A Law of Her Own: The Reasonable Woman as a Measure of Man, Caroline A. Forell and Donna M. Matthews

Well worth the read.  Some quotes and notes …

“Because law is based on male experience, it ‘understands’ men.  Thus, courts apply male values to conclude that sexual and sexist workplace conduct is merely annoying, that fear of a stalker is unjustified, and that sex against a woman’s will is seduction.” (p3)

“Men’s physiology defines most sports, their needs define auto and health insurance coverage, their socially designed biographies define workplace expectations and successful career patterns, their perspectives and concerns define quality in scholarship, their experiences and obsessions define merit, their objectification of life defines art, their military service defines citizenship, their presence defines family, their inability to get along with each other—their wars and rulerships—defines history, their image defines god, and their genitals define sex.”  Catharine MacKinnon in Feminism Unmodified (p5)  I never tire of quoting her!

“[E]ven if sociobiologists are correct [about men’s reproductive drive being evolutionary …], it does not follow that men must prevail when their interests conflict with those of women, nor that men are justified in behaving badly.” (p13)

“In her [MacKinnon’s] view, it is because women are dominated by men that they are different.” (p13)  Wow.  Very interesting reversal of status quo interpretation …

“As Senator Paul Simon put it: ‘Many men were stunned to learn what women regard as sexual harassment.'” (p24)  Then they fucking haven’t been listening.  Sigh.

“… the average sentence for a woman who kills an intimate is fifteen to twenty years; for a man, it is two to six years.” (p158)  I knew it was different, but geez loueez.

“… women do not generally kill their intimates unless hey reasonably believe there is no other solution to their situation.” (p161)   Right, whereas men—how could killing even be considered a last resort?  That there is no other solution to, what, the problem of her insulting him?  Arguing with him?  Leaving him?  Um.  Walk away.  Let her go.

“… male-based inquiry focuses on her instead of him, asking ‘Why didn’t she leave?’ when she kills him … instead of [asking] ‘Why didn’t he let her go?'” (p162)  YES!!

“… women in the United States are five to ten times more likely to be killed by their husbands than are European women.  This difference, among other factors, shows that men killing their intimates is not biologically predetermined.”  (p162)  Indeed.  It shows that American men are soooo fucked up.  Well, at least more fucked up than European men.

“… most men do not kill women intimates when they leave or commit adultery.  The small percentage of men who do not take responsibility for their rage and violence, who hurt and kill their intimates, define a perverse legal norm.”  (p178)  So why aren’t those other men doing something about it?  Why aren’t upset that the few are giving them such a bad rep?

“Despite the frequency with which men commit violence against other men, our law and society do not thereby conclude that men like or want to be beaten, nor that men provoke the violence by their appearance, ‘merriment’, or failure to repeatedly communicate their nonconsent.” (p223)

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