NEGATIVE - CRITIQUE - FEMINIST CRITIQUE OF PRIVACY 128
A EXTPRIVACY LAW LINKSPRIVACY IS INHERENTLY PATRIARCHAL
FEMINISTS REJECT PRIVACY LAW FOR THREE REASONS
Linda C. McClain, Professor of Law, Hofstra University School of Law, March, 1999; WILLIAM & MARY LAW REVIEW, " RECONSTRUCTIVE TASKS FOR A LIBERAL FEMINIST CONCEPTION OF PRIVACY," EE2001, hxm P.
Feminist resistance to privacy likely has several sources. First, as Allen suggests, liberal privacy survives "appropriately" strenuous critique: feminists correctly attack deployments of notions of privacy that have created and perpetuated women's unequal citizenship. n20 Where liberal feminists such as Allen and myself may differ with privacy's feminist critics is not over the need to reject those harmful and unjust deployments of privacy and their legacy, but over the possibility of holding on to some core of privacy that is worthy of reconstruction or clarification. Second, the origins and imagery of the right of privacy may fail to capture feminists' imaginations and may instead alienate or offend them. At best, there is the image conjured up by Warren and Brandeis's famous article-a propertied, privileged white male in need of shelter from the prying eyes of the press n21-or the equally gendered image of the modest, secluded female, conjured up by such early privacy precedents as De May v. Roberts n22 and Union Pacific Railway Co. v. Botsford. n23 At worst, there is the legacy of judicial refusal to "rais[e] the curtain" around the home and the marital bedchamber to "expos[e] [them] to public curiosity and criticism," n24 leaving women injured within such private places largely without remedy. n25 Third, feminists associate liberal privacy with negative liberty (and the "negative constitution"), and too readily conclude that such privacy cannot sustain a conception of affirmative governmental responsibilities. n26
PRIVACY RIGHTS REFLECT PATRIARCHAL AND HETEROSEXUAL IDEALS
Anita L. Allen, Professor, University of Pennsylvania School of Law, "COERCING PRIVACY," William & Mary Law Review, March, 1999, 40 Wm and Mary L. Rev. 723, EE2001-hxm, P.
To the extent that government is infused with patriarchal, heterosexual ideals, men's and women's privacy rights are likely to reflect patriarchal, heterosexual ideals of a private sphere. As a woman, "my" legal privacy is limited by "his" and "their" conceptions of the good life. Thus, a lesbian's desire to live in peace with her female lover and to adopt her lover's children may be thwarted by others' conceptions of the morally good family.
PRIVACY ENTRENCHES GENDERED NORMS THAT HURT WOMEN
Charles Sykes, Senior Fellow at the Wisconsin Policy Institute, THE END OF PRIVACY, 1999, EE2001 -JGM, p.226-227
Indeed, the most virulent ideological assault on privacy has come from the left, including feminists, whose shibboleth, "the personal is the political," has proven so fateful. Despite the role that privacy has played in the legalization of abortion, feminists have attacked the division between public and private hammer and tong. Catherine MacKinnon, one of the leading spokespersons for the movement, acknowledges that privacy is a central value in a liberal democracy, because it is designed to protect "an inviolable personality," and because it ensures "autonomy of control over tile intimacies of personal identity." Privacy enables free, autonomous individuals to interact freely and equally. But when it came to women, MacKinnon argued, privacy served none of these ends, because it did not take into account their oppression and inequality. Because \%omen were perpetual victims, MacKinnon argued, privacy was merely it device for shielding their inferiority and hiding their abuse and degradation. "The right of privacy is a right of men 'to be let alone' to oppress women one at a time," MacKinnon declared. Far from protecting women, privacy actually "polices the division between public and private . . . that keeps the private beyond public redress and depoliticizes women's subjection with it."
FOCUSING ON THE PRIVATE SPHERE REIFIES SEXIST NOTIONS
Joan B. Landes, Prof. of Women's Studies and History at Penn State University, 1998; FEMINISM, THE PUBLIC AND THE PRIVATE, "Introduction," EE2001-hxm p. 2
Feminism does not map comfortably onto either of these traditions, though, like republicans, feminists value public participation and, like liberals, they see the need to expand the contents of personal freedom. However, by focusing political attention on the private sphere feminists have challenged the effects of keeping the body and things sexual hidden from view; and they have denied that inherited views of freedom have applied equally to all people or to all aspects of the person. Does liberty, feminists ask, require that we sacrifice emotions to reason or domestic matters to public affairs? Feminism has therefore upset the firm divisions between public and private matters, which both liberals and republicans in their way maintain. Both theory and history have had a role to play in shaping new feminist understandings. Historians have exposed the changing, gendered contents of public and private life. By engaging with critical theory, structuralist, and Poststructuralist arguments, theorists have explored the gendered construction of individual and social identity. In short, among modern oppositional movements, feminism is unrivalled in its contribution to a deepening understanding of the historical, symbolic, and practical effects of the organization of public and private life. The selections in this volume represent the exciting range of dialogue opened by feminist theorists on these topics. They are multi-disciplinary in scope, and they reflect the historical and cross-cultural orientations of feminist scholarship over the past several decades.
INCREASING PRIVACY REIFIES PATRIARCHY
Seyla Benhabib, Prof. of Government at Harvard University,1998; FEMINISM, THE PUBLIC AND THE PRIVATE, "Models of Public Space: Hannah Arendt, the Liberal Tradition, and Jurgen Habermas," EE2001-hxm p. 86-87
The final meaning of 'privacy' and 'privacy rights' Is that of the 'intimate sphere'. This is the domain of the household, of meeting the daily needs of life, of sexuality, and reproduction, of care for the young, the sick, and the elderly. As Lawrence Stone's pathbreaking study on the origins and transformations of the early bourgeois family shows '41 from the beginning there were tensions between the continuing patriarchal authority of the father in the bourgeois family and developing conceptions of equality and consent in the Political world. As the male bourgeois citizen was battling for his rights to autonomy in the religious and economic spheres against the absolutist state, his relations in the household were defined by non-consensual, non-egalitarian assumptions. Questions of justice were from the beginning restricted to the 'public sphere" whereas the private sphere was considered outside the realm of justice.
PRIVACY LAW ACTS PATERNALISTICALLY IN THE NAME OF WOMEN, WHICH ONLY FURTHERS THEIR SUBORDINATION
Lauren Berlant, teacher of English at the University of Chicago, 1998; FEMINISM, THE PUBLIC AND THE PRIVATE, "Live Sex Acts (Parental Advisory: Explicit Material)," E E2000-hxm p. 281
The fear of ripping away the privacy protections of heteronational culture has led to a national crisis over the political meanings of imaginable, live, and therefore transgressive sex acts, acts that take place in public either by virtue of a state optic or a subcultural style. By bringing more fully into relief the politics of securing the right to privacy in the construction of a sexuality that bears the definitional burden of national culture, I am in part telling a story about preserving a boundary between: what can be done and said in public, what can be done in private but not spoken of in public, and what can, patriotically speaking, neither be done nor legitimately spoken of at all, in the United States. Thus, there is nothing new about the new national anthem, 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Pursue' I am also telling a story about transformations of the body in mass national society and thinking about a structure of political feeling that characterizes the history of national sentimentality, in which, at moments of crisis, persons violate the zones of privacy that give them privilege and protection in order to fix something social that feels threatening: they practice politics, they generate publicity, they act in public, but in the name of privacy. I mean to bring into representation these forms of citizenship structured in dominance, in scenes where adults act on behalf of the little girl form that represents totemically and fetishistically the unhumiliated citizen.' She is the custodian of the promise of zones of privacy that national culture relies on for its magic and its reproduction.
PRIVACY LAW REIFIES THE HETERO-PATRIARCHY
Lauren Berlant, teacher of English at the University of Chicago, 1998; FEMINISM, THE PUBLIC AND THE PRIVATE, "Live Sex Acts (Parental Advisory: Explicit Material)," E E2000- hxm p. 278-9
This essay began as a review of some recent feminist work on pornography.' In it I take no position on 'pornography', as such, but discuss it in terms of how, more broadly, the US citizen's vulnerability and aspiration to a nationally protected identity has been orchestrated through a variety of sexualizing media forms. In this regard the essay refocuses the discussion away from the domain of the politics of sexual difference and toward the conjunction of sexuality, mass culture, and mass nationality. In particular, I am interested in tracing some meanings of privacy, a category of law and a condition of property that constitutes a boundary between proper and improper bodies, and a horizon of aspiration vital to the imagination of what counts as legitimate US citizenship. Privacy here describes, simultaneously, a theoretical space imagined by US constitutional and statutory law; a scene of taxonomic violence that devolves privilege on certain actual spaces of practical life; a juridical substance that comes to be synonymous with secure domestic interiority; and a structure of protection and identity that sanctions, by analogy, other spaces that surround, secure, and frame the bodies whose acts, identities, identifications, and social value are the booty over which national culture wages its struggle to exist as a struggle to dominate sex.
Thus, this story will indeed contain graphic images, parental advisories, and magical thinking-that is to say, the usual dialectic between crassness and sublimity that has long dressed the ghosts of national culture in monumental forms and made it available for anxious citizens who need to invoke it on behalf of stabilizing one or another perceived social norm. This story has real and fictive characters, too-John Frohnmayer, Andrea Dworkin, Tipper Gore, and some fat, queer Nazis who try to join the military; but its main players are a little girl and an adult, both Americans. The little girl stands in this essay as a condensation of many citizenship fantasies. It is in her name as future citizen that state and federal governments have long policed morality around sex and other transgressive representations; the psychological and political vulnerability she represents has provided a model for other struggles to transform minority experience in the United States. And it is in her name that something other to her, called, let's say, 'adult culture', has been defined and privileged in many national domains. Although not without its contradictions: we have the 'adult' by whose name pornography is marked, as in 'adult books'-and the one who can, on the other hand, join with other adults to protect the still unhistorical little girl whose citizenship, if the adults act as good parents, might pass boringly from its minority to what has been called the 'zone of privacy' or national heterosexuality 'adult' Americans generally seek to inhabit.