UC Law SF Journal on Gender and Justice


Mehwish Shaukat


It is time for feminist jurisprudence to recognize American Muslim women (AMW) as a distinct and agentic group. For too long, feminist discourse has victimized and objectified Muslim women. Our identities are constructed, deconstructed, and weaponized to suit third party needs; yet, our voices are rarely heard. When feminist legal theories singularly refer to Muslim women in relation to oppression, it harms Muslim women as a group and it attacks the very ethos of the discipline itself. Legal academia trains students to actively interrogate assumptions, but, it curiously treats the oppressed Muslim woman as an irrefutable reality. There is a dearth of first-person legal scholarship on AMW, and this article takes one step towards filling this precarious void. I invite the leading scholars of feminist jurisprudence to closely examine their own scholarship, and to discard orientalist constructions of AMW in exchange for first-person narratives.