Women's rights and the Constitution
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The revitalization of the Feminist Movement in the late 20th century led to the abandonment of most overt male bias in constitutional law. The Supreme Court replaced its old doctrines that accepted gender discrimination virtually without scrutiny with a rule that gender-based classification must bear a substantial relationship to an important purpose. The limited right to abortion recognized in Roe v. Wade [Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 413 (1973)] has survived 30 years of persistent efforts to negate it. Nevertheless, male bias remains entrenched in American law. Although law is no longer an exclusively male activity, legal rules originated in men's viewpoints and experiences. Examples of this kind of male bias include a concept of self-defense that does not fit the experience of domestic violence victims and child custody rulings that ignore the mother's role as primary caregiver. Unfortunately, constitutional doctrine remains impervious to this type of bias. © 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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