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Abstract

Feminist legal theory is a significant area of scholarly inquiry, and the Supreme Court is no stranger to feminist legal arguments. Yet there has been no previous attempt to determine how the Court reacts to and makes use of the vocabulary of feminism. This Note conducts an empirical study of Supreme Court cases, and finds that-despite ample opportunity-the Court has only substantively discussed the words "feminist" or "feminism " twice in its history, both times in non-majority opinions. The Note attempts to understand this· aversion to the vocabulary of feminism, examining factors from within the legal profession
as well as the continuing societal aversion to the words. The Note· contends that the Court both reflects and exacerbates society's broader discomfort with the feminist label, and that the Court should do its part to reverse this semantic cycle.

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