In order to understand the contributions that feminism has made to political and legal theory the inequalities and injustices that feminists are aiming to eliminate must be considered. The main area of feminist theory that this discussion will consider is liberalist and Western feminism; however it is important to note that there are non-liberalist and Eastern theories of feminism but to explore these feminisms is beyond the scope of this essay.
It will then consider the case study of feminist theory and the blurred distinction between the public and the private in general and then consider whether the approach taken by radical feminists goes too far and reduces the accountability of feminist theory. The following section will consider an alternative approach within feminist theory to ensure that equality and accountability is brought into the theory and then the approach to legal, social and political problems such as the state's approach to rape as a means of control is taken seriously.
In Patriarchal Societies feminists argue that the body and its traditional assignations of wife and body have become a form of control. Western feminists, such as Rich argues that rape and violence against women are central to the control of women and their bodies, especially when the advancement of women in the public sphere is de-stabilizing this power base:
Patriarchy is a familial-social, ...