Tag Archives: Anita L. Allen

Summer Reading Lists? New(ish) in Print: Unpopular Privacy by Anita Allen

This book was published Sept. 2011 by OUP in the series “Studies in Feminist Philosophy” (see other books from this series here).

Author Anita Allen is the  Henry R. Silverman Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.  Her faculty page is here.  She is also author of Why privacy isn’t everything: feminist reflections on personal accountability and many, many, many law review articles and other publications.

Click here to find Unpopular Privacy at OUP  (you can also find a speech she gave titled, Unpopular Privacy: The Case for Government Mandates; Allen, Anita L. published in the Okla. City U. L. Rev. in 2007 here [Heinonline link])

The publisher offers these blurbs, and you can find a video of Prof Allen discussing the book on the UPenn website .

It was reviewed harshly by Eric Posner (U Chicago Law) in the New Republic, here and more favourably on the American Association of Law Libraries blog, here.

Danielle Citron from U Maryland Law interviewed Allen about the book for the Dissenting Opinions blog, here:

 

Question: Your book is published in the Oxford University Press Feminist Philosophy Series, and yet there isn’t much overt discussion of feminism in the book after the initial chapter.  Do you regard this book as a feminist project?

This book subtly reflects insights gleaned from my encounters over the years with feminist scholarship about privacy, equality and freedom.  What I believe one learns from feminist philosophy and jurisprudence is why just societies must avoid imposing subordinating privacies on people simply because of their sex or race.

My book rejects the notion that there is a generic liberal or liberal feminist case for or against all coercive privacy mandates.  I offer contextually specific assessments of a variety of unpopular privacy requirements, informed by liberal feminist conceptions of privacy, freedom, and equality.

Two of the books eight chapters explicitly address women’s issues.  To explore notions of subordinating and liberating privacy, and voluntary and imposed privacy, I devote one full chapter of Unpopular Privacy to US Muslim women’s modesty attire, and another to US and Canadian Supreme Court nude dancing cases.