Feminism and Critical Analysis

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The term ‘feminism’ has been a part of everyday language since the 1960s. It is invariably linked to the women’s movement and an attempt to advance the social standing of women. Feminism as a theory can be divided into four types : (i) Liberal feminism, which accepts the law and its reasoning process. Liberalism is seen as the ideal tool to fight oppression; (ii) Radical feminism, which rejects the views of liberal feminists, since the reasoning structure of law corresponds with the patterns of socialisation, experience and values of a particular group of privileged, educated men. Radical feminism seeks to demystify the neutrality of law, and to make the law comprehend that women’s definitions have been excluded and marginalized; (iii) Cultural Feminism, which differs from both radical and liberal feminism in seeing women as caring and connected to others. It believes in restructuring of law and society to accommodate the values of nurturing, caring and loving that are traditionally associated with women; (iv) Post-modern Feminism- it rejects equality and the idea of a woman’s point of view as a fiction that merely serves to bind a woman to her identity. Practical solutions to concrete legal situations are inquired, rather than abstract notions of the nature of law. All feminists, however, adhere to two basic positions: “that society is patriarchal and that society subordinates women to men.” Feminist research developed as a response to two perceived related failings in western social sciences. The first was the “relative invisibility of women and a lack of concern with the gender-specific issues that influenced their lives.” The second concerned the “practices of social research and the processes through which knowledge was constructed.” It was argued that the social world had been studied from the perspective of male interests and concerns, and in ignorance of the different picture that emerged when focussing on women’s lives and ways of seeing. “Knowledge, which was presented as neutral, objective and value-free, was, instead, partial and gendered, which necessitated challenging conventional research practices as well as radically reviewing many of the taken-for-granted assumptions about the nature of social science,” leading to the emergence of feminist critique. 1.2 Research methodology:

The researcher has adopted the doctrinal method of research as it was found to be most suitable for this type of project. Doctrinal method is the method of obtaining information from primary and secondary sources. Resources from the NALSAR library and the Internet were used. The sources used for this project are secondary in nature. The aim of this project is to understand feminism as a legal theory with emphasis on its quality of providing critique of existing legal forms. 1.3 Research plan:

The Researcher has addressed the various facets of the subject under different headings marked by numbers. The first Heading gives a brief introduction to the concept of Feminism. The subsequent headings cover the different facets relating to feminist jurisprudence and critical analysis, including critical legal studies and critical race theory. The research ends with the conclusion and bibliography. 1.3.1 Aims and Objectives:

Through this project the researcher aims to provide the reader with an overview of feminist legal theory and the critique it provides, with mention of cases. The researcher has carefully scrutinized the mentioned topic and given a brief study on the same. The researcher has judicial precedents and examples for the same. 1.3.2 Scope and Limitations:

Within the scope of this project the researcher will discuss the topic along with mention of important cases on the same. Due to paucity of space and time to some extent, the researcher will be unable to include all the facets and will limit herself to analyzing and discussing only the relevant and most striking aspects relating to the...
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