If feminist legal theory were to face its legacy today, it would see that its tremendous value rests in its means more than in its ends. True, it has produced palpable results for its promoters domestically. It satisfied many feminists' discrete incremental requests, from Women's History Month to a limited right to bear or beget. While feminism partially satisfied well-identified gendered demands, it has ignored their “base” or frame. I argue that it has ignored basic calls for social justice. As shown here, how gendered demands are satisfied depends on whether basic demands for food and shelter have even been formulated. Once those basic demands for social justice are part of the public discourse, gendered wants can easily become visible, and be formulated in addition to the basic ones, rather than instead of them. Legal feminism needs to see how those basic demands enable the very existence of gendered demands in the same way “grammatical rules are the indispensable base for our free thought[s]” or our conception about the rule of law is the base for our rights-based system. Absent such basic demands, the gendered ones are castrated of the potential influence they can exercise on all their intended beneficiaries and the society at large.
Neacsu, E. (2008). The Red Booklet on Feminist Equality. Instead of a Manifesto. Women's Rights Law Reporter, 30 (1). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/law-faculty-scholarship/38