By Carol Smart
During this now confirmed textual content the writer provides her research of the ability of legislation and argues for a feminist post-structuralist technique. She reviews on pornography, in addition to discussing contemporary study on rape trials and abortion laws.
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Extra resources for Feminism and the Power of Law (Sociology of Law and Crime)
Whilst it is true that all law is in some way in the shadow of the judges, it is perhaps important to recognize how little law in practice is ever 24 THE POWER OF THE LAW subjected to legal method. The strategy that seems to come from Stang Dahl’s work is therefore not to challenge legal method so much as to ignore it and to focus on law in practice. If Mossman is correct that legal method is impervious to feminist critique then Stang Dahl’s option seems more sensible than continuing to push fruitlessly against such an immovable object.
Should be followed, others mysteriously become ‘bad’ law and are ignored. But even among cases that lawyers call ‘good’ law there is a vast choice. This raises the question of how they know which ones are relevant. Sumner (1979) has argued that judges merely make their decisions and select the cases accordingly. In other words the cases are decided in a post hoc fashion, logic does not inexorably lead the judge to the right decision. This, of course, is heresy to the legal positivists, yet the observation that cases heard on appeal can overturn previous decisions— several times—should be enough to produce scepticism about the infallibility of the case analysis method.
I have argued above that women’s sexual pleasure remains opaque in a phallocentric culture. Men can never be sure, so it is deemed that women have no pleasure (are frigid) or take pleasure from acts defined as pleasurable by men. The latter can, in turn, become a double jeopardy for women. Not only is it asserted that women must enjoy penetration (because men do) but even where women may not enjoy the physical sensations of penetration, it is not infrequently argued that our pleasure is derived from being the vehicle of men’s pleasure.
Feminism and the Power of Law (Sociology of Law and Crime) by Carol Smart