Law School Archives
READ // Where Is Your Body? : And Other Essays on Race, Gender, and the Law
Margaret Chon, Seattle University
Where is Your Body? : And Other Essays on Race, Gender and the Law By Mari J. MatsudaBoston, Mass. : Beacon Press, c1996E184.A1M314 1996
From Professor Margaret Chon:
Mari Matsuda and other pioneers of critical legal theory direct our attention to where we are situated in social spaces. Often unaware of where we are positioned vis-à-vis others except in physical spaces impossible to ignore, we make the mistake of thinking that the way we experience the world is the way the world is for everyone. Where is Your Body? interrogates the reader about class, gender, race, sexual orientation, nationality, disability, age and other categories that give each of us a partial perspective on an invisible but powerful social matrix affecting all of us. Law is harnessed in the service of justice only when we continually grapple with this basic but elusive point.
From Former Dean Kellye Testy:
Mari Matsuda, Professor of Law at Georgetown, has had a profound influence upon the way I think about law and justice. Her essay, “Multiple Consciousness as Jurisprudential Method,” which is the opening essay in her book, Where is Your Body?, helped me to understand how to continue to work for justice through law even while recognizing that there is injustice in the legal system. She has also highlighted for me the importance of working in coalition – that we can unite our various struggles for justice without erasing the many important differences between and among them. And finally, she reminds me of the importance of action – that just believing certain ideals is not enough. Instead we have to ask: where is your body? What are you actually doing to work for justice?
About the Author:Mari Matsuda was the first tenured female Asian American law professor in the United States (UCLA, 1998). One of the primary voices in critical race theory since its inception, Professor Matsuda is a nationally recognized expert on civil rights, feminist theory, affirmative action, and hate speech; her publications on reparations and affirmative action are frequently cited.
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