The theory nonetheless retains an identitarian focus that impedes the goal of unsexing
. Here, men (for MacKinnon) deserve protection insofar as they may be defined as having some bit of womanhood.
Intimations of unsexing
appeared early in this production.
The second stage in their critique, or the goal of desexing the body, is unsexing
Irish judges and juries did not insist on conformity to a feminine ideal of domestic submissiveness; a woman who fought back was not treated as having forfeited her right to legal recourse by "unsexing
But try as Hawthorne might to ratify those claims, the narrative he creates argues against him, associating Hester's freedom of thought both with a kind of unsexing
(she has lost "[s]ome attribute ...
[resulting in] an influential unsexing
of sacred verse" (3-4); and that Crashaw was a poet of "willing 'femininity'" who "revels in assuming the role of the Bride, which the marriage trope necessarily imposes on poets who employ it" (4).
Newman is ashamed that Parkes for her more recent book has also been treated to rudeness from anonymous male writers "who seem to imagine that she is bent on unsexing
women, or is unalive to the essential necessity of some feminine virtues" (168), for she is not an extremist and is "more solid, more sensible, more bent on the real welfare of her sex than the men who talk high of the refined and beautiful accomplishments" they demand of women, reckless of the widespread misery that the universal striving after them entails.
In sum, the Convention's reference to gender stereotypes and to culture, taken together with the prohibitions in the Convention as well as in other documents against sex discrimination, can be utilized to expand and modernize the reach and application of CEDAW in light of the existing interpretations expanding the meaning of terms such as "sex." I posit that, given its importance in light of the reality of women's lives (see Part II) and the potential for expansive interpretive moves, we need not contemplate unsexing