This new edition of Drucilla Cornell's highly acclaimed book includes a substantial new introduction by the author, which situates the book within current feminist debates. In Beyond Accommodation, Drucilla Cornell offers a highly original vision of what feminist theory can give contemporary women. She challenges essentialist and naturalist accounts of feminine sexuality, arguing that any attempt to affirm woman's value and difference by either emphasizing her maternal role or repudiating the feminine only entraps women, once again, in a container that curtails feminine sexual difference, legitimates the masculine fantasy of woman, and reinstates, rather than dismantles, the gender hierarchy. In response to these movements, Beyond Accommodation strives to broaden the scope of feminist theory by articulating a platform, under the concept of relative universalism, which proposes the idea that women are not a unified and homogenous group although they are positioned as women in patriarchy. Cornell's theory allows for differences in women's situations without giving up on the idea that women are fighting a common phenomenon called patriarchy.
Drucilla Cornell is the most intellectually sophisticated legal academic writing on these issues today. The philosophical rigor she brings to any question along with the strong imagining of human needs and aspirations makes her contribution to current debates unique and valuable.--Stanley Fish, University of Illinois at Chicago