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USC Gould School of Law




One of the major strains of feminist jurisprudence has criticized American law, and the liberal jurisprudence and political philosophy on which it is said to be grounded, as male or masculine.' A central theme of the critique has been that the law embodies a masculine perspective in emphasizing autonomy and the individual over interdependency and the community. Liberalism has been viewed as inextricably masculine in its model of separate, atomistic, competing individuals establishing a legal system to pursue their own interests and to protect them from others' interference with their rights to do so. Hence, it is said that liberal, masculine jurisprudence has exalted rights over responsibilities, separateness over connection, and the individual over the community.

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