The Womb Monologues: Toward A Mizrahi Feminist Theory of Israeli Law

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Israeli legal feminists have largely overlooked the constitutive theoretical developments that introduced the "third wave"to global feminism. Drawing on the critical insights of black and postcolonial feminist discourse, this Article introduces Mizrahi feminism to Israeli jurisprudence. It aims to lay the groundwork for a new theoretical school of critical legal scholarship in Israel and expose the multidimensional oppression endured by Mizrahi women in Israeli law and history. To this end, the Article focuses on a particular slice of the legal history of the Israeli abortion law reform of the 1970s. Analyzing extensive parliamentary protocols and institutional archival records, the Article pioneers the deconstructive toolbox of Mizrahi feminism in order to extract the subversive ethno-class narrative that has been left invisible in the feminist story of Israeli abortion law-a sorely neglected history of a separatist, quality-control regulatory mechanism that restrains the Mizrahi womb and Orientalizes its female carrier as "unqualified"visà- vis the "dignified"Ashkenazi womb. This intellectual exercise in legal historical study does more than unveil the complex dynamics behind the regulation of the female body in Israel. It also gives a voice to an intra-Jewish ethnic female minority that otherwise remains a transparent and denied gender category in the sociolegal literature.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)816-857
Number of pages42
JournalAmerican Journal of Comparative Law
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Law


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