A Law of Her Own: The Reasonable Woman as a Measure of Man

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NYU Press, 2000 - Family & Relationships - 261 pages
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Despite the apparent progress in women's legal status, the law retains a profoundly male bias, and as such contributes to the pervasive violence and injustice against women.

In A Law of Her Own, the authors propose to radically change law's fundamental paradigm by introducing a "reasonable woman standard" for measuring men's behavior. Advocating that courts apply this standard to the conduct of men-and women-in legal settings where women are overwhelmingly the injured parties, the authors seek to eliminate the victimization and objectification of women by dismantling part of the legal structure that supports their subordination.

A woman-based legal standard-focusing on respect for bodily integrity, agency, and autonomy-would help rectify the imbalance in how society and its legal system view sexual and gender-based harassment, rape, stalking, battery, domestic imprisonment, violence, and death.

Examining the bias of the existing "reasonable person" standard through analysis of various court cases and judicial decisions, A Law of Her Own aims to balance the law to incorporate women's values surrounding sex and violence.

 

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Contents

Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction
PART IThe Idea and the Reality
1Locked In and Locked Out
2The Meaning of Equality
PART IISexual Harassment in the Workplace
3Men Women and Sex at Work
8The Continuum of Stalking Sexual Harassment and Domestic Homicide
PART IVDomestic Homicide
9Slips in a Dangerous Game
10Provoked Intimate Homicide
11When Battered Women Kill
PART VRape
12Rape and the Use and Misuse of the Reasonable Woman
Postscript

4How and Why Different Perspectives Matter in Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment Cases
5Gender Race Sexual Orientation and the Reasonable Woman
6The Reasonable Woman after Harris v Forklift Systems
PART IIIStalking
7Stalking and the Gendered Meaning of Reasonable Fear
References
Index
About the Authors
Copyright

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About the author (2000)

Caroline Forell is Professor of Law at the University of Oregon.

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