UC Law SF Journal on Gender and Justice


I am writing this article to break the silence about the experience of pregnancy and new motherhood; to alert law students who want to combine active parenting with their law careers to the hostility awaiting them; and to add my voice to those of feminists calling for massive redesign of the American work culture, not only to accommodate the needs of workers who care for families, but to honor and support their choice to do so. As a law student, I have encountered the academic discourse found in, most law journals with discomfort. The typical writing style hides the identity of the writer, thus purporting to represent an unbiased, universal viewpoint. This impersonal style reflects the prevailing value of "objectivity" in the patriarchal legal system. The legal concept of objectivity, which strives to develop pure legal principles untainted by the subjective realities of those affected by the law, is a lie. "Objective" principles, such as the "reasonable man" standard, actually describe the subjective experiences of those empowered by patriarchy (i.e., for the most part, rich white men). Thus, the subjective realities of disempowered groups are ignored, while the patriarchal majority's assumptions about what their realities should be are imposed.