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Prosecuting Domestic ViolenceA Philosophical Analysis$
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Michelle Madden Dempsey

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199562169

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199562169.001.1

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(p.129) 7 Patriarchy
Prosecuting Domestic Violence

Michelle Madden Dempsey

Oxford University Press

This chapter offers an account of patriarchy, understood here as a wrongful structural inequality against which feminism is concerned to act. By providing an account of what being patriarchal means, it seeks to illuminate by contrast what it means to be feminist, and thus to clarify the book's overarching thesis that ceteris paribus domestic-violence prosecutors should be feminists. After setting its discussion within the context of intersectionality discourse, the chapter proceeds to unpack the wrongness of patriarchy in terms of its tendency to limit systematically women's access to options that are critical to the success of their lives. This tendency is elaborated by way of a tripartite analysis in which it is claimed that patriarchy may consist in sex discrimination (denying valuable options to women based on misconceptions), sexism (denying valuable options based on a failure to value women), and/or misogyny (malicious securing disvalue for women).

Keywords:   patriarchy, feminism, feminist, character, sex discrimination, sexism, misogyny, intersectionality, post-intersectionality, structural inequality

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