There is a "male standard" in law, Florence Kelley proclaimed through the early 1920's. Kelley, the executive secretary of the National Consumers' League, believed existing legal rules and rhetoric represented only men's interests. If women were subject to these male rules, she reasoned, this equal treatment would yield unequal results. Kelley wanted equality for women, but she was firmly committed to an equality based on women's differences from men, rather than an equality grounded on gender neutrality. She tried to introduce to American law a female standard, one that created new legal rhetoric, concentrating on women's distinct experiences. This equality-through-difference approach was summed up by the phrase "industrial equality," which women who agreed with Kelley used to explain their approach to law and social change.
"Social Feminism and Legal Discourse: 1908-1923,"
Yale Journal of Law & Feminism:
1, Article 7.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yjlf/vol2/iss1/7