ArticlesVolume 12, Number 3 (2003)

Not Whistlin’ Dixie: Now, More Than Ever, We Need Feminist Law Journals


Feminist and women’s law journals have done terribly important work. They’ have published articles that would not otherwise have been read, covered issues largely untouched by more traditional reviews, and reviewed books that might otherwise have gone unreviewed. They have provided for feminist dialogues-for women and feminist men to debate and discuss with one another-not only through publication but through the process of creating and running journals, holding symposia, and producing a publication. They have helped women seeking tenure on faculties throughout the country (although they have also sometimes caused problems for them), helped students learn to write better while enabling them to augment their r~sum6s, and enhanced the prestige of legal institutions. They have not only helped put feminist and women’s issues on the mainstream map, but also helped put women in a position to teach and practice from feminist perspectives.

But has their success become their failure? Now that feminist work is also published in mainstream and topical law reviews, most law schools have offerings in feminist theory, and several textbooks are available in the field (although none have yet had the distinction of generating a Nutshell), have gender journals rendered themselves obsolete? Or, have external conditions-from the emergence of e-publications and the Social Science Research Network,2 to the proliferation of journals and law reviews (in 1995 there were, by one count, upwards of 380 in the United States alone3)–made them superfluous?