Agents of (Incremental) Change: From Myra Bradwell to Hillary Clinton

“Agents of (Incremental) Change: from Myra Bradwell to Hillary Clinton”
by Gwen Hoerr Jordan
9 Nevada Law Journal 580 (2009)

“In this Article, the author asserts that after the Civil War, when the race and gender hierarchies that ordered American society were vulnerable, a little-studied collection of activist women lawyers led a law reform movement that established women’s rights incrementally. They were among those thinking about and experimenting with different ways of framing, securing, and enforcing women’s full and equal citizenship rights. As lawyers, licensed members of the legal profession, they operated within the conventional institutions of power – lobbying the legislatures to enact new laws and urging judges to implement a new form of legal reasoning that supported their claims. As women, members of a disfranchised group, they operated within nongovernmental women’s associations – gathering support for their law reform campaigns and using their social capital to pressure governmental institutions to grant women rights. The author argues that these nineteenth-century law reform campaigns laid the foundation for the campaigns of the twentieth-century women’s rights movement that incrementally transformed the legal status of women in America from a position of subordinate inequality to a formal equality, but have not been effective in securing women’s substantive equality.”

This entry was posted in Blog, Recent Articles and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.