Recently in Week 4 blog Category

Mid Term Project/Topic

I have decided to do a written paper for the mid term assignment. The topic I am focusing on is women's lives while incarcerated. I am interested in the areas of pregnancy, labor/delivery and parenting/custody issues/rights of incarcerated women.

I will be looking forward to teaming up with anyone to do a presentation for the final project.

Since I could not comment

Katie A. and myself discussed in class the other day if we could team up together and do a presentation on human trafficking and prostitution. We have not discussed the specifics, but I have several connections that could help us in researching and preparing for this project. I work for the Aurora Center on campus and have a vast knowledge in sexual violence. I also worked for Amnesty International a couple of years back and worked within researching international human trafficking. Lastly, I am in touch with "Breaking Free," a local nonprofit that helps women and children getting off the streets and participating in prostitution. They provide schooling, counseling, free housing, etc. With all of these resources, I know that this presentation would be very rewarding and interesting.

Mid-Term Project Topic

I plan on doing my topic on marriage law in the United States in the 19th century. History is a topic that greatly interests me, and with the continuing debate on non-heterosexual marriage, I believe it would be important to discuss the nature of marriage, and how it used to be seen.


I am interested in doing something with prostitution and rape law. I believe that Meredith and I will be working on that topic together for the presentation which perhaps we could do at midterm?

Possible Paper/Presentation Subjects

For my presentation topic, I am very interested in dealing with a topic related to how the law deals with rape. I'd particularly be interested in looking into the way that commodification of womens bodies shapes the way in which rape law is structured. I'd like to work with a partner on my presentation, and would be willing to be flexible about the topic.

Regarding the paper, which I would prefer to do at the end of the semester, I am particularly interested in international feminism (which is usually western feminism) and how it has shaped laws in other countries. There are a number of issues with colonialism and feminism that I'd like to explore in this regard, which I think highlight the complexity of changing legal issues. I spent last semester in Jordan, where honor killings (while rare) still occur. King Hussein has submitted legislation to change the law which allows fathers or brothers to suffer very little punishment for such crimes, yet they have repeatedly failed to pass. Another interesting example in this same vein would be looking at the way international actors interacted with Hamid Karzai in response to his passing of the Shia Family Act, which legalizes marital rape (by making it law that women have sex with their husbands at least once a week). I remember when this occurred watching one of the male pundits refer to this as "barbaric" (which it is) and expressing his shock at a people that could allow that - while thinking that marital rape was not a crime in all states until around 1992. Obviously this isn't a focused idea yet, but these are the thoughts I've been turning over.

Week 4: Topic

For my final project, I was thinking about discussing presuppositions about a person's ethics based on their sex, how gender affects ethics, and how these two things work in tandem to maintain normativity.

Week 4: topics

I have a few topics that I'm interested in. I have no preference as to what topics in particular I would rather use as a presentation or paper.

- the arguments on the side that would like to censor pornography more

- if postmodern feminist theory is realistically applicable, and if so, how

- Miscegenation laws. Maybe more specifically the role of Japanese war brides. How they came to be known as perfect wives and how they came to be acquired by the opposing faction

Post 4: Possible Paper/Presentation Topics

My first topic of interest is a somewhat more specific than my second subject. I would be interested in researching the "Sex Wars" of the early 1980's. While the anti-pornography movement is widely documented by writers such as MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin, I would be interested in contrasting their writings with the sex-positive feminist approach. More specifically, maybe, looking at how pornography potentially propagates sexual violence in society, or whether it should be termed free speech under the Constitution. Otherwise, I would be open to perusing this issue from another angle, maybe focusing on how the pro-sex feminist's approach regarding rape and rape laws would differ from that of a radical feminist such as MacKinnon.

As a second potential topic, I thought about looking at the shift of feminism's focus over time from economic equality to sex-role equality in the law. While I don't feel that there is necessarily a line that defines one to the exclusion of the others, I think comparing Marxist, Socialist, and Radical feminist approaches to class and gender roles could provide some specific insight into this topic.

topics for paper and presentation

My ideas for my topic and presentation are not fully developed so I am not sure about what I want to do yet, they might change as I further my research.

For my paper topic I want to dicuss something along the lines of how the law has an effect on African american women verses other women. How laws effect a certain group of people rather than people who may commit a crime. i f that makes any since at all. I have not fully developed the ideas in my head yet.

For my presentation I want to talk or argue some of the issues we talked about in class, like women ( specificly African American women) in higher positions of the law. How things differ for women and men but also women of color and other women.

Blog 4

Two topics that I am interested in include rape laws and the change of marriage laws over time. These ideas are pretty tentative; they may change as I do more research and as I do more class reading. For the first topic, I would like to look more closely at the MacKinnon piece we read last week, and I would like to read some other feminists approach to rape and rape laws. I want to look at the language used in rape laws and how it reflects the information I find in my research. I would like to investigate how radical feminists and cultural feminists view rape and perceive rape laws. Also, it might be interesting to look at rape law from the perspective of a critical race feminist. For the second topic, I am interested in the history of marriage law. I took a course on the history of women, and we only touched on the rights of women when it comes to marriage and divorce. I would like to learn more about marriage law and how it has changed over time. My interests include coverture, divorce, division of property, custody of children, and same-sex marriage.

Blog 4--research topics

Two topics that I thought might be interesting are "incarcerated women" and "women and pornography."

I am interested in researching how incarceration for women differs from that of men. I have not had much personal contact with people who have been in prison but I am sure there are many differences in how the penal system treats each due the gender differences. I have seen documentaries about women who have children while they are in prison. I have never heard of a man having his newborn child in a prison while he was an inmate so I was thinking about looking at this dynamic and exactly how this works out.

As for the women in pornography topic, it's not so much about the pornography itself but there are some women who have become actually very successful directors and producers of pornography. This is a curious thought. What is it about this industry that has made these women decide to become director and producers?

I'm not sure which one I would rather do as a presentation or a paper. If anyone of these topics is interesting to anyone else, feel free to let me know.

blog 04 // research ideas

As of right now, both of my projects are incredibly tentative!

For my paper, which I prefer to complete at midterms, I plan to explore the way that laws play out in cases of domestic violence. Firstly, I'm going to research arrest policies, and the racialized nature in which they are actually carried out. Then I will examine sentencing policies.I'd like to look at this issue in conjucture to what Catherine Mackinnon claims about the state and rape or sexual violence - that is does not address it as systemic, and is hence perpetuating it.
Similarly, I would like to research who is left out of these policies, specifically how immigration issues complicate domestic violence. Though... that would possibly be an entirely different paper?
At this point, I have too much that I would like to cover, so I'll be narrowing it down quite a bit in order to get at my main argument.

Right now I'm less sure about what exactly I want to work on for the presentation.

One topic that I would possibly like to research is how post-conviction laws for serious drug offenses, specifically the penalties banning things such as welfare, disproportionately affect women of color. Critical Race Feminism approaches would particularly be of use to me here.

Of the theories we have explored, I think the approach that I will find most useful is Dominance Theory. Though I would certainly be interested in working with someone on an issue related to EcoFeminism. I've done a few readings on the particular effects of environmental destruction policy to American Indian women, and the movements that fight against it.

Week 4: Paper and Presentation Ideas

These are my two topics of interest:

This first topic I would like to do as a presentation if someone has a similar topic in mind.One, human trafficking and prostitution laws. I would like to look at this topic from a cultural feminist perspective and specifically look at the legal approaches taken when dealing with the initial arrest of a trafficked victim, the resources (if any) given to them, and the effects this has on their overall well being, both legally and emotionally. I think it would be interesting to investigate the rights given to these victims, the types of laws that the victims would be in violation of ,and how these violations would work within a cultural feminist perspective.

The next topic I am interested in is looking at Catherine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin's legal work on making pornography illegal in Minneapolis. I do not know a lot of detail around this, but I have heard many references to their work with pornography. I would prefer to look at this through a radical feminist perspective and look at their legal arguments made against the 1st Amendment.

Week 4 Blog

This week, please describe ideas that you have for paper and presentation topics. Are you interested in using the theoretical approaches that we have examined thus far, or do you think that those that we have yet to get to will prove more useful?
To start your research, I suggest going to the U of M library list of databases and trying some searches in JSTOR and Hein Online. The first contains general academic journals; the Hein database allows you to search law journals.
Blog posts are due by noon on Tuesday. After this time, please come back to the blog and read your classmates' posts and comment on at least one post. Are you interested in a similar topic? Has your preliminary research or prior academic experience turned up any sources that might be helpful? These comments should go beyond "Interesting topic" and offer substantive feedback that will help your classmates to refine their topics.