History 268 - Women and the Law

Jennifer Nye

TU TH 1:00PM 2:15PM

UMass Amherst
Herter Hall room 210
This course examines the legal status of women in the United States, focusing specifically on the 20th and 21st centuries. How has the law used gender, sex, sexuality, and race to legally enforce inequality between women and men (and among women)? We will examine the legal arguments feminists have used to advocate for legal change and how these arguments have changed over time, paying specific attention to debates about whether to make legal arguments based on formal equality, substantive equality, liberty, or privacy. We will also consider the pros and cons of using the law to advocate for social justice. Specific issues that may be covered include the civil and political participation of women (voting, jury service), employment discrimination, intimate relationships, reproduction, contraception and abortion, violence against women, women as criminal defendants, and women as law students, lawyers, and judges. Prior law-law related coursework helpful, but not required.

Open to Seniors, Juniors & Sophomores only. Prior law related and /or gender/sexuality coursework is helpful, but not required

Permission is required for interchange registration during the add/drop period only.