In reading these three articles I found that there were aspects of each that I agreed with, and portions that I was directly opposed to. Most of the terms I was unfamiliar with from the previous two weeks were reviewed or at least touched on in these articles. The only significant new questions that I had were in reference to Marxist and post-Marxist feminism, areas I was slightly confused by, and have little background in.
The way that West described the underlying concept of the "connecting experience" provided me with a better understanding of cultural feminism. While cultural feminists see the intrinsic connectedness of women to others as a benefit and something to be embraced, Radical feminists view women's connected nature as the underlying causation for the inequalities in society.
The main problem I had with the theory of cultural feminism was its tendency to lump all women into general categories. While West addresses the possibility of women not having children, she maintains that they are then connected to society through their mothers. I feel that this essentialist view of differences between genders could eventually lead society down a 'slippery slope' towards a justification for inequalities in the law. However, this then suggests that all differences must be ignored in favor of laws that are gender blind, a situation that I do not believe is possible, let alone advantageous to women.
I appreciated, in the Ginsburg article, that she addressed the abstract nature of many feminist legal theories. I agree that maintaining a practical application of feminism is important in furthering the goal of what I perceive as eventual gender equality. While I agree that there has to be a certain level of equality before women can advocate for gender specific rights, I believe that the literal equality she references cannot change the inherent biological gap between the generalized groups of 'men' and 'women'. I find that the humanist approach is more convincing, as it subsumes both categories in the larger concept of 'people', and then allows us to focus on societal and cultural differences.
While I have never labeled myself a radical feminist, I found that the McKinnon article was rather compelling in its dominance/submissive categorization of male/female relations. I also thought that her argument regarding the inability of idealism to effect change was important in forming a working feminist theory. While I do not necessarily agree with all of McKinnon's assertions regarding rape, I was interested in the general concepts she presented, and would be interested in reading more about them in greater depth.