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Vol 23 No 5 May/June 2018

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Law and Body Politics

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ISBN13: 9781855215153
ISBN: 1855215152
Published: June 1996
Publisher: Routledge
Format: Paperback
Price: Out of print

The metaphor of the Body Politic found in the works of Plato, Aristotle, and Hobbes, amongst others, has been drawn upon by feminists to permit investigations of the politicization of the body and the saturation of the body with political meaning. Feminists have shown that whilst the female body has emerged as a site of struggle and a focus of legal fascination, the legal system has at the same time played a role in silencing women and rendering women's needs, if not their bodies, invisible.;In unmasking the alleged impartiality and neutrality of law and in exposing the extent to which the legal subject is gendered, women have been shown to be alien to the legal system. This has led in some quarters to an expression of concern as to how, when, indeed whether at all women should resort to law. The premise of this book is that it is not necessary to accept or reject wholesale legal rules and procedures, and that different strategies can be advocated in response to different issues. Each chapter is concerned with an exploration of points at which law and the female body make contact and with strategies through which the nature and meaning of that contact can be reformulated. Areas such as women's reproductive lives, female circumcision, sterilization and violence against women are dealt with.

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Body politics and rights, Elizabeth Kingdom; they gag women, don't they?, Jo Bridgeman; the law's engagement with pregnancy, Anne Morris and Susan Nott; making ""social judgements that go beyond the purely medical"" - the reproductive revolution and access to fertility treatment services, Susan Mills; the law of abortion and the politics of medicalization, Sally Sheldon; sterilizing the woman with learning difficulties - in her best interests?, Kirsty Keywood; female circumcision - mutilation or modification?, Lois S. Bibbings; legal responses to battered women who kill, Marie Fox; working together - an analysis of collaborative inter-agency responses to the ""problem of domestic violence"", Christina M. Lyon; images of women - sentencing in sexual assault cases in Scotland, Susan R. Moody; international human rights and body politics, Fiona Beveridge and Siobhan Mullaley.