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Feminist legal theory, also known as feminist jurisprudence, is based on the belief that the law has been fundamental in women's historical subordination. Feminist jurisprudence the philosophy of law is based on the political, economic, and social inequality of the sexes and feminist legal theory is the encompassment of law and theory connected.The project of feminist legal theory is twofold. First, feminist jurisprudence seeks to explain ways in which the law played a role in women's former subordinate status. Feminist legal theory was directly created to recognize and combat the legal system built primarily by the and for male intentions, often forgetting important components and experiences women and marginalized communities face. The law perpetuates a male valued system at the expense of female values. Through making sure all people have access to participate in legal systems as professionals to combating cases in constitutional and discriminatory law, feminist legal theory is utilized for it all.
Second, feminist legal theory is dedicated to changing women's status through a rework of the law and its approach to gender. It is a critique of American law that was created to change the way women were treated and how judges had applied the law in order to keep women in the same position they had been in for years. The women who worked in this area viewed law as holding women in a lower place in society than men based on gender assumptions, and judges have therefore relied on these assumptions to make their decisions. This movement originated in the 1960s and 1970s with the purpose of achieving equality for women by challenging laws that made distinctions on the basis of sex. One example of this sex-based discrimination during these times was the struggles for equal admission and access to their desired education. The women's experiences and persistence to fight for equal access led to low rates of retention and mental health issues, including anxiety disorders. Through their experiences, they were influenced to create new legal theory that fought for their rights and those that came after them in education and broader marginalized communities which led to the creation of the legal scholarship feminist legal theory in the 1970s and 1980s. It was crucial to allowing women to become their own people through becoming financially independent and having the ability to find real jobs that were not available to them before due to discrimination in employment. The foundation of feminist legal theory reflects this second and third-wave feminist struggles. However, feminist legal theorists today extend their work beyond overt discrimination by employing a variety of approaches to understand and address how the law contributes to gender inequality.