Personal Autonomy and the State in Feminist Legal Studies​

Sourav Reddy Dodda
O P Jindal Global University, India.

Volume III, Issue VI, 2020

Personal autonomy quite simply put is the ability to self-govern or self-determine being able to be autonomous in taking decisions, believing in certain values and living a certain way and the absence of external influence in undertaking these actions. But does it mean the same in Feminist legal thought?

Contemporary discussions on personal autonomy started in the 1970’s when authors like Gerald Dworkin and Joel Feinberg provided insights into the realm of autonomy noting that our decisions were worth preserving only if they aligned in harmony with our core morals and values and not else ways.

Another aspect of liberalism that feminists associate with autonomy is the concept of ‘atomism’ connoting the presence of an atomistic man.

Personal Autonomy has provided women with a voice to channel their opinions. It is also pertinent to note what autonomy means and the value it holds to women and people at large.