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Chicago-Kent Law Review

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Public v. Private, Feminist Study, Feminist Critique, Feminist Legal Theory, Carole Pateman


The public/private distinction has been a target of thoroughgoing feminist critique for quite some time now. Indeed, attacking the public/private line has been one of the primary concerns (if not the primary concern) of feminist legal theorizing for over two decades. If Carole Pateman is correct, one would think that this particular problem might be assigned to the category of "finished business" by this time. In this Essay, I do argue that the critique is, in certain ways, finished business in that it is no longer particularly useful in its most common forms. More importantly, however, I suggest several ways in which various critiques of the public/private line have left much business unfinished.