Dissonance and Distrust: Women in the Legal Profession
This path-breaking book examines the experiences of women in the legal profession in Australia. It looks at the relationship between the feminine and the public sphere through a study of women as members of the jurisprudential community. Dissonance and Distrust: Women in the Legal Profession challenges the assumption that women will become accepted within the legal community as increasing numbers are 'let in'. The fiction that the feminine is associated with disorder has resulted in the implementation of disciplinary strategies designed to curb refractory women. Dissonance and Distrust reveals the ways in which the "fictive feminine" is invoked to deny authority to professional women.
The book is based on interviews with more than 100 women, including law students, academics, solicitors, barristers and judges. Although the book focuses on women in the legal profession, its significance transcends the case study, as it seeks to explain why women are perceived to lack authority in the public sphere.