Goldfarb_and_Ellis_f94.doc - Fall 1994 Goldfarb and Ellis...

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Women and the Law Fall 1994 Goldfarb and Ellis I. Historical Background to Women and the Law A.Early history- The Women's Movement * Declaration of Sentiments -Seneca Falls -states the numerous ways in which women are enslaved by men for example they have no vote, are forced to submit to men;s laws, if single pay taxes, if married lose right to their property, unable to separate from husbands except by the standards men set, men monopolize all the jobs, deny women access to education- * this class looks at how these rights are slowly gained by women.- *today we are still -concerned with (1) suffrage because even they have the vote they are still underrepresented (2) property at divorce still is not equally shared- although now women do have property rights. (3) still employment problems (4) education-see the Citadel (5) only a few progressive religions allow woment o be ordained (6) still biases in marriage and custody (7) self esteem problems (8) still gender roles *but also today-reproductive rights (abortion, contraception, health care), work/family conflict, domestic violence/rape, equal pay/comparable work, prisoner's rights, race gender, lesbian discrimination, pornagraphy, poor-welfare rights/compulsory sterilization, glass ceiling, disabled /elderly/girls. * also provides a history of the women in the suffrage movement and their ties to the Abolitionist movement- B. Civil Rights Amendments (14th) failed to include women's suffrage and limited it to "males" - see Sojourner Truth , "Ain't I a Woman?" shows how black women were nottreated as if on a pedastol like white women and ties the two movements together by showing how black women demonstrate that women are not in need of protection. C. Constitutional Limits on Sex- a text note- gives historical subjugation of women by the law 1) 14th Amendment - used "male" 2) Bradwell v. Illinois - denied women the right to be a lawyer because they should be in the home-could have been a footnote to Gilligan except he fails to see the postives in women's nature. 3) In re Lockwood - confirmed Bradwell 4) Minor v. Happersett - right to vote not among privileges and immunities clause and therefore no Const. guarantees to women- but they may be "citizens" 5) 19th Amendment - 1920 - finally women get the vote
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6) Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections- held the exercise of the franchise may not be conditioned on the payment of a poll tax therefore depriving women who earn less than mnet he right to vote. 7) Muller v. Or. -1908- ct. upheld protective economic law for women even when Lochner had still not been overturned because women ar different than men physically, and maternal functions and therefore need this protection that men don't need. It is protection that was never extended to men at least by the court and therefore, many women were hurt because they could not compete with the men who did not have these impediments of their time.
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