NEGATIVE - CRITIQUE - FEMINIST CRITIQUE OF PRIVACY 130
A EXTPRIVACY LAW LINKSPRIVACY LEADS TO EXCLUSION OF WOMEN
PRIVACY REMAINS A CENTRAL LIBERAL FEMINIST ISSUE BECAUSE IT MARKS THE EXCLUSIONARY NATURE OF LAW AND THE PUBLIC REALM
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.
Allen economically sets out the main features of common feminist critiques of privacy: privacy connotes female seclusion and subordination, leading to women's underparticipation in society and vulnerability to violence in the home, and privacy emphasizes negative liberty, precluding any robust conception of affirmative governmental obligations. n15 I believe, as Allen's present essay and her other writings addressing feminist criticisms illus- [*763] trate, that liberal privacy, properly clarified, can meet these charges. n16 Why, then, does privacy continue to draw such feminist criticisms? Further, why have more feminist theorists not concurred with Allen that privacy can play an important part in helping women gain more control over their lives? To be sure, some feminist theorists (and here I include myself) do share Allen's assessment of the potential of privacy, if properly reconstructed. n17 Feminist work, however, often expresses an acute suspiciousness about and uneasiness over privacy and links it directly to the failure of law and society to afford women equal protection of the law and to promote their well-being. n18 Indeed, privacy continues to feature prominently in feminist work as a barrier to these ends. n19
PRIVACY VALUES ARE INHERENTLY EXCLUSIONARY AND PREJUDICED AND CANNOT BE RECONSTRUCTED
Neal Devins, Ernest W. Goodrich Professor of Law and Lecturer in Government, College of William and Mary, March 1999; 40 Wm and Mary L. Rev. 795, " REFLECTIONS ON COERCING PRIVACY," EE2001-hxm P.
The lesson here is simple: Our society is not sufficiently tolerant to embrace an "anything goes" attitude toward lifestyle choices. Consequently, abstract notions of privacy-even when defended with vigor and eloquence-will not protect alternative lifestyles. Rather, societal acceptance is necessary and, as such, private lives must become public. Otherwise, false stereotypes, not empathy, will rule the day. For this reason, Allen's call for private lives to stay private may well be counterproductive.
PRIVACY IDEALS PERPETUATE THE HETEROPATRIARCHY AND SUBORDINATION OF WOMEN AND GAYS AND LESBIANS
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.
Some feminists view the concept of privacy as having an inherently conservative tilt in the Western liberal societies where it has had the greatest currency. n92 The privacy banner waves away beneficial public intervention calculated to reinvent customary standards of behavior that lead to female under- participation and male aggression or harassment. Legal feminists commonly argue that the liberal ideology of "privacy" is inherently conservative and has slowed the growth of egalitarian laws beneficial to vulnerable classes of women. n93 Another argument posits that a conservative ideology of privacy supports the notion that gays and lesbians belong, if at all, silent and repressed in the "closet." n94