By Professor Elizabeth M. Schneider, Elizabeth Schneider
Elizabeth Schneider has performed a pioneering position during this technique. From an insider’s viewpoint she explores how claims of rights for battered ladies have emerged from feminist activism, and he or she assesses the chances and boundaries of feminist criminal advocacy to enhance battered women’s lives and rework legislation and tradition. The publication chronicles the fight to include feminist arguments into legislation, really in situations of battered girls who kill their assailants and battered girls who're moms. With a huge viewpoint on feminist lawmaking as a automobile of social swap, Schneider examines matters as wide-ranging as legal prosecution of batterers, the civil rights therapy of the Violence opposed to ladies Act of 1994, the O. J. Simpson trials, and a category on battered girls and the legislations that she taught at Harvard legislations university. Feminist lawmaking on girl abuse, Schneider argues, may still reaffirm the old imaginative and prescient of violence and gender equality that initially lively activist and criminal work.
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Additional resources for Battered Women and Feminist Lawmaking
As the Declaration of Sentiments illustrates, the chastisement prerogative ﬁgured prominently in the feminist movement’s ﬁrst challenge to the maritalstatus rules of the common law. Woman’s rights advocates protested the hierarchical structure of marriage; and, as they did so, they attacked the chastisement prerogative as a practical and symbolic embodiment of the husband’s authority over his wife. The woman’s rights movement thus broke with the tem- 16 Violence as a Social and Legal Problem perance movement by depicting wife beating as a symptom of fundamental defects in the legal structure of marriage itself.
Then there is its symbolic level—the role that law plays in expressing, embodying, and shaping social messages. Law must also be understood as having a role in constructing social and cultural life and producing cultural meanings and identities. Feminist legal scholar Kathryn Abrams observes that ‘‘law . . ’’ 17 Rights language can express human and communal values; it can be a way for individuals to make their voices heard, to assert or develop a sense of self, and for individuals and groups to experience a collective identity.
Newspapers did not begin to report on abuse of wives until 1974. The next year, however, women activists organized conferences in several cities to establish shelters for battered women, demand arrest of wife beaters by the police, and draft new legislation. 23 With a new spotlight on intimate violence and the ensuing development of a battered women’s movement, many reforms designed to protect women from marital violence have been secured. In both England and the United States, the focus of feminist consciousnessraising about domestic violence was on intimate violence in the context of heterosexual relationships.