I want to work toward answers to two very hard questions. Here is the first: How do we avoid essentialist or stereotyped conceptions of women and men while holding to the possibility that women have the insight and inclination to transform the practice of law? I take as given the need to expose and resist stereotypes that constrain us as women and men-to deny the essentialist claims that women but not men are nurturing, that men but not women are quantitatively apt, that women are inconsistent and inconstant, while men are logical and true. I acknowledge that there are times when "Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better" is a healthy song to sing. At the same time, I believe that the presence of women in formerly all male centers of influence can and should transform practice within those institutions. (The words "can" and "should" are carefully chosen; I do not believe that transformation is an automatic consequence of integration.) How can we reconcile the claim of similar capacities with the promise of transformation?
Davis, Peggy Cooper
"We Can Do Better,"
Yale Journal of Law & Feminism: Vol. 14
, Article 8.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yjlf/vol14/iss2/8