Battered Women and Feminist Lawmaking

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9780300094114: Battered Women and Feminist Lawmaking
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Women’s rights advocates in the United States have long argued that violence against women denies women equality and citizenship, but it took a movement of feminist activists and lawyers, beginning in the late 1960s, to set about realizing this vision and transforming domestic violence from a private problem into a public harm. This important book examines the pathbreaking legal process that has brought the pervasiveness and severity of domestic violence to public attention and has led the United States Congress, the Supreme Court, and the United Nations to address the problem.
Elizabeth Schneider has played a pioneering role in this process. From an insider’s perspective she explores how claims of rights for battered women have emerged from feminist activism, and she assesses the possibilities and limitations of feminist legal advocacy to improve battered women’s lives and transform law and culture. The book chronicles the struggle to incorporate feminist arguments into law, particularly in cases of battered women who kill their assailants and battered women who are mothers. With a broad perspective on feminist lawmaking as a vehicle of social change, Schneider examines subjects as wide-ranging as criminal prosecution of batterers, the civil rights remedy of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, the O. J. Simpson trials, and a class on battered women and the law that she taught at Harvard Law School. Feminist lawmaking on woman abuse, Schneider argues, should reaffirm the historic vision of violence and gender equality that originally animated activist and legal work.

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For most of history, the law permitted men to "chastise" their wives. Common law explicitly recognized a man's right to beat his wife with a stick, as long as the stick was no thicker than his thumb (it is from this tradition that we derive the phrase "rule of thumb"). Men who beat their wives were, and are, infrequently punished, or if at all, only leniently. Women who are battered are often blamed for provoking the attack--even by the most trivial of acts or omissions--or for failing to leave, even though they may fear retribution, or other motivations may make flight less obvious a solution than it seems.

In the face of a history that held women to be legally dead upon marriage, subsumed into the identities of their husbands, feminist theorists and lawyers have tried to reconceptualize and relitigate domestic violence. In framing the personal as political, feminists have sought to draw back the curtain that shielded the private realm from the scrutiny and censure of the law. The theoretical and practical challenges, implications, and struggles of this feminist lawmaking--at all its levels--are the subject of Elizabeth Schneider's book Battered Women and Feminist Lawmaking.

The book is organized into four sections, covering the history of the battered women's movement, the theoretical dilemmas of feminist analyses of battering, feminist legal practices and strategies in domestic violence cases, and the possibilities for change through feminist lawmaking, including discussions of the Violence Against Women Act, and of legal education. The issues of domestic violence are fraught and complex, the ways to handle it no less so. Schneider is a law professor at Brooklyn Law School and a longtime legal activist on the issue, and her take is both sobering and enlightening. It is an erudite, well-written examination of law, domestic battery, and the implications for equality, and a highly recommended read for activists, legal actors, academics, and interested lay readers. --J. Riches

From the Back Cover:

"This important book is 'must' reading for lawyers, political leaders, and medical and mental health professionals involved in responses to domestic violence. It demonstrates a rare combination of activist/lawyer savvy and theoretical curiosity and honesty." —Martha Minow, Harvard Law School "A groundbreaking account . . . a magisterial work. . . . Scholars, practitioners, social service providers, judges, and lawmakers will find in this thought-provoking volume a wealth of information, making it essential reading for all who are interested in the subject."—Julie Goldscheid and Mary McGowan Davis, Jurist's Books-on-Law (jurist.law.pitt.edu)

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9780300083439: Battered Women & Feminist Lawmaking

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Publisher: Yale University Press, 2000
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Book Description Yale University Press, United States, 2002. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Women s rights advocates in the United States have long argued that violence against women denies women equality and citizenship, but it took a movement of feminist activists and lawyers, beginning in the late 1960s, to set about realizing this vision and transforming domestic violence from a private problem into a public harm. This important book examines the pathbreaking legal process that has brought the pervasiveness and severity of domestic violence to public attention and has led the United States Congress, the Supreme Court, and the United Nations to address the problem. Elizabeth Schneider has played a pioneering role in this process. From an insider s perspective she explores how claims of rights for battered women have emerged from feminist activism, and she assesses the possibilities and limitations of feminist legal advocacy to improve battered women s lives and transform law and culture. The book chronicles the struggle to incorporate feminist arguments into law, particularly in cases of battered women who kill their assailants and battered women who are mothers. With a broad perspective on feminist lawmaking as a vehicle of social change, Schneider examines subjects as wide-ranging as criminal prosecution of batterers, the civil rights remedy of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, the O. J. Simpson trials, and a class on battered women and the law that she taught at Harvard Law School. Feminist lawmaking on woman abuse, Schneider argues, should reaffirm the historic vision of violence and gender equality that originally animated activist and legal work. Seller Inventory # BZV9780300094114

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Book Description Yale University Press, United States, 2002. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Women s rights advocates in the United States have long argued that violence against women denies women equality and citizenship, but it took a movement of feminist activists and lawyers, beginning in the late 1960s, to set about realizing this vision and transforming domestic violence from a private problem into a public harm. This important book examines the pathbreaking legal process that has brought the pervasiveness and severity of domestic violence to public attention and has led the United States Congress, the Supreme Court, and the United Nations to address the problem. Elizabeth Schneider has played a pioneering role in this process. From an insider s perspective she explores how claims of rights for battered women have emerged from feminist activism, and she assesses the possibilities and limitations of feminist legal advocacy to improve battered women s lives and transform law and culture. The book chronicles the struggle to incorporate feminist arguments into law, particularly in cases of battered women who kill their assailants and battered women who are mothers. With a broad perspective on feminist lawmaking as a vehicle of social change, Schneider examines subjects as wide-ranging as criminal prosecution of batterers, the civil rights remedy of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, the O. J. Simpson trials, and a class on battered women and the law that she taught at Harvard Law School. Feminist lawmaking on woman abuse, Schneider argues, should reaffirm the historic vision of violence and gender equality that originally animated activist and legal work. Seller Inventory # BTE9780300094114

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