This essay is a collective reflection by thirty-nine law students on feminism, law and culture. In the Spring 2020 semester, the students who enrolled in the Feminist Legal Theory course taught by Professor Bridget Crawford at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University were a mixed-gender group of second-year, third-year, and fourth-year students. The course focused on the themes and methods of feminist analysis and the application of feminist legal theories to topics such as intimate partner violence, prostitution, pornography, sexual harassment, reproductive rights, and economic rights. Students attended a traditional seminar meeting once each week. Conversations continued throughout the week in a student-led asynchronous written online discussion forum, with a different group of student facilitators choosing the topic and guiding the conversation each week. This essay is an edited collection of student posts to the course’s online forum. It is intended to memorialize the interests, concerns, and contributions of this particular group of law students to feminist discourse during the Spring 2020 semester—a time when legal education and most aspects of American life were disrupted in an unprecedented way by the novel coronavirus.
The essay is organized around ten discrete topics that reflect, but are not identical to, course material. Participants use TED Talks and other videos, podcasts, and news stories as entry points for engaging with topics of mutual interest. These include the nature of gender differences, the impact of gender differences on the workplace and family life, menstruation, motherhood, and feminist coalition-building. The essay both reflects students’ understanding of feminist legal theory as a distinct mode of academic inquiry and challenges feminist scholars to consider what “counts” as feminist topics from the perspective of current law students. It is a contemporaneous record of the substantive issues that these law students found important in the present moment.
Bridget J. Crawford, Reflections on Feminism, Law & Culture: Law Students’ Perspectives, 41 Pace L. Rev. 105 (2020), https://digitalcommons.pace.edu/lawfaculty/1175/.