On November 16 2017, the King’s Women in Law society (KWIL) held their first academic event, titled ‘Is the Law Sexist? Feminist Legal Theory 101’.
This event involved presentations by various speakers, followed by an interactive Q&A session. Firstly, Dr. Leslie Taylor focused on the need to look beyond legislation to understand the position of women within Property Law; it is imperative to analyse case law and reflect upon the attitudes of the judiciary. Secondly, Dr. Emily Barritt introduced the concept of Ecofeminism, through drawing similarities between the exploitation of women and of the environment, and encouraged approaching environmental problems in a more discerning manner. Finally, Professor Davina Cooper discussed the need for a legal gender. This involved considering the growing recognition of other gender identities, the basis of criteria selection and equality arguments. The Q&A session led to examination of recurring themes running through the different aspects of law addressed by the speakers, including the role of Parliament and the judiciary in the context of changing social attitudes.
From this event, students were encouraged to appreciate different views and to critically reflect upon the law with a feminist lens. It is hoped that this event encouraged attendees to recognise the increasing importance of feminism in today’s society and to continue contributing to the ongoing discussion on the topic.
Following the event, a drinks reception was held at Somerset House to allow for further discussion with the speakers, fellow attendees and the KWIL committee.
KWIL is thankful to the engaging speakers and to all attendees. For more information on KWIL, head to the KWIL webpage.