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Now that I have posted my first entry, a word about this Blog. Its goal, simply stated, is to comment on constitutional law and scholarship, taking into account the reality that constitutions are not gender-neutral. Although an increasing number of scholars know this, many who have been exposed to the idea probably think it eccentric, or regard it as yet-another form of (unpalatable) identity politics. I hope to challenge these views. Many constitutional law professors, I suspect, have simply never thought about it. Although gender equality is now a routine consideration in constitution-making around the world (even if not carried into effect), in the field of constitutional theory, most scholars write as if gender has no place. Even in discussions focused directly on lines of difference or 'identity', gender differences are simply overlooked. (The literature on 'constitutional citizenship' is particularly noticeable in this regard, and I will comment specifically on this in another post.)

I have been a tenured academic since 1988 (and held untenured posts for ten years before that). It took me a long time, too, to treat gender seriously as a matter for constitutional attention, or to feel intellectually comfortable with making feminist claims before sceptical audiences of fellow professors or jurists. The pioneering work of certain scholars, especially in the U.S., helped reverse this 'discomfort'; as did the women of history who asserted, as Elizabeth Ward did in NSW in 1897, that a nation with a constitution that does not reflect the interests of women as well as men 'will be one-sided, inharmonious and dwarfed.' So, I will write about all this: experiences, research, and perspectives on the community of constitutional scholars to which I happily belong. This will thus be 'A Woman's Constitution': by and about.

(I also write about 'mainstream' and doctrinal constitutional issues, btw, and if you are interested in other blog entries, and the excellent work of the Constitutional Reform Unit, please visit http://blogs.usyd.edu.au/cru/ )