist side tend to assume law is just a
kind of screen or set of pretentions of what is really a type of
power of asserting your interests on others
Women have been deprived of resources and power and all of
this has happened prior to the operation of the law in intimate
context
Prior to the laws operation, women and men are not equal
This means that when the law purports to be neutral and to give
them the same legal rights or treat them as equals by assuming
their in the same position, it actually works to perpetuate
inequalities because its own apparent neutrality masks these
preexisting inequalities
Law uses concepts such as a personal right or concept of reason
or reasonable person
And all these claim to not privilege any particular point of view
Seem legitimate but McKinnon says it prevents us from seeing
or changing very real social inequalities
Ex. Maternity leave- for both male and female; after parental
leave, there is a greater inequality because you have female
faculty that have been doing nothing and male that have been
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