Ramshaw on Fitzpatrick and the Feminine Law @translat_improv

Sara Ramshaw, University of Victoria Faculty of Law, is publishing Fitzpatrick and the Feminine Law in volume 21 of Law, Culture, and the Humanities. Here is the abstract.

This short commentary on the legacy and significance of Peter Fitzpatrick’s scholarship tells of the divergent approaches he and I take in relation to the “feminine” in the writings of French poet, playwright, fictional author, and theorist, Hélène Cixous. Peter, on his side, is ever reminding us of the constituent connection between law and its origin and the impossibility of the “feminine law” escaping a scheme fixated on a specific patriarchal content. I, on my side, am optimistically yearning for a Cixousian “feminine” who eludes a return to the origin and who fearlessly transgresses the law(s) of the patriarchal. Herein, I theorize the essential difference between Fitzpatrick’s “feminine law” and my reading of the law of the Cixousian “feminine” as relating back to our (differing?) approaches to creativity and originality. To my mind, on the question of law’s creativity, Peter aligns less with Cixous and more with Jacques Derrida, who many have accused of positing a negative conception of creation. Applied to Peter, while ever endeavoring to situate law in relation to creative undertakings, such as literature and poetry, following his determinate/ responsiveness model, the persistence of the negative is inescapable and the “feminine” is always already integral to law.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.