Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Miccio: Invoking the History of the Battered Women's Movement to Critique the Present

G. Kristian Miccio, Univ. of Denver, has posted an abstract for an article that appeared recently in the Houston Law Review, A House Divided: Mandatory Arrest, Domestic Violence, and the Conservatization of the Battered Women's Movement. The article begins with a section on the battered women's movement of the 1970's and 80's, "Remembering Our Roots," and then critiques the movement's later development. Here's the abstract:
Using the prism of mandatory arrest in domestic violence cases, Professor Miccio engages an interdisciplinary approach in analyzing of a shift in the modern battered women's movement which embraces a conservative ideology on the issue of women's resistance and survival. Drawing from history, political, philosophical and legal theory, Miccio makes a compelling case as to how the right wing of the movement, which she terms the Protagonists - have distorted the ideological basis for mandatory arrest - in crafting conceptions of individual and collective responsibility. Miccio draws from the Holocaust philosophers in arguing that battered women are moral agents even when refusing to leave an abusive relationship or in refusing to align with mandatory arrest. This article provides an exacting historical analysis which reconnects mandatory arrest with its historical moorings while raising critical theoretical and moral questions about the power of the state over the individual.

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