course logo Written Assignment:
Introduction to Feminism
due February 8

Answer all questions; when referring to the readings, cite properly, including page numbers and a full citation at the end of the assignment.

1. A recent newspaper article stated, “If time has won anything for feminism, it appears to be ingratitude. Three quarters of the women who responded to a recent CBS News poll said that the status of women had improved in the last 25 years, but fewer and fewer women want to call themselves feminists” (Sarah Boxer, “One Casualty of the Women's Movement: Feminism,” The New York Times, 14 December 1997: WK 3). How would you have defined and responded to feminism prior to taking this course? Explain any changes in your ideas after our initial discussion and readings on this topic.

2. Use Sandra Bem's concept of the lenses of gender to discuss Martha Chamallas’ explanation of the “five opening moves” that characterize a feminist approach to law. Explain how understanding the operation of the gender lenses, particularly the lens of androcentrism, helps us to understand why these “moves” are necessary.

3. What does Bender's critique of negligence and tort law reveal about the general legal principles we discussed in the first week of class? Describe your personal reaction to the examples Bender gives. Do these examples help you to understand the way that legal reasoning may differ from what we might call “common-sense reasoning” or ethical reasoning?

Daniel McCarthy <>
Barbara F. McManus <>
HON303/WMS303 Topics and Assignments I
January 2000