AFFIRMATIVE - CRITIQUE - FEMINIST CRITIQUE OF PRIVACY 155
ANSWERS TO FEMINISM CRITIQUEBLACK FEMINISM COUNTER CRITIQUE
THE FEMINIST CRITIQUE IS UNIQUELY EXCLUSIONARY TO WOMEN AT THE INTERSECTION OF RACE AND CLASS AND THEREFORE PERPETUATES THEIR OPPRESSION
Susan B. Boyd, Chair in Feminist Legal Studies and Prof. of Law at University of British Columbia, 1997; CHALLENGING THE PUBLIC/PRIVATE DIVIDE," Challenging the Public/Private Divide: An Overview", EE2001hxm p. 12
First, it has been shown that most femimst literature on the public/ private divide tends to identify gender as the primary cause of women's oppression, thereby diminishing the potential of an analysis that examines the role of race, culture, class, sexuality, and disability (e.g., Buss, Koshan, Mosoff, Teghtsoonian this volume). It has become clear that the public/ private dividing line is often drawn differently depending on factors such as race, class, and sexual identity. For example, women of classes and races 'other' than the protected, white, middle- or upper-class married woman were expected to work in both public and private spheres, even in the romanticized nineteenth century (Prentice et al. 988, 123-8). Some did paid work in their homes for industries such as the garment trade (Ocran this volume). Others took boarders into their homes or did laundry for other households (Prentice et al. 1988, 121-2). Indeed, it was the work of 'othered' women, as maids for example, for women of the middle and upper classes that enabled the latter women to be viewed as 'Protected' (from work) in the private sphere. Their labour also enabled some (mainly middle- or upper-class white) women to participate in limited ways in the public sphere, creating the new welfare state and engaging in charitable works (Chunn 1992; Prentice et al. 1988, 103-5; Ursel 1992; Valverde 199 1, 29-30). Yet the historical image remains that women rarely performed paid labour in the domestic sphere or the public sphere. General statements about the 'experience of women' in the public and private spheres thus cannot be made, because gender-based dynamics are cross-cut by racialized and class-based social relations.
FEMINIST CRITIQUE OF PRIVACY IGNORES BLACK WOMEN'S EXPERIENCES AND THE POWER THAT PRIVACY HOLDS FOR THEM
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.
Looking to the legacy of slavery helps to undergird the value of private choice and of privacy in the sense of seclusion, restricted access, and the like. As Allen has noted, and as such feminist scholars as Patricia Hill Collins and Adrienne Davis have examined, African-American women have suffered the denial of both private choice and privacy: slavery involved the commodification and expropriation of their labor, sexuality, and reproductive capacity; the failure to afford them protection of their bodily integrity against rape and forced reproduction; and the treatment of their bodies as items of public (indeed, pornographic) display. n58 Against such a history, as feminist scholar Dorothy Roberts has argued, privacy, in the sense of governmental noninterference, is an important precondition for protecting the personhood of African-American women. n59 Further, against [*771] this history of "commodification and coercion" n60 and the backdrop of the representation of African-American women as unchaste, promiscuous, and animalistic, the goods of privacy-with its protection of restricted access and secrecy-and of private choice hold powerful appeal. n61